Harbour Bridge climb guide 'worried about heights'

Harbour Bridge climb guide 'worried about heights'

This 1970s pop musician couldn't find a gig and applied to become a climbing guide on the Harbour Bridge. One small problem -- he was scared of heights

Sydney Harbor Bridge- Richard GrahamEx-rocker Richard Graham with his feet firmly on the ground. Must be his day off. Bridge-climb guides who walk tourists up the Harbor Bridge every day are daredevil thrill-seekers in a dream job, right? 

That wasn't always the case for Richard Graham. “It was with a lot of trepidation that I applied,” he says. “I was worried about heights.” 

But he was unemployed after his 1969-formed pop band, Autumn, dissolved. For the bass player, he was a long way from the top of his chart-topping, female-fan gathering cover of "Yellow River."

His days of performing "Hello Suzy" at former Kings Cross night club, Whisky A-Go-Go, seemed very far away.

So he kept his fears to himself during his job interview, and talked his way from the dizzy highs of live music into a daily 134-meter climb.

Different kind of scales

His initial fears made him no different to many of the often nervous 2.6 million people who have strapped themselves up and climbed the bridge over the last 12 years.

It’s been worth it, Graham says. His postcard views have also included sightings of dolphins, whales and famous ships. 

“You’re out of your comfort zone, but it’s the best thing I’ve done,” he says.

He says a group of Indonesian children who survived the tsunami was the most rewarding tour he has done. 

Surely that’s got to be better than looking at sweaty groupies with mullets?

Not really. He wants to make a musical comeback.

Though he has tried this once before and failed, it's a never-say-never thing. "If the industry is looking for wrinkly old men, you might see me out there again,” he says.

getting there

Bridge Climb Sydney
tel +61 (0)2 8274 7777

Mitchell Jordan grew up in a country town with more drama than Summer Bay or Wandin Valley combined. This may be where his interest in journalism began. Or it may have had something to do with watching Gail Weathers in Scream. He currently lives in the city with a view of a construction site.


Read more about Mitchell Jordan