It was amusing to watch the ABC’s one hour special
on veteran crooner
Paul Anka last night. The guy certainly is a legend and it brought back
memories of the time we met at Crown Casino just before it opened in
April 1997. It was during my dodgy phase with Crown boss Lloyd Williams
where criticism of him and the casino in the Herald Sun were tempered in return for a long line of great scoops.

Lloyd had brought the world’s greatest casino developer, Steve Wynn
of Mirage and Bellagio fame in Las Vegas, to Melbourne to inspect his
facility. Accompanying him was bankrupt hotel and casino mogul Chris
Hemmerter, who developed many of the mega hotels on the Hawaiian
islands and some little bloke who called himself Paul Anka.

I had never heard of Paul Anka and the little fella got a little frustrated when he had to point out who he was.

“I have sung in every
major casino in the world and never have I seen a facility like this,” he
said, before adding “I wrote My Way.”

He must have been annoyed when the subsequent Saturday feature reported that Anka was “the man
who says he wrote My Way and is helping Mr Williams recruit stars from around
the world to perform at Crown.” Of course he wrote My Way, plus numerous other classics such as Diana, Lonely Boy and Put Your Head On My Shoulder over the years.

The Paul Anka special drew an average audience of 511,000 people last
night, so he’s clearly much better known to normal people than a pop
culture ignoramus such as Crikey.

Still for someone who is feted wherever he goes and only travels in
private jets, it must be nice to occasionally have to big note yourself
to get taken seriously. For all I knew he was just some PR bloke
butting in all the time.