TOPICS: Ricky Martin likes our town

LATINO SUPERSTAR: Ricky Martin rehearses at Newcastle Entertainment Centre. Picture: Peter Stoop SOMEONE NEEDS A CUDDLE: Glen Fredericks, the founder of Hug a Drummer Day.

Glen’s logo for Hug a Drummer

RICKY Martin and his kids are in town, which means Novocastrians could be exposed to dangerous levels of swooning.

The Puerto Rican star and The Voice Australia judge is here in the lead-up to his show at the Entertainment Centre on Thursday, and he’s been out and about.

‘‘Just beautiful,’’ Martin told reporters, when asked the stock question about what he thinks of Newcastle.

‘‘I took a walk yesterday and it was very special – with the water, it’s very special, very beautiful.’’

Martin has twin sons Matteo and Valentino, 5, in tow. Through painstaking research (watching an interview on Ellen), Topics can report that the boys speak Spanish, English and French.

Have you seen Ricky on the town, dear reader? Swimming at Merewether, or shopping on Darby Street? Hoeing into a Harry’s Schnitzel?

Report your sighting to Topics. We’ll file it under Rickyleaks.

Cymbolic gesture

THERE’s a fair chance that, at least once, you’ve been swept up in a song and whipped out your air guitar. It’s a moment best enjoyed in private.

The invisible instrument is, going by your wide-legged stance, a noisemaker of epic proportions. It loves Queen and Def Leppard, and plays better when you close your eyes.

All of which is fine, says Glen Fredericks, of East Maitland. But where are all the air drummers? Why isn’t there Drum Hero on PlayStation?

It’s this howling injustice that drove Glen to declare October10 ‘‘Hug a Drummer Day’’.

‘‘I’m a drummer, and I want hugs,’’ says Glen, who has pounded the skins for 26 years.

‘‘But seriously, I figured that the guy or girl furthest back from the front of the audience, who is putting in the biggest effort (lugging all that gear, and then the physically demanding role of performing an instrument that requires every limb to be in motion) needs some appreciation.’’

The seeds of the movement were planted when Glen designed a graphic that read ‘‘Give a Drummer a Hug Today’’.

It was shared thousands of times on Facebook, and Glen knew he was onto something. He picked the date 10/10 for its international clout – ‘‘the Americans won’t stuff it up’’.

There’s also the fact that the ‘‘1’’ looks like a drumstick and the ‘‘0’’ can be anything from a snare to a bass to a cymbal.

Nearly 2000 people on Facebook have declared they are ‘‘going’’ to Hug a Drummer Day. If you want to mark the occasion, Glen says it’s simple.

‘‘Just remember drummers, show them some love and appreciation and give them a hug.’’

Popping hard question

A KAHIBAH reader has a grandson, who is five years old.

Recently the boy visited his great grandfather (Pop), with his mother (the daughter of our Kahibah reader).

‘‘Five-year-old boy goes out to the garage with his Pop to get some tools to play with, which is his usual practice, when he says to Pop, ‘When are you going to die Pop?’’’ reports our Kahibah correspondent.

‘‘Pop, a bit taken aback by the question, replies, ‘Not sure – not soon I hope’.

‘‘Caring five-year-old replies, ‘Well don’t worry Pop, there is still plenty of spaces left in the graveyard next to where [the boy’s sister] plays netball’.’’

Nothing like a caring youngster to ask the difficult questions.

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