March 2ndWe fall down on the couches exhausted, eventually 3 weeks of Bushfire madness and what seems endless evacuation packing takes it's toll. You just don't want to move, the house could be on fire and we'd probably both go 'Give me 5 more minutes of sitting'!
Nicole from Akrons surprise parcel of CHOCOLATE was a case of perfect timing, every so often it's all we crave, and it made it through the fire lines-nice and solid not melted. God bless you girl.
Our decking looks like we are going to war- we have all the gear out- ready to go into battle tomorrow.
Today we drive to the Crombies, Noel is ready to sign more Mental Notes, only 1622 to go before it hits Gold status in Australia. Really 34 years is nothing, 34 years a shitload of effort from fans, us and juts the belief that Mental Notes that wonderful Enz debut deserves to hit gold status....and it will, mark my words.
We are sitting with the Crombs and their mobiles go off- a fire alert from the Victorian Police, seems like all Victorian mobile phones received this. A good idea, my mobile is only ever on during tour mode so I'll probably get my alert on the next Crowded House tour! Talk to Noel about stage costumes for the MCG gig-will they or wont they... they really should, the Enz without costumes- how odd that would be. They will!
We quickly get home, these days it's hard t leave the house till fire season is over. No real sleep again, too nervy and a bit fearful, tomorrow is meant to be high winds and possible maximum fire threat- oh joy. At 3.00 in the morning I call Dr Chiro and cancel out my visit for tomorrow. That's it then we are staying put.
March 3rdWe watch the car loads of locals leave. Nearly all our neighbours have gone, I go to one house to feed their cat. No one about, the usual noises of the local kids doesn't exist. I house down peoples roof tops and decking.
We next get an emergency wind email (burp!). There could be 150 km winds... which is extra food for fires. I run into one of our neighbours, old Barry and he has been through fires before so we talk tactics and what we plan to do.
I turn on all our fire sprinklers, might as well get Ailsa Craig very wet now in case water pressure goes. Plug in the old style (non power using) phones, box more items in the office, turn the battery run radio to 774 ABC AM for fire reports in case the Net goes down..... fire blankets near windows and all water sources filled. Animals at the ready- and we now play the waiting game.
The first round of wind hits and the huge tree with the split in it makes loud cracking noises like a bull whip. Branches fall, the chicken look up like the sky is falling. The second round of strong winds arrive, the fire fighters are holding all the major fires back at the containment lines. A loud crash and half the giant tree comes down, so the two sections are no longer a peace sign but a single up yours finger! The tree is massive and it falls doing little damage, the garage is fine, the gardeners cottage fine, the chook pen fine.... it blocks our gate a bit. I go out and 2 people walk past, we spot a massive branch on the power lines. Mark brings the long ladder, I climb it in rubber souled shoes and chainsaw at the ready.... eventually I chop it free from the lines , all safe. Some ash falls no embers. .... and suddenly it's all quiet. I hear sirens in the distance but nothing.
The winds are on and off all day, as are our fire sprinklers. I check out all the neighbours houses and water down their decking again , feed animals and pull away fallen branches. By 9.00 at night the winds stop-Mark and myself go outside onto the main decking and I feel something on my face- it's moisture- am I crying? Is this the relief that we got through another day- no it's something else...rain! Goddam gorgeous rain and it buckets down. We get soaked, it feels amazing, our 3000 litre water tank fills up in an hour. The smell of rain has been missing from our lives for 3 months. I am so happy I really could cry. It rains off and on all night and reports come in that 90% of the fires have been given a serious watering and most are out, just a few remain- reprieve for the firemen and people of Victoria. I climb into bed and have a real sleep no fear of being burn't in our beds.I keep humming Midnight Oils 'Beds are burning'; which is a bit off putting.
March 4thIt's cold, and grey and that's how I want it. With many fires over I peruse the newspapers.
Coldplays Chris Martin is hoping to catch up with his mate Shane Warne-yes the cricket bogan. Really that line alone says it all about Chris Martin- what a knob. His next comment is even better, he really wants to get John Farnham up to sing with him at the Sydney Sound Relief gig. Oh god I am SO SO SO happy Coldplay are playing the Sydney show- both Coldplay and John Farnham- can someone re name Sydneys show SUPER-BLAND! Urgh. Well I guess all the MOR bores can buy tickets at least, as long as the loot goes to the 2 charities for Sydney, hey I don't have to hear it so all good. Points for even doing the show I say.
Australia will surely fall into recession, it's nearly impossible with the rest of the world doing so. Victoria though posted the strongest growth of any state during the December quarter, growing by a mere 1.2% but growth indeed.
Oh still chuckling over Warrick Capper, he's such a tool. He's so dumb , for his recent attempt to be a politician, the dumb arse forgot to put his paperwork in on time. So he can't run, he really put the 'more' in Moron. It's not like anyone with even part of as brain would vote for him. What a waste of time. Just an list of never ending stunts for stupid people to write a dull article on him- do something useful in your life you twat!
I start walking to the Verandah for an afternoon coffee and call into our neighbours for a chat. By the time I leave it is raining again, I get wet, I love it, I head home.
There is an email from the NZ office with details of my AAA pass for Womad this weekend- looking forward to seeing LEN play (Liam, Elroy and Neil). It's only a matter of time before the Finns record an album together.
I hear from our old mate Deb in Broome and she is involved in trying to stop all the heavy industrial development in the region. The Kimberly's are an amazing part of Australia. If you have a fewspare seconds, check out this link, it's also a beautiful place to visit if you are coming to Australia or simply planning an Aussie holiday:
March 5thHappy Birthday to my Mum!!!
I decide to surprise her so make a last minute booking on a flight to Sydney. First flight up, last flight back to Melbourne. As I walk around Ailsa Craig in the dark I start asking myself am I totally nuts for doing this. Banshee slept in Marks room last night ....I've had just on 2 hours sleep and I feel like a cross between worst jet lag and death warmed up. I sneak out the back door so not to wake everyone. It's pitch black, no moon. I am the only car on the mountain, and almost the only car on Canterbury Road. The only other person I see is an old man delivering newspapers to the petrol station. How can anyone be that cheery this time of the morning?
It only takes me an hour to get to the airport, I'm impressed, all green lights. Breakfast at Qantas Freaky Flyer, and there are a lot of people in here, even going home I look like rock n roll dude in a sea of suits. Love it. My gold card lets me into the business area, and the second level suits are mostly outside and they stare as I brazenly walk in. Who was that masked man?
Flight is fine, I don't remember it, what is it, my 600th or 6th millionth flight, I've lost track again. Hire car is very funky, thanks Hertz, all silver and sleek and only 50kms on her- meow tiger....sex on wheels.
I arrive at Wollongong, awed by the sparkly glass and metal new structure on top of the pass...some Welcome to Wollongong, murder capital of australia type building. (How many bodies are buried under it's foundations?). I drive to Bunnings Warrawong (yes Warrawong at Wollongong)..I think Warrawong is an aboriginal term for 'side of a hill' ..I could be wrong...it could mean Side of Arse..seems to suit. Buy mum plants and flowers for her garden, call into JB to try and buy the official release of Morrisseys new album and they have none-they are hopeless. Oddly enough Crowded House is playing on their big screens. I even buy a burger next door-weird junk food hunger has set in.
Call Mum and pretend I'm at breakfast at Kalorama and sing happy birthday, just to through her off track . I drive around the lake, which kind of smells from rotting sea weed. It smells like old lady fart! Urgh.
I get home and Mums out, I leave the plants by the door and reverse back 8 houses. I'm hiding in the car, and about 1/2 a mile down the road I spot her and her little dog scruffy. She's carrying some heavy bags..I guilt and drive down to pick her up. She's between the main road and her street, a grassy walk way with a house next to it. I sneak into the peoples drive way and walk along the fence out of her view singing 'happy birthday' . She starts looking about...but tries to ignore my singing- still no idea it's her favourite son. In the end I pop my head around the corner 'surprise!!!!!!!!!'
She tells me she heard the singing but thought someone inside the house must have the same birthday as her..... such a Mum comment.
She's stoked I'm here also a bit rattled by the surprise.... and we head home. We chat and decide to zoom off and see my sister. While we are both in practical joke mode, we phone up the main dry cleaners that my Sis co owns and pretend we want a quote on 18 soiled wedding dresses... my Sis falls for it....in the end we both laugh- and she works out she's been had! Drive Mum to Sis's and we have some coffee and snacks....they are flat out so a short break but it's nice- Mum and both kids.
My mother is even more stubborn then I am... she refuses for us to take her out for her birthday and decides to cool a huge roast dinner. OK it's brilliant, it's really REALLY good as only a Mum can make. God it's good, I'm licking my lips even writing this. Sis and her hubby turn up and I bait them for watching horrible tv shows..... we eat the roast, did I say it's fantastic- for now on Mum has to cook every birthday.
Sadly my time is limited so I have to depart again, back to the airport at Sydney for the last flight out. I seem to be making good time and even have a some spare minutes for a shower at the freaky flyer lounge. Hog one of their computers and answer some mail. Soon I'm in the air, yawning and reading the last chapter of the Mark Seymour book. Melbourne airport is dead, empty as the last remnants of QF497 stumble down the walk way. Valet has my car and it's washed again- thanks guys- recycled water I hope. I get in about 1.30 in the morning, a long day.
March 6thI start to obsess over Marilyn Mansons version of I GOT YOu on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2gQGDYJF0Q [ed note: YouTube took the video down] I just sent it to the boss..... how funny, such an odd song for him to play, but I kind of really really like it!
The latest news poll for Victoria has Premier Brumby way ahead of the Libs Ted B. I asked a friend who would replace Ted by the time the next election is on, he really is disliked but I'm not sure if there is anyone who could even fill the seat, they are kind of lost in the political wilderness- and the few Liberals who actually get media coverage come across as moronic. I mean a 60-40 lead is a pretty solid , especially in such scary world crisis days that are upon us. The Libs would lose a further ten seats, if an election was called this month, so they'd be down to 6 seats in Victoria in parliament, any less and the Nationals would have more!!!! Hell the "Banshee I am a Cute Cat" Party would have more.
I had a chuckle over the article in the recent Time magazine, that being on Face Book is the new UN COOL! How funny.
Wow what did Victoria do wrong. First the Bushfires and now tonight an earthquake. It was a 4.7 on the richter scale, the epicentre around Leongatha, towards the Seymour Brothers holiday house. Banshee ran into the lounge room about 5 seconds before and actually hurled herself into my arms- her eyes on stalks. Mark was on the loo, for some reason I found that very funny. I was casual, a 4.7, been through many far worse....I still hopped in the door way with the furry one in my arms. I opened the back door and all the dogs on the mountain were howling. At one stage I wondered if the side of Mount Dandenong had slipped away, as this was more of a moving shock wave earthquake instead of the standard rattling. It was the strongest quake since 2001.
March 7thMardi Gra in Sydney tonight, the gals are on a float!
Foxtel are total pains and mess up the main-event pay per view for us, in the end we told them to stick it... how hard can it be- you'd think if they were wanting to make money they'd have their shit together around things like this. Guess we'll just wait for it to be on DVD and give our money to that. Lame Foxtel lame.
Poor ol' Queensland, flooded one day, cyclone Hamish the next-we only get earthquakes and fires in Victoria.
RockWiz at the Myer Music Bowl on SBS tonight- and it was a very enjoyable show. Good to see our mate Laura on the panel...and Raymond J and the gang..Duges in his blue singlet (I'm sure he has a road case full of them). I always like watching Peter Luscome on drums, he's one of my favourite drummers. He's played with Paul Kelly and The Black Sorrows- excellent musician.
I hear from Iarla and by the time you get this my Skyhooks gig listing, complete with tour posters will be up. Thanks Iarla I'm sure it's been a pain in the bum to put all this together, so great to see a bands history in gig form, all those supports who went onto become famous (Split Enz, Cold Chisel etc). You will be able to find it on the Skyhooks website, located at: http://www.aswas.com/skyhooks OR www.skyhooks-music.com Would love to do the same thing for the Enz, so what do you think- check it out.
I love some of the stuff on the Blue Baldur website, especially Shiroi Neko's cool tattoo design shirts.... was a bit tempted by the star struck scarf (black stars on green). I buy Mark a shirt for a surprise, no surprise if he reads this I guess-oh well.
March 8thUp bright and early again and heading to the airport (again!!!). Actually my flight is almost sensible, the 9.10. to Adelaide.
I call Wendy from Queensland and catch up for a chat and coffee, poor girl chatted her ears off- how will she hear todays gig at Womad?
Off to the Hotel, and the Finns are out, probably walking around the streets of Adelaide. So I sit in the foyer and do some work, on this nice little antique table. I watch the world artists walking past, in and out and they are dressed so well. In particular a japanese girl who is just stunning and very funky- she smiles at me -I grin back all cool-such a passing parade.
My moment is ruined when a fire engine goes by, the sound of sirens sends shivers up my spine. I think I'm carrying around some mental baggage from those bush fires and especially sirens.
Finn clan wander in, Elroy spots me before I see him, my radar is off. They head upstairs and grab our passes and we gather in the foyer to get the shuttle bush to the gig. The driver is playing LOUD Black Sabbath, not really lunch time music- the bus of muscians ask him to turn it down- funny.
Womad is at Botanic Park again, lovely spot, giant ghost gums everywhere and sail stages. A hive of activity. The bus arrives and we are set upon, so many people wanting to help. In the end we all sit in the food marquee and just have a drink and some chips. Take a photo of Liam, Elroy and Neil together- Neil standing in a hold between the tree roots, both kids on the tree root so Neil does look short!!!!!!!!! The 2 boys tall.
I have a very general guest pass as I'm not here to work, just want to see the show. But the pass is a limited one (I know my passes) but I have something much better then a AAA pass- Sharon Finn. Right lets go..up on stage we head, I talk to the stage manager and no problem, they dont even look at my pass- so I sit next to Sharon and love the show. I film most of it, take a few snaps. What a gig... they put in 100%. They even cover The Chills-"Pink Frost" with Liam on vocal NF on bass, El on drums. I wish the show went longer, they actually added When You Come at the very last second.
I quickly say my goodbyes and bolt for the taxi to get me to the airport. I'm walking through the field of people, it's funny such a wild combination of hippies and families, the odd nude person up the back, a few E heads making out and they wave at me 'hey man we loveeeee you'! Me too buddy. A few Finn fans come up and chat which was nice. They always seem to appear out of the blue- all good people.
The taxi is waiting and speeds me to the airport in record time, I actually have time to spare- so I have a shower and wash my hair at the frequent flyer (my second home). It's such a good investment- they even lay on some dinner.
I'm home by midnight and still vibey so not a great sleep despite some exhaustion.
March 9thI almost forget it's a public holiday -Labour Day in Australia, Taranaki Anniversary Day in NZ I think.
Sleep in, which is nice, my bed is so comfortable.
I take Marky to the Verandah and it's packed but the service is ok, I think Joy sneaked us ahead of the other hundred people. I just chill out all day, answer a few emails.
I do hear from Spocky and Boom Crash Opera are headlining A DAY OF HEALING at Alistair Knox Park, Eltham. It's on April 5th (Sunday) and it's free. Quite a few bands, and BCO on top of the bill. Food stalls and rides and a chance to donate to the CFA. 10am-7.30 pm- so come on down and have some fun, support the CFA and enjoy Boom Crash Opera and there very cool songs. Tell your friends.
March 10thNeil , Sharon and family are in town, think they are off to see Nick and family today down at Kilcunda. The weathers nice so a good day for a drive.
I have our ticket numbers in and so far 78,000 tickets have sold for the Melbourne SOUND RELIEF gig , making it the largest paid concert event held in Australia. Good on Michael Gudinski and gang for doing this.
I email Neil the link for Marilyn Manson performing I GOT YOU, promised I'd send it.
March 11thJack Ross, the oldest man in Australia turned 110 today- he lives in Bendigo Victoria. Imagine 110, sometimes I feel 110!
The Victorian state government announce plans for a 2nd 330 gigawatt solar energy plant, which could power 50,000 homes-I'm stoked as the buy back tariff has been put up so more bucks for us for every kilowat we sell, solar is such a great investment, now if the set up was just a bit cheaper. I hope this is a reality.
I key in all the addresses I need this week, into the navman, the rehearsal studio etc etc, I'm ready to rock.
I see the Queensland election is coming up- hear the NLP doing some speech and they seem rather scary, almost nutters- I know nothing about the NLPs policys but the main guy comes across as really creepy to me. I also know nothing about Labor Qlds policys'. I have met Anna Bligh once. Awhile back we shared a table at the airport- and she seems really decent. I'd probably do the usual and vote for her or the Greens (If I lived in QLD). But yeah go Anna Bligh I guess. I hear she is slightly behind in the Polls- so she also has under dog status....... the NLP just seems a bit 1950s homophobic to me...and a return to the 1950's Joh years-gee do QLD really want that?
March 12thEnz Rehearsal
Tim and Eddie fly in today- all the Enz are now in town. Just typing that feels good.
I head off and pick Nigel up first, carry his two bass to the car and we are off on time. Nigel isn't a morning person, I just leave him alone today... I understand. Noel is next, Buster the dog goes crazy when I walk in, even a few plays on the piano won't settle him down. I'm envious that Noel's tomato bushes have more fruit on them, then mine ...but they are in a sunnier spot. I think mine will be late bloomers- the Crombies are good gardeners. I call David and let him know that I have snagged both Enz boys and about to leave, they are all leaving the hotel soon too-and will probably beat us to the rehearsal room. Noel gives me all the short cuts so we are on our way. We arrive at the rehearsal studio 7 1/2 minutes before the Finns, Eddie and David- I am a fine driver., Noel is a good navigator. Same studio as before so greeted with open arms. Neil, Nick, Elroy, Liam have been in earlier on this morning to work out the Crowdies songs.
Carry in Noels gear, all those Crombie boxes and bells and whistles and drum bits. I set my camera up and film some of it. We need ear plugs for Tim so I'm off out the door to a local chemist and buy all they have. The camera is on so I don't control it.... back in time for Dirty Creature. I'm timing songs to see what our set is like, Nigel worked out a rough, we are very close to being exact....
Michael Barker is on drums for some songs, he's a good bloke- always has been- thanks me for some photos I mailed- he has a gig tonight. I spend the afternoon filming, having coffee and just loving this. Rehearsal is my favourite part as I know eventually they will jam, usually when the camera is packed up (Grrrrr).
I sit outside with Eddie, which is hysterical as Eddie has such a wonderful perverse sense of humour ....he signs the latest batch of Mental Notes... Tim come sout next and starts signing- Noel smiles as he has already done them.
Neil sits and goes 'fantastic I'm not on Mental Notes, no signing for me'. I say cmon, I haven't asked you to sign very much over the past year- and it's true... just some CH 8x10- not that fang ever complains, he's always been very generous. They ask how Phil is , genuine and I'm limited with my reply- really all parties should just talk. It always feels a strange position to be in. Somehow we end up talking about bands at the Bondi Lifesaver- Neil says he never played it. I correct him and tell him he has- he says no way. I tell him I'll email him the date tonight.... 15th Dec 1979. I find my old diary and it reads '3 encores, the Enz were brilliant, best Enz gig ever.' Also a line about Mark and myself kissing two girls at the hotel! What studs we were.
Back to rehearsal, and off they go, another jam... I help Marcus and Stef pack away a full size piano-a first for me... piano road cases are weird. Sit and watch a few more songs. A quick chat with David about car passes and some media related stuff. All for tomorrow at the MCG. david keeps me updated on so much, now that's a great working relationship.
We go for a walk and move our cars, parking at the rehearsal studio is never easy but somehow we both always find a spot. I like David, he's one of my favourite managers, his biggest fault is that he loves Split Enz too much, especially the Mental Notes lineup. We are also plotting how to get MN lineup to play.
The other day I jokingly said we should make a list of 7 names of the Enz members you would kill first...1-7. It's one of those strange things I encourage- not that we dislike anyone that much. It always fascinates me when people write stuff down...and how lists change. David finds it funny and we talk our kill list- it is hard- and really just fun. We are blessed most of the time as their demands are so far and few. Our lists remain uncompleted.
Back in the studio and it's almost time. Noel is coming with me and I'll drop him off home. The other Enz all squash in the car. Nigel tells me this was an "enz moment' where they all got to chat during a drive like old times. It's probably the thing Nigel will remember with fondness the most-this week.
Drop Cromb off and head home. I buy take away (bad Gryph) as too wired and tired to cook, and Mark has already had dinner.
March 13thEnz Soundcheck- MCG
I am awake early today, no real sleep, rare I get pre concert nerves but my brain was ticking over with things to do. I am really hoping we can get the Enz onto the front of The Age newspaper. Seems Hunters & Oils are hogging the media , just a bit (cough). I can't have that.
Zoom with Mark to the supermarket- if I don't do this now we will not be able to do the grocery shopping for days-eventually we will run out of food! It was always funny living at Prahran as you could walk to the markets or a safeway. Up here you need to do some planning. It's not too bad as you don't get tempted to buy stuff every day. We could always eat Belinda and Joan (joking).
I drop my better half off at the office and I drive to Noels via the Mountain Highway. It saves a bit of time and is a much nicer drive. hardly any cars, lovely Australian bush scenery and for some reason there seem to be a lot of lesbians everywhere. Not a gaggle of Lesbians, just little bunches of 2's and 3's. I have no idea why- did we miss the Lesbian Convention at Kalorama flyer? Look at them skipping through the bush, ok Lesbians don't actually skip... but whatever they were up to they had a spring in their Reeboks. I waved 'Hi Girls"... blew a kiss tooted and winked- see the endless supporter of lesbian gay rights.
I call into the bank and make our big deposit to the Bushfire fund from all of us and the fans. The lady says the donations have slowed down a bit but ours will be the biggest today- she says we are so kind- I tell her it's from many people around the world- who have donated what they can. It's just a great thing to do... feels fantastic supporting this. Thanks everyone.
Arrive Noels early and sit with Sal and chat. She's sewing, and being creative. (as always) Noel grabs his bags and directs me to the freeway for a fast drive into gate A at the MCG. It's excellent having this VIP car pass and I find the best car spot. Actually it was the reserved spot for some cricket honcho- I don't give a flying finn about cricket so happy to steal someones spot. I'm sure the cricket has been moved so no one will use it. Besides Noel is God and he said it was all ok. Thanks Noel- blessed be.....
We walk across the not so sacred turf, I think I actually kicked a huge tuff out of it (sorry sports fans-opps). I should of pocketed it and sold it on Ebay or encouraged it to grow massively and replant my front lawn. OK I did, I admit it I stole some MCG grass (man) and its now growing outside the office window. It looks the same as poor person Kalorama grass.
Walk up on stage, security give me the eye, I stare them down, with my 'sorry with the band I AM the band' total eye lie stare and it always works. 'Oh I didn't recognize you with your new hair cut'. It's my new look I say... who does Mr Security think I am.... how far can I push this- ok I behave but it's oh so tempting.I'll be signing autographs for him next. Fun.
Marcus is here, what a sweetheart the soft spoken quiet member of the crew, see Benny and finally give him his birthday present, well I just stick the thing in his bag, he is in work mode, hence no hugging, warm greeting or anything un-crew-masculine- meanwhile Dugald greets me with a huge pash and serious grabbing of buttocks. (I think I made that up too). Here are the crew, no John Walsh, what a gig to miss. Dave is on lights- I ask him about our Enz backdrop which is here but not flying yet. Set up our video gear and film some bits. Daves happy he has his strobes.
The other Enz arrive, all smiles. We all stare out at the ground- god the MCG is big! The guys ask me about ticket sales, just on 80,000 I tell them but some more media and it will climb over that mark.
Enz get straight into soundcheck, my main job today is to do the timing. Each song, how long the running total.... we have an exact time onstage, and the band do want to add the extra song....so heads will fly, as will pigs and they will just end up doing it- But it will be good to know.
I'm filming but the sound is so booming the camera shakes, so move it, twice. In the end down to the ground itself onto the walk way. People come up and say hi like we are old buddies, I pretend I know them, I probably do, maybe I don't? I film a grounds cleaner doing his stuff while Poor Boy is being performed behind him. It's funny as the Enz started he moved right down to the front of the stage to clean- good on him, the old fake grounds cleaner outfit- Mark and myself used that one years ago at Bowie!
The band sound great, really good, Nigel's even smiling. between rehearsal and soundcheck both being so good I joke it's all down hill now...
Miss Sar comes up to me and mentions todays media request, the main one is to get Joe Armao from The Age to corner the guys for a shot. I know Davids mentioned it, I'm onto it.... and after they finish he ushers some to the side, I grab Ed and Neil and mention the photo. AAA passes off and glasses too. Michael asks me to take some snaps for him and Sars up there with a light meter.... it's the worlds quickest shoot- 1 minute. I snap a few, one being on top of this diary page. They look good-it all Enz happily!
Grab Cromb and Nigel and take them home, and the vibe is good- Noel hands over some musical creations he has been working on, Noel Music! Call up a friend when I'm home, may well get my wish with The Age.
March 14thSound Relief Concert MCG
There is time for some breakfast and even to watch the start of the show on cable, no point going in too early as our band rooms won't be ready.
I'm at The Verandah and a little old lady holds up The Age and is reading it. Wow..I almost spit my coffee, a very large photo of the Enz takes up 1/3 maybe more of the FRONT of The Age newspaper. Yieks- it's so large it's scary. Nice shot all look good. I am way too excited. Joy gives me the front page for the archives. I'm sitting in the Verandah View wearing patent bondage leathers, a CFA Kalorama tshirt and my lucky red satin bowling shirt over the top! Rock Dog me! proud as punch having my boys on the front of the Melbourne Age!
Jet started the show, I have to say in 2009 Mark Wilson has sure became the cutest bass player (and yeah he plays well too) amazing what a good haircut can do. Yes girls and boys he is eye candy for those who want a good perve whilst enjoying the music. They played a pretty odd selection of songs or maybe I should say a brave selection- not the obvious hits. Of course foxtel got the titles wrong on most of the songs- so obvious a music fan wasn't typing them up on the screen- hopeless and a bit embarrassing!
Kings of Leon were good they didn't play the big hit single in Melbourne but the crowd were appreciative they were here. Didn't see Gabrielle what's her face , was packing the car. Molly opened the show and his speech instantly out it all 5 minutes late... oh well they can make that up. Saw the cross over to John Farnham with Coldplay- christ Farnhams became a fat bastard with no hair....boring-next.
Down the mountain I go, and the rain starts, it's bucketing down. It's going to be a wet one, those Finns better play 'weather with you' to bring out the sun. I'm playing Nick Cave Best Of on the drive today- wish Cave would of played the show-they could of dug out the old Kylie and Cave duet for those who missed it.
Parking is great when I finally find the street... right by the door, Nigel will be happy when he wants to do his runner back home for his beloved soccer.
Run into PR person after PR person... I hear Paul Kelly in the background sounding brilliant... "I'm high on the hill, looking over the bridge to the MCG" he sings with a heavenly wet choir of punters (and myself included) I love PK, a true gentleman, people who don't get Paul Kellys iconic songs should be drowned. (and today those who do get his songs are being drowned, christ it's flooding down..is this the Tsunami benefit part Two?..it may well be).
The lovely Eve from Rockwiz id my contact today for anything we want..she's just great, one of the best people I have worked with backstage. She shows me our rooms (I know them already but pretend I don't so she can move through her jobs list). Run into Liam and gang who are near us, Kylie's next door, such a huge open space. My main requests for today are towels and plastic rain coats.
The Finns arrive, Nick, Nic and Lola..Lola gives me her killer smile and it just sucks me in... Pinky is here which is great and fun- my partner in crime. One of our old ex lighting guys was so damn rude, was glad when the band wanted him to go, what a dick. I use to think he was an ok guy now I have totally other thoughts. To be honest he was the only annoying thing in an amazing day when I think back. What a moody tosser.
Kylie was there and she has aged a bit, she has this Amelia Earhart look about her with what she was wearing-well she did just jet in I suppose.
Those crosses over to Sydney- some are painful- Coldplay (which some CH fans are now calling Coldsore!!) Fatty Farnham and Shane Warne- if ever the earth should open up and gobble up 3 people- now would be a good time-sadly it didn't happen-no wonder ticket sales for Sydney were 50% less- with these 3 I'd be begging for a refund.
Tim takes the kids out for the minutes silence and just stands with the public- good to show your children to respect things like this etc. I've been great all day and suddenly the screens are filled with photos- lovely valleys and burnt valleys and houses. I'm still ok just sad, and suddenly a shot around the corner from us at Kalorama and huge tears well in my eyes, not just for those who are no longer here but for what could of happened. It said it all. I didn't want to have tears around the kids so I headed in and Pinky came and we both had tears...she lives in bushfire area too, as does Nigel and we three kind of gathered... what an old softy I am. Sharon looked at me concerned and I just laughed and she knew I was ok..just a bit scarred still-hell I'm alive and Ailsa Craig is lush and beautiful- very lucky. battle scarred we all are.
We pile in the van to go and see Liam and friends play. No room so David squashes onto my lap and of course the stirring starts and it all becomes the usual silliness- and fun... Nicks in the back and the Finns. All good.
The van drives under the MCG through the tunnels and we re surface near the holding pen. Up we go, Liam onto the stage with EJ... and the kid played his heart out and have to say the audience,especially the younger ones LOVED Liam... was so good to see. OK we all cheered from side stage WAY TOO LOUD (especially a particular dad!) but it was a show of support...and out they come Nick, Neil and eventually Tim on "weather'. A giant sun beam tears through the rain clouds during weather..a magical moment.
I watch the crowd with an eagle eye, a girl in the front row just bursts into tears the first chord of DONT DREAM and she sings along crying. Amazing, such a response. The MCG erupts and sings back at a huge volume. Neil dedicates Better be home soon to the fire fighters (I told the Kalorama CFA this and they loved it).... it's not Crowded House today (No Matt or Mark) but it's close..... An incredible reaction- we're all smiles.
Off we go back in the van, the vibe is electric we could power half of Melbourne from the energy in this car.
I head out front with Marie Finn and we watch Jack Johnson and have a dance, he has that Matthew Fox from LOST look about him- actually better looking. Girls like his music, girls like him... from the eavesdropping I did, the words 'he's a honey' was used a lot *GRIN*.
I encourage everyone to go eat, so grab a big table in the food area.
Suddenly the heavens open up again and it buckets down..really big rain. Wolf Mother hit the stage and I decide I want to dance.... so out I go in my tour jacket down the front climb over the security barricade with the young en's and pogo from my punk days- I still love Wolfmother- they sounded great- stayed for a few songs, thumbs up and left. Later Andrew, thats his name isnt it, the Wolfys lead singer, tells me he saw me climb over and go for it- I had the Wolfy seal of approval. The only problem is I can't seem to stop singing their song WOMAN in that high Led Zep type voice...Wommmmmmmannnnnnn oh well rock hard dudes. Meanwhile Neil Finns getting changed singing Hunters "You dont make me feel like a woman anymore' I'm killing myself laughing in the room- I love my boss- chuckle chuckle.
I come back in very wet after the Wolfmother experience, my patent leathers soaked, I tell the whole Crowdies Enz and families they are pussys for not coming with me ! *GRIN*. I know when Loal is older she will pogo with uncle Peter.
I'm sure my leathers are shrinking from the rain.....glad I have my other camo's here...costume change coming up.
Catch some of Hunters, Mark has been dropping in all day. Loved his stage talk his little speech, the best one of the day, but felt something was missing with the band, maybe just lack of rehearsal but good on them for doing the show, 'Throw your arms' is always a gem....Melbourne loves those guys.
The Enz are getting changed, I add some extra hair product into the room, and they are ready in the NZ cozzies....into the van we go... it's time chaps.
We are close to on time. In the holding pen again, I grab everyone into a group, the band, family and kids for a few shots, I climb up the back.... while the food girl snapped away..I look more like a christ figure on the wall in a red bowling shirt! Just good to have a photo, who knows if we will ever be together again.
Up the ramp, have my stage torch out just because it feels right, the backdrop is displayed the crowd cheers.... strobes go off and straight into Shark Attack... I see a guy dive from a small human pyramid... the crowd is going for it. A run of hits really and powerful- sounds good very good. Red Symons from Skyhooks is near me, he was MCINg, and the final song is I See Red. The crowd are bellowing the chorus I SEE RED I SEE RED I SEE RED...I laugh look at Red- go on I say do it. He walks out across stage, indeed THEY SEE RED! Red Symons, he gives Tim a small push- all fun. Neil admits to me later for a second he thought it was Phil Judd!
The crowd are left wanting more, the Enz shone.
Davids grabbing Nigels bass guitars I run them into the van and back to the room... they are laughing very happy.....what a vibe.
The Oils are next and they are such a good live band, it's great to see them back on the stage. I see a few songs, and grab Nigel and head off before the 80,000 people leave. It's been a long amazing day....I love my job (say that ten times and louder) I LOVE MY JOB! I'm sure the Liberal Party hates garrett getting so much attention, sad that some people are blinded by political hatred to attend a show like this to help fellow aussies- big points to you Midnight Oil (and 'the other PG") for doing this.
In the car Nige is so thankful and I am feeling the good vibes from the guys- it's what I do I love it...just the best.
I drop him off and drive home via Monbulk, the valleys are full of fog and fallen trees so it's a crazy drive- I worry they'll find my dead body in a gully in 2 weeks, but finally safely home.
March 15thWell for two days in a row now music has dominated the front page of The Age. The Herald Sun were a bit predictable with both the mistakes (Hmm Tim Finn Liams dad!!!!) and the usual lame Kylie sucking saying she was the best thing at Sound Relief- sorry- NOT- Kylie has her moments but I have to say the musicians that actually played were the best thing and the crews and hoards of volunteers the heroes. But some good shots, and crazy crowd photos- all fun.
We also read that it looks like Channel Ten are going to drop their edited Dexter show. Watch it on cable and enjoy the whole real show, I had sanitized stuff- lame- Channel Ten are pretty much a dead station anyway these days.
I hear all the Vigin music stores are closing down in America, first Tower now Virgin, very sad times.
With the Qld election coming up (Go Anna Bligh) it was rather unusual timing for some semi erotic photos of Pauline Hanson when she was a teenager..the thing is I wonder if it's really her- bet it's just someone who looks a lot like her. She'll no doubt sue the papers and maybe score some good publicity just in time for the Qld election. ...if she sues they are not her I guess.
As many of you know I have always detested GUNNS ltd in Tasmania, from their plundering of old growth forest to a lot of other horrid things they have done- especially when they tried to sue the Wilderness Society. Well Gunns lost the court case and have to pay $350,000 in legal costs to the Wilderness Society. This is wonderful- and I hope Gunns share price continues to drop. The Wilderness Society are amazing and are the voice for so many of us to protect Tasmania's forests. What an incredible week- the gig, and now this- one happy Gryphon! I hope their horrid future pulp mill falls in a heap too- the chickens are coming home to roost guys - Gunns SUCK!
Anyway that's it, a rather full few weeks this time.
Thanks to the many who have donated to our bushfire fund or gone to the shows or just sent emails of support. The MCG gig will be one of my highlights this year, in fact for all the guys, and hope you enjoyed it too. A dvd and cd will come out which will add even more dollars to the Bushfire Fund and give us some fine memories.
This is the power of music, it can do good things and maybe even make the world a better place..or simply a chance for some immature guy in patent leathers to pogo punkzoid style in front of a hair band with big speakers- whatever it all sounds good to me.
Party On! Long live music.