November 1stI'm spending a lot of time on the phone checking in with relatives on my auntys funeral, really making sure Mum is ok. Work and tour stuff fallen a bit by the wayside till this is over. Emails I've slowed down a bit too, good old death always throws a spanner into life!
I see that The Very Very Best Of Crowded House is holding it's own in Australia , #12 from #11 this week. It dropped a few spots on the NZ chart to #17 from #12.... I notice NZ chart doesn't have Crowdies as an NZ act but ARIA has them as an Australian band- that speaks volumes. Usually NZ tries to grab Crowded House every chance it can.
Strange day here, I've managed to get the next huge batch of envelopes ready for the next segment of the mail out, so thats' ready to rock.
We pick a pile of flowers from our grounds for our neighbours, some Halloween brats tipped over their bin and egged their house- that sucks. Martin chasing them in the dark through the Kalorama bushes, we both laughed that he must of looked like the wild man of Kalorama with his beard. We really like Martin & Hisako as our neighbours, very kind people, shitty that they cop an egging.
Mark surprises me with the blu ray of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, fantastic layout great book, photos from the movie I've never seen. I play the soundtrack very loud..... nothing like a guy in a kitchen making spinach pie screaming out "I'm a sweet transvestite"!!!!
November 2ndIt's a public holiday here, the Melbourne Cup is on, yes the nation stops for a horse race, it's a public holiday. I'm almost glad, sleepy today strange dreams I had some cereal before I went to bed and I think it made me a tad trippy.
Have lunch at Ranges, it's not as insanely packed as we thought. 2 mothers have about 90 babies with them, crying and screeching so at one stage Mark and myself make those weird 'alien' chicken type noises from Tim Burtons Mars Attacks..really annoying noise..to drown out the baby convention. Our waitress friend rolls her eyes and says 'babies'.... funny thing is she is 3 months pregnant!
Home again and in the office for an hour waiting on an email from Neil. The office phone rings at it's Daffy and sister Hell on Wheels calling from some Melbourne Cup orgy in Qld! Good to speak to Helen. I'm a bit low keep today but that brightens the day.
I see Krispy Kreme doughnuts is closing in Australia, all the stores? Aussie have been pondering obesity for awhile now so fat filled doughnuts were never going to be huge, all about timing.
The rain has held off so far for this 150th Melbourne Cup, about 100,000 people have turned up for this one. The midfield car park was still closed as the rain in the last few days turned it into Melbourne's new lake! As I write this it's just started raining.... see I jinxed it! It looks rather crushed under the stands.
November 3rdI send my cousin a sympathy card and a photo of the great aunts from way back. Funeral is a small gathering which is what she would of wanted. I always feel like I'm in some strange dream when I'm attend funerals, maybe I'm picking up on everyone else's vibe and it's somehow short circuiting me. Some people obsess and go to as many funerals as they can , under the guise of 'doing the right thing' but I wonder if thats really it? I never know to each their own I guess. Appreciate people while they are alive, it's the only time that matters.
November 4thI see Jerry Brown is back as Governor of California - Arnie's gone. A lot of people will be happy with that. At least the Democrats held the senate. I think a lot of Americans were frustrated especially those out of work, but really after a dickhead like Bush totally fucks the country did people really expect an Obama fix it in 2 minutes scenario. America will be in a bad way for a decade or more. Sadly I think Obama will end up wearing anger over the poor rotting state that Bush left America in. Oh well I don't live in the States or vote so I'm just a casual observer...still America deserves better then the Tea Party and brainless old bats like Palin.
Our morning is saddened by a call from a media friend, it hasn't been announced yet but our old buddy musician James Freud took his own life today. When it finally breaks in the press they don't mention that he hung himself. Of course this sets off all the sad memories around Paul. The other parallels- that Paul and James played golf together even up to a few weeks before Paul died. They both had 2 kids too-James' play in a young band... there names are Harrison & Jackson. Just feel so sad for the family.
I last saw him a few months back, again at 'Babble' at Prahran, had a quick coffee. He wanted to talk about Paul a lot & I had a feeling he was still drinking. It's sad, James was a lovely man, my year or so working for him in the eighties I can never remember once having an argument with him. I started work with James Freud in May 1980, it was on my birthday. A few years later he gave me the original reel to reel tape of "I wanna be your baby" the first recording that he did with friend (and Models front man) Sean Kelly. I still have it tucked away in my collectors boxes. It seems strange like a bad practical joke, sits on my head and opens up a few old wounds.
Rest in peace James Freud (lovely Colin), nothing but nice thoughts and fun times from the Ballroom days to that goddam awful solo album #2. *GRIN* Just glad we caught up a few times times for coffee, and all of them by accident-good old fate.
November 5thI'm back in time for the Crowdies first show on the tour. I need some time off after this week, well just some moments to catch my breath. It's at Rod Laver Arena, not sold out but about 85% I think. They are renovating all around the complex so the Arena backstage car park is impossible. I'll try and park at our secret spot near Richmond Tigers practice ground. Soundcheck is at 1.00, so I arrive by 1.30 to find it has been put back to 3.00. Which blows out one of the interviews for my Crowdies book. (Grrrrrr)
I walk to the front of Rod Laver and there is Matt standing outside having a chat. I spot John Walsh as well, his grey hair glimmering in the sun. When did John go grey? Is touring that much pressure. (It can be). Nice to see these guys, seems like ages. David comes out and walks me through, not that I really would of needed him to as security seems non existent.
Drop my bag into production and see Dee and the crew, Lovely ol' Marky B doing his thing a silent sentinel on the stage. Dave is racing around like a crazy ferret, busy busy busy. Mark Hart arrives and we have a chat, he is the Dorian Gray of Crowded House, he just gets younger looking every year. Sit with Sharon for awhile, the Finns have been kept awake so bleary and in need of sleep. We head into the band room and forage through the tour cases and wardrobe case. Sharon god bless her put a tour program away for me... 'I know it's here somewhere - oh there is the other missing ugg boot'.... I am always vary of our wardrobe case as it used to be a science project in smelly tour socks... it's kind of squashed in chaos... which works....I guess. She located the program , she's so good to her word- appreciate that.
Neil is on the stage as is Nick, they are all just running through songs. Nick sent Neil a set list no idea if they are using it tonight. Nick wanders off as does Mark in search of coffee....so just Matt on drums and Neil on guitar..and an empty Rod Laver. They've closed the soundchecks down tight, so they can focus on songs. I don't even spot any Rod Laver staff. Neil comes over for as chat and I sit on the side stage area and just love these private musical moments. The "nanana na na" loop for Chocolate Cake is tested a few times which always sound freaky in such a huge space.
The band all return.... 'I Feel Possessed' sounds amazing..... Sharon wanders up and heads over to do her vocals on 'Archers Arrows", it suits her being up there with a microphone. Looks kind of natural...and probably a good lead up for the Pajama Party shows next year. 'Isolation' which is by far my favourite track from Intriguer is played and it sounds nice and trippy in this cavern of a venue....followed by a quick one take of Pineapple Head & the gorgeous 'Love you till the day I die". A few more bits and pieces but I've scampered off by that stage. The band rooms are way too hot and need cooling down so off to central control to change the interior weather.
I chat to Nick for awhile awards about James, as we both knew him from way way way back, when we were all young!
I look at my watch and realize I have 20 minutes to get to AAMI and pick up our Tim Burton book. So I rush back to the car and manage to find a car park in the city within walking distance. A free 15 minute park- how rare is that. The gallery store stays open for me, I was pretty much on time but nice that they did. They know who I work for and ask about soundcheck. Apparently a friend of the staff works at the venue and held up their mobile phone to hear some of Soundcheck!!!! Yieks-technology.
The gig itself was pretty good, nice sound. The crowd, some where on their feet from the moment the band walked onstage, but really "It's only natural' had them all up. Nice to hear a snippet of "Black & White Boy" in Private Universe...and 2 encores..of course 'Better be Home Soon.... the ultimate Melbourne sing along. I'm still amazed that they didn't have copies of Intriguer available with the merchandise. Every 2nd request seemed to be for the 'new' CD. Seems like such a waste- so many people will go home and not remember to buy it. It always escapes me why bands forsake that opportunity to let people have their new music- after all isn't that a huge reason why they do shows.....?
November 6thI can't believe that Ivanhoe Girls Grammar have banned two of their students from attending the end of year school dance simply because they are gay. What do they expect they are going to lob in their dental dams and have wild sex on the floor to KD Lang? Maybe someone will rub against them and get the 'gay germ'... good grief what a load of rubbish. Principal Heather Schnagl seems to make up every excuse under the sun. It's especially appalling that one of the Grammar school teachers should tell the gay student that she should 'bring a boy'. For a school that continually sprouts 'education is the key to the future of the world' they come across as incredibly uneducated around the needs of minority groups. What's next Ivanhoe Grammar- no blacks or chinese? Anyway I give them a call and let them know what I think. Gotta stand up for the kids gay or straight doesn't matter.
Nice surprise today as my sister calls in. She's down with some friends taking the kids to see Mary Poppin's at the theatre. We had a quick bite to eat, dressed in some animal outfits for a photo, a shopping trip to Mangana and off she went, back to the city to see Mary...and her favourite chimney sweeper!
Excellent speech by Steve Kilbey from The Church when they were anointed into the Hall Of Fame. By far the best thing around the ARIAS this year. Why the hell do we need overseas people handing out Australian ARIA awards? Can someone please drown Guy Sebastian ! Please I'll pay you money.
November 7thWorking away on my Live Archive for my Skyhook boys. It takes forever but finally I have a count- 967. I know there are a few more shows that we don't have listed, sadly not 33 more to make the magic 1000 show mark... but i think about 13 maybe 15 missing and that's a guess. For an Australian band that was around for such a short period, 1000 gigs is pretty much a land mark. I keep getting different numbers when I counted them, so it seemed to take forever. I notice quite a few newspapers have the 'Best Australian' albums EVER polling lately. So nice to see 'Living In the 70's as part of that after 36 years.
Australia's death rate has hit a record low, about 3200 less per year as the elderly live a lot longer. 20 years ago it was 9.1 deaths per thousand, it's now down to a record low of 5.7.
Crowdies win BEST CONTEMPORARY ADULT album for Intriguer at the ARIA awards. I hate how the awards are scattered over days and days all awards should be presented on the night. The Very Very Best Of is still in the Aussie Top 20, hoping christmas sales will move a few copies.
I catch up with Nige and Kimbo at RIPE (no bushfires this time guys). So great to see them and even though RIPE is so loud.... I do predict rain and Nige scoffs at that, and hey presto some rain falls. We sit in the park and suddenly several hours have passed by. Nice afternoon guys. I do love my debates with Nigel. *GRIN* god bless him.
November 8th.I see LA Zombie movie is still illegal in this country (or simply hard to get), Richard Wolstencroft got busted showing it in his house. Good grief- I thought this was a joke at first. OK he did have 200 friends watching it with him. The classification board have gone all weird over it..... better hide our copy (am joking..well... of course I am....)... actually big thank you to the always sexy Miss B.Crowe for my copy. There must be quite a few aussies who ordered it overseas..or bought it on whilst on holiday...without knowing it still needs a classification.
Had a nice surprise from William at Helensvale- mailed some stamps into us- postage kills us so this generous parcel was perfect timing- thanks Will! Christmas came early. Stamps the ultimate christmas gift-no one ever believes me.
Our first rush of orders came in for the next F/16 Diary book- The Early Years. A few friends will quiver with fear over this one *GRIN*.
November 9thI get my digital list for the various worldwide stores that have HE WILL HAVE HIS WAY available for download. About 43 iTunes stores so far. I'll have to get word out which countries will offer this release. So nice to be working with EMI, I have nothing but good memories of this record company.
The Victorian State election is only a few weeks away, I seriously doubt the Liberals will win, such hypocrites they'll hate The Greens but will preference them. I think Labor will lose 5 seats, I hope Bronwyn Pike holds her seat of Melbourne, it's not looking good but she is one of the better politicians be sad if she lost it. She supported the gay company long before many others decided it was the new cool, hell she loves our bands, that is a good reason to vote for someone *GRIN*.
November 10thI see opposition leader Ted Baillieu is promising 1.4 billion to buy more new trains for Melbourne to move 32,000 more people during peak hour. I think someone forgot to tell him that numerous Melbourne train platforms are not long enough to take that many carriages. So this means either you jump out onto the train tracks, or it doesn't stop at stations with small platforms or billions more spent somehow extending platforms. Don't these politicians do their homework? The liberal party sure are stupid. I see they have made no efforts to address the Hazelwood problem. Hazelwood is the states most polluting brown coal generator. I'll either vote for the Greens or Labor simply because they will do something about Hazelwood.
November 11thI hear from Bec and she wants to see The Church on their upcoming tour so we are going along to that one. Going to grab the dinner and show ticket. Will be fun, it's been awhile since I've seen them play. This one is a the 30th anniversary acoustic tour..the blurb says the band will be playing 1 songs from each album in reverse chronological order. You also get a programme and 'deadmans hand' ep...so pretty cool. They are still one of my favourite bands and Steve Kilbeys ARIA speech just reconfirmed how great he is.
I have a chat to Linden, they are sending me the paperwork soon for my 3 art pieces for the February art show. They sounded a bit excited about my 3 works being part of it- felt all gushy inside *GRIN*.
Steve Cumming's sends a quick email, he's playing The Caravan soon, will be a good night.
November 12thI spend most of the day envelope stuffing and getting more christmas cards mailed out.
Take an hour off in the afternoon to work in the yard. We have a massive canopy space under all these trees and I'm cleaning up under it. It's huge you could have a small concert in the area. It looks brilliant after I do the cleanup-well start on the clean up. The 3 chickens hang around me, guess they are looking for worms and bugs like chickens always do. They are so strange, they try to talk to me - I refuse to talk back as I know some neighbour will walk past and hear me making chicken noises.
I see the mansion that we have been 'stalking' is now for sale and off the expressions of interest list. I dream too many dreams of living in it.
I see James Freuds family have taken down several pages (Facebook?). It must be overwhelming. I hear from 1 or 2 people who say "I spoke to James' recently'. I now say did you actually SPEAK to him and they always say 'Oh well no, just an email on Facebook'. It's so fucking sad that 'speaking' is now an email on Facebook. Do they actually think they have had a conversation. Computers are the best place in the universe to hide when you don't want to face the world. You can say anything or even cut and paste a blurb. If you are really their friends you'd phone or have a coffee..... this is so sad that is what it's becoming. Sheep Baa Baa Baa.
November 13thI email Neil asking what he'd prefer me to work on- Intriguer-Very Very Best Of or He Will Have His Way? Only so many hours in the week. Turning my focus a bit to He Will Have His Way.
Rain and fog, all day. I am so lazy today or playing catch up. Banshee the cat stays on the bed too. At one stage she falls asleep upside down with her hands in the air-way too cute.
I head to the office for 30 minutes- that's it no work on the weekend. Warwck calls and asks if we want to hang out, next week is better. Chat to Merelyn in Sydney, always fun, wish those guys lived closer to us.
We watch the documentary FUCK. FUCK was directed by Steve Anderson, it's a few years old now (2005 I think it was made) . It's about the word fuck and where it came from it's different variations...and there are numerous sides to the story...Drew Carey, Billy Connolly, Bill Maher.... and many others...Pat Boone ..oh my god what a freak. I remember Pat Boone sending Crowded House a letter asking for money for one of his obsessions. The Lenny Bruce footage is amazing...the Freedom of Speech side is cool. Anyway it's fascinating and somewhat funny. The moralistic scary women always seem to have drawn on eyebrows-what is that..even Pat *GRIN*. Don't you think Pat Boone is really Ned Flanders? Oh Ned's cooler-yes you are right...and occasionally Ned gets 'some'!!!
November 14thThe rain has stopped for a few minutes so I make a dash to the office. It's one of those days where all I do is fiddle around with tidying things up and finishing little projects, even unloading the dishwasher. Nothing major will get done today. Which is o.k, sometimes you have to learn to chill.
I see our PM Julia Gillard has written a letter to Aung San Suu Kyi telling her how great it is that she has finally been released and how her endless efforts for democracy in Burma are inspiring. She has spent 15 of the last 21 years in detention and finally released from house arrest. There are at least 2000 other political prisoners being held in Burma that should be released and fair elections should be encouraged. We've signed so many petitions over the years for Aung San Suu Kyi it's an amazing day for this brave woman to be set free.
It's nice to finish the diary on a positive note.