Poet’s life comes with strings attached

Michael Jones is not one to deal in the trifles of life, especially when it comes to the size of his ukuleles. Picture: TARA GOONAN

Michael Jones is not one to deal in the trifles of life, especially when it comes to the size of his ukuleles. Picture: TARA GOONAN

TAKE the beer out of your hand, get off the couch and learn to play a musical instrument.

The giant red lounge and a 3.6-metre-long ukulele in Dean Street yesterday were there to encourage just that change of behaviour.

Michael “The Living Poet” Jones’ visit to Albury’s All-Music store was part of the Lanikai Get Off Ya Couch Tour.

Mr Jones has appeared on Australia’s Got Talent and ABC’s The New Inventors with his solar-powered slide pedal digididge.

The ex-serviceman travels Australia, busking and reciting poetry as a living.

He said he had been an “angry meat head” until he had a heart attack in 2006.

That’s when he threw in his concreting job and dared to be different.

“It taught me to live and not sit in the paddock like a tired old bull,” he said.

“I get $50 to $80 a day busking which is enough to live on.

“I’ve never been on the dole — I’ve just lived off Vegemite sandwiches.”

Mr Jones said he had become passionate about people getting off the couch and having a go.

“You can donate blood or walk a dog,” he said.

“You can fly a kite, — wind is free.”

The man with the great dreadlocks said his was a message from “bogans to Aussies”.

All-Music owner Ian Wittingslow said it was great to see somebody with Mr Jones’ passion touring with what many consider to be the happiest instrument.

“There are no sooky ballads when you play the ukulele,” Mr Wittingslow said. “All the procrastinators out there should just get involved in something.”

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