November 25thProving that even in 2010 homophobia still rolls along on it's worn out tracks... we were saddened to see two Gay Vultures (yes you did read correctly- two gay Vultures) Guido and Detief have been separated at Allwetterzoo from the German town of Munster. They showed no interest in the female vultures and spent long warm days grooming each other and rearranging the sticks for the nest they made together. They are indeed Griffon Vultures (ok you can laugh at that one). Guido was removed a few weeks ago and 'replaced' by a female vulture in the hope that Detief would (quote) 'reorient' himself. She is a vulture from the Czech Republic and so far Detief has shown no interest in her and keeps looking for Guido. Sadly he has been sent to a Zoo in Ostrava 650km away and also shows no interest in the many ladies flirting with him. A Zoo spokesman says 'It's for the best'-we here at Filthy Rich Promotions cry foul (ok not fowl-sorry birds)...let them be. I think Munster is a military town is it not? Maybe the Vulture 'don't ask don't tell' rule was broken and they were outed by those jealous female vultures. You can email the Zoo direct and ask them to get Guido back to his mate Detief. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
November 26thHappy Birthday lovely Toija- we give her a call and her kids are very vocal in the background, just made us laugh- sounds like a play centre with 200 children. She says she is use to it. The joys of motherhood. *GRIN*.
It's also the divine Ms Maz birthday and I actually get my shit together and call. That alone is equal to a present ! I suck at remembering birthdays.
Hmmm I seem to be having problems finding Adalita's Hot Air EP, maybe it got delayed, will try again next week. The clip is on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGoBsSRTVUk It's ok quite nice, I was hoping for something tougher on her first outing as she has the voice to do that.... she proved it many times when she sang in Magic Dirt.
November 27thOh the state election is on, I have to stop calling it the state ERECTION. Polling shows it insanely close. I just hope Bronwyn Pike gets in for the seat of Melbourne. Funny as I had a pile of emails from diary readers that live in the Melbourne area and they are all voting for her, in fact emails arrive all day. Labor has been in power for 11 years and I don't think anyone has ever had a 4th term, so the odds are slim. Not all that fussed.
We vote in the morning and good timing too, it buckets down with rain. 2% less people vote because of the weather. Our local guy gets in, but I'm still pissed James Merlino ignores our question on gay marriage. He lost a few votes by not stating his intentions. By midnight the Liberal Party are ahead about a 6% swing. It's really the national party winning 10 seats that gets them across the line. Stoked as Bronwyn Pike gets in. I think a new premier will be announced next week...as Victoria falls to the Liberals-after 11 years it's half expected. I still think it's too early for Ted B to run the state he seems inexperienced in many areas and so many promises have been made to win votes- I'm just waiting for half not to happen and the rest to be put back. Like cheaper electricity and water for everyone... does anyone really believe that this will happen for EVERYONE? It's easy for concession holders you just bump up the concession amount but the other 97% of Victoria- it's such a spin and con.
November 28thIts still raining and I drive to Olinda to buy some lunch. The small festival is on and our friend Kerena's band is playing but it's hard rain and I'm a few hours early so I don't stay.
He Will have His Way is at #14 this week nationally, #5 on the digital chart. I think some tv advertising may start next week so am hoping it will turn around, love for this to be back in the top 10. It's a good christmas present for those who know the songs but want something different.
November 29thKim B from Canada sends us some chunky snuggly winter gloves with the Olympic logo on them- they'd probably make great oven mitts too. The way Melbourne's weather has been we may well be wearing these this summer. It's some record amount of rain fall for Melbourne, my outdoor photo shoot still has not happened. It has rained every day. Crazy.
I start growing some garlic in a pot for Greg Skyhook, one of his christmas presents. At least it will be healthier then the Chinese Garlic grown in human feces! Urgh. Keep away from bleached white garlic, go for the purple stuff.
I almost feel guilty having these wonderful warm gloves from Kim as it sounds like all of Europe and the UK is freezing. Well it is the time for snow I guess, it just seems like a LOT. Stay warm you guys. If you know of old people that live by themselves just take the time to knock on their door and make sure they are ok.
November 30thIt's meant to flood down with rain during the two U2 shows in Melbourne. The 'Claw' stage is so high they can't close Etihad stadiums roof! So it could be a wet concert indeed.
I had some really nice emails in from people who have supported the charity project. Something very cool about people around the world just giving some little amount to make this happen. Always makes my day when we get such emails- thanks those who have supported this so far. I send a few emails to some mates in the hope they show some support too.
Jennifer in NYC lets me know that Dexter has indeed been signed on again by Showtime for it's sixth season. Fantastic, such a cool show.
We have had this small nightmare around our 2 taps in the kitchen. You'd think we should be able to get these fixed. The internal spindle is worn on both so they drip drip, apart from wasting water it's annoying. We had a plumber visit and he was crap-utterly useless. I emailed photos of our taps to 6 kitchen companies on the net, 2 got back to me that they were 'looking' and we never heard any more. So I decided , we are not useless 2010 men, Mark and myself can easily do this. The best way is to take the spindle into the hardware stores.... so I turn off our water, leave the bath tap open so any excess can go through and I'm off in the car. Mark staying at home and making sure the bath doesn't over flow or the taps suddenly spurt water everywhere.
The Bunnings people were great, at the time I remember thinking it couldn't be this easy. After months of trying to get these parts, Bunnings did indeed have them (despite 2 plumbers telling me they wouldn't). I buy a box of 'summer jewels' too, these amazing orange flowers that love the sun and just open and close depending on the weather. I head home and relieved the bath hasn't overflowed and Mark and Banshee washed away. Takes about 15 minutes to install both spindles and we have lift off- the taps are repaired. So one more thing off my TO DO list. It's pathetic I'm so relieved this has been done, and it shouldn't be this complicated to buy tap parts or even find a plumber that has their shit together. I'm glad I can fix such things as my secondary option. Probably saved us a hundred dollars or two.
December 1stOh no Christmas countdown happening!. Ok how did we get to December and did we have fun getting here? For some Christmas will be a bit daunting. I noticed that unemployment rate for America has now climbed to 9.8 which is the highest level since April. That must be frustrating for the government as I know America hoped that it's recovery was gaining momentum. I think it will take a few decades to fix up the mess that Bush left America in, what a horror of a man he was. For others Christmas is just horrible, more people sign into mental facilities at christmas because they are alone, some just can't deal and reality of being alone or unloved or just crazy sinks in. It can be a bad time of year for some. It must be hard too for people who have families that hate them or not part of the family structure anymore- as I guess christmas stands for families getting together -and friends. Overall I love christmas, great to see Sis and Mum and our friends so we are lucky.
We head back to Prahran today, and the rain is on it's way. By the time we are driving it's flooding down. The first U2 show is on and we are going. Tickets for the amazing Red Zone, right in front of the stage.
We park in the JB car park behind Chapel Street, huge waterfalls are overflowing off the buildings. I'm still hoping this will stop before U2 are onstage or before we go to the gig. It's 60,000 of us at Etihad stadium. U2's stage is so big the roof of the stadium can't close so we are all in the lap of the weather gods. Being front section area there is no cover while the cheaper seats in the stands have cover- how funny is that. The giant mirror ball on top of the stage is also a lightening conductor ...I am serious. We have something eat at Prahran. Mark goes to JB HI FI. I buy a few more copies of HE WILL HAVE HIS WAY for over seas music lovers that can't get this. Well apart from iTunes, I still love having the real cd. Mark buys SEVEN on Blu ray.
We drive to Greg Skyhooks place and give him his birthday present early, a huge photo book that Mark has been working on for months, photos of his covering his 60 years, most whilst in Skyhooks but some family shots too- we think he is blown away. On his table some christmas presents for us, so cool- wasn't expecting these.
We suffer the city traffic and head towards Crown casino. I decide it's a good place to park- the private apartments also have a public car park area and it will cost us a measly $6.00 for 6 hours, for the city this is cheap. We walk the distance to Etihad via the bridge over Southern Cross station. The station looks incredible with it's 'wave' roof. We both reminisce over our first few days arriving in Melbourne how we actually slept upstairs on the couches at the old station which was Spencer street.... seems so long ago now. You couldn't sleep here anymore, and the upstairs section has long gone. We were poor and young and life was an adventure- the move from South of Sydney to Melbourne, teenagers -anything was possible. It will be a fun piece in the next diary book "The Early Years" -which will be out in February-March.
It seems like all 60,000 people were turning up at the same time.... people everywhere- it is a bit mind blowing. After living away from the heart of Melbourne for five years I can see the population has grown... swollen and it does feel like it's bursting the banks- especially on the roads. Traffic seems insane.
Red Zone is easy, as its a few hundred people, our own box office and entrance. Arm bands on and in we go. We buy some drinks, wow expensive , we should be use to concert prices. Red Zone staff show us the way, well kind of, we end up near Red Zone 2 not 1.... when we arrive it's a great spot. Side stage and room just to walk about, even our own bar.
The rain hasn't returned still not convinced it wont but we'll roll with it. We still have our emergency plastic rain coats from Sound Relief that I gave out to the artists- so the spares are in my pocket. The money from Red Zone tonight goes to Aids Charities. some Aids boys are handing out red ribbons in our section.
U2 are pretty much on time. The Return of the Stingray Guitar and Beautiful Day start the set. The internal bridge swings around to our side, directly in front of us. We are so close and suddenly Bono is upon us, I can see his eyes through those glasses and his wide irish smile. I look up and there he is..no not Bono-Mark... an audience shot and the camera man is near us, in fact several. I know how much Mark hates being filmed, but he's smiling and loving the show.... he's about to look up, just as I go "Oh Fuck" it's a wider shot, so the U2 gig starts off with yours truly mouthing an obscenity (which the crowd loved I'm sure). It's only for a blink of an eye but it meant I keep looking for camera all night. This stage has cameras everywhere, even a running track joined to the circular stage area that cameras glide along!
It's a good show, we've been to a few U2 shows, probably the second best U2 show for us. "Get on your boots" was a favourite it's a recent song but works so well live. "Bad" had Bono forgetting some lyrics so he played guitar, that was kind of weird...I hated Jay Z coming out and destroying "Sunday Bloody Sunday".... I wish U2 wouldn't encourage this cRAP. It's a 24 song set, two encores, I dance and jump and have a good time. "Walk On" a nice tribute with Amnesty people and their lights... we escape during the second encore to avoid 60,000 people and cars.
Buskers are out on Etihad bridge, one a very cute girl who had a fine voice. She's singing a song and stops, looks at me and we laugh. "That ones still a work in progress"..I go back and drop some cash in her guitar case. I'm a sucker for a cute girl with a guitar and decent voice..
The U2 private party is at Crown Towers, but we need to get home. Head to the car park and the security doors are closed..... obviously it has some time restriction. Thankfully a resident returns home and as they drive in we skip under the security gate, otherwise its $180 to get your car out. next to payment machines wouldn't accept notes... eventually we found one that took my AMEX card... and finally we are away...
I do take a small diversion, past the old flat where we first lived at 53 Grange Road Toorak. They've spent money. The facade at the front has changed..in fact it looks like the whole place has been rebuilt. Such strong memories of "Grange Close" as it was called.
We get home about 1.00, what a fun night.
December 2ndI'm collecting mail in the morning at Kalorama and a local comes up to me and says "You were at U2 last night?". "Yeah"... "I saw you guys on the big screen. I started crying out "I know those guys"!!! How funny, Mark is infamous at last. We had some emails and calls during the day from people who went and they said the same thing, seems everyone was at the show.
We have some breakfast at Ranges, I notice that our waitress Lauren is finally showing she is pregnant, 5 months but she only looks 3. Another girl.... her mum is lovely so hope she inherits her good nature, and good looks.
I had some sad news from home, so I have a flight on standby in case I have to fly up. We are heading home at christmas anyway but looks like I might need to get some sooner. So the diary entries will be short for the next week.
I get 5 christmas cards today, just to remind me that christmas is approaching. All of them had little piles of postage stamps with them as presents. I think one of the Frenz must of organised this- so great- love that people do this, postage is the thing for us, the best present. Thank you guys, you know who you are. made me smile.
December 3rdI have my lap top with me and check on emails. I hear from some UK and European mates who are snowed in, weather seems very vicious. Stay warm guys.
Meanwhile I see that Kalorama has been hit with a huge hail storm.... isn't it meant to be Summer?
December 4thI'm tempted to buy a Dr Who DVD that covers the 1966 era. The 10th Planet. I know that it has some missing segments, and quite a bit of early Dr Who has that. The Cybermen look like total freaks in this first encounter with them but is was 44 years ago, so allow for that but the story sounds great. I think I'll ear mark this one from my christmas pay cheque, so a new year present for the Gryphon, well probably February present, bills bills bills to pay.
I've been avoiding emailing Neil, thought after all the touring they deserve a break, so my world is Finn free for the moment. I won't email them till I need to, I'm sure it's still as crazy as ever...well he does have a solo show in Meredith this coming weekend..wonder if the rain will hold off?
December 5thOur PM Julia and her boyfriend Tim turned up to see Blondie and The Pretenders play at the Yarra Valley Rochford Wines Show. Nice fedora hat Julia! Ok it does make you look like you are going lawn bowling! Not sure about Blondie (and band that I love and Deborah always fascinating, but too many new songs in the set-how many times do people moan about that). A pretty lame version of 'In the Flesh" too- it was such a huge hit in Australia. Blondie were massive in Australia before anywhere else in the world... would of been nice if they did that song justice.
I light a candle tonight, it seemed like the right thing to do. Rosaleen Norton has been dead 31 years now. The wiccans of Australia are probably gathering in tribute. I'm stoked to have one of her paintings.
December 6thI spend some of the day writing on the lap top- still waiting to hear back on 2 of my Crowded House interviews, one with Peter Jones... maybe everyone is away?
December 7thIt's a good news bad news day, just glad our family friend is out of hospital, praying for a quick recovery.
Unemployment in Australia continues to fall, it's now down to 5.2%. Not bad especially compared to overseas. Apparently it is the biggest year of full time job creation in Australia, in the countries history. It's such a tough period worldwide but somehow Gillard and Swan government have steered Australia in the right direction as far as employment goes. Impressive really.
December 8thI see that Nick Cave rammed his jaguar into a speed camera while cruising down the Hove seafront in the wee hours of the morning!
I receive an email from EMI and happy to report that HE WILL HAVE HIS WAY is now Gold record status in Australia. This is fantastic, always nice when you reach gold, especially in 2010 where so many artists who used to be multi-platinum don't even get a gold record. John Farnham who is still Australia's biggest seller (Crowdies are biggest selling BAND here) his albums are usually triple platinum but his latest after several months is still only gold. I think Kylie's last album only achieved gold here. So for "He Will.." to hit Gold already is pretty good. I guess Christmas will see some solid sales of this release and hopefully "The Very, Very Best Of Crowded House".
December 9thGod bless Reg Mombassa, he signed a special paper insert and did a little drawing for a friends book that I'm giving them for christmas. It just makes it extra special. I am always amazed by Reg's talent, apart from the amazing Mambo stuff that he does, his watercolours are wonderful. Some of his pictures are up on : http://www.regmombassa.com/
I've fallen behind on christmas presents etc this year, family stuff and just a tad of madness has taken over the last week or so, hopefully life will be back to normal next week... well maybe.
December 10thThe student protests in London seem to be picking up momentum, the giant christmas tree in Trafalgar square was set on fire, Charles and Camilla's limousine was pelted with paint, and Whitehall was almost out of control. I feel sorry for some of the police who are forced to do 'their job' especially when snooker balls are being hurled. It seems to be increasing. With all the fires burning in London, one of the homeless was heard to mutter "at least I can keep warm now" !!!! I always think it's a bit shitty that people go on a rampage and take it out on other peoples property, especially those who just try to earn a crust to get through day to day living. When that happens it's hard to have sympathy for their cause.
I see the Big O (not Roy but O-prah!) has landed in Melbourne. 12,000 turn out at federation square to see her and madame Julia Pm rub shoulders. I guess the good thing is that it's great for Australian Tourism especially when she heads home and says all those nice things about our amazing land. She does seem genuinely stoked to be here. So yeah listen to Oprah (grin) come visit Australia. I see the Oprah is a lesbian and having a thing with her best friend Gayle! Good grief who cares!
December 11thWell not too much rain today- Neil will escape it for his solo outing at Victoria's Meredith Festival. They sold around 11,000 tickets so it will be a healthy mud covered crowd. Part of the camping area was flooded out and muddied up so the nude mud sliding has commenced.
I see the only person bumping Oprah off the front pages here (and probably everywhere else) is Julian Paul Assange. He's been glossed and coloured with such divine descriptions as " a 21st century cowboy armed with a data stick"! (is that a data stick in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?!!!). Mark says it's only a matter of time before he is killed. Not sure, his profile is so high now.... it's strange as every 2nd page of the newspaper has an article and it's basis is wikileaks or at least a chunk of the information contained is from there. Julian has come a long way from his happy Tom Sawyer days running around on the beaches of Magnetic Island...to Wikileaks (web) space cowboy!
December 12thI have some bug thats going around so spend most of the day in bed. It will pass , my immune system is pretty good.
I head to the office in the evening to go through emails and catch up on some work. We had a few donations come in today for the Club Charity project. Fantastic, it's so nice that people have supported this one. I like that when we all die something positive is left behind. The donation thank you page is here : http://www.frenz.com/fundraiser.php Charts are in and HE WILL HAVE HIS WAY-THE SONGS OF TIM & NEIL FINN moves up to #19 this week. The Very Very Best Of has turned around on the National chart too and is at #73, it's jumped 12 spots. So some christmas sales must be kicking in. I can't believe it's a mere 12 days till christmas.
Ho Ho Ho!