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Secret Spectrum business
28.4.05 - It wasn't only BAS day today, it was the day I took my new external hard drive down to Pete Dacy's Secret Sound Studio to dump down the couple of recordings we did there last week - or was it the week before? Anyway, with the help of Pete's tech advisor, Andy, we had them safely bottled up in no time at all. Now all I have to work out is how to get them onto my PC at AMS. I've done it before, so it shouldn't be that hard. Hmmm.. Luckily my right hand man, James, is coming over tomorrow to set up the new music computer, so I'll get him to supervise. It's exciting isn't it?

Gus takes a crank call from his pal, God..
Gus McNeil in town
27.4.05 -
I got a call last night from publisher and producer, Gus McNeil, suggesting that, as he was in town, we should get together for our usual chat-fest over a cup of coffee in Maling Rd. So, on a morning with foggy conditions more befitting San Francisco, we chatted on about this and that unabated, barring the odd interpolation from Gus' cell phone. On Gus' (and Bob Dylan's) recommendation, I'm gonna try dialling up WWOZ in New Orleans. Gus listens to it 18 hours a day. I wondered what he did..
The quality of mercy is not strained..

1) The Magic City toilet lives up to its name 2) The smile is forced at the Chocolate Box
Modern Wonders - Part One
26.4.05 -
One of the joys of updating one's mobile phone is the discovery of the very handy on-board camera. This feature has allowed me to realise a long-held dream; i.e. to pictorially survey public toilets I've encountered. This age-old confrontation of Man v. Plumbing is an area that is sadly neglected, especially round Camberwell and environs. Pictured are the highs and lows of squatting in my fair town of Camberwell. The Magic City Restaurant (871 -873 Burke Rd ) has nigh on exquisite facilities, fastidiously clean, tastefully and practically appointed, with paper and air-dryer alternatives. At the other end of the scale is the almost-last-resort Chocolate Box toilet. (I should point out in their defence that it is a genuinely public toilet, as opposed to a restaurant toilet, but standards at the somewhat whimsically named Chocolate Box toilet have fallen noticeably over the years). We have the nasty blue light, no doubt to cancel our finding veins if we're that way inclined, and we don't have the flimsy but comforting plastic seat, long since vouchsafed by some scavenging uni students or desperate home decorator. Not to mention that one has to endure the unsatisfactory ministrations of the occasionally automatic air-dryer before shambling out into the unforgiving fluorescent light wiping one's damp hands on one's trousers. To be continued..
Rudd on Classic Drive at Five
26.4.05 - Something for our Brisbane viewers at last! I've done a phoney (love it!) with Ian Keenan, (left), covering the gamut of Spectrum and Ariel historical non-events which will be broadcast tomorrow (Wed. 27th). Modern interstate viewers can crack onto the 4KQ website and listen to the interview on the Net.
Steve Romig on the mend!
19.4.05 -
Despite being visited by Jim Keays, (pic), Steve Romig has made a remarkable recovery from his accident (see the article Steve Romig seriously injured below) not to mention the subsequent operation. When I saw him today he was up and about, and moving his bowels with apparent unconcern - all without the use of a neck brace, (which has undoubtedly helped his accuracy too). He's now considering whether to take a holiday or get straight back into recording his new album with Mike Kelly. Let's hear it for modern medicine - Hooray!
Steve Romig seriously injured
15.4.05 - Last night I received and e-mail from respected singer Steve Romig's ex-wife, Marion, saying that had been seriously injured as a result of as fall from his bike.
'On Tuesday night he was riding his bike home from work and ran into a tree on the bike path and fell off over the handlebars. He is now in the Austin Hospital with a fractured skull and two broken vertebrae in his neck. He is having an operation on Saturday morning on his neck vertebrae and then will have to recuperate. I saw him this morning and he was having a rotten time throwing up as a result of the medication. He says he will get through this, (although) it is possible, or even likely, that the operation will affect his voice.'
For more information about Steve you can contact Marion at
- I've just received this message from Marion:
'Just visited Steve and he had the op this avo. As soon as he came out of recovery he felt better and when I saw him tonight he could move his neck and just had a sore throat. Voice croaky but will improve. We are all very relieved.'

1) Robbo wonders if Mike's done something nasty in his pants 2) Now that would have been interesting

3) I'll never forgive you for playing with Thorpie without me
Robbo's world
14.4.05 -
Robbo's just sent me these shots from our last week's doings. The first couple are from the Hess memorial show at the Prince of Wales, with Robbo and me waiting for Mark Little to finish his rave before we took the stage. We waited quite a while, so it was ironic that I didn't realise I'd forgotten to put the wang bar on my guitar until mid-way through the first number. The pic of the POW set list shows there's still a little confusion out there about Bill's surname, not to mention Kevin Garant's.. Good to see they got Robbo's name right though. The last happy snap is of Robbo, by Robbo at Spectrum's Secret Sound session the other day, which was alarmingly alliterative, if nothing else.

1) Bill Dettmer scrabbles to get together and then.. 2) poses a tough probing question

3) Mike needs the question again 4) Bill does the right thing
Mike and Bill - and Bill at 3MDR
14.4.05 -
Okay, so I forgot to remind you, but yesterday (Wed.) on what must surely have been the last day of summer, Bill and I rolled into Emerald for an appointment at 1.00 sharp with Bill Dettmer on Radio 3MDR 97.1.FM. Well, we were there, but 1.00 passed and Mr Dettmer was nowhere to be found. Twenty minutes or so later, a very flustered Bill arived in the studio - and a hour or so of entertaining interviewing, interspersed with live tracks and Mike and Bill playing live in the studio commenced. The show doesn't reach all of Melbourne, but tune into 97.1 at 1.00 on Wednesday arvo for an all LIVE
music show, hosted by a guy who really cares about the Melbourne music scene. For the record, Bill and I played Superbody, I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now and Indian Summer.
Daryl does it on a Hammond
12.4.05 -
Proof that we are getting about the business of producing our first Spectrum album for decades with the accompanying shot of Daryl confidently tackling the Secret Sound house Hammond/Leslie combo for the new-ish Spectrum track, The Kid Is Cool.
Incidentally, Daryl's band, Hey Gringo, is launching the Three CD on Sunday, May 22nd at the East Brunswick Hotel - maybe. We're gonna be there, whenever and wherever it is. We'll keep you informed.

1) Andy Cowan and most of the band 2) The amiable Jimmy Sloggett in close up

3) Mark Kennedy and the kit
Robbo's drum kit played at St Andrews
11.4.05 -
It's come to a pretty pass when we report on where Robbo's kit is playing, or being played. But that's the nature of the month of April, set aside as it is for recording. Anyway, it was a rare opportunity to catch up with the Andy Cowan Band at our favourite gig, and although I only stayed for a few numbers, I was well able to appreciate the professionalism and musicianship on display. What a band! And seeing former Spectrum drum whiz Mark Kennedy strut his stuff on Robbo's kit was a real treat - Mark plans to spend a bit more time in Melbourne in the future, so catch him when you can.
PS - The recording is going well too..

1) Nick Seymour 2) I don't know who this is, but he gave me
a big hug after our spot
Hess concert at the POW
8.4.05 -
Wednesday night saw a disparate group of musicians, comedians / social commentators performing together on stage at the Prince of Wales in St Kilda in memory of Paul Hester. The now modestly proportioned Largest Living Things' Kevin Garant very graciously invited Bill and me to play a couple of songs on the night, and after the tragedy of our Robbo-less Music Bowl appearance, we made sure to invite Robbo to play with us this time. Hess' involvement in just about everything going in 'Hellwood' was obvious by the diverse range of people paying tribute to him, and the night had something for everybody. My favourite moments were the DVD Peter Grace put
together of Hess frenetically touching base with his Elwood mates, and the montage of Hess moments from the Martin/Molloy show. I can't seem to stop reflecting on the irony of a man, so full of life, choosing to end it so.. and that's where words fail me.

1) Kev lays down some supple slide parts 2) Kev and Mike prop each other up for a good humoured snap shot
Kevin Bloody Borich surprise session
7.4.05 -
I had Tuesday arvo set aside for a guitar session for the new Hey Gringo CD, Three, at Nicky Bomba's Willy studio. I might've known Daryl would invite a real guitarist to splatter his chops all over the thing, and so I wasn't entirely surprised to find the legendary Kevin Borich wailing away when I got there on a very pleasant bayside autumn afternoon. Still, Daryl insisted I put down some Ruddy licks on four of the tracks, and I believe that the CD is nearly ready to go. Well, that's after I put the finshing touches on Daryl's track (You Know What I Mean) that he recorded at our very own AMS studio - and I think Ross Wilson has a track to finish too. Bloody old farts - always last to finish anything! check the Correspondence page for some insights into the young Kev!

Sensible Schumann in town
2.4.05 -
I'd never met John 'I Was Only 19' Schumann before, so it came as a complete surprise when he rang me yesterday asking if I could meet with him for discussions over coffee in Clarendon St this morning (Sat.). I duly met up with him and we did indeed have a pleasant chat over coffee. Since Redgum's frantically famous years in the '80s John's been content to play the role of musical elder statesman in Adelaide where he lives, but now he's got a recording project in mind that could involve yours truly, amongst a host of other Oz luminaries that fit the Schumann vision. As John says - watch this space! (pic left - John cops a tirade of abuse from Russell Morris)

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