October 5thIt's our post masters birthday today- Nelly, I think she is keeping it quiet so I sneak in a pile of flowers from Ailsa Craig and surprise her... they are the last of what we have at the moment, till the weather improves. It's amazingly green up here, I know they expect a lot more rain this month. The seasons are so pushed back now, Winter now covers most of Spring. I just like that it's so green, even in the most intense drought, my gardens are bloomin' amazing!
I get my copy of Tim's 'Anthology' cd and pissed off they blew out our contact details. Don't get me wrong, so cool to have a credit, I think it's the first credit on the list, but i would of given that up for our general email address so Finn music lovers can contact. OK I am sulking, I sulk to Clay ,Tim's manager..... it's for their own benefit and you wonder why they can't see that. Makes me an irritable old man. Clay calls and I really don't want to talk to anyone around Tim today, yes dummy spit, I'll sulk for a few days and that will be the end of it.
Mark points out that Sophie Bardot has been hanging out with Kyle Sandilands-what is she thinking, I thought we talk them all if you lie down with dogs you get fleas. ..and what is it with his obsession with Popstar girls, the guy even married one from that horrid Scandelous band.
Wow! Australia rates second for 'quality of life' according to the main UN report and they expect Oz to climb to the number one spot next year. The life expectancy (of Aussies) climbed by 3 months and had the highest tier on the development index. USA slipped to #13, UK stayed at #21, it covers 182 countries. Must be all that fresh air and clean water, and organic pot!
October 6thIn for a visit with Dr Chiro, the loud people are next door and it interrupts my chill out so I don't book for a few weeks., plus we are pretty busy and looks like I am heading off to NZ.
Clay calls and we have a chat, he's hoping to correct cover art and add the information so I'm less crappy. It all makes sense to him so at least I'm not having this fall on deaf ears. he at least asks all the right questions, which is good to see. he truly does care.
I grab an airfare to NZ after Neil confirms the Interview time, be nice to see everyone again. Bic sounds great so have to catch up, think there will be many coffee sessions in Auckland. I'm spoilt, business class coming back so that's always a nice way to fly after a few days of rushing about.
I let Wally from the Enz know when I need the Mental Notes covers back, I'm worried they will blow it and I won't have them for NZ.
October 7thUnemployment here drops to 5.7%, a small drop but thats not too bad. Better then living in Detroit where it's nearly 30%, I can't even imagine what 30% unemployment would be like, poor ol' Detroit she is a battered city. Dont give up!
I order some Indian for dinner. My plan is to write a letter to Isabelle in France after we eat. The fine art of letter writing is not dead, it does feel strange though- we all dash off an Email these days instead of pen to paper.
I'm heading to Indian By Nature which is at Mount Dandenong...I go the back way and I notice a car in front of me on the wrong side of the road. It's freaky they are going around blind corners on the wrong side. Only luck has stopped them from having a head on collision. Tourists I think...so I zoom by them and start waving them over.......Japanese tourists! They are waving politely at me totally ignoring what I'm trying to tell them, and they continue on the wrong side.
I put pedal to the metal and get ahead of them and pull over. I try to get them to stop but they look a bit scared, maybe they have seen 'killer of the out back' movies too much and think I will bury their bodies in the national park. If they keep on the wrong side of the road they'll be doing it themselves. Once more they wave and zip by.... they've done about 5 km's on the wrong side, these 2 tourists are the luckiest people in the world as normally this road is busy. They turn into the road near Sky High so at least they are off the main road..... and I'd say none the wiser. Insane.
October 8thI start on fish oil tablets again, it's been awhile so can't hurt. I'm hoping it will help with my hands and fingers a bit too.
I hear from Tim, all good, all vibey. Think he's going to enjoy those Australian shows, Eddie Rayner is on keys for the tour. Some ticket areas like WA are selling out- healthy numbers at his shows.
I've had a few emails around the Popstar series being on Tv again. Someone stopped me at Mount D the other day and said they saw me on the show- oh joy..... my 5 seconds of fame. urgh!
I send Gill Civil a few Q&A for the next Crowdies glossy newsletter, thought her brief time as a House member on keyboards could be a good read for the fans, plus she has some fun 'on the road' photos. I'll conduct a larger interview for the book later on. She seems really nice. Must be weird when you are in a video clip like 'Now we're getting somewhere'....who is that girl? I get emails on this a lot.
October 9thSunny day so Friday afternoon I take some time off and do some gardening. Mark helps. We drive to Monbulk first as we really wanted some gourmet sandwiches at Friends on the Hill..... but it's changed hands and they no longer do them. We even know the new owner, he's cool but we do miss those sandwiches. Why do all our food places change?
My favourite release this week is Rowland S Howards 'Pop Crimes' cd. I always think he looks like Reg Mombassa's love child! 'Shut me down' and 'The golden age of blood shed' are my two favourite songs on the CD. 'Pop Crimes' is my fave release this week, on Liberation. You can tell that Rowland has hung around Nick Cave..a few similar sounds... Rowland is cool- anyone that penned 'Shivers' is aok with me.
October 10thI take a blank template of my Ghost Cars book to the post office to get weighed. I'm still playing around with the size. It looks like I will have to keep looking, the size and weight mean these cost just under $14 each to post, as it is above the postal rate.... so back to square one with the dimensions. Insane that Australia Posts shitty postal prices dictate my book sizes......I'll work it out but it is annoying.
I get a really nice card from Carolyn at Bathurst. She won one of our cooler 'Crew' contests, kind of made her dreams come true at Sound Relief when she got to meet the Enz guys and hang out and some of the Crowdies...she helped me with a few things on the day, and was presented with a Sound Relief crew shirt. It was funny as she was fairly shy so it was throwing her in the deep end. I love seeing people when they meet their heroes , and so far we have been lucky, no real pains in the arse. Most people have respect... it's good to see, Carolyn had a great time, one she'll remember me thinks for a long time.
October 11thWe are working on the garden today, just easy stuff it's nice and calm. Bec was so sweet and asked if we needed a hand with pre bush fire stuff. The friends I appreciate the most are ones who offer to help with things like this, and they'll be the ones I'll remember (Mark says 'reward'!), makes me chuckle. Plus gardening good for the soul, makes people less angry, myself included.
Rosemaree turns up with a great lunch, sounds like she had a nice holiday, all things considered. Cute presents for us, sweet. She does zoom off fast when we mention gardening.
It's a really nice afternoon, around 3.00 we have 2 carloads of visitors, a rather healthy looking pop star and friends..... funny when you see a celebrity gardening, made me grin. It was a nice afternoon and we finally waved goodbye in the wee hours of the morning. The last thing I was expecting was a party tonight but fun, and our garden looks great! I'm sure all of them took a piece of Ailsa Craig home with them (under their nails or in their hair). Mark still reigns as pool champion. What a fun long night, and unexpected.
October 12thWow how exciting, Michael Jackson's 'This is (SH)it' single is out. What a sad arse Sony cash in..... fucking tragic. It will be massive. Shoot me now. is there really a poem on the cd single- god...so bad. I was surprised that after Michael's death he has only sold 5 million albums worldwide. Compared to many people that is massive but with all the media hype I though MJ would of sold a LOT more world wide, especially with so many Best Ofs and the full back catalogue being re issued, and several box sets... 5 million doesn't seem all that many. Still most artists would kill to sell 5 million total.
Mark turns up LET IT ROCK by Chuck Berry covered by our Skyhook boys on the '91 tour. The Hooks played a few covers, several Stones tracks, the wonderful 'Wild In The Streets' ...... so a MP3 of this on the Hooks site in the TOUR ARCHIVE area ...which is cool. I love the Hooks site and god bless Iarla for keeping it fresh- the fans love you guys for doing this (as do I). http://www.skyhooks-music.com
Greg put back the possible Hooks re issues till 2010 , it shouldn't be this hard, we were pretty much ready to go with the 'Ego is not a dirty word' album..... as time goes on it will be harder to do re issues, and we had some cool fan friendly ideas for the Skyhook ones. I just hope they haven't blown it.
October 13thCold day, Winter has returned.... 3 degrees when we woke up. I just sunk deeper into the peruvian blankets ..... a nuclear bomb couldn't get me out of my brilliant bed this morning. Stuff it the rest of the world can find me if they need me. Even Miss Banshee climbed back into bed. Brrrrrrrrrr, icicles on body parts.
I sent Deb the (very) rough of the Crowded House 'refresher' course for the Crowdies site, the Timeline area has been empty for too long, am hoping some fans will tidy up my rough, check the grammar etc...... at the moment the Ghost Cars book and several other projects are keeping me tied up, so hopefully one of our website people will get the vibe and finish this task for me/us.
My sister and myself have been getting a strange night cough, not out of control but when it goes dark we both seem to have a small strange cough... could be asthma .... I bought some natural night cough mx today so hoping that gets rid of it, weird that we both have it- and we live a state away. At one stage we both had matching leg cramps. My sister is a bit like Dexters sister from the TV show, she doesn't swear as much (who does) but every so often she lets it rip. Don't think think she has ever said 'Fuck me sideways' like Deb Morgan from Dexter though! Maybe she's saving that one.
October 14thI hear from gorgeous Helen in NZ, happy as I'm doing some stuff around Bic and the Finns band room at the Samoa benefit show. I'm sure she just encouraged me to keep me out of trouble. The Eccles are one of my favourite bunches of people to work with (David Hughes too) so it will be good to see them on Monday. I know if they are involved it will all be ok, even when it doesn't run smoothly , we all somehow make it run smoothly and in the end that's true professionalism , fixing the shit and the artist being happy. So I now fly in, check into my hotel, sound check, Samoa gig, next day hopefully catch up with Enz people, afternoon interview with Neil, and maybe more Enz people..... food at some stage, sleep, wake up, see Crowther on the way to the airport and flight home.... all running like clockwork. We'll see, it never is that easy.
Because I'm in for soundcheck I have to leave Ailsa Craig at 3.00 in the morning to get my 6.00 Qantas flight. The things we do. So I'll have a few hours sleep behind me and then off into the darkness again. Mark tells me he is making those homemade sausage rolls for my return... god bless him.
Fans send in some questions for Neil, so I am hoping he can answer those in the newsletter as well.... I like having fans involved.
The last night of 'United States Of Tara' excellent last show, fantastic shot at the bowling alley at the end. I wonder how many people in Oz watch this cool little show.
Banshee decides she needs to use her litter tray at 4.00 in the morning, so I'm fried today.... cats-mind of their own..at least she knows she has to use the tray in an emergency. She is good that way.
October 15thRain rain rain, the Melbourne dams are filling up. We are at 36% now and rising every day. It's slowly improving but this weeks rainy days have helped. Quite a few towns are off major restrictions now, some dry lakes are wet and water covered, maybe we are being spared the worst.
We have some breakfast at the Deli today, they have some new food creations and Mark has one of those and gives the thumbs up. Nice coffee today, nice and hot. It's so cold outside it just makes the coffee feel better. Well the Yeti didn't make an appearance, so much for coming up. I guess we should be use to that, not sure why people say one thing and do another, friendship is a two way street - unless you are japanese tourist driver!!!!! *GRIN*.
October 16thHead to Morrisons for Friday breakfast, it's still raining. Sheridan isn't the cook today so no super sandwiches.... but we suffer in silence. The rain is a fine mist outside, the mountain covered all the way up to the giant tv -radio towers. Dark clouds covering it, perfect setting for a Stephen King movie.
Supermarket shopping so I buy some chocolate for the plane. It's good to have a chocolate stash. The discount table has all my funky hose attachments, and timers all 80% off...excellent so I stock up, in case we don't go with the expensive fire fighting water sprayers we may try and add our own timers and such to water defense areas for this summer. Mark and myself have a boyish chuckle over the '3 way for 99c' sign..... I'm sure it's not Safeway supermarket people putting out for threesomes..but tap connectors! *GRIN*...maybe not. A three way at Safeway has a rather sexual ring to it.
Come home and Helen has emailed me soundcheck times etc so I'm info'd up and ready to go. I even have a cute map where to park. The side road to backstage can be so confusing, I think half the artists get lost trying to navigate to the backstage parking zone. The gate guard must freeze as its always a cold icy blast of wind that blows in that area. I'm stoked to be so spoilt.
The birds visit this afternoon, 12 cockatoos and 2 lorrikeets, all at once, it was like open house for birds wanting feed at our place. The small girl cockatoo that we call 'Kelly' is back, she's the only one that lets me feed her by hand. Such a cute bird, but I never fall into false security about her very very sharp beak. She kind of looks me in the eye when I'm feeding her.
October 17thTony and son arrive to work on the fallen trees, they are huge trees but they are prepared, a professional wood-log splitting machine....we watch in awe as it breaks these insanely tough bits of wood into smaller chunks. I'd be lucky to break 6 a day, this does the equivalent of 20 trailer loads today. Still loads of grunt work for Mark and myself, Tony chainsaws the bits and we transport them to the machine. Serious aches but at the end of the day it's looking great again. There is one huge bit of tree that about 6 of us could sit on and to wide to cut so I've decided it's going to become a bench between tress if we can ever move it!!!!
Wally from the Enz calls and he blew it with Mental Notes covers , they are in transit and wont arrive till Monday so they don't go to NZ. It's ok I can mail them in a week, he was so worried he'd let me down, nice guy , I just waved it off, I wish more people were as considerate. It's only a minor delay no biggie.
I decide to extend our 'Crew' contest by a few days so any Australian posted entries can reach us. The mail being a bit slow I just thought it was worth adding on a few days.
I work on some Neil Finn questions for my interview with him. Not sure how much time he has allowed for me. It will be good to see the family again.
I hear from Bic will be catching up with her and Darryl and I'm hoping that cool kid of theirs, be great to hear her sing, it's been awhile.
October 18thI let myself sleep in today, after all I'll be leaving the mountain at 3.00 in the morning... so any extra sleep can only help. I pack my bags in the afternoon, just a few bits and pieces, the tripod for the HD camera takes up most of the room. Mark is showing me how to use the new recording gear that we have. It's funny I spotted the same device with the crew on last nights tv News show.
A friend of ours is going in for a major operation on Monday, so we wish her all the best, I'm staying positive for her, I think she'll be relieved when its all over and done with. She's had some nice people showing support.
Well i'd better go complete my packing, full report on NZ in the next diary.