I went to a few Wiggles concerts with my daughter this past August, and I had decided I would love to write about their live show. Life, of course, has a funny way to messing up your plans. What began as a simple article about seeing the Wiggles has turned into something of a different story altogether. What happens when a Wiggle faints, and has to go home? Will there be mass hysteria? Will toddlers storm the stage demanding the missing Wiggle’s presence? Will there be wailing in the aisles? Is a missing Wiggle the end of the world for a child?
I am a fan of the Wiggles, though my daughter is an even bigger one. My interest lies with Greg (the yellow Wiggle) however, because I love his voice. Many don’t know this, but Greg Page has his own solo albums, and these songs are not Wiggle’s music. I have all of his CDs and they are about all I listen to anymore. You may not be able to tell from the Wiggles CDs and DVDs, but the man has a voice of gold, so to speak. So when I go to see the Wiggles, I go first and foremost for my daughter, but a little is for me. I love to hear Greg sing.
So there I sat, in Charlottesville, VA with the news that Greg has fainted a few times, and must fly home to Australia to seek further medical treatment. The parents around me have a mixed opinion. Some are upset, and some are concerned. A collective groan echoes through the venue. You can definitely feel a difference in the audience.
As I take notes, and usher named Sean Castle comes over and asks me if I’m writing love notes to the Wiggles. I laugh, and assure him that I’m just writing an article and taking notes. He’s a lovely fellow though, and asks me, with a twinkle in his eyes, if he should have a fire hose ready to keep the moms from rushing the stage. I assured him I was pretty sure this wouldn’t be necessary.
As the lights go down, I realize the story I was taking notes for is not the story that was being written in front of me. A short video played right before the concert started, with Greg Wiggle himself letting everyone know why he wasn’t there, and that Sam Moran (one of the Wiggly dancers) would be filling in for him. The great thing about the Wiggles is that they don’t try to fool children. They don’t expect kids to think Sam is Greg, though from a distance, you could make that mistake. Instead, they treat the children with respect and tell them exactly what is going on.
I’ve heard quite a few adults continue to groan in the seats around me. The children, however, well, the children bounce back rather quickly. They want to know why Greg is sick, but not one of them stomp out of the arena because of a missing Wiggle. Not one child near me complained, they only voiced concern for their beloved yellow Wiggle. You’ve heard the saying “The show must go on,” and indeed the show did go on. Greg was missed terribly, but his health should come first, or so one would think.
When I got home, I logged onto the Wiggles website to view the message board. There was a message from Greg explaining his absence, and voicing his apology for not being there. An apology that I thought was not needed, but I guess not everyone is like me. Most of the messages that followed were messages of support for Greg from around the world, with a few exceptions. Those exceptions are not worth mentioning in detail.
As the weeks pass, another Wiggles tour is announced for October and November of this year. The big question seems to be, “Will Greg Wiggle be there? Is Greg Page OK? What’s going on?” Most of these questions cannot be answered, and of course, Greg has a right to his privacy. The Wiggles have always been very open about what is going on, but there comes a time when you need to have privacy, and I think this is one of those times. Those asking are mostly just concerned for him, but some are debating whether they should go to the shows knowing he may not be there.
Opinions vary, of course, but the debate rages on. Is it really a Wiggle’s concert without one of the Wiggles? Should they cancel the tour? What is important here? I’m beginning to wonder. I also begin to wonder if those who are outright complaining are worried about how they will feel at a show with a missing Wiggle, or if they really think their children will be crushed. From my own observations, the children don’t mind, as long as you tell them what is going on. They have fun all the same.
I saw a little boy at a Buffalo, NY show a few years ago who was decked out in full costume. This costume was of Murray Wiggle, and the little boy clutched his little guitar as he waited for the show to start, his eyes were wide, staring at the stage before him. Murray had flown home to Australia for a family emergency, and the father of this little boy was worried. Murray, after all, was his son’s favorite. Much to his father’s relief, the little boy seemed fine with Murray’s absence, and he danced his little heart out for the entire show.
If you are thinking about going to a Wiggles concert, but you know a Wiggle may be missing, I urge you to consider things from your child’s point of view. Of course, the final decision is yours, and you have a right to do exactly as you please. But if this is the only problem you are having, I want you to know your child will still have a blast, and the show will still be amazing. There are a lot of acts out there lacking in integrity, but the Wiggles are not one of them. If there is a missing Wiggle, you can be sure it’s necessary. They are, after all, human.