Hometown hero back to old haunts

WOLFING back a burger and fries in his favourite old haunt at suburban Tea Tree Plaza, hometown hero David Campbell looks anything but a rock superstar.

"Fame is a funny thing,'' mused the Shout! frontman. "But it is getting back to your grassroots that helps keep things in perspective.'' During an emotion-charged journey down memory lane, the son of cult rocker Jimmy Barnes fondly recalled his early days in Adelaide's northern suburbs.

"You know what growing up is like,'' says the 28-year-old, looking around at the midday mall crowd. "You go to school, hang out with mates, go to a movie, watch videos, make fake IDs, get drunk at the local nightclub. But I knew I had to get out, chase my dreams, try something different, whatever it was I wanted to give it a shot, so I did.''

Fielding autographs from fellow foodcourt fans, Dave has enjoyed a stellar career, including big hits on Broadway and now back home in Australia. And the effervescent entertainer has left an indelible mark on some of his former haunts, particularly his old school Northfield High (now Ross-Smith Secondary School). In the foyer, a montage of the life and times of David Campbell fills a wall. There are pictures from his days in New York, newspaper clippings, posters and even some old school album photos. But there is more than just Campbell memorabilia. Out the back is a million-dollar performing arts complex, which has been named the David Campbell Complex.

"Outrageous isn't it?'' David beams. "When they asked if they could name it after me, I told them to check my grades, and if it was okay with them, it was okay with me.''

By PETER MICHAEL - Sunday Mail (SA), Edition 1 - 1 July 2001, Page 007