.. (with zero response) that we would like a comprehensive soundcheck starting earlier than usual and to that end we were on the point of leaving for the venue in the van and FIFO hire car when I suddenly remembered that I’d left my custom-made ear plugs in the room.
I darted out of the van saying I shouldn’t be too long and jumped into one of the two lifts, security conscious pieces of hardware that you have to wave your keyring at mysteriously before they comply with your request to be whisked silently to your desired floor.
At the first floor I disembarked and did an elderly impression of running to the next building where our room was located and successfully collected my ear plugs. At this point I was actually congratulating myself on my speed and wondering if the chaps would be equally impressed as I arrived back at the basement in such good time.
Back at the lifts in the other building I found that both of them were otherwise occupied on the tenth and sixteenth floor respectively – and they weren’t moving, so I looked at the fire escape exit with renewed interest.
After an agonisingly long minute there was still no movement from the lifts so I opened the fire escape door and looked for some stairs down to the basement.
I espied a door down quite a long corridor and optimistically cantered down to it.
It was locked.
Oh well. Back to the lifts. Only the door to the lifts was now locked as well.
‘I’ll try the next floor’, I said to myself.
Up I went, only to find that that door was equally locked.
Downstairs I plunged again, with an ugly premonition and having quite an earnest chat to myself I might add, more or less along the lines of Alice in Wonderland (or is it Through the Looking Glass?)
The next door I tried thankfully opened and took me outside, but the narrow concrete path only took me to another locked gate – well, actually two gates separated by a wall that stopped just short of the gates.
I was able to grasp the handle of the second gate and open it, but I couldn’t squeeze my body through the gap to escape. I just managed to get my hand around the wall to the handle on the outside of the first gate and, hooray! I managed to open it.
Free at last! I scuttled around the building and ended up back at the two previously unhelpful lifts. They were still fiddling up in the clouds but, wait, one was descending!
‘Yes!’ By now I was positively yelling to myself.
The lift arrived. The doors opened. Nobody got out. I got in. I waved my key at the security pad. No reaction.
Then the doors closed of their own accord and the lift and its unwilling passenger were heading up to the tenth floor ‘No, no, no!’ I yelled. A Chinese girl got in and saw some flustered old bloke with a loud shirt talking furiously to himself and looked at me with some concern.
We got back down to the first floor. The Chinese girl scuttled out looking relieved while I waved my keys furiously at the security pad.
Still no reaction. I got out. The doors started to close and I muscled my way back in, swearing and by now sweating profusely.
Thankfully this time I finally descended to the lower basement where I was confronted by the bemused band pointing at their watches. I promised to tell them all about my adventure later and we zoomed out of the basement into the sunlight.
The corollary is instructive. We headed out into Adelaide’s equivalent of rush hour, which we managed to navigate around with the help of Google Maps and arrived at the gig in a timely fashion, with plenty of time to sound check and to buy a meal.
However there was no Dave to be seen. In fact, Comrade Dave didn’t arrive for another hour and a half but still found time to regale us with the story of the Semaphore Club’s induction into the SA Hall of Fame, actually quite a good story with Dave persuading Channel 7 to get the services of the Cuban Ambassador to present Dave with the precious plaque much to Dave’s delight and Channel 7’s bemusement.
The end result was that instead of a long sound check it was actually briefer than our usual perfunctory effort – and, ultimately, as Comrade Dave would no doubt have asserted had we made contact beforehand, it didn’t matter and the night went swimmingly.

I had a couple of lines from a couple of songs going through my brain this morning. ‘There could never be, a portrait of my love’ (A Portrait of My Love by I dunno who, but as sung in my head by Matt Munroe) and ‘Your looks are laughable, unphotographable’ (My Funny Valentine by Cole Porter as sung by Chet Baker).
I suppose they could be about the same woman (or man), the first expressed portentously, the other with sly genius, and are both more or less saying the same thing, which happens to run counter to the prevailing culture as expressed on Facebook and its ilk, namely that beauty and the perception of beauty is much more than can be captured by a painter or in that instant the shutter clicks.
There is a lot that can be revealed about a person from a selfie, intentionally or otherwise, but deductions about character based on what the subject wants to project to his or her imagined audience on social media must be inherently unreliable.
I’m repeatedly dismayed at the number of young women, some very young girls, putting up what they imagine to be sexy selfies on the web. (Incidentally, why do they send friendship requests to a crusty old curmudgeon like me, I wonder?) Apart from being quite a risky practice I understand it can also be distressing to other young people who feel they can’t compete in the what-passes-for-beauty-these-days stakes, and to my eyes resembling what would’ve been considered out-and-out porn in my day.
It’s utterly out of proportion that they might have serious mental health issues as a result, but being subject to so many pressures via social media and being so young and inexperienced I suppose that they can’t be expected to be comfortable and confident in the skins they have been landed with. I can still remember how precarious I felt as an addled adolescent and that was without the headache of constantly dealing with social media.
The atmosphere on FB and the like is so shrill that these young people forget or haven’t had the time to learn that an image represents only one aspect of a person’s persona and that is actually a tiny percentage of what makes you who you are, added to which beauty is not always immediately obvious and you really have to go through the process of getting to know a person thoroughly before you wake up in love – or not.
So, kids, (even though I know you’re not reading this), please don’t be unhappy if you’re ‘unphotographable’ – it could be the best thing that ever happened to you.