Slim Dusty

Country music performer Slim Dusty recalls visiting Andy Ellis not long before the tailor’s death.

My recollection of Andy Ellis goes such as long, long way back. I’d say that Andy made clothes for me for over thirty years, and what a gentleman he was. I’d be out on the road – he had measurements of the coats and trousers and jackets – and if you knew there was something big coming up when you got back into town from the bush, our first show at the Opera House and a few things like that, and I could send a rushed order into Andy and his team and they’d go to town and do it. People even come up today, after many years, and they say “you always seem to have those certain sort of trousers or those certain jackets and they always fit so well”. Well, with a queer made bloke like me, Andy did a good job. And when he was very, very ill near the end of his tragic sickness, I went out to the hospital to visit Andy. He was a little bit sick that day but he said, “Get a camera, get a camera, we’ve got the famous Slim Dusty here”, the way he used to carry on. “I need a photograph with my old mate, Slim Dusty”, and he really had a great time for a couple of hours and a lot of other people gathered ’round. I was just so grateful that I was able to go and gave him such pleasure, because he was such a good man. Andy Ellis Pty Limited should be remembered as one of the early, very early and long established businesses right in the heart of Sydney. He’s up there in that grandest homestead of all and I just say to Andy up there that, well, “Many happy campfires up there, Andy, and I hope they’ve got some machines and some thread and that you’re making a few outfits for the blokes flying around up there”.

Self recorded