Old rocker puts beard up for JO?K

JIM Maxwell met his future wife Anne at a rock'n'roll dance at the Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club more than 40 years ago. They have remained rock music fans.

"I've never really grown up," hirsute Jim reflected yesterday, standing at the base of the largerthan-life Johnny O'Keefe statue outside Twin Towns Services Club.

During next month's Wintersun Festival, Jim plans to have his beard shaved off on the footpath under the JO'K statue - to raise money to help repay a loan owed by the statue committee.

The committee raised a substantial sum through benefit concerts and private donations to pay for the spectacular statue to be cast in bronze, transported from Sydney and mounted on the Wharf Street footpath.

Jim's three daughters have each pledged $100 towards their "Silverback" dad's shave and are hoping other Tweed residents and JO'K fans will do the same.

"If we can raise $10,000, I'm prepared to get shaved to the waist - that's hair, beard and torso," Jim said.

Anyone who knows the Wintersun and Pt Danger VMR committee's life member will realise that could mean a huge hair glut, enough to stuff a mattress.

Daughter Kathy is underwhelmed at the thought of her furry dad shaving his body.

"I'm giving $100 for the beard to go, but I'll pay more if he promises not to shave anywhere else," she joked.

In fact, Jim's three daughters are all hoping he raises as much money as possible. If that means Big Gorilla Jim turns into Salamander Jimmy for a few weeks, they will still cuddle the co-owner of Border Smash Repairs.

The girls - Kathy, 33, Jodie, 32, and Suzanne, 30 - have never seen their dad beardless.

For more details of the JO'K statue story, visit johnnyo'keefestatue.com. Twin Towns Services Club will host a JO'K Memorial Concert on Thursday, June 9, also to help cover the statue's costs.

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