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Mark Holden with Mike on 774
Mark Holden gives As Well some Breathing Space
6.10.11 - Technically and in every other way it's actually October, but following on from a slow ending to the last month it's been an even slower start to the current one. Mark Holden? Actually Mark has always been a major Spectrum fan, which may seem at odds with his Australlian Idol image - and you'd devoutly hope so, of course. I've always had a soft spot for Mark ever since Bill and I visited him at his home in LA back in the late '70s. Mark laughingly dispensed these blunderbuss-shaped guns that shot off ping pong balls at a great rate accompanied with the instruction that there was only one rule; the game was never over. A few hours later I think he was regretting that particular rule as Bill and I persisted ping-ponging him and his guests despite his increasingly desperate pleas for us to desist. I'm indebted to Mark for inviting me on his show today and talking to me - and Max in LA - and playing Soul Man. It's a great story and it was touching to hear how moved Max obviously was. Thanks Mark!
It's Grand Final Eve in Melbourne

1) Who's that man with the P bass, mummy? 2 Suzanne demands her photo not be taken..

3) The crowd gets revved up by some obliging entertainers 4) The pipes, the pipes are calling..
gig report
Carlton Football Club GFE luncheon - Melb. Town Hall 30.9.11

Mike & Bill go to town
30.9.11 - Given that our recent trips into town have been marred by extortionate parking fees, Bill and I decided to train it into town for our Carlton Football Club Grand Final Eve luncheon gig at the Town Hall where we'd been engaged by the ever-considerate Wally Bishop to perform just the one song (yes, that song) with our young friends, The Wesley College Big Band. As we had to be there at 9.30, we hauled our sad old arses out of my place at 8.00 to catch a train at the Mt Waverley station and quite enjoyed the trip in to town, apart from one of those unexplained delays after we left the Richmond station.
After our 10.00 sound check we had plenty of time to mosey on down to say hullo to Suzanne at The Basement Discs (pic 2) before wandering back to the Town Hall for our 1.20 spot. We saw most of the parade (pic 3) and although I had to fix a couple of reeds that had jammed on my harp, the actual performance went pretty smoothly. I like the public transport lark..

1) My namesake Marilyn Rudd and her guitarophile friend 2) Laurie Richards (left) put in a rare appearance

3) Chopper and Anita Monk jointly dazzle the lens..
gig report
The Fleece Hotel Thurs. 22.9.11
Stairway to Hell
23.9.11 -
You should be careful what you wish for. Bill and I arrived at The Fleece a bit earlier than usual to allow ourselves more recovery time after the load-in, and the strategy worked pretty well, too. Jimmie Sloggett couldn't make it, but we still out-numbered the audience two to one when we started the first set. Thankfully, by the time the second set was underway there were a few more bodies in the room and by their reaction they were enjoying what we were doing as much as we were.
Sadly that'll be our last performance at The Fleece. Special thanks to Julie Cavanagh for always making us feel welcome. I shan't miss the stairs though..
The History of Australian Rock no less..

1) Russell 'the Hernia' Morris grins for the camera 2) Speaking of mugging, the Drs Sellers' had a rockin' night

3) Madder Lake riffed like anything till the cows eventually came home
gig report
Australian History of Rock - Trak Lounge Bar 16.9.11
Oz Rock night at the Trak
17.9.11 -
The concept of putting some vintage '70s acts together under a grandiose banner has been well established in Aztec's Rock of Ages series, but the venue, the Trak Lounge Bar, (formerly the Trak Cinema), was an unknown factor and the lead in time was modest, so success certainly wasn't guaranteed. The idea was hatched by Madder Lake's Debbie Kaye and Premier Artists' Frank Stivala and there are reportedly quite a few similar proposals in the pipeline hinging on the
night's success. I'll be interested to see how the numbers stacked up.
I'd not been to the Trak before and so I meekly repeated the suggestions that it was 'swish' - and I suppose it might hold some superficial allure to the casual punter, but I found nearly everything about the place tedious and unnecessary. That might just be me, because the stage itself was spacious enough, the crew did their best for us and we actually quite enjoyed our set, not least 'cause it was at a reasonable hour, but the stage sound was quite acceptable too. There being no compere to hold proceedings together lent a certain impromptu feel to the night, but I can't say that troubled me. (Asylum TV was there, so there'll be some footage eventually on Channel 31).
I felt for the punters though. There was virtually no seating and the night seemingly stretched into infinity. Bill and I stayed for most of the Madders' set, (pic 3) but when the opportunity arose to simultaneously rescue the van from being trapped in the carpark and get access to the goods lift to ferry our gear out, we gratefully took it.
Dr Wazz (pic 2) stayed for Russell Morris (pic 1) and said he was very entertaining and he didn't seem affected by his recent hernia operation, so he already did better than I did. (See The fickle finger of fate.. on the ASR page) Poor old Jim had the 'prime spot', which of course was far too late for anyone our age, unless you were having a flashback that you were at Bananas.

4) Dr Wazz sent me this composite pic of Spectrum in mid-flight at the Trak Lounge Bar

Mike holds on to Deb McGrath
gig report
The Bay Hotel Sun. 11.9.11
Crudd & Pump survive Sunday massacre
12.9.11 -
Of course, there was no massacre in downtown Mordialloc, but I'm sure there was one somewhere and the point is, we survived it. I was in full flushing meadows head cold mode so I was looking forward to playing as it has the singular effect of clearing my head - I think it's the adrenalin. Whether there would be anybody else in the room to savour the moment is always the question - it's always better to imagine there'll be absolutely nobody so that when somebody does arrive it's a bonus. Anyway, we were pleasasntly surprised when a dozen or so people arrived with the professed intention of seeing Bill and me struggle through the afternoon on our own. Robbo's friends, the McGraths, turned up en masse (pic) and hung around to the death and I sold a couple of As Well EPs to boot. You will never hear us play quieter, so maybe if you're the sensitive type you should contemplate coming along to The Bay next time we're in Mordialloc..

1) Normie Rowe shakes all over in rehearsal 2) Bill enjoys his very own fanfare for the common Bill (see large pic)

3) Mike enjoys being surrounded by The Trollops plus..
gig report
VTA Awards Palladium at Crown Sat. 3.9.11 St Andrews pub Sun. 4.9.11
Thank God for The Trollops!
5.9.11 -
But first, the slightly mysterious VTA Awards at Palladium at Crown, which required that Bill and I rehearse (!) with the Wesley College Big Band at Wesley College (see story below) and then front up for a sound check at 4.30 at Crown the following day for the performance (much later) of two songs, I'll Be Gone, (of course), and more surprisingly Matt Taylor's I Remember When I Was Young, plus I was to sit in with Normie Rowe on harp on Van's On The Bright Side Of The Road.
In fact, it was all an absolute pleasure, especially being on the same stage as Normie, (pic 1) who I can report is looking and sounding as good as ever and is as
consummate a professional as ever, especially given he was co-hosting the presentation of the awards as well as performing. Special mention should also be made of the Wesley kids under the guidance of Peter Foley who were extremely patient and disciplined and generally a credit to the school.
I'm not sure how it happened, but this year we managed to score Fathers Day at the St Andrews pub as well as Mothers Day. It has to be said that the dads weren't nearly as keen as the mums to hang around and have a good time and if it weren't for The Trollops turning up in force (pic 3) we'd have had hardly anybody in the room by the end of the day. Ah well, I retired to bro' Dick's after the show and celebrated Fathers Day with Dick and a damn fine pinot (supplied by his daughter Lizzie) and everything soon seemed right with the world again...
Fun, fun, fun in the CBD..

1) The crowd builds up at The Basement Discs 2) Patrick is stunned by my sneaky paparazzo move

3) Young fans queue up to get their signed CDs 4) Dave Graney was an hour or so late
gig report
The Basement Discs Fri. 2.9.11
At last! The EP is officially launched!
2.9.11 - Well, perhaps the curse on this EP has finally lifted - or perhaps there never was a curse and we just needed the official imprimatur of a Friday lunchtime launch at The Basement Discs. It's been a tradition for the last few years - since the release of Living On A Volcano late last century in fact - so perhaps we shouldn't fight it. Anyway, it was a perfect spring day in Melbourne and we got the gear set up in plenty of time and there was a good crowd on hand (pic 1) by the time Patrick (pic 2) stepped onto the stage to prep the peeps on what they were about to receive. I always imagine we should be playing for an hour, but in fact it's always half an hour, as Suzanne patiently explained yet again. It went very fast anyhow, but everybody seemed to enjoy it immensely and dutifully queued up to get their signed copies of the EP. (pic 3) Many thanks go to the tenor sax meister, Jimmie Sloggett, for adding the vital fifth dimension to our performance.
Once all the formalities were dispensed with, Bill and I joined Maria Gravias and her ACT friend Karin for a pleasant lunch in Block Place, after which we returned to TBD to finish packing up - where we were greeted by Dave Graney, who apologised for missing the show by an hour or so. (pic 4)
Another outrageous ($51.00) parking fee later (what is going on there?) and Bill and I were headed to Wesley College for a rehearsal with Peter Foley's Wesley College Big Band. But that's another story..

Order your copy (or copies) of Breathing Space As Well from the CDs page. You can also check out the clip for the Max Merritt tribute song, Soul Man, on the Videos page.
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