Secret Lives of Staff: Ravi’s brush with Aussie rock royalty

Mount Druitt Hospital patient services assistant Ravi Kulathilaka.

“Body and soul, I’m a freak” are the widely-recognised lyrics to the 1997 rock hit Freak performed by Silverchair.

These lyrics and the band itself were unknown to newly-arrived Sri Lankan classical violinist and Mount Druitt Hospital patient services assistant Ravi Kulathilaka, when he was approached in 1996 to perform on the Silverchair album Freak Show.

His name – spelt incorrectly – appears in the liner notes for the album, which reached number 1 in the Australian charts. 

“At this time the guys were really young,” Ravi said. 

“When I came home from performing in their studio, my wife asked me why I didn’t get their autographs. 

“My background is classical musical rather than heavy metal music so when Daniel Johns was recording I thought ‘what a horrible way to play the guitar’.”

Six years after this performance, Ravi commenced work at Mount Druitt Hospital as a patient services assistant. 

He works in areas of the hospital helping patients and staff with patient care.

While Silverchair have five number-one albums and a massive fan base, Ravi has no regrets over his “infamous” brush with Australian music royalty.

“I didn’t make millions of dollars and I’m not famous but I’ll never forget this time in my life,” he said. 

“I’m grateful to still be working at Mount Druitt Hospital where I have made many friends which makes me rich in the heart.”

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