by MK Scott -
SGN Contributing Writer
August 25 (Sold Out)
Olivia Newton-John has been busy in the last few years with her Vegas Residency at the Flamingo, three albums and a new one on the way, and in her free time she devotes the proceeds and countless hours to her Cancer Wellness charities. Now she is on tour and will hit Seattle's Snoqualmie Casino next Thursday, August 25th.
After a little phone tag, we finally chatted by phone and she has a lot to be proud of after 50 years of entertainment:
MK Scott: Olivia, thanks for joining us! First, I wanted to congratulate you on your 50th year in show business.
Olivia Newton-John: Oh, thank you! Yea!
MK: It's gone by so quickly!
ONJ: I'm very lucky; it has for me, I don't know about you!
MK: Well, especially since it's been almost 40 years since Grease, and I remember that so well!
ONJ: Yes, yes, it's been a long time since that as well; it's all been a wonderful great journey!
MK: Yes, and your Las Vegas show just keeps on getting extended and extended at the Flamingo.
ONJ: Yes. It's been a lot of fun!
MK: I guess the summer nights have continued.
ONJ: Yes, it's just one long night. It's been great!
MK: And finally you're on tour and you're coming to Seattle. We're looking forward to that. What can we expect?
ONJ: Me, too! I love Seattle, love Seattle; it's one of my favorite places, and the San Juan Islands. You can expect a show of my hits, the songs people expect from me. Songs from my country time, from Grease, from Xanadu, from, you know, my earlier songs when I first started, my rock and roll era, and then some of my environmental music, because I've written quite a few songs about the planet, like 'Care Deeply For Her' and 'What's Going To Happen,' so I do a little medley of environmental songs, but it's a fun show and it's been going really well in Vegas and I'm excited to bring it there!
MK: Wonderful, and also this is at Snoqualmie; they have an outdoor amphitheater they use for the summer.
ONJ: Oh, wonderful! I think it will, that will be a change, I haven't done that for a while.
MK: Awesome, and you also have a new album coming out called Liv On (how appropriate) out in September.
ONJ: Yes, it comes out on September 30th, that I recorded with my dear friends Amy Skye and Beth Chapman who are wonderful singer/song writers, who are dear longtime friends of mine. And we wrote an album. I lost my sister three years ago to cancer and it was a difficult time, and I wrote a song for her kind of as my way of expressing how I felt about losing her and I miss her. So I called my friend Amy Skye who produced my Grace and Gratitude album and asked if she would help me finish it, and we got talking about loss and grief and how these things started our music really for people going through that. She had just lost her mother and Beth, we knew, had lost her husband not so many weeks before and [Beth] had written a wonderful song called 'Sand and Water' about that time, a beautiful song that I've also sung. So I thought it would be wonderful to create a trio of women to sing about these things that are so important about grief and how you get to the other side, how you move on, which is the name of the title, title of the album rather, and so we wrote these songs and we also re-recorded songs of ours that have been successful. Beth re-recorded 'Sand and Water,' Amy re-recorded a song that was a hit called 'I'll Take Care of You' and I recorded, re-recorded 'Grace and Gratitude' and the rest are all new songs and they kind of take you on a journey through grief and re-birth. Really it's, I'm really excited about this album, I'm very proud of it.
MK: And I hear a portion of the Vegas show goes to your cancer research and wellness centers.
ONJ: Yes. A portion of every ticket goes to the wellness program of my cancer center in Melbourne, so that is wonderful and inspires me every time.
MK: In fact the Gaia wellness retreat is now in it's 10th year, congrats!
ONJ: Yea, Gaia just celebrated our 10th year. I'm also very proud of that. It was something born out of a dream of my friend Greg and I, we both dreamt about it, which is wild, and we started with no idea, we had never had a retreat before, we just knew we wanted to create a space where our friends could come and a place that we would like to go to, and now we are an award winning spa, and it's a heaven, a heavenly place.
MK: And now do you have any message for your Gay fans?
ONJ: Oh! Oh yea! Well, thank you for all your support! I think Gay fans have been extremely loyal and loving towards me and I really appreciate that. And, I look forward to seeing them at the shows!
MK: Now what is next for you? Are you going to continue, do you think you'll continue, the Vegas residency past December?
ONJ: I don't know yet, there are no plans at the moment, but you never know what can happen. (Laughter.) I'm planning on next year to have some more down time, and um, following some more of my other pursuits, and um, playing and spending time with my animals, and also working on the Liv On album with my friends Amy and Beth. I'd like to do a few shows with them. So um, yea it's an open book right now.
MK: Any acting coming up?
ONJ: No plans right now.
MK: Yea, I was disappointed when I saw you were not going to be in the Sordid Lives movie.
ONJ: Yea, well, you know I did that one and that was fun, but I was so busy with everything that I'm doing, that it just didn't work out, but I wish Del all the best. I'm sure it will be wonderful and very funny.
MK: Yea, we've chatted with Del before and he's great.
ONJ: Yea, he is.
MK: Well then, at the end of the interview I usually end with my burning question, my burning question, which is the most important question.
ONJ: Uh huh?
MK: Who was a better dancer? John Travolta your Grease co-star, or Gene Kelly your Xanadu co-star?
ONJ: Oh goodness, you can't, you can't compare; that's like comparing apples and oranges. Both different; both different and both wonderful.
MK: I bet it was amazing to be one of the last people to dance with Gene Kelly.
ONJ: It really, I know, what an honor, yes really, and he was such a lovely man, a fantastic experience I will never forget, to dance with him. Thank you very much.
MK: Thank you so much. I'm glad we were able to connect; and hopefully I'll meet you in person sometime, either at the Snoqualmie show or in Vegas sometime.
ONJ: Okay, lovely, thank you.
MK: Thank you so much, we adore you.
ONJ: Thank you!
For all things Olivia Newton-John, please visit her site at olivianewton-john.com.
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