This is a simple tribute to the vastness of Australia and how hard it can be to get around. Similar to the journey they describe in Home and Broken Hearted from their original album - where "I hiked up to Sydney in the week before Christmas, it was 38 degrees in the shade, I bought a second hand Morris for a cheap 220 and I drove it down to Adelaide".
I liked Houndog just as a hard rock song and I knew at the time that really didn't have much of a message. I liked the quirky echo of the Elvis Presley song from decades before, and the fact that there seemed to be really no reason to include the word "Houndog" in the song.
Except now as I read the lyrics he says he's got the "Houndog sittin' on the side of the highway blues". Aha, now I get it.
"I'm sick of getting home, counting my remaining change"
About the festival of Circus Animals
I was 15 years old when the "Circus Animals" album came out, but I only really started paying attention to it had about 18 as I entered the workforce. It was the fourth of about five studio (original) albums. It wasn't the only musical influence on my early adult life, but I did grow up and start working around the same sort of places as Jimmy Barnes. As an 18 year old angry young man (aren't we all in some way?) this music was talking my language.