Recording Studio final features Sam Stevenson's memorable anthem of Tathra bushfire appeal

Sam Stevenson on stage with The Figmentz at the Band Together festival fundraiser for the Tathra and district bushfire appeal. Photo: David Rogers
Sam Stevenson on stage with The Figmentz at the Band Together festival fundraiser for the Tathra and district bushfire appeal. Photo: David Rogers

One of the most rousing and memorable performances of last year's Band Together festival is to be revisited on next week's episode of ABC TV's The Recording Studio.

Sam Stevenson belting out a Beatles tune in the style of Joe Cocker's famous version, With a Little Help From My Friends, was a real highlight of the Tathra bushfire appeal.

Now, Stevenson has opened up his life and musical talents for the latest episode of the 10-part series that is focusing on everyday Australians celebrating the one song that means the most to them.

That performance at Band Together, and indeed the events that triggered it, still burn bright for the volunteer firefighter-cum-musician.

"It was a really powerful thing to be part of," Stevenson said.

"A lot of people got in touch afterwards to say 'you don't understand how much that meant'.

"That's what I did it for."

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Stevenson was on one of the first trucks out of the Merimbula Rural Fire Service station to respond to the March 18 bushfire in Reedy Swamp and Tathra. He was been an RFS volunteer for 20 years and was recently made deputy captain of the brigade.

"A lot of people went through a lot of trauma following that day," he said.

"It's very confronting to see your fellow locals losing everything.

"Time does heal wounds, but with any trauma...I've worked in mental health and social work for many years and while that means you can explain it, it doesn't make it any easier."

Putting that emotion and passion for his RFS colleagues and his community into his performance of With a Little Help From My Friends caught the notice of producers for The Recording Studio.

They have visited the district, filming Stevenson at home, with his fellow brigade volunteers and revisited the scene at Tathra 12 months after the devastating blaze.

He was also flown to Sydney to work in the studio and, as it turned out, to sing with an incredible all-star band of some of Australia's best musicians (just who those are we will keep a secret - you'll have to watch on Tuesday night to find out).

"I don't feel like I deserve all this, but at the same time, if i can be a figurehead to get attention and help for all these firies, that's what it's all about."

The Recording Studio season final screens on ABC 8pm, Tuesday, June 18.

This story Sam Stevenson singing his heart out with, and for, his friends first appeared on Bega District News.

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