How the legendary group became rock stars after winning Triple J’s Hottest 100

Blue Wiggle Anthony Field didn’t know what Triple J’s Hottest 100 was until he won it a year or so.

“During COVID, [my daughter Lucia] been in the pool, had her own pool party, listened to the Top 100. And I was like, ‘What is that thing!’” he says, while Lucia – now 18 – sits next to her father, looking embarrassed.

“But then, out of the blue, we were invited to do Like A Version, which ended up winning. It was pretty surreal.”


Worlds apart from previous winners like Billie Eilish, Ocean Alley, Kendrick Lamar and Flume, the legendary Australian children’s group won the 2022 countdown for their widely acclaimed rendition of Tame Impala elephant.

It was the first time a cover had won the national youth channel’s annual music poll – and The Wiggles were certainly the first winning group to feature a middle-aged man in an elephant costume playing bass.

“I’ve never worked so hard on a song,” says Field. “We practiced six hours a day.”

But that was just the beginning of an incredibly surreal year for the group.

In 2022, The Wiggles covered songs by The Chats, Fatboy Slim, The White Stripes, AC/DC and Lime Cordiale; and local artists like Spacey Jane, DZ Deathrays and Luca Brasi have covered their songs straight back. The ambitious double album that resulted from this collaboration Newly blurredgave the group, which has performed in various incarnations since 1991, their first #1 ARIA album.

The OG Wiggles – Field, Greg Page, Murray Cook and Jeff Fatt – also embarked on an adults-only national reunion tour, performing their most iconic tracks to sold-out crowds of drunk Millennials and older Gen Z. In April, they made a public appearance followed by US Rapper Lil Nas X, who said he’s trying to get her to co-headline his tour. And in June, The Kid delivered Laroi.

“That next guest is the fucking Wiggles!” yelled the 19-year-old Grammy nominee before moshing the crowd at his show in Melbourne fruit salad.

“The Kid Laroi asked us to support him because he grew up with us,” Field says with a smile. “We get a lot of feedback like this from younger artists. A lot of people say to Murray, “You’re the first guitarist I’ve ever heard!” It’s incredible.

“There’s this photo that The Kid Laroi showed me of him at age 11 doing wiggle fingers and he’s doing rude fingers. We had a good laugh.”

Anthony Field from The Wiggles and a young The Kid Laroi.

Anthony Field from The Wiggles and a young The Kid Laroi.Credit:Pinterest

All of this was particularly exciting for Lucia Field, who officially joined the group this year as the second Blue Wiggle.

“Nostalgia is a very big thing for my generation — I mean all generations, but I think especially now because of social media,” she says.

“Having young Australian acts working with such a legendary Australian group… It’s something people would never get together, but it works so well.

“I feel like I’m more than freaking out [my dad] does because he has no idea who these people are,” she says, laughing.

Lucia and Anthony Field, the Blue Wiggles, in the Big Red Car.

Lucia and Anthony Field, the Blue Wiggles, in the Big Red Car.

“I am 60 years old; I’m really out of date,” admits Anthony. But he also discovered a lot of new music along the way.

“I met Genesis… [Lucia lets her dad know the Canberra rapper’s surname is Owusu, but he maintains ‘I just know him as Genesis’] and then I saw him perform in Falls and now I’m a huge fan. I never would have known him if we hadn’t done this stuff!”

Importantly, The Wiggles also played the Falls Festival – a throwback set that our reviewer noted made the crowd “ballistic”.

“It was just joyful,” says Anthony. “Thousands of people have done that Rock-A-Bye your bearand the next act was Amyl and the Sniffers!”

Wiggles fans at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on the first day of the Falls Festival.

Wiggles fans at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on the first day of the Falls Festival.Credit:Joe Armao

Those OG shows — which include the current, younger Wiggles as backup dancers — were “a bit of a culture shift,” he says.

“I didn’t even know what a shoey was!” says Anthony, recalling one player who tried to trick him into stealing a drink out of his shoe in Darwin. “They brought vodka for Dorothy [the Dinosaur] instead of roses!”

“But we’re not out of character,” he adds. “I think if we did out of the ordinary, people would feel let down. We’re the same as always – except now we have gray hair and bigger waists.”

“Our tour was sponsored by a company that puts out defibrillators, so…that says something about how old we are!”

Anthony field


wobblesCredit:Joe Amaro

Anthony, who still appears in the current Wiggles line-up, is hoping these OG shows can continue for older audiences – he’d particularly like to go to America – but he’s making no promises.

“Greg has his own life. And Murray has another band. And Jeff…Jeff fishes a lot. It is also a question of our health in old age. You know, three of the four boys had heart surgery. The tour was kind of a celebration of Greg getting better [after his heart attack in January 2020].

“He’s done so much work to get AED defibrillators everywhere. The tour was sponsored by a company that makes defibrillators, so… that says something about how old we are!”

There’s still plenty of nostalgia for older fans. Amazon Prime is releasing a documentary about the group, hot potatolater that year (a work Anthony admits he’s “partly scared to see [as] none of us saw the interviews of others”).

But both Anthony and Lucia are understandably more excited about their younger followers.


“It’s been a fantastic year but the best thing for me is the development of The Wiggles,” says Anthony. “I think it’s great that we’re more representative than we were.”

The group now consists of four men and four women – including Tsehay, who is Ethiopian; and Evie, the first indigenous Wiggle.

“When I was little, I loved Dorothy because she was a girl,” says Lucia. “She did ballet and I did ballet too. I looked up to them.”

“Then the next generation got Emma [who performed from 2013-2021]. And now we have another generation. We have so many little girls and boys saying ‘Tsehay has hair like me’… It’s so heartwarming.”

In a few decades, it could be this new crew making shoes at our biggest music festivals.

A cultural guide to going out and making love in the city. Sign up for our Culture Fix newsletter here. How the legendary group became rock stars after winning Triple J’s Hottest 100

Jaclyn Diaz

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