Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Life on the Road with Lee-Ding Country Star

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Life on the Road with Lee-Ding Country Star

Article excerpt

HANDS up who would like to be Lee Kernaghan's personal assistant?

Melbourne-born Steve Roberts has filled the position for the past nine years.

Roberts has been busy running around with Kernaghan leading up to the Tamworth Country Music Festival and we caught up again this week.

When and where did you meet Lee Kernaghan?

"I was about four years old, all my family travelled to the Yackandandah country music festival," Roberts said.

"Ray Kernaghan, Lee's legendary dad, was touring and Lee was there helping me look for my glasses l lost in the swimming hole next to the showground.

"We were just kids then. The Kernaghan clan and the Roberts clan.

"Lee's mum, Pam, is my dad's sister, so Lee is my cousin. Country cousins."

Where did you grow up?

"Grow up? When do we ever grow up Gary?" Roberts said.

"Mate, I spent most of my informative years in Hobart with stop-overs in Melbourne and Canberra.

"We would often travel up to Albury and spend Christmas at the Kernaghan household.

"At 18 I joined Clark Sinclair's radio school in Melbourne and worked at 92FM, 7HO Hobart and ABC radio.

"I later worked as a nightclub DJ in Melbourne before heading to Townsville."

When did you become Lee's personal assistant? Is it demanding?

"About the summer of 1999 whilst I was working for the federal government and declined Lee's offer but further down the track I became a member of the Kernaghan entourage," Roberts said.

"Every time we get to a gig, the crew yells out 'Hey the hat and coat are here'.

"Lee has his black akubra hat and l have my black coat.

"The role of PA is intense at times and the after parties are the most demanding."

As Lucky Starr once said, l bet you have been everywhere?

"Gary, you know, this is one of the perks of the gig.

"I have been from Broome, WA, to Bicheno Tasmania and then Maryborough, Queensland, to Bordertown and Melrose in SA. …

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