down to the start of the month
this window to
return to Mike Rudd &
Bill Putt's home page
on the Headley Gritter Show tonight!
6.6.09 - (Yes, I know it's June,
but we've drawn a complete blank gig-wise so it hardly seems
worth the effort). However, a very large door clangs shut and
a wee window opens, and Triple R's Headley Gritter just rang
me, (after striking out with his preferred guests), and booked
me for the midnight shift of his eclectic Party show.
Could be fun - well, it's always an anarchic riot - so why not
give the station a call!
John Carver 2) Mouse over Mike's pic to see him nude
goes nude on PBS radio!
30.5.09 - It was all for a good cause,
but PBS listeners were shocked this morning as Mike stripped
off an item of clothing for every listener that rang in and
subscribed to the station during his spot on John Carver's
Across The Tracks show. (pic 1) It was all part
of PBS' annual subscription drive, and Mike was as happy to
get up really early and hurtle down to Collingwood as he is
to write about himself in the third person. Anyway, as well
as some new PBS subscribers, he was able to get a couple of
tracks from the new EP previewed on the show and mention the
launch at The Basement Discs on July 10th, so it was all worth
pics from the For Pete's Sake do..
James Black has an encounter of the third kind 2) John the piper
and Mike the poo-poo
Robbo with Laff and Jim 4) Robbo with DC's drummer on the night,
Edwards belts out It's A Long Way To The Top
For Pete's Sake pics
28.5.09 - Bloody hell, I'm going
Robbo has sent me a swag of his pics from
the For Pete's Sake concert as well.. That's an interesting
one of Lisa Edwards playing drums on the Long Way To The
Top rendition at the end of the night. Presumably she picked
up some drumming chops when she and my old mate Trevor Courtney
were co-habiting way back when. Robbo was impressed anyway.
from the For Pete's Sake benefit
The man of the moment - Laff takes his hat off 2) Bob Starkie
helped Mae Parker put the show together
Jim Keays was in an ebullient mood 4) Daz is with Ross when
he discovers that he doesn't have his tuner
Jo Imbroll, Cres Crisp and John Grant 6) Brian Mannix shares
a great idea for a show with Bob Starkie
Anita Monk Wroks down with Paul Norton 8) Anita moves on to
the next bloke for a predictable snap
Ross is intrigued with my T-shirt from the last benefit we did
10) Wrokdown's Wendy Stapleton and Paul Egan
The For Pete's Sake benefit
27.5.09 - Bill arrived at my place last
night feeling a little unwell, but he was feeling quite a
bit better by the time we arrived at Spenserslive,
thank goodness. Neither of us had been to the venue before,
so we had no particuilar preconceptions. We walked into the
main room, which is an uncomplicated, quite large box-shaped
space with a perversely tiny stage at the far end, to find
it pretty much full of people rallying behind the Laffy cause,
which must have been gratifying to the principal organisers,
Mae Parker, (Laff's sister), and Bob Starkie, (pic 2)
in particular. We immediately bumped into the Robbos and Tracey,
(who's back from Dunedin), who were watching the latter stages
of Wendy Stapleton's set, (pic 10) and then proceeded
to trek through the audience to find the band room, a cavernous
space underneath the stage, so we could dump our guitars.
As I walked down the stairs and into the band room, I had
a flashback to the 'evil' bandroom on the LWTTT tour, or any
of the Debonairs' luncheon fixtures for that matter - imagine
a basement full of partially deaf musos in varying stages
of decrepitude yelling wisecracks at each other with at least
half of them smoking like the Yallorn power station. I felt
right at home.
Bob Starkie was far too relaxed to be in control of events
on stage, but Mae was probably keyed-up enough for both of
them and checked with us at least a couple of times as to
whether we were ready and how many songs we were going to
do etc. I would've been quite happy with just the
one song, but as we'd been allotted ten minutes I added I
Just Wanna Make Love To You to the inevitable IBG,
which was why I'd brought in my guitar. If Bob Starkie
was anxious about anything, it was whether I'd be happy using
his amp, and he supervised my every move when we finally got
on stage after Hanna's rambling reggae set. ('Might as well
be Pink Floyd', sighed Mae). As it happened I accepted Bob's
adjudication on the volume, even though I suspected that it
was going to be insufficient, but in any case, before we played
a note the raffles had to drawn, and I was chosen to draw
the ticket for the main prize of a fab guitar. (pic 11)
While the raffle business was going on I'd been quietly
remonstrating with Bill for not tucking his guitar lead under
his strap - he's not used to standing up these days and I
thought it very possible he'd stand on his lead. As if by
divine demonstration of this very point, after Mae had announced
us as 'Mike Rudd and the boys' and was leaving the stage,
an emotional and animated Karl Van Est pushed past me and
grabbed my microphone, proclaiming himself the winner of the
guitar. This declaration gleaned no response at all from the
audience, which was getting a little restive by now, truth
be told, so Karl expanded on his theme for a few minutes,
and then abruptly wheeled round and tripped over my guitar
Instant Karma you might say, (or 'instant camera' as
the rhythm section would have it), but the fact is, had I
not had my lead tucked in, it might well have been broken.
So nyaah to nay sayers.
I'll Be Gone predictably went OK - the crowd sang
along even though there were musos in the mix (is that just
an Aussie thing?) - and then I started playing the I Just
Wanna lick 'Yee hah! Country!' laughed Robbo
as my twang disappeared under the graunch of the rest of the
band entering the fray.
Crap! I gave up trying to sort out where my guitar
was in the mix and concentrated on singing, and again, I think
it went over OK - there were a few cries of 'more' as we vacated
Daddy Cool was on next, and Hannaford joined with Ross, Wayne
Duncan, James Black and not Gary Young for a really laid-back
set of DC faves. I wandered downstairs to find Bill on his
own eating a banana - between us we'd eaten all but one of
the bunch on offer - and I checked my watch. It was after
midnight, and NQR Bill had to get all the way back to Strathewen,
so we ducked out the side alley to avoid the crowd before
the threatened It's A Long Way To The Top jam.
I was surprised to see Laffy at the benefit (pics 1 &
14) - I'd understood he was in the States still, but
he explained that he'd had some visa issues and was planning
to go back to rejoin his wife when the problems were resolved.
He said he was feeling a lot better than he had been when
I last saw him before Christmas (his appearance at the Deb's
luncheon prompted my We Thought He Looked Pretty Bad At
The Time remark in the Snippets column). I've always
thought of Laff as a very cool dude and he's mentioned a couple
of times recently how our guitar styles have converged over
the years, which I take as a great compliment. Who knows what
the future holds? We can only wish him the very best and hope
that last night's fundraiser helps him access the help he
so desperately needs.
Galea has sent me some pics from last night - that's them
below. Thanks Alana!
For Pete's Sake pics
draws the raffle 12) Daz affects his Ricky Ponting distracted
A nice shot of Bill with no undies 14) A tired looking Laff
snuggles up to Daz
Annie MacKinnon and 2) David Jenkins, who both wanted to be
on our e-mail list
Bill must be remembering his lost beanie 4) Robbo is thinking
of post-gig chocolate
likes his own work..
more Canberra pics from Lynnette Timmis
27.5.09 - Lynnette is the Lynn I mention
from time to time in the story about our recent ACT visit (Mike's
diary of Spectrum in the nation's capital - below), and
she is quite obviously an accomplished photographer. I think
she's captured some nice moments with the shots she took at
the Old Canberra Inn last Friday night - especially the pic
of a smiling Bill. These versions are not the same size or framing
as the originals, but I think you'll agree they're special.
The two head shots are of Annie MacKinnon and David Jenkins
who were both at the Old Canberra Inn on Friday night and who
both wanted to be added to the Spectrum e-mail list, but I didn't
give them the opportunity and so Lynn took the initiative. I
only opened the CD case when pestered, and then reluctantly.Sigh!
I'm my own worst enemy sometimes.
on the Breathing Space Too EP
26.5.09 - It was in Canberra (see the gig
report below) that I got an e-mail from 'our' publicist, Lou
Ridsdale, asking me if I could show up at Aztec today and do
an interview with Rock City Networks' Ben Pitcher. (pic)
I'll never turn down the chance to get my mug on anything,
so of course I agreed to that, and while I was in the building
I thought I might take the opportunity to do some pitching of
my own. (Sorry Ben). First I wanted to chat to Lou about the
possibility of her helping us with the publicity for BST,
and then have a word with Aztec's Ted Lethborg, who helped
us out with the first EP, about pressing and packaging.
Lou was enthusiastic and I'll hear more about her involvement
soon, and Ted took it a step further and suggested that Aztec
would be interested in helping with the distribution of both
That can't hurt! This is getting exciting!
gently rocks Canberra..
How we are remembered in Canberra 2) The paint job on this sign
could put you off this paint crowd
boys, Justin Carter, at the Old Canberra Inn 4) 2CC's Mike Welsh
plays Xavier Rudd first on Oz radio
Greagg at his version of the Hampton station 6) Peter J Casey
waves to our readers from the ABC
proof that I wasn't dreaming 8) Two idiots in the crowd at the
Albert Hall market
unmistakable facade of the National Library 10) Lynn and Pam
finally say goodbye to Spectrum at the library
and Jane Greagg with friend Maria at the Yacht Club 12) Phil
Bircher came all the way from Sydney
displays our wares at the Yacht Club 14) Mike acknowledges the
Mike's diary of Spectrum in the nation's capital
Robbo had teaching commitments on Wednesday, so it was just
Bill and me that left Camberwell just before midday. Even
leaving a day early, you don't need the hint of a mechanical
problem, and while the van is pretty noisy at the best of
times, there was a new and ominous noise that sounded as if
it was coming from the back axle area that added to the tension.
As I'd just had an horrendously expensive service a couple
of weeks before, I was hoping that it wasn't due to some apprentice's
carelessness, but in any event, we reached Cockburn Ave in
downtown Curtin the predicted eight hours later, just in time
for some burnt chicken offerings from our ever-cheerful hostess
and agent, Gaye Reid, one half of the Let's Create team that
persists in bringing us to the ACT for the fun of it..
We caught up with all the latest goss, including Geof-with-one-'f's
recent car accident that left him with cracked ribs and some
facial damage, (no big hugs for Geof!), before catching a
bit of the Foxtel program and retiring.
The next morning Bill and I had breakfast at Gus', our traditional
Canberra breakfast spot, and did a little shopping. Bill bought
a new woollen beanie to replace his precious hand-knitted
one he lost at the Dog On The Tucker Box BP garage outside
Gundagai, and I found some woollen socks on special at Myer.
Hooray for wool!
I'd rung Chadstone Mitsubishi from Gus' to advise them of
the van's noise problem, and at their suggestion booked it
into a local garage to have the diff' inspected at 4.00, about
an hour and a half after Robbo was due in at Canberra airport.
Of course, Robbo's Tiger fight was delayed by an hour or so,
which meant he was due in at the same time as the van was
due to be inspected, but I managed to get the garage to move
the time forward so we got to the airport right on 4.00. (Incidentally,
there was no obvious problem with the diff', but there was
uneven wear on the front tyres, which suggested there might
be a problem with the front shockers). Bill has bought himself
a handy-cam, so he had fun filming Robbo's arrival as his
first effort behind the camera. Beware of pointless band trivia
being brought to you on YouTube in future !
Bill, Geof and I had loaded in at the National Press Club
before going to the airport, so it wasn't the usual enervating
rush, but the addition of a grand piano in the recent Press
Club Bar refurbishment meant that we actually had less space
to work with than before. However, the good thing about the
alterations is that they've removed the accursed acoustic
tiles, so the sound was a lot brighter and fun to play with
as a result.
So, in essence, the evening went OK, especially as we hadn't
played a note together since Mt Beauty all those weeks ago.
There wasn't a large crowd, but there was a nucleus of interested
people who were known to us, including the Greaggs, Pam Cleary
and Lynn, and some unknown to me who felt moved enough to
make complimentary noises at the end of the night, including
Tony Wright, national affairs editor with The Age,
who said he was inspired to briefly become a sound engineer
after seeing Spectrum in Hamilton as a schoolboy in the very
The Press Club closes at 10.00, which is when everybody in
Canberra goes to bed during the working week apparently, so
there are no shops open anywhere and we arrived home empty-handed
- but we were treated to a Gaye-special cheeseboard and cups
of tea anyway. Then we all watched a fairly dire episode of
Elvis Costello's Spectacle, featuring his wife, Diana
Krall, before collapsing into our beds. Bill woke up to find
that he'd somehow managed to lose his new beanie.. Sigh!
Today, a gig-less day, has been proclaimed 'Footy Day', and
all is right with the world, because 1) Bill found
his beanie (in his room, where I said it would be) and 2)
Geof has just today got the Sports channels connected
on his Foxtel account, so the chaps can now watch their games
of footy, and I might even get to watch the Crusaders/Bulls
The gig last night at the Old Canberra Inn began inauspiciously.
The support band, (Justin Carter - pic 3),
had set up their drum-kit and were considering bringing in
their own PA when we arrived, rather than using Robbo's kit
and our PA as we had on our worksheet, which would've had
the effect of doubling the changeover time. After some discussion
they happily relented and reverted to the arrangement as we
understood it. I ended up quite enjoying their set too.
Unfortunately, the Justin Carter entourage let down
the team by hanging around the stage area chatting noisily
during our first set, and then an inebriated Irish labourer,
(excuse the tautology), was moved to commandeer my mic a couple
of times for a few Guinness-soaked moments, much to Bill's
ire, but once they'd all gone we settled down to a well received
couple of sets. Pam and Lynn made a return appearance, as
did the Greaggs, (much to my surprise, as Jane usually can't
stay up too late), and our old mate Paul Culnane even staggered
in after the first set sporting a newly dyed coiffure to record
We've had a fine breakfast at Gus' again this morning and
visited an over-crowded market at the Albert Hall (where Bill
and I played with The Stahely Bros all those years ago) and
had a geek at the National Library, where we ran into Pam
& Lynn one last time before they headed off home.
I popped over to see my friends the Greaggs yesterday arvo.
They are looking comfortable in their new home and have a
new white puli (Ziggy) to celebrate. Scott (pic 5)
is well on the way to setting up his train platform and has
already overstocked his walk-in wardrobe with uniforms etc.
Jane and I talked the talk over cups of tea while Pete prepared
the evening meal in his kitchen-to-end-all-kitchens and interpolated
the odd pertinent observation as he felt the urge.
All in all it was a pleasant thing to do, but there was a
Footy Day to contend with back at the Let's Create hacienda,
so I bade the Greaggs farewell, (until we see them again today
at the Yacht Club, of course), and headed into the gathering
dusk to Footy Day curtain time in Curtin.
There was some obstruction on the bridge which slowed me down.
Emergency lights were on and there were emergency personnel
and police everywhere. I wondered if somebody had tired of
having to drive round in endless circles and had decided to
end it all by jumping off the bridge. (pic 7)
The previous night we'd undergone a breath test just a little
further up the same road on the way home from the Old Canberra
Inn. When the policeman proferred me the breath testing instrument,
I'd leant forward to blow in the funnel, but discovered there
was no funnel. The policeman asked me to count to ten, and
when I'd got to four said that was enough. I don't know if
he looked so amused because I hadn't had any alcohol or because
I wasn't familiar with the ACT variation on the detector theme.
When I got home, the chaps had set up two tellies, thinking
that their respective games were on at the same time. As it
happened they weren't, but in the meantime Gaye had cooked
up a storm and we all sat down to a delightful roast meal
accompanied by a pleasant enough Marlborough pinot I'd bought
on the way home. Bravo Gaye!
Robbo's Pies then annihilated the Eagles, (while the second
TV played one of the Alien sequels), and then Geof
and Gaye retired while we sat up and watched the Crusaders
get knocked off by the Bulls. Well, Bill and I managed to
stay awake for the entire game - Robbo fell asleep in the
Now Bill and I have an interview at the local ABC radio station,
(triple 6!), with a Peter J Casey, after which we'll do a
late breakfast and prepare for the final gig at the Canberra
Yacht Club followed by our immediately hitting the road for
We've had a late breakfast at Gus' and are preparing for the
Yacht Club gig. The interview with Peter J Casey (pic
6) at the ABC seemed to go OK . Bill and I did a couple
of blues tunes and had a bit of a chat - while Robbo slept
in. Peter J had done his research and knew what he was talking
about - Gaye says he's a 'cabaret' musician, whatever that
means, but anyway it was a fun interlude and may pull a few
people to the Yacht Club with any luck
We've bought provisions for the trip i.e. chocolate
and biscuits, and I've filled the tank. First stop Gundagai
- maybe Bill will be reunited with his first beanie..
Tuesday. Well, we're back safely and getting mentally
prepared for tonight's spot at the Pete Laffy benefit. The
gig at the Yacht Club was probably the highlight of the trip.
It's not an easy load-in, but Gaye chipped in (!) and we managed
OK. Gaye insisted on being the marketing bitch and sold quite
a few CDs too, and we got some new additions to the mailing
list as well - thanks Gaye. The Greaggs showed up with Jane's
friend Maria, (pic 11) and quite a few of our mailing
list people, including Phil Bircher (pic 12) who
made the trip from Sydney especially to see us (and catch
up with a few ACT friends). Jane gave us even more chocolate
fro the trip home..
There were a couple of young boys who'd come with their parents
to the Yacht Club, one of whom declared that he was starting
his own band and already had a nine-year old girl drummer
lined up. I met up with him in the toilet just before we left.
'Guess how old I am?' he asked . I'd heard somebody mention
he was eight, so I said, 'eight'. 'How did you know that?'
he said. 'I'm a genius' I replied. He looked at me speculatively,
perhaps sensing an opportunity for absolute domination of
his sibling. 'Well, how do you make a person blow up then?'
he wanted to know.
About ten minutes out of town I said to Bill, 'This doesn't
look right to me. I think we're on the wrong road'. We were
too, and we had an exciting cross-country drive to join up
with the Barton Hwy at Murrumbateman, coincidentally where
Ian Miller was buried on Friday. I'd had half a cup of coffee
before we left and my heart was pounding, but I didn't say
anything. And, miracle of miracles, Bill was indeed reunited
with his favourite beanie at Gundagai! He is once more a believer
in the goodness of human nature.
The cross-country excursion was the first half hour lost,
and we lost another forty minutes or so at Glenrowan where
the appropriate BP servo had lost electricity and we had to
back-track to get to its counterpart on the other side of
the highway, so it took us a neat nine hours rather than the
usual eight. But we made it, and all in all we had a ball.
Let's do it again soon!
is surprised by my phone camera
Space Too edges closer to the real world
19.5.09 - I drove into the wilds of Glenroy
today to re-establish contact with Ian McCausland, (pic)
reclusive graphic genius and designer of the original Breathing
Space EP (as well as Milesago) sleeve. I found
him on yard duty sweeping up leaves, a job he cherishes too
much to be called a job really. I gave him the new band photo,
but little else by way of detail, 'cause I still had to master
the final track for the new EP, and until that was accomplished,
nothing was certain. Ian showed me the progress he's made
with his Red Truck animation ('only ten thousand
more images to go') and we agreed to talk again after we get
back from the ACT. It's a happening thing!
19.5.09 - Back in the old days, when
Spectrum used to haunt EMI 's office opposite where Capers
now is in Hawthorn, Ian Miller joined the company and nurtured
a few acts, including the Moir Sisters as I recall. I believe
he was an excellent guitarist, and with his handsome looks
I can remember being surprised he didn't persist as a performer.
He always looked a little peaky mind you, but I didn't know
he was ill, and now he's dead. He's pictured (left)
with Dom at one of the recent Debonair do's.
recover from a big giggle-fest in time to be shot..
14.5.09 - I invited
the other guys over last night to bond, (we haven't seen each
other for weeks), and have a listen to the new EP
tracks before I went into Edensound to get them mastered
today. Robbo brought Lisa along too, which was handy 'cause
we haven't had a group shot for a while, and as she was responsible
for the (unattributed) shot used on the first EP, she's got
a credible track record - not to mention she's free..
So, we had a listen to the tracks and ate pizzas, (some had
pinot), and finished with a photo session out in the cold night
air, which ended in a giggle-fest - and a couple of usable shots.
Pete's Sake benefit
12.5.09 - I suppose this could come under the heading of
We Thought He Looked Pretty Bad At The Time, but it seems
that Pete Laffy has fallen on hard times health-wise, and by
way of underlining that there's a benefit being held on Tuesday
the 26th of this month at Spenserslive to raise funds
for 'ongoing treatment in the States'. (See the gig
flyer for the line-up details). I've contacted Mae
Parker with a view to Spectrum playing a song or two and she's
up for it, so we'll see you down there!
Space Too launch
12.5.09 - So, I've booked in to
Edensound for Thursday to master said disc AND booked
a date in July to launch the same at The Basement Discs.
Sounds as if things are moving along apace
don't it? I'd
better actually start moving apace then I s'pose..
Woman of Steel on the Videos page
12.5.09 - I'm on a SNIPPETS
roll - must mean I should be doing something else. Yes, I've
discovered another piece of our past on YouTube site. Check
it out - and while you're there, check out Bill's moving
gives us the thumbs up from the Philippines
- it's May already!
Well, it's been such a disgusting start to the month I haven't
really wanted to acknowledge it's actually under way. It's not
like we had a lot of gigs anyway, then Kenny calls me on Monday
to say that our Mother's Day gig at the Dandenong Workers is
off, and today he e-mails me that the couple of gigs he had
booked for us (at The Glacier Bar) have gone too. While I've
been beavering away at the mixes for the new CD, (I'm getting
very close too), and that's good, not gigging is bad for my
morale, as well as catastrophic for my income stream.
The odd event raises my spirits though. Today I got an order
for a boatload of CDs from Nigel (pic) who lives in
the Philippines. He says: G'day Mike, A belated note to
| thank you for the
great music and the tee-shirt. It brings back fond memories.
And "Living on a Volcano" is great. Really great.
We've just put in a repeat order for five more (and a few more
discs to complete the collection) for Christmas presents for
musically inclined family and friends...
..And as requested on your invoice, we had a few G & Ts
while we remembered the good times. The occasion was our first
wedding anniversary a few weeks ago. We stayed at a little hotel
on Cebu. To that end, please find attached photographs of the
inaugural meeting of the Spectrum Appreciation Society of the
Philippines (Catmon Chapter). The sound box is playing "I'll
Be Gone" (but of course) and "Living on a Volcano."
Hooray! You see, that makes me feel
a little more cheerful. Why don't you go to the CDs
page and buy someone you know a bonzer collection of our CDs?
If you order enough of them you might get a free T-shirt too
- and you'll have the added bonus of making an old man happy..
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