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Distributor of the year
3.3.04 -
Yesterday, Bill, Jenny and I hauled our arses down to West Melbourne for a long overdue appointment with Adam Johnstone and the charming Miss Kate (Candlish) at Sound Vault Records. The Rosses (Wilson and Ryan) have been recommending them so insistently that it was only a matter of time before we relented - but we did take our time. (There's something about relinquishing your grip on your own stuff that demands you drag your feet).
Anyway, there we were, and Adam, tanked to the gills on caffeine, talked us into submission over an hour and a half, (while managing to remain enthusiastic the whole time), and told us all about Sound Vault Records: its facilities, its street kid projects, its hands-on commitment and straight shooting with its artists, and finally its prized Mars Bar Award. We were all very impressed.
We told him where we were with the No Thinking project, and within minutes Adam had formulated a release date, a launch date, and what we were going to have for breakfast the next day.
And that's what I needed. A bloody deadline. Yay! I can resume work on the dratted next CD because I have to.
The release date? June. June the 14th to be exact. The day before my birthday. Now there's a birthday present!

Better late than never..
Robbo here, a year older because I’ve just had a birthday. Yes I’m 45 now and feeling it (today anyway). I forgot to move the cars around last night, so when my darling fiancé went to leave for work this morning she discovered my BIG RED VOLVO was blocking her car. So she came and woke me from my very needed beauty sleep to move my car, and now I feel CRAPPY! (but please, I’m not blaming Lisa…it was all my fault).
Talking about age and beauty, we got to see David Bowie the other night, and after a wonderful seat upgrade (thanks to someone very kind) we had a great night. David is looking absolutely fantastic. He’s in good voice, full of energy, has a great band, and is very relaxed, having fun with the audience and his band. AND HE’S 57! He looks younger than me GOD DAMMIT!!!! Yes, he looks a million dollars, so now I realize I need a million dollars to look great. PLEASE HELP ME. (Looking forward to your donations).
Love, Robbo.

Well, it's March (in my mind at least), and Aries RULE! (for a while anyway). So, all you guys relationship-ing with an Aries' woman had better follow the Three Golden Rules while doing so: 1) Give them lots o' space 2) Never say 'No'.. 3) Spoil them rotten..
And, for the girls with an Aries' male (that's me): 1) Feed them.. 2) Constantly tell them how great they are, and.. 3) Turn on the TV (end of story).
When trying to manipulate an Aries' guy, sex works most of the time, and sex, drugs & rock & roll works all the time, (with footy, rugby, cricket and beer as optional extras).
So, Happy Birthdays Aries' people, and good luck!

back at me which I believe might have been something to the effect that she personally disavowed any responsibility for the sign, and while she was at it, she spurned her fellow workers, the newsagency, her upbringing and the world in general.
As I exited, I spied the shop's owner, a cheery chappie who engages me in shopkeeper-type pleasantries whenever I allow him the opportunity, and so I took the offensive for a change.
'I hate to be pedantic' I said, (actually, I love being pedantic), 'but that sign is spelt incorrectly.'
'I know sir' (the 'sir' comes with the venerable territory), 'I wince everytime I see it.'
This rather took the wind out of my sails, and I made some jest about it being an attention grabber at any rate, and my cheerful chappy rolled his eyes and grimaced in what I gathered was an attempt at a conspiratorial smile. We disengaged with the kind of wary mutual timing that one acquires with age and experience.
My next gripe isn't about spelling exactly. Well, actually it's not about spelling at all. It's about petrol stations. Petrol stations, compelled as they are by law to appear as if they're being competitive, put up large signs declaring the current price of a litre of petrol. (The funny thing is that some of us actually worry about saving a fraction of a cent per litre and will be lured into one station or another to save a measly 57.9 cents on a $50.00 bill).
This folly aside, young Jason of the pimply disposition and yodelling speech patterns, is duly sent out to change the signs when it's reported that everybody else is changing theirs, and god help us aesthetes if it involves the number 8. Because, as sure as Jason can't spell stationary/stationery, he doesn't appreciate the discomfort he engenders when he puts the 8's big circle on top and little circle on the bottom. I'm guessing there's no help forthcoming to Jason from the semi-literate Mediterranean types who own the petrol station (or is it a mixed goods store that happens to sell petrol?), but haven't the manufacturers of the numbers got the common decency to help Jason out with an arrow on the back?
I suppose it's possible that there are arrows, and Jason, as young people are wont to be, is simply being subversive, but it's so universal I can't believe that the Jasons of this world are acting independently of each other.
By way of changing the subject altogether, I have been prompted by my last column (I give in) to pursue the Douglas Adams' story a little further. I've now read the quite fine'official' biography of Adams by his friend Nick Webb called Wish You Were Here, and have got up to the third book of the Hitch-Hiker's five part 'trilogy'. It transpires there are startling parallels between us, at least in our upbringing. One of the parallels was our love of the Eagle comic, and most particularly the Dan Dare series. When I was last in NZ, I visited an old school friend who was/is an equally avid Dan Dare fan, or I should say, Frank Hampson fan. My friend had gone that extra mile to...

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The aesthetics of everyday living
Maybe I could start with spelling. I guess spelling is not all that important in the scheme of things, but bad spelling, especially in public, still manages to upset me. I bought a notebook the other day, so I could jot down topics that might be of interest for this column. (Can I describe it as a column? It seems somehow presumptuous on one's own website..)
Anyway, when I entered my local newsagency, my eye was immediately assaulted by a hand-written sign by the front counter, declaring loudly and proudly (that's yet another issue of course - the decline of adverbial agreement) 'STATIONARY'.
I would have thought that 'stationery' was the first word in the newsagent employee's primer, and I was sufficiently moved to point out the error to the teenage school dropout mooching listlessly behind the counter. She mangled something incoherently

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Steve Romig's new CD
Honey-throated Steve Romig has sent me a note advising me (and therefore you as well) that his new CD is available. He says: 'I have printed copies of my CD available to anyone who's interested. The CD is entitled "Touch" and I'm selling advanced copies for $25 AUS. Contact me here if you want one.' While I'm not quite certain what 'advanced' copies might be, I'm sure it's worth investigating.
'Here' is:
I'm reliably informed that I contributed some magic harmonica to at least one track, if that helps..
Check out Steve's website by going to our new Links page - Yay!

Who is this man?







This man is Dan Dare - Pilot of the Future, as drawn by Frank Hampson, principal illustrator for the Eagle comic way back in the '50s. Read more about him and his influence on a young Mike's delicate psyche in Mike's pith & wind on page 2 below..

New Links page
Yes, there is a new feature on the website - the Links page. Just click the Links er.. link at the top of the page, and you will be presented with a not-quite-yet dazzling array of helpful links, including fellow musos, music shops, and some other links I've forgotten for the moment.
Spectrum CD stockists remain on their special page of course (click on the CDs link at the top of the page and follow the cues), but I think you'll be happy-ish with what we've got for you right now..
Agrieved friends, colleagues and merchants who haven't made the list for whatever reason (nothing personal), should get in touch immediately and I'll hurriedly stick you on.

Xavier Rudd is not my son!
Contrary to popular rumour, Xavier Rudd is not my son. I'm not sure as to his roots exactly, but I'm pretty sure of mine, and he's just not my son.

Xavier Rudd

Feel free to check out his website and you'll find no mention of dear old dad.
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The Contact Us link isn't working at the moment. I dunno - the technical side isn't my forté. We'll fix it - eventually.

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Issue #6