The Life and Times of Peter Green
Archive: 17 November - 29 November 1996
Leanne arrives from perth on the early morning flight. It's easier for her
to come to Belmore-need to get some serious sleep or I'll be totally worn
out by the first Melbourne Gig. We head down to the Elephant and Leanne
crashes on our couch to recover from her flight. Spend the afternoon at
Ackland Street and call into the galleon for coffee. No band people at the
Galleon-this is a first-there's always someone there. Go to St Kilda Street
markets,buy a belt
for the upcoming CH belt buckles. The markets have improved,Leanne starts
buying up big on souvenirs.
Dianne arrives today-so the girls share my bed,I end up having "mr
Couch".Why is it I feel so short,but my feet hang over the end of the
couch-I hate that.
The reissue of "Recurring Dream" with bonus LIVE CD is in the stores today.
There have been enough pre-orders to sell another platinum album-crazy.
Guess it's good for all the people that missed out the first time.
The band start rehearsals at TROY at Sth melbourne. Am running a bit late
and finally get a park nearby. Everyone is there except Nick. Dougald and
are setting up,Doug is his usual self- a rock in a sea of stress. Jules has
arrived and Mark (hart) looks very alive considering he's just flown in an
hour ago. I shrink into the corner and video some of the rehearsal. Kerry
has flown in from NZ and his new Sony Video just doesn't work. Where is
Nick we wonder. I go and give him a call. Vague as all hell he doesn't know
where rehearsal is and thought it was on Chapel St. he turns up at 3.00.
Paul is having fun and he talks me into creating "shrines" for both
melbourne nights in the band room.
Nick arrives, white hair standing on end, he nods a hi and adds a warm smile..
..he slips into Nick Seymourism mode easily.
I can't begin to tell you what it's like to have this lineup together for
the first time,I laugh,cry and have a lot of fun over the next few hours.
This feels very right and they play with passion. Most of the time they
"Nails in my feet" which strangely enough was never played at any of the 3
shows. Possibly it gives the band full range- Neils voice ,etc etc,so its
having a good workout number. leave them to it.
Jump in the Grey Ghost which is now known as the Phoenix and zoom to North melb
to pick up the Recurring Dream badges and Fridge magnets. Fun merch. and they
came up well. Pick up a copy of WHO magazine and they've ran a 3 page article
as promised. A huge group of us go out for Dinner. What a family.
Didn't sleep too well, those feet again and continual thoughts on the upcoming
club shows. The list of "need to do's" has now grown to 5 pages. Up early and
we drive down to the press Conference at Pauls Elwood beach cafe. Dean and nel
from EMi are there already setting up. We decide to create the press kits,as
we are expecting a full house of media. Paul thinks only 20 people, we expect 60
hand selected guests. Paul loses the bet. The band are in fie form and Grant
sits next to them on the panel. A few overseas fans wander in and I tell
our security person to let them in (I spotted them from the moment they
walked down the path). I get a photographer evicted,a guy thats always been
a pain in the arse to the band,trying to take snaps of Neils kids etc. He's
out,hope it rains.
The press conference goes well, Paul has verbal diahorrea,can't shut him up
today,he's in fine form and wraps the press around his finger. They ask
about the warm up shows-neil says its some corner in Melb....very few
people got it (duhhh). It all goes well and we get them to do a photoshoot
at the Beach,the shots from these come up really well. The grey melbourne
sky looks amazing in
the article used in "The Australian". A good days work. Take over the kitchen
at Elwood and make everyone toasted cheese sandwhiches.
bang goes the starting gun and we are off and racing. Day three of Hell Week
and I awake in a panic..so many things to do. The phones won't stop-at it's
peak we were getting 600 calls a day..on two phone lines. Shop for shrine
"stuff" on Chapel Street and run into ex-ENZ manager "Nathan". By pure
chance I am holding three devil's pitchforks...is this an omen . I comment
on this-even Nathan finds it funny. Tshirts still haven't turned
up...finally track them down-it's last minute per usual. get to the Corner
at 3.00 for the ticket distribution. A lot of extra people are there so we
sellout of any spares. A few overseas fans are present and the previous day
I talked to the guys about letting some people into
soundcheck. So a few get in. Luck of the draw. It's hard to get them out, they
should feel priveleged that they got in. Rob who made the belt buckles arrive
and we show them around-Nick says "incredibly cool", we get a huge
"ohhhhhhh" from the overseascontingent. I'm really happy-these buckles are
bit of merch. weve ever had. Soundcheck goes well,the Corner stage looks
good in it's red drapes. Angus is there working on the sound. The Witness
running around filming. Dianne gets an interview (ok I pushed her)...she comes
up really well. I hated my segment and made a deal for them to cut it (all
the other interviews were fine,but I was really drained for Witness).
We build the band room shrine and clean up the room. Tonights shrine will be
a multilayered affair. heaps of candles and oil burners,xmas lights,strange
knitted Crowded House figures from 1986.....Paul points out that Nick must
be playing keyboards because its the only figure with blonde hair (sorry
We have lanterns hanging down and dried corn. Looked really cool,when the lights
So why you ask? OK when you tour most band rooms are hideous,boring little
grungy holes where you live for a few hours every night. If you make the
effort to transform them-the vibe is up from the first moment someone steps
into the room. It's better then flowers and candy. It's even better then a
hey it's my band-we'll go the extra step for them. Especially since they
agreed to do these club shows.
We climb into the Phoenix and get home,a quick shower,load the car up with
tshirts. Poor Di is so squashed and hidden all we see is her hand. We make
sure she waves it to keep us aware that she is alive.
Trudy and Robyn set up merch-they are always on time-god bless em. The band
arrive and the fun starts. The "Tongue" list has probably already been
saturated with reviews etc. The first 20 minutes the crowd and band seemed
to be in some
sort of "shock"...but after that a very fine show. Chris Burke thought it was
one of the best he's ever seen. Thankfully most of you got in,so many familiar
faces. A few under 18s,lots of friends of the band.
The guys played on and on,a set equal to the Hanover and Horseshoe,but one
main difference...this was home town. Forget the shit about neil living in
Nick in Dublin.....Crowded House's heart is firmly placed in Melbourne.
They know it,we know it and now it's gone the full circle. It feels good
weeks of hard work pay off-I hope Grant and the fans appreciate it.
Finally get some decent sleep on that bloody couch.
Up early and head to Prahran with Di and leanne for more shrine material.
Rule #2 from the "book of shrines". A good shrine should be changed every night.
Time for some cherubs,stuffed fake birds,painted eggs and christ icons.
Phone Reg Mombassa at home and will see him in Sydney. I will finally own a Reg.
he's been one of my favourite artists for years-love his mambo range (any
devotees of mambo gear-REG will have a new range out in the new year,plus
check out his calendar and work diary-all very cool).
half of melbourne is begging for tickets,the band keep putting more and
more names on the guest list. I warned Grant of this and he said he'd speak
to them...this was a few weeks ago. Paul is the main offender,then Nick
"Hey Melbourne is a big city". neil is well behaved Guest-wise and Mark and
get 4 tickets each. Shawn our publicist is trying her best to cut down,and GT
has already ok'd the EMI/Media list. Yieks.....where to put them all.
Today seems smoother,Tim the manager of the Corner is a delight to work with.
I look out the office window and it's very grey. My Toes tell me it's going
to rain. We load in, do more interviews-at this stage I'll talk to anyone.
Do regional radio..that was fun. "Peter Green-the mouth is open wide"
Some of the mineral water goes walk about so I make a dash to Coles 24hr
supermarket,run into Chris Burke and he helps me carry a watermelon for the
Shrine. I am soaked,and struggle into the band room looking more like ZIF
the beach dog then PG. Tonights gig is more relaxed,the Crowd over their
shellshock relate well. Musically not as tight,but it's still a fine
The pitchforks make an appearance and Mark hart wears the Jesus icon.
I know weve let in a few too many and the Police make a suprise appearance.
Thankfully they leave ,they are very poker faced.Not one of them smiles and
I worry is that a huge joint that paul is smoking onstage as he bounces around
with his shakers? Once again this gig has been posted a few times,so i
won't bother with the general songs etc. It was a fine night. Paul tells
management to let the punters hang around a bit and the guys wander through
the crowd. Nice
thoyght Paul. Tim is given the warm handshake every few feet,he's really loved
these days and has been working on his voice. Go to bed at 3.00, spend
the night working on the books for the gigs-ahhh paperwork,can't escape it.
mark makes me a tea and tells me that the cable weather report is an 80%
chance of rain in Sydney........
The flights to Sydney are full-heaps of fans leaving at different times. Check
the Phoenix into the limo/car parking zone and our usual driver takes us to
the airport. Tickets are ready,have lunch and worry about Sydney's weather.
Some of the crew are on our flight and our booking agency has a driver
Jules and Craig talk stage tech "stuff"......we arrive at the Sebel (finally)
and the rain starts to fall.
Miranda from melbourne calls my room and tells me she just heard that the
gig has been posponed till tomorrow.......i run up $400 worth of phone
calls letting people know,reorganising air tickets. Qantas do the right
thing and don't charge any extra $$$$. two Sydney friends-Jen and merl drop
in and a host of us head to the Green Diner.....in one small car. You had
to use a plunger to get us in,all we could do was laugh. The Green Diner is
my Sydney Blue Elephant,great food
and nice people. I let Grant go to the site,the last thing i want to see is
a wet Opera House stage-how depressing.
All hands accounted for,my troops head to the Opera House-we decide to open
a merchandise booth,as we expect a lot of people wandering around. The
weather is a bit better and hopefully it will dry the stage gear off enough
to aloow for a rehearsal. We set up merch #1,all of us working for
free,every cent going to the Childrens Hospital. See the band ,have a talk
to Neil about people having to miss the show and it upsets him a lot. The
band (despite wet power leads etc) will do a longer soundcheck. We tell as
many people as possible,especially those who come up and say they are club
members or on the internet. 4000 people are
there for a ten song soundcheck. We tried to let everyone know,sorry if you
missed out. Saw someone wearing a wet velvet Tongue......sorry it's a
tragic look,I think i preferred the "do you climb into cyberspace" shirts.
The Tongues always look like velvet cock warmers! Cringe. (ok small cock
Richard Wilkins (yes he still has THAT hair) does the live crossover to "hey hey
its Sat". Paul slags the show just before they go on air.......very wicked.
The van takes us back to the Sebel and we force Leanne to eat Indian food
for dinner (yum). have a melatonin. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
A good decision,the weather is great,we are at the Opera House at 9.30 and start
what is to be one of the longest days of our life. We load boxes into
trucks,boxes out of trucks,boxes on boxes, cats on boxes,green eggs and
Decide that merch #1 is MINE. Take control,and we have a huge host of volunteers
It feels good working for free,felt even better that many of the people were my
best friends-and they were damn efficent.
Suddenly what seems to be in the blink of an eye,the Crowd looks huge. It's
still awhile before the first band is on. It's all part of Australian music
day and is meant to show a range of different music. Most people are aware
to ask about the various bands,I expect listies from overseas who have all
this "information" on hand at their keyboards would ask about the other
types of music. Someone asks me if Custard are grunge- not sure where that
came from, I
thought Custard were boring-but I'm sure many others enjoyed them. I tried
to get The Clouds on the bill instead.
By the time Powderfinger are on the Crowd is swelling to a huge
150,000,the streets in a 3 km radius are full . The Opera House should be
renamed madHouse. Surely this must be the biggest show ever in Sydney (It is we find out later).
The front area of the stage explodes with Moshers,the best thing to do is to let
them mosh,they'll leave before CH. Di and the others find some great spots
on the steps-common sense prevails. Glenda bursts into the merch area upset
and shaken,I direct her to some shade and give her the last drink we have.
She isn't making a lot of sense and merch. #1 is under siege. All the jade
green shirts sell out,I have 50 programme sellers needing change, a maniac
is climbing on the roof and poor Glenda is babbling. Time out people! We
tighten down the hatches
for a long day. The "hunters" go out and raid the green room (named after
my family-yeah sure)....and finally we get some more drinks and believe me
a chicken and cheese sandwhich never tasted this good before.
I finally find a loo,and run into a few friends I know from melbourne. I
ask them if they are heading into the front area and they point to their
young boy Toby and say no way-I drag them to the step area and spot Dianne
in her little
possie.Nothing will move her.-she has that look of determination.
It takes 45 minutes to get to our band room. It is sparse,no Shrine...we'll
make the Opera House our shrine. The Finn tribe wander out front,I warn
Sharon to hold onto Elroy and Liam is lapping up the enthusiastic crowd.
passed over heads at the Big day Out and is a normal healthy kid-so for you
oldies out there kids do mosh,kids do get into it. That's life,if you can't
handle it......move out of the way. There is no reserved seating...and
having a name like PowderFinger doesn't mean they will sound like ABBA.
Guess this means
the small intimate Melb shows get the thumbs up.
I exit the band room and say "well this is the last time I'll probably say
it- have a great show tonight guys". We hug-I'm still stony faced (and
so no tears yet.
Manage to get into the pit-after sixteen years of work I think it's one
entitlement I can have today. Extremely happy to see so many club members
filling up the front few rows-they all seemed fine and survived
All those smiling faces ..waiting.
A few days prior at rehearsal we created a list of songs-some daggy,some up
to play before the show- The Angels- longline, The Swingers-Counting the
beat, SplitEnz-I See Red, Easybeats-Friday on my Mind etc etc. I think
TMG's "Jump in my car" never made it onto the tape....so when I heard I See
Red I knew it was time ....
the band entered (stage right).....and I turned to look at the Crowd.
What a rush. Once again the website would have numerous postings. The stage
looked great, Noel and Sally created a Chandelier to match the deco set.
neil wearing a biege jacket with a NZ clothbadge. Nick looking like he
borrowed Magnum's Hawaiian shirt..and paul was very handsome. Mark hidden
songs,the crowd....so many voices singing along. I enjoyed it (except for the
odd hassle with security...except for Security guard #27 who looked after us).
The final bow,Pauls tear streaming down his face,Nick very glassy eyed,the
front row sobbing....too much.
Head backstage and Paul grabs me when he exits,I go close to crying. We
file into the band room,Neil confides that he feels strange that he didn't
cry-I told him he did enough of that on the Enz with a Bang tour. If Neil
would of started
I would of surely burst into tears. All the crew lineup and we get autographs...
this is fun. I thank Neil for his kind words onstage-I've never been
thanked in front of 150,000 before-am very humbled by it all.
Hang around for awhile and then get back to the job at hand. merch Tent #3
has been squashed-our tent #1 sold out of everything-all thats left is the
merch sign and an empty charity can. Help load some gear onto the truck,and
mark and myself jump into a van with Nick and Mark hart and head to the
Hotel via the party.
The Party is at the Royal Automobile Club on Macquarie Street. Not sure if
it was my fatigue or what but it was really boring. Hung around for 30
minutes and we all headed back to my room for food.
It was 9.00 . I woke. I looked around in a blind panic,something was wrong.
Room service was bringing breakfast in,it was a nice day, familair faces
but something felt out of whack. The world seems very different today. It's like
the elves had crept into every room in the world and in a subtle way
changed something. Just slightly,you know the feeling. A sand painting with
3 grains missing. My band has broken up.
The papers are full of photos and articles,I love the cover shot on the
telegragh the best. Great reviews,silly quotes....in every paper.
Leanne and Diane are on later flights- they will shop for a good few hours.
We all wander downstairs,and Reg Mombassa runs in to the foyer with his
kids. he has the Sydney artwork for me. The tshirt design looks fantastic
as art. he has hand toned it all,and my grin stretches around my face. he
also pulls out another piece of art-a groovy flying saucer with weird
Aliens and hands me that.
I never let go of the artwork till I get home.
Have a screaming match with the bands manager Grant-and send in my resignation.
We are all under pressure but after all the work we have done I won't be anyones
Well six days and I'll finish up. Not sure if I mean it or not-the ball is
in Grants camp. he calls on the way to the airport and I get some sort of
an apology...is this what want? Not sure-but like the song says "I'm still
here, I wont go away"......
So i guess life will continue as usual.
The charts come in and the album has jumped 18 spots in melbourne to #6,
it's moved up to #6 in NSW (#7 nationally) and has now sold over a quater
of a million units in Australia alone. next weeks Sydney charts should be
after the concert.
have lunch at Southgate and head to the ABC studios for a 11.00 interview with
Karen leng from Radio Australia. They have me on their Aust. Music Show.
Good fun interview.
The office phones have slowed down to a "normal" pace. We are still getting
a lot of new club members and renewals. Get an email from some friends who
say some listee went looking for me after he was squashed in the
pit.....what was he going to do-TRY and punch me out. Pises me off that he
can be angry at moshers
and their pack of animal actions...and then he gets all hot headed and wants to
try and take it out on me-get fucked! (Subtle again-Gryphon).Next time have
the common sense to check out the other bands-no one has ever said the Opera
House Gig was a family show.
had some great letters today from clubbers who enjoyed both the Sydney gig
and the club shows- am passing them all onto Neil-including any complaints.
Nicole the hated calls.....she goes home in a few weeks. Weve become good
friends and we'll all miss her. So does anyone know if "Payphone" were
DeadStar under a differeant name at Saratoga and the Espy? Still ages till
"MILK" is released. Mushroom calls and I may be working on another ENZ project
as well as some Phil Judd old stuff.
Off to see STNG "First Contact" with mark and Johnny...at Chadstone. The Borg
are looking great and the movie has a nice dark "edge" to it. Happily SciFi"d
out. Picard has been working out......the only part I didn't like was Data's
new "skin" attachment which made him look like the Phantom of the Opera.
We send out all the renewal kits. Guess we'll start on a new newsletter
very soon.....Xmas is just around the corner. We got our first batches of
Xmas cards this week.....hope some new calvins arrive (grin).
See you all- Love PG
PS-yes some new photos have gone up on the site-found 2 early PG snaps for
those strange people that keep asking for them....sorry no to the nude shots
or me as Edie Segdewick.
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