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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

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Brian Ritchie and his wife in Milwaukee in 2005.
Brian Ritchie and his wife in Milwaukee in 2005. (Photo: Eron Laber of Front Room Photography)

Femmes' Brian Ritchie to become an Aussie

The Violent Femmes' Brian Ritchie may be a native Milwaukeean, but he's about to become an Australian citizen.

According to The Age, an Australian newspaper, Ritchie will pledge his loyalty to the Land Down Under at an Australian Day ceremony in Hobart. He's lived in the Tasmanian capital with his wife since 2008, and his mother-in-law is already a permanent resident.

"After five years here, I just want to become a citizen as quickly as possible," he said. "I love Australia and want to make that commitment."

The Violent Femmes have always been extremely popular in Australia, perhaps second only to their reception in Milwaukee. I've met Ritchie several times, and when I interviewed him at his East Side apartment in 2005, he said, "They really have a warm spot in their hearts for us, and we've been pretty devoted to going to Australia and New Zealand. In fact, New Zealand was where we got our first gold record. We love them, and they love us."

I'm not sure exactly what it means to renounce your American citizenship, but Ritchie will certainly keep his Milwaukee accent ... even if he'll need a passport to travel back to Wisconsin.

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