report The Wild
Thyme Café and The Shearing Shed 30.4.07 - I rang Allan at the
Wild Thyme to make sure we weren't playing outside this time
- we enjoy the rain on principle, but draw the line on having
to perform in it. No worries as it turned out, and due to Baz's
broadcast during the week, or the conjunction of the stars,
or possibly both, the house was full and ready to party. And
Bill stayed overnight in the House of Leaks so we could get
away in good time for Stephen May's arvo gig on Phillip Island,
and we arrived in good time. I was rather alarmed at Stephen's
appearance - he's just had multiple surgeries - but his indomitable
outlook saw him through. I think we rather surprised him with
our take on the blues - he's more familiar with the sedate Volcano
material - and everybody was delighted when we hooked up with
Leslie Avril (pic) and the boys for a rockin', foot-stompin'
jam at the end of the day. A great weekend!
The program 2) Part of the crowd that assembled to farewell
Lobster celebration 28.4.07 - Be at the Lauriston Girls School
by 1.00 on Saturday arvo for a celebration of Lobby's Life &
Career. And we mostly were - and for the next thirty minutes
the six hundred odd musicians and well-wishers waited patiently,
and as quietly as I've ever heard a large bunch of
musos in the one room at the same time -
until the tributes began. Sean Kelly
opened the proceedings with what I thought the most moving musical
moment of the afternoon, followed by speeches and songs from
Lobby's family, friends and fellow musicians.
There's no doubt Lobby had a huge impact on the Melbourne and
Australian music scene both as a guitarist and as a somewhat
eccentric but absolutely dedicated music personality, and by
all accounts the boundaries were pretty blurred between Lobby
the musician and Lobby the father and family man. There's also
no doubt that for all his obsessive quirks, everybody loved
At some time after 3.30 we all trooped out into the autumn sun
and applauded the Great Man's last journey. Throughout his life
he showed no fear and no favour, and all you had to do was love
music and you gained Lobby's undivided attention. Farewell to
the last of the Great Ravers.
Bob Valentine croons 2) The Danish Club's band table
Valentine at the Danish Club 28.4.07 - It's been a long-held ambition
of mine to open up a second avenue of activity by insinuating
myself into the jazz scene, but as usual I've done bugger-all
about it. Bob Valentine contacted me recently about joining
him and the lads at his Danish Club gig, and after an initial
hesitation I lobbed down there last Thursday night. Bob's been
blessed with a great voice and a generous personality, and he
and Jake on organ and Hicksy on drums made it all so effortless
for me to sound like I knew what I was doing. I felt like a
kid in a candy shop. Next Thursday it's Mike Brady.
memorial this Saturday 26.4.07
- My old mate Darcy's missus, Gabby, sent me the details and
said, 'Lob was very much a punters' man, and anyone who loved
the man should have the chance to give him the send off he deserves'.
The details are - Lauriston Girls School. 38 Huntingtower Rd.
Armadale 1.00pm this Saturday the 28th
nice gesture from Baz 24.4.07 -
Naturally I forgot to listen, but I'm sure somebody out there
must've remembered. Anyway, 3MDR's Baz McCulloch was most appreciative,
and from my perspective it's always nice to be interviewed by
somebody who knows everything there is to know about the subject.
Baz took the trouble to send me the historic poster pic (left),
which I suppose I must've seen but had quite forgotten
about. That was a night! Or, at least, I s'pose it
was a night. Incidentally, if you're not doing anything on this
Thursday night, why not pop down to the Danish
Club 177 Beaconsfield Pde, Middle Park 9690 1363 to catch
Bobby Valentine and the Eligible Bachelors? I'll be guesting
on a few numbers, (which I should've let Bob know about by now),
and I might even tackle some standards just for the hell of
it. Could be fun..
MERRITT IN US HOSPITAL 23.4.07 - Crap! I just find out about Lobby's
death, and then I get the following news from Wal Bishop about
one of my all-time music heroes. I'm sure you'll join with
me in wishing Max a speedy recovery. ONE of Australia’s biggest rock stars of
the 1960s and 1970s, Max Merritt, is expected to remain in
a U.S. hospital for at least the next week after being diagnosed
with an extremely rare viral infection.
Merritt was admitted to hospital last week suffering kidney-related
complaints. His Melbourne-based manager Wal Bishop, who spoke
with the singer Monday morning, Australian time, said: "Things
are not quite as good as we had hoped. Max had a biopsy done
yesterday but just before that he received the results of
some previous blood tests and was advised that he had a viral
infection known as Goodpastures Syndrome. No-one we know had
ever heard of it, but I'm told it is a rare auto-immune disorder
that attacks the lungs and the kidneys and the exact cause
is unknown. Max has started a course of dialysis and other
treatment that his specialist is very confident will result
in a positive outcome for him.”
Bishop said 65-year-old Merritt had described his illness
as “life changing” but was positive and upbeat
enough to joke: “Trust me to get something so rare ….
nothing plain and simple is good enough for me”.
Before he was admitted to hospital Merritt, who has lived
in Los Angeles for more than 20 years, had only recently returned
to America following a tour of his native New Zealand, during
which he was honoured as an inaugural inductee to the NZ Rock
and Rock Hall of Fame.
Ryan in disguise 2) Bill and Ross plot to go and get coffees
3) Is that Jo in the helicopter?
That'd be Jo in the stretch stretch limo then.. 5) Ken knackers
himself on the post
The ceremony proceedswith
water skiers, walkers, cyclists and skaters taking a passing
Jo and James cut the wedding cake 8) Jo and James cut a rug
at the Red Scooter
finds a very large chair
wedding and The Lomond 22.4.07 - A wedding at 10.30am
was an early call for most of us, but it turned out to be a
wise decision, given that the weather broke almost as soon as
the ceremony had finished. As it was, it was a very pleasant
locale in the reserve by the Brighton beach, and everything
went smoothly. We all adjourned to the Red Scooter in East St
Kilda for the reception and chatted over lunch and a few red
wines. I played harp with the Wolfe Gang, and then Bill, Robbo
and I played a couple of numbers. Bill and I left at about the
same time, but I managed to disgrace myself and had to ring
Robbo and ask him to bring my harps to the gig.
Ken, the father of the bride, promised to come down to the Lomond
later that night with a couple of friends, but I didn't really
expect him to, and so I was delighted when he duly rolled up.
At the end of the night he and his friend Alf reckoned they'd
had the best day of their lives - so I'll take that as a rave
joins Baz on The Fun House 20.4.07
- Barry McCulloch conducts an interview with me on his show
The Fun House first thing (6.00 - 9.00am) this coming
Monday morning, (the 23rd), on 3MDR
97.1 FM. A myth will be debunked re' who played drums on
I'll Be Gone, and Baz will be playing a bunch of Spectrum
and Ariel tunes from all sorts of interesting sources, including
a song from an Ariel performance at the Station Hotel in Prahran
recorded on a very politically significant date in the '70s.
How do I know these details? I am the essence of prescience,
Lou, Gil and Ted
tedbits from Aztec 18.4.07 - I sauntered into Aztec at 11.00
to meet with Ted, but he wasn't in his office and publicist
Lou Ridsdale had to help me find him hiding in despatch.Lou then joined us for a few minutes while we sipped our
coffees and discussed possible location for the Spectrum
Part One launch. Aztec boss Gil Matthews made time to pose
for a photo (left) with the gang before heading off
to Gold FM to chat with Jonathan Coledude.
Correspondent Ron Govett had suggested Central Hall, (the TF
Much and Much More Ballrooms venue), and when
that was stymied came up with Ormond Hall, the venue for the
A Reefer Derci and Stoned Again concerts.
There seemed to be a general concensus that this could well
be the place, so I'm going to make enquiries. Ted seemed to
think we were still on track for a release at the end of May,
so I'll aim for that. I'm even feeling a twinge of excitement,
or at least that's what I imagine it is. You can never tell
when you get to my age..
17.4.07 - It had to happen! You'll remember that Music Box's
Miranda lent me a camera to film our side of events in the construction
of a video clip for one of the Breathing Space tracks,
Rocket Girl? (You don't? Scroll down to the Mike
& Bill in talks with Music Box team story
at the bottom of this page). Well, we have shot off
some film, and today I edited some of it quickly on the new
program Terry lent me (lots of lending going on here),
and stuck it on YouTube, where I was chagrined to find Crudd
and Mycrudd already in use. Anyway, lesson one is to pay more
attention to the sound - you'll have to turn it up and read
my lips to understand any of the conversation - but I'm sure
better next time. BTW, it's not
meant to be entertaining, so don't come bitching to me about
boring etc. It's meant purely as a document of a creative
process - the entertaining bit is what we're leading up to.
Bill shows Rory a thing or two before the McGraths' party 2)
Bill and Ben at St Andrews with Mairéid Sullivan
2nd Sunday macchiato
drives Mike close to caffeine overdose 16.4.07 - The Hepburn Springs Palais gig on Friday
was ominously billed as the 'Friday the 13th concert', and I
have to admit to being slightly apprehensive about it, but in
the event we had a reasonable turnout and the sound just as
we like it. It's a lovely space, so I'm hopeful we might get
to play there again soon, maybe with Daryl in tow the next time.
I forgot to bring any CDs with me, which I know disappointed
a few people, so I hope they manage to find us on the web.
Saturday night was party time at the McGraths' place in Oakleigh,
and there was a great turnout from Robbo's old school, Monash
High - in fact, Deb and Chris had to turn quite a number of
people away! With Daryl on the keys it was a very tight squeeze,
but we aim to please and we did it with ease.. If you have a
birthday coming up, why not follow the McGraths' example and
check the Book Spectrum link on the home page (The
Bloody Newsletter) - we love a party!
Sunday morning saw me sleepwalk down
to Camberwell for a shot of caffeine at Choclatté. Adam
took pity on me and shouted me a second macchiato, which
must have done the trick, 'cause I came off stage at St Andrews
feeling like I could've done another set! It was a perfect afternoon
delight, we were amongst friends (even if a few were expecting
to see Lil' Fi!), and we celebrated by taking a few risks on
some songs we hadn't played for a while - and got them mostly
It certainly was a power-packed weekend, but after a few gig-less
weeks you start to become moody and despondent, so it hit the
right spot - and just in time!
Music to announce something that begins with 'D'.. 9.4.07 - I trammed into town last week
(see More ICANS movie news in this month's A
Separate Reality) and as well as delivering the I'll
Be Gone / You Just Can't Win acetate to Aztec
Music label manager Ted Lethborg, actually managed to discuss
a possible release date over a tepid short macchiato.
EMI has furnished the masters already (!), everybody
at Aztec is very/quite/almost excited about the bonus tracks
we're planning, and it now seems very possible that the release
of Spectrum Part One could be as early as next month!
I'm going to have to sort out a venue to launch the thing
ASAP - I rather like the Trades Hall, (where we launched Spill),
and I enjoyed the Prahran Club, (No Thinking), but
I suspect it will be somewhere else all together. I'll let
runs up the flag to see who salutes..
runs up an invisible flag for a bemused Music Box team at Deakin's
Miranda and Garth chat to the show's host Stefan
& Bill in talks with Music Box team 3.4.07 - I'd arbitrarily selected Rocket
Girl from the Breathing Space album to be interpreted
on video by the Music Box team, and Bill and I rolled up at
Deakin's Burwood campus this morning to chat about some ideas
for the clip. They were filming our discussion, so Bill had
to be particularly silly of course, but apart from that, the
chat was very productive, and the team have some good ideas
to play with. As I may have mentioned, Miranda has left me a
camcorder to record the whole creative process from our perspective,
and I'm getting a firewire card installed on Thursday so I can
stick the edited results onto YouTube. Now that'd be cool! If
you'd like to check out Miranda's thoughts on the project, check