September 21stHow great to see Toni Collette pick up the Emmy for 'United States Of Tara' . Finally they give one to someone worthy! Saying all that I hear the 'Grey Gardens' tv movie also won one so maybe the judges do occasionally get the voting right! It's funny that we were just talking about 'Grey Gardens' in last weeks diary entry.
I send the boss my chart store lists, pretty much everywhere in Victoria has sold out of the 2 cd set for THE SUN CAME OUT. I just wish the sorters strike would end on parcels, it seems to be improving but everything is taking weeks to arrive - I could of walked parcels to the States at this speed.
I keep seeing reports about Yemen and how it is the new home for al- Qaeda. It is the perfect breeding grown, most of the country is out of government control...I don't think the Queen of Sheba would of liked what it has become. It has a population only slightly larger then Australia but some insane amount of people (like 90% of men!!) are addicted to khat.... it's a local shrub , when you chew the leaves you get a similar hit to that of amphetamines (It's pronounced COT not Cat!)..I've seen it being sold as Tohai elsewhere, but it's the same thing. The young leaves of a local shrub (pretty flowers!) are consumed, some people keep it rolled up in their gums and as it breaks down it gives a high, a bit similar to cocaine. I've had it in tea once, but really weak to help with travel fatigue. Khat was around before coffee so it's very old.....but the long term side effects like depression and delusional behavior (as well as kidney damage etc) are not good when so many are addicted to it. Sounds like the odd musician that I know *GRIN*..the delusional depression stuff!!!Oddly enough the al-Qaeda clans don't touch it- in Afghanistan al-Qaeda use to be against Poppy growing and heroin..but that soon changed when it knew it could make loads of money and get Americans addicted to it. What a nice bunch of people- and lets not even go near their evil distain of women. So where was I, oh yeah Yemen.... what it start popping up in the news more and more...you wait and see.
September 22ndWe do the drive to Mt Evelyn, good to see Sheridan again, and she spoils us with some super sandwich.
I arrive home and go through our NZ charts, the 7 Worlds II cd has dropped to #16 this week, I guess it will eventually hit gold status in NZ, maybe, that's a mere 7500 albums in NZ. It's 35,000 in Oz, so won't get remotely close here. I don't think Sony even care about this release, if they looked at their sale figures they'd know the 2 cd set has almost sold out and would do a re-pressing. It's sad though as Oxfam won't get much money at this rate.
I send in our cheque for the Luton and latest batch of Mental Notes cds. I guess we are aiming for the 35th anniversary for Mental Notes to achieve gold here in Australia. We have about 1500 units to go, so I'm slowly chiseling away at this. The special Luton 2 cd set is now down to around 250 copies remaining- fairly sure it wont be repressed. So those who have the 2 cd version have a great collectors item.
I chat to Mum for awhile tonight, she sounds like she is on speed, think it's some new medication. She sounds good though, which is a relief...maybe she's on Khat!
September 23rdEight million tonnes of dust settles on NSW. The sky is red. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House have some red dusty shroud. It reminds me of Midnight Oils 'Red Sails In The Sunset' album cover. It's blown in from the desert regions- so full on that it heads over the border and soon Brisbane has a dusty complexion as well. My friend Amanda sends me some photos of her on the beach as the sun rises, and it looks like she is on Mars!
Melbourne's population hit 4 million today, they expect Australia to reach the 22 million mark over the next week. International student numbers have also doubled. I'm stoked that we don't live in some over populated area where people are limited to 20 square metres. It's so nice to have space, clean air and water....well some water. Melbourne dams are still way too low. They expect major rain soon, once they get over 1/3 it won't seem as bad.
I'm working away on the Live Gig area for the Crowdies 'Ghost Cars' book... adding in other bits and pieces like recording dates, rehearsals and press and the odd release. It's amazingly time consuming but will be a nice piece for the fans- and I like books that have those gig history's.
I hear from Tania and she and Warrick are locked in to come up for a roast on Sunday. I cook a mean roast.
September 24thToday is pretty much working away on the 'Ghost Car's book, went through a pile of gig adverts, tidied up the Paul Hester Interview that will be part of it. I think it could of been the last Interview that Paul ever did, he sounds really happy, no signs of spiraling darkness, but that's sometimes the case isn't it? Still it is nice to hear him having a laugh.
My hardest area around Crowded House is getting the Woodface recording dates right. They jump so dramatically, from the Finns Bros (and Paul) at our Murchison Street flat, to Crowdies pre production at Platinum, then Los Angeles A&M studio, to the rejected Crowdies album, then off to Tim's Periscope studios at Caulfield, to Sunset Sound Factory and Ocean Way studios. It's exhausting, I'd hate to see what Woodface really cost, thank god for 'Weather with You' and the big sales in areas like England. I have to find some of my tapes, as a few songs like 'I can't face it' that never made it, I cant even remember, seems so long ago. I remember we were in Los Angeles when everyone was at the Woodrow Wilson house I think it was.... and it was packed, it only had a couple of bedrooms and with Tim in the band now the house was indeed crowded again. The band had turned a corner though and despite the odd moment we could finally see a finishing line for the Woodface album. It was an interesting period, however I still love the original Woodface album, the one Capitol rejected- it still gets a played a lot in our office. 'Fields are full of your kind' I've always loved.
September 25thrain, rain, rain. It really pisses down, excuse me..but it is. Several very solid days of endless rain.... and we get four times that of anywhere else in Melbourne. Mark moans, I smile- lets hope it fills our dams.
I hear another of the 12 apostles has collapsed, so only 7 remain. It's such a cool tourist area of Victoria, will be sad if they all keep crumbling and collapsing into the sea. I guess they are living works of art, always changing and eroding- I kind of like that. Made of limestone I guess they erode fairly easy. I don't think many people knew they were originally called the 'sow and piglets' -the big rock was the sow, the little ones the piglets. They became the 12 Apostles about 60 years ago. The drive down the great ocean road to see them is a nice day out but a long drive, so worth staying at Port Campbell. I'm not sure what year the first apostle crumbled and fell. We head down to Port Campbell every few years and Mark films them, of course it usually rains!!!!! So I am umbrella assistant man! By the time I croak it I think the final 7 would of fallen.
September 26thA second dust storm swept through Sydney this morning. Not as bad as the one a few days prior. It was over 200 kms wide though. Meanwhile the rain continues to form, and it's pelting in , strong wind blasts. For the first time a small drip appears above our stove in the fan area. This fries some lights and makes the fan freak out. I get an email from Miss K that night that her new place has a leak... we're all getting rain on!
I end up watching the Grand Final in Melbourne. It's the only time I bother with football. Of course it rains and hails so the ground is insanely wet. 99,251 people are at the MCG. IT's a good game, very close and poor old St Kilda lose . I had a chuckle as the Grand Final Cup is held by some football player and goes from the very top of the MCG to the podium. Great wire work, and the guy doesn't look terrified. He should be ...as he flies from the top of the stand, I notice very dark storm clouds behind him and oh yeah lightening. Hmm on wires, in a metal harness holding a metal cup........human lightening rod. !!! But he was lucky and it looked pretty impressive. I tuned in to watch Mark Seymour sing, and urgh there he was John Farnham. Do we really need this horrid boring old twat - he is so fat he looks like he could play Santa Claus's stunt double. He really won't just go away and age gracefully will he.... and so predictable having him sing at the MCG. Farnham just fuck off! isn't that simple enough? Urgh. boring...God I detest Farham's bland crap.
September 27thThere is a break in the rain so I chop some wood for the fire. It's 3 degrees outside. The kitchen is nice and warm as the roast is cooking. I have the fire going and Tania and Warrick turn up right on time. It's a nice lunch, good to chat and just chill out. The potatoes are from our Ailsa Craig garden- nice old style spuds. I try to keep them warm, it's snowing again in the mountains, and it feels like it.
I turn on the news and see the flooding in Manilla and the Philippines- it's horrid so many people missing. They expect it to get worse before it gets better. Mother nature seems to be fighting back.
I check the ARIA charts and Pearl Jam debut at #1 with their new album in Australia. Ed will be happy, Australia still loves PJ.
September 28thI'm awake early as I am off to the dentist. They are at Kilsyth and last time they were brilliant. I chipped a filling and it was just time, time for a clean etc. I read one of the Aussie art magazines while I was waiting and spotted some of EMPIRES work from Tasmania. I'll have to check the Die Laughing . Com website as they will have more info on EMPIRE I'm sure. Plus they have some other cool street art: http://www.dielaughing.com.au/main/ It also had a cool article on Franck Gohier- slight Warholian... made me forget I was at the dentist!
So I'm in the dental chair, they have a family of Quolls on the screen in front of me to side track me.... they know I am fearful. I let the drug work, and close my eyes, I do hate this even though Tracy and Keith the dentist are so gentle and caring.... I keep saying 'not long to go'. 'three quarters of the way through' in my head ..... at least I am at the dentist, so I am kind of good I guess. I decide to book in for a clean and check up in a few months if it's booked I'll go.
It takes a bit longer then I hoped but I'm stoked I have this dentist that is so good- and not brutal. Next time I'll be brave!!!!!
September 29thOff to Dr Chiro today and some acupuncture on my hands which is good. The people in the room next to me are so loud so I don't actually relax. So when my corrections are underway I'm not as chilled as I usually am. My neck doesn't 'pop' as it usually does. I'll have to find out who they are and avoid chiro when they have appointments. I like it to be peaceful when I'm porcupine boy.
I still haven't heard from Neil, he must be having time off or at the beach, he usually gets back to my emails... I'm sure he will, he works hard so any time off he deserves.
Our Tim ANTHOLOGY stock arrives on release day so we'll be mailing out some cds to those who ordered them. His album debuted at #15 on the NZ charts, which isn't too bad. Helathy.
September 30thI clear the mail early today, not much because of the sorting strike, I notice some mail from Canada has taken 4 weeks to arrive! Crazy. There is also a parcel from Mike D in the UK, some extra 7 Worlds II postcards which will be used and a Tim promo single for 'Horizon' which I haven't seen before.That was good of him to include it. It's sad that promo singles are so cheap these days- I guess it happens with singles slowly phasing out in all countries.
I drop Mark off at the office to work and I head to Noel's place. A quick visit with ol' Cromb, and he signs all the 'Mental Notes' covers, is this batch #4, I've lost count? He's happy to do so. I had an idea awhile back about the 'HOUSE OF CROMBIE' book, a hard cover book covering Noels costumes, album cover art, even areas like those freaky Schnell Fenster guitars, backdrops and non band related art projects, like their art displays for shops (he tells me of a recent mobile for two stores that Sal and him put together). I picture the book with Noel chatting (yes he can chat!) about the different areas and creations, even the haircuts. Musician and artists views on Noel , photos, original costume drawings etc. Anyway it's an idea, and really mostly if he has the vibe. I'd love the cover to be some cloth covered book with a branding type 'House Of Crombie' image in gold..very regal!!!! So who knows, maybe a long term project... maybe not at all. Noel smiles- not sure if he thinks I've gone loopy or likes the idea?
I next do the long drive to several chart stores for stock and store check. Two long drives and there are so many cars on the road. I end up at Southland and it is insane, I think it has about 5000 car parks and every spot is full, I call on the 'good parking spirit' to give me a spot-I drive around the corner and someone is pulling out- thank you pagan car park spirits..I owe you. Inside it's like Christmas, people in all the stores buying up goods, almost cheerful - well there is no chance of Australia falling into Recession if this is the pattern Australia wide!!! Maybe Victoria is the place to be after all!
I eventually escape and take the M3 most of the way home, it's like $3.50 in tolls, but so fast and saves me about $20 worth of petrol. I'm not sure why people even bother to take the long way around to avoid tolls that are this cheap, it ends up costing them more in fuel- so strange that anyone would bother.
October 1stWally Wilkinson gives us a call, and he's up for some signing of the latest batch of Mental Notes. In fact he's putting his money where his mouth is and buying ten for his friends. See even the band members, (well some of them) are pushing for this to go gold.
Our buddy Rosemaree is home from her first major holiday tomorrow, so I call and leave her a welcome home message. I hope others do the same, it's nice to come home to those. Her cat will be happy to see her.
At breakfast I am reading the paper, HIT magazine is with todays and I spot a small piece on Liam. He gives Sharon this really cute son- thumbs up......couldn't find it on line as I wanted to send it to her, so just emailed a blurb to her. It's so funny to think of the parents rocking out while the kids are away (makes me think of Cheap Tricks song 'Surrender'.. *GRIN*). Mummys alright Daddys alright they just seem a little weird.......
A new series 'Tangle' starts on Foxtel tonight. The creators of 'Love My Way' have done it again. Episodes 1 & 2 are good, just working out how they all interconnect ...really enjoyed it. It should do well.
I emailed both digests for some help with a few Crowded House Live Dates... and had a great response, so brilliant when people help like this. I'll be using the list in the 'Ghost Cars' book and a few other areas possibly. I think I'm up to around 850 shows for Crowded House so far. It's also defining what counts as a live shows. If it's just 2 or 3 songs it shouldn't be counted in the total. I'm sure there are still many more missing, well some, they'll just have to do a world tour of 150 shows!!!!!! to hit the magic 1000 mark.
October 2ndI pick some flowers for our friends Joy & Brian , it looks like there daughter will pass away this week- it's so wrong, parents shouldn't out live their kids. Anyway some roses and other flowers from our garden are just a small thought from us to brighten the day somehow- shitty really, what can you say to someone who's losing a child...it sucks.
I just remembered that Crowdies did open one of the Mental As Anything art shows and sang a few songs... did they do 10CC's 'Art for arts sake'... all a bit blurry and cant remember what Crowdies songs they played, will have to follow that one up for my gig list.
Having a few aches still, my fingers have improved slightly , just short emails still seems to help.
I hear from Rosemaree, nice to have her home, sounds like she had a good time, though loads of rain, and urgh throwing up on the plane coming home. I count my blessings that I've never been sick on a plane, not even close guess I've been lucky.
October 3rdMark and myself are working in the yard today, getting it ready for bush fire season. Just making the effort. We notice Belinda the chicken acting strange, she's standing alone and looking a bit chicken sad. At one stage I see her trip over, which worries me. We both look at each other thinking the same thing. She's the remaining one from the first batch of chooks... so she'll probably die next. Even going for her food in the evening she seems slow and doesn't have the vibe to eat.
I see our dams are now past 1/3 full (or 2/3 empty depending which way you live your life)! Hope they get more rain before Summer, be nice if they hit 40%, Victoria wouldn't be stressing over water if that happens. Rain glorious rain.
Our friend Reg Mombassa has a book about him coming out later this year called 'The Mind and Times Of Reg Mombassa'. It's via Harper Collins and Murray Walden penned it- should look as great as it reads... one of the old Christmas stocking. Reg is cool..he reminds me of Crombie.
October 4thThe NRL Grand Final is on today, Melbourne Storm V's Sydney's Parramatta (The Eels).... make no mistake it's a Melbourne V's Sydney grand final. So I'm going to watch it, plus Cameron Smith from The Storm is a nice bloke, think he has the post office box next to our old 333 at Prahran. C'mon The Storm. Plus if Melbourne win I can really stir the relatives at Christmas.
I let the chickens out and poor ol' Belinda the black hen ,she cant even balance today-= her time is up, so sad. I sit with her, give her water just to keep her going but she looks at me with those little eyes just wanting to go. I have a feeling she wont make it to the night, I check on her every hour, as does Mark. Banshee the cat comes up and says goodbye to her.
I watch the first half of the Grand Final and something in my head tells me to check on Belinda at half time. I go up and yep she's gone, poor little black chicken , she's moved on. Her body slightly warm so she just passed away, the other 2 chickens with her snuggled up on either side. They cluck some strange chicken language at me.
We bury her in our pet cemetery , her box filled with Ailsa Craig flowers, I know she's just a chicken but we love our girls, such personalities which I never expected when we first got them. She's next to the other two, so all three of the originals are buried side by side.
I head inside and the Grand Final is over, Melbourne Storm won, so that gives me a smile. Stoked for them, such a young team but they kick arse.
It's 1.30 in the morning and the security lights and system turn on, something large has set them all off. I worry that it's foxes and hoping they won't dig up Belinda's chicken body for a Fox feast. I don't have my night eyes on, for some reason my usual great night sight isn't with me at all and I walk straight into a set of drawers. Eventually I make it to the window and just catch 2 tails zooming by- 2 dogs or 2 foxes, it was a blur. I grab our torches ,wake Mark and out we go, to check on Belinda and to see why they are on our property. Mark heard them, they were scratching on the balcony's as they sniffed about- their claws sounding like a CHICKEN..., I think MG thought it was the ghost of Belinda coming back for a final lap of honour!!! Mark goes one direction I'm heading to one of the back gates, all the lights are now on, and Ailsa Craig is a beacon in the hills. I spot 2 Beagles, one who's collar is almost off in the middle of the road. Silly dogs, I call them, they come over tails wagging like mischievous teenagers. They want to play, I want to sleep. After awhile I let them head off, I grab the dog collar on the ground so I can give it back to the owners.... I last spot the twins bounding down the street, setting off other dogs barking as they have a night off. We walk past Belinda's grave and she's fine, safe beneath the earth. .... just 2 dogs having fun under the moon light.
So adrenalin pumping, we get very little sleep , and I think it's RIPE's coffee that got us through the next morning. My morning starts with an email from Neil, looks like I'll be filming some interviews in NZ later this month, so it will be good to catch up with the Finn clan.