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Leslie explains the love handles
gig 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 we did!
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!

1) The program 2) Part of the crowd that assembled to farewell Lobby Loyde
The 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 the man.
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.

1) Bob Valentine croons 2) The Danish Club's band table
gig report
Bobby 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.
Lobby's 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
A 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..

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.

The wedding

1) Ross Ryan in disguise 2) Bill and Ross plot to go and get coffees 3) Is that Jo in the helicopter?

4) That'd be Jo in the stretch stretch limo then.. 5) Ken knackers himself on the post

6) The ceremony proceeds with water skiers, walkers, cyclists and skaters taking a passing interest

7) Jo and James cut the wedding cake 8) Jo and James cut a rug at the Red Scooter

9) Bill finds a very large chair
gig report
The 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 review..
Rudd 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, baby..

Aztec's Lou, Gil and Ted
More 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..
YouTube coup
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 I'll do
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. Trust me.

1) Bill shows Rory a thing or two before the McGraths' party 2) Bill and Ben at St Andrews with Mairéid Sullivan

3) Mike's 2nd Sunday macchiato
gig report
Triple-header 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 right.
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!

Aztec 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 you know..

Spectrum runs up the flag to see who salutes..

Bill runs up an invisible flag for a bemused Music Box team at Deakin's Burwood campus

Kim, Miranda and Garth chat to the show's host Stefan
Mike & 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 her blog.
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