When a rock star buys you a drink

Life got very surreal on Sunday.

I was in a shout with INXS guitarist Kirk Pengilly and surfing icon Layne Beachley, then I handed The Sandhill Warrior a giant, blow-up Subway sandwich.

I was expecting to wake up at that point, but it wasn’t a dream, it actually happened at The Warrior’s significant birthday party.

The Warrior is DD’s personal trainer and is regarded as one of the finest fitness and motivational coaches in Australia. The “Sandhill” bit is because he’s famous for his brutal workout sessions in the sandhills at Palm Beach.

DD was one of the main organisers of the birthday event, with help from workout mates including Toughen Up Tony and Mark the Shark.

DD also put his hand up to be MC for the festivities, which always surprises me – he’s one of those unsusual quiet types who loves public speaking.

I was chief bread roll wrangler for the birthday party sausage sizzle, which was held at Newport Bowling Club. I cut an epic 160 bread rolls in half before the event started, then wandered out of the kitchen with a glass of rosé to enjoy the proceedings.

Layne and Kirk were there because The Warrior got to know Layne during his 13 years training the Quicksilver elite surfing squad around the world. He also helped her and Kirk get in shape to walk the Great Wall of China.

I’m not quite sure how I ended up talking to Layne and Kirk. DD offered to introduce me, but I was too shy. Then, somehow, we were chatting, my glass was empty and Kirk offered to buy me another one.

Yep, THE Kirk Pengilly, former guitarist with INXS, was offering to go in a shout with me.


We chatted for a while, then it was time for speeches.

Kirk and Layne moved to sit down and I edged off to the kitchen doorway, as my other official duty was to surprise The Warrior by bringing out a huge, blow-up Subway sandwich pool toy, as it’s one of his favourite foods.

Layne spotted me across the room and motioned me over to sit with them!!!!!!

My eyes went a little wide as I internally did that “who, me?” thing, then I scurried across the room to them.

I asked Kirk and Layne if they wanted a drink and Layne wanted to know if my pink wine was any good. I screwed my nose up. Kirk was mortified and started apologising about choosing the wrong one. Eeek! I assured him there was never going to be a right rosé at a bowling club.

I grabbed Kirk a Carlton Draught and a bottle of pink wine for Layne and I to share, then we proceeded to watch the speeches together like old friends, chuckling over the hilarious anecdotes and The Warrior’s signature sayings, such as “You’d find bigger shoulders on a carpet snake” and “Dedication never takes a day off”.

The Warrior is quite the character. He’s been wearing little more than budgie smugglers and a mullet since the ’70s. For the past 25 years he’s been a personal trainer, doing four to five sessions every day.

It’s not just dedication that never takes a day off!

About 150 people were there to celebrate with The Warrior, including everyone from local tradies to bankers to the former lead singer of Masters & Apprentices. It was quite the eclectic crowd.

Layne, Kirk and I chitter chatted about everything from my alcohol website to me watching a motivational speech by Layne at a conference, my daughter being a surfer, Kirk’s love of cooking and them having to pull out of walking the Kokoda Trail when he got cancer.

Layne wandered off for a while and it was just me and Kirk having a natter. I told him that I saw INXS perform once at Cardiff RSL or Worker’s Club while standing ankle deep in beer and we reminisced about the live music scene in Newie.

One of the bands that DD’s son plays in performed during the arvo. They were awesome, I always love listening to them sing Master Blaster. Kirk was their biggest supporter in the room, cheering and clapping after every song.

Top bloke, genuinely lovely.

Later, Layne spotted my glass was empty and motioned across the room to ask if I wanted another. I wasn’t going to say no to a former world surfing champ.

(I probably should have because I was getting pretty raucous by that point.)

As the event started to wind down, we thought Layne and Kirk had snuck off, but they were out on the verandah and we started gasbagging again – I was admiring Layne’s hot pink Witchery dress and Tommy Bahamas jacket. I like her style!

Then we said our final goodbyes and headed off into the night. Our encounter was so unexpected, I couldn’t stop laughing with disbelief as we drove home.

Was I really hanging out with Kirk Pengilly and Layne Beachley? Such a spin out!

Song of the day: Inxs “Original Sin (Dream on)”

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