The Life and Times of Peter Green
Archive: 11 May - 24 May 1998
Well Happy Birthday to me. Another year another wrinkle. With the upcoming
tour "stuff", packing boxes and all the other craziness around me at the
moment, a birthday celebration was the last thing I wanted today. But like
a runaway train it just happened. My Mum called first, every year she never
fails to find me and sing that birthday song- someone must be making a lot
of APRA from it's performance.....Mum still hits the odd bum note, but she
makes up for it in gusto. God bless her. Even Miss Amanda from the office called and sang her
"Lodestar" Mix version of Happy Birthday....our publicist playing a Perry Como
version of "We love you" down the phone lines. Mazz from BCO- never misses the
day... and a drummer singing Happy Birthday is kind of "interesting". The list
went on and on, I kept making Rebecca sing "it"- I wanted her Seekers version,
in the key of C. Ends up as a Pizza and beer night at Belmore...heaps of
plants for presents which I loved. Rebecca knowing my weakness for
found a Chocolate Cosmos plant. It blooms these velvet looking flowers in
the height of Summer and gives out the aroma of Chocolate! It will no doubt
send me crazy, I'll be climbing the walls for a Chocolate fix.Spy Di's
present is opened
and its "The Rock Pack" from the Hall of Fame museum in the States. This
cool Rock Pop up book...so many facts. Tania and Jake turn up, Trudy and no
sign of Robin, Jj tracks down a copy of Poppy Brites book "Exquisite
Corpse" (more on that later) and Frans mysterious present- "fizzing bath
balistics" from the LUSH
shop. Still too scared to use them...maybe at the next place. For a non birthday
it went on till midnight. Older and wiser.
Find out that Bill our tour manager and Edyre had a baby girl called Molly on
May 8th...Two girls now, they are surrounding you Billy. I'm sure she's a
magnificent baby- can't wait to see her. Daisy had such a great crop of thick
lush hair, so I'm hoping Molly will be equally as furry! Good on you Bill!
Spend the day washing Champayne glasses and calling Record stores for LLT.
Try finding out dates for the Neil Finn tickets to go on sale, the tour is
Kevin calls and blows out our 1.00 appointment, Paul was delayed, someone
backed a truck into his car. He's ok, the car is a bit mangled. Send Spock
artwork roughs for the keyring and square Neil badges for the tour. The
look great, black and silver,oval shaped with Elroys Skeleton design.Hope Robert
is working on tshirt artwork.
Some girls called by and ask to take some photos in front of the apartment,
obviously CH fans, am nice to them, but decide not to let them
inside....the yard is covered in Autumn leaves so their photos will look
pretty colourful. They seem pretty nice, not crazy's.
Start reading "Exquisite Corpse"...by Poppy Brite. Wanted to read this book for
awhile, came out about 18 months ago and is hard to find in Australia. I
think some stores won't stock it.
The Sunday Times says it all "There is a disgusting fin de siecle lushness
to the writing, with its emphasis on the sweetness and the ecstasy of
Its a book that reaks of "old money" , new diseases and animal intense passions.
Not for the faint of heart believe me, parts I skipped over because they
were too graphic...and I was eating at the time. It will really fuck with
and some people will hate it. The part that scares me is the more you read, the
more you can understand the tiny germ that can set someone in motion of the art
of killing. It takes me to the pinnacle of excitement and the gutter level of
feeling really ill and turned off. BUT I kept going back to finish it, And thats
the true success of Poppys writing, you keep going back. Its the type of book
that the censorship people would snap closed and ban it, but would sneak
back into the room, quickly slip it out of the bin and read it with a torch
nearest vestibule. My suggestion is to sneak a peep at a book shop first,
and if you get a buzz, or are equally horrified get a copy. No I don't own
Phoenix Books (grin).
Jump on a flight to Sydney to drop in LLT stock, and give the new FIDO
label a copy of Hellbent to listen to. Melbourne airport is cold and grey
and the weather is like that all up the Esat coast of Australia. Sydney
equally overcast. Pick up my car and head into the city, with a huge bag of
stock. Call into Redeye Records and Waterfront and they NOW have fully
copies of the LLT cd (Hellbent) so Sydney fans take note. Not many signed copies
about so try both these stores. Their numbers are: Waterfront-02-92624140 and
Redeye Records-02-92338177. I think both have mailorder too. Ask for
Largest Living Things II.(autographed)
My timing is good so I catch up with Sonia for lunch, head to the Retro
next to the State Theatre...love their Potatoe Wedges...even if they are
in bringing you a glass of water. Sonia sounds like she is enjoying Sydney UNI,
heaps of Sci Fi guests and conventions- I think she might also be doing
some work! Go to the Amex office and put some money on the card (good
getting a bit of abuse these days, and I guess we'll be living on it for
the first month at the new place.
Drop Sonia off at UNI and head to the record company which is in Pyrmont,
one of those silly areas of Sydney that has the Pyrmont Bridge stretching
out, and if you make the wrong turn you are history. I made several wrong
turns and kept ending up at the Fish Markets and then over the bridge,
stuck in afternoon traffic (thank the gods for Triple J radio). Eventually
Festival get the LLT cd just before everyone went home.
Head to my Mums place and a great baked dinner is awaiting. (oink oink).
My sister gives me this incredible suprise pack she made.....heaps of Chockys
Hang out with Mum for the big part of the day. It's my Sisters boyfriends
birthday so we go to her place for a BBQ. Was a fun night, and our side of
the family behaved (phew). I have the best Sister in the world.
A girl comes up to me at the local supermarket and tells me how much she
likes Hesters new band, she reads the website at UNI. Tells me that the
site has had over 4000 hits. Cool! We should have the details for Neils
appearance on the Shed on the site soon.
Have a horrible nights sleep (lack of it), loud cars on Mums street, and
then at 4.00 someone decides to set off skyrockets, so the skys are full of
fireworks and loud bangs. Up at 4.15, head to the airport at 4.30. It's dark, there
is fog, it's cold and I have the de-mister on all the way. The flight
lounge is like a beacon in the storm.....head to the Coffee machine, it's
Can't remember the flight, get home, pick Mark up and we all head to the
Elephant. See Dean from the Post office down there and he says you look
like you are jet lagged....very close!
Spend the afternoon answering emails.......take a melatonin and sleep.
Feel like it's full steam ahead on the Neil Finn project. Have some very
very rough USA dates which the office has told me NOT to release. Looks
USA tour will start in Miami around July 18th. All up that side of the coast and
then onto Canada, and then maybe Chicago (early August) and off to the Los
Angeles/ San Francisco run. Texas looks like it might get a look in. The
one thing to remember is that dates change a lot- so even the above could
be wrong. I can understand why we haven't released anything yet, the fans
will have to be patient. It looks like being a pretty decent tour. After that UK and Europe
and we might make it back to Sth Africa.
Pay my medibank private, I think I'm the only person in private health care....
not sure why, I never really use it. I almost hope for an ingrown toe nail so
I can use it.
Foxtell tells us that the new house already has cable connected, we are the
only ones on the street.Guess when you live off Chapel Street, you dont
watch a lot of TV. Watch some of Foxtell AO show- which is Australia Only-
Love the 'Gurg's Polyester Girl clip......Mavis's CRY is very Abbaesque.....
some good Australian Videos.Neils clips should get a good thrashing.
The office calls and my ticket to the Neil launch is on it's way.
It's raining like Mad in Melbourne and Sydney has had several days of solid
flooding. Neils launch is tonight and part of it is out on the Harbour....I
start calling Neil Finn "the rainmaker" because every time we do something
special in Sydney it RAINS. Clear all the mail and take Mark home, drive to
the Limo service wiping the mist off the windows. Horrible weather but the
Grey Ghost gets me to my pickup area. What a car.
They give me a gold sports car in Sydney to drive....and the rain has
stopped. Check into the Sebel and then head to the CH office. Get there
and Amanda and Grant are in the office. Go through all the album artwork
and good ol' Robert Moore has sent down the designs for merchandise. The
only one we reject is the truck design- too Mamboish. I like the "skeleton"
not sure if we have enough time to print it. Amanda gives me my
invite...it's a metal tin that has "An Invitation to an evening with Neil
Finn" on the front. You open it and there is a clear cd invite inside.
Amanda wings off and Grant stays, the phones keep ringing, so I start
answering them......finally a few minutes to talk to Grant about the tour,
if I'm attending or not. When I leave the office I still am not sure what
sections of the tour I'm on....all very confusing.
Back to the Sebel, the staff tell me the main water pipes have broken so
only the toilets flush, guess the shower is out. Sharon Finn and Amanda
call and we meet in the downstairs food area for coffee.
Back upstairs get dressed and Grant (and son Aaron) pick me up in a cab and
take me to Circular Quay.
We spot the "industry crowd" all trying to figure out where we are off to.
I am told to hold the boat for Amanda...so we delay it. The river cat
leaves with Grant and myself on the dock, it goes around to the other side.
The media all
stare wondering if that was it. "Yes guys, a cheap promotion eh?" says Grant.
No Amanda so we board, grab my "date" Jacqui from publishing and we hit the deck
and have a few drinks and chat about old times. Jacqui was part of the
Mullanes era, and works with Neils publishing, shes a good mate, we look
after each other
in work areas etc. The sun has set and the city of Sydney lights up, like
someone turned on the switch, all at once every building was lit- bing bing
really cool. We said it was part of our promotion. Sydney looked fantastic and
it reminded me of the Emerald City from OZ.
The lights on the Ferry dim and we are treated to a video of Neils history...
however someone forgot to turn it from tv-vcr and so for the first minute
the voice over and music of Neil Finn was up against a bad soapie. I found
funny...I think I called out "gee Neil looks different" (smartarse).
Eventually the boat docks at Darling Harbour and buses take us to a new
location. The Slip-Inn. An oddity of a building, rooms full of antiques and
lush tapestrys....we work the room, eat, drink. I find two ladies to chat too,
one from TT FM in Melbourne and the other from Rage....really nice. A few
other buddies turn up and we all have one main thing in common. We watch
THIS LIFE.... the group turns on someone who admits to liking the character
"Miles"....urgh how could you, he's such a horror etc etc......only 2 more
episodes to go, and no one would let me spoil the ending.
An hour later we are escorted downstairs to The Cave, Tony from EMI gives
us a huge Neil rave and the crowd is full of media and friends. I spot
Bones from the Oils and he gives me one of those Bones-ish smiles. Lovely
Ladies and Gentlemen...Neil Finn.
He glides up to the small stage with his trusty guitar in hand....does a
quick tune and is humble and very Neilish (in the best possible mix).
Starts off with Sinner.....I guess I could do a mini review but i'm sure
its all on the Frenz.com Neil Finn site somewhere. I loved the version of
"Private Universe"....especially the "every night at 6.00" line about the
birds and those damn trees next door to us. They still come there to feast
on the Palms. Sharon
connects with me on that one and we both smile, knowing that soon we won't
be at Murchison Street either, the birds, palms and the Murchison St
connection will be cut. (sob).
Go to the back of the room and tell Grant how well its going, and Shawn our
publicist for this one, is happy with it- she's done a great job. Neil
performs "She will have her way" and the crowd just loves it- I tell Grant that if
any song on the album is a radio hit- this is it.
After the "show" we head into the Chinese Laundry, which is the downstairs
bar at the Slip Inn. Decide its time to go and am driven back to the Sebel.
by 2.00, get an 8.15 wakeup call.
I debated if I should put this on the site as I'm sure to cop some shit, but
what I'm about to tell you happened in the spirit of things, tells you a
little bit about me and the general sense of fun that is around the Finn
Today is Sharons birthday, and Neils is a few days later. Its Neils 40th
this year and many of us expected a big party in NZ. Sadly Neil is away for
promotion, and Sharon is heading back to NZ, so they wont be together for
the birthdays etc. The Finns have been marvelous to us over the years and I
really wanted to give them something special and fun for their birthdays.
BUT what does one give Neil Finn and Sharon Finn. They have everything-
great house, great relationship. So I decide to give the Finns breakfast in
bed.....the maid will take it to their room at 9.15. The twist
is......guess who was the maid?
Yes boys and girls, it's time to frock up in the name of Finn-dom.
The first hurdle was getting a Sebel Townhouse maids outfit- everytime I
went to call house-keeping I would kill myself laughing and had to hangup.
I decided on a new tact- called room-service, ordered some food and got the
room service person on side (which wasnt hard). I also found out that $5
tips work well.
So an hour later I had a gaggle of maids up in my room "fitting me
out"...they told me I wasn't a huge maid, very petite...in a man-ly way. My
back was nice
and brown so they got an outfit that showed off my back (and Gryphon tattoo).
The whole time I felt like I was auditioning for a rock video. We had the
wig, we had the shoes, the maids outfit,makeup and a fluffy duster (with a
fake zebra skin handle). Very Chilli Peppers and Faith no More.
I headed to Kings Cross ( not in drag) to find a birthday cake....it was dead.
Nearly all the shops were closed. I came back with roses, candles and bobby
pins. In desperation I called Room service (again).....and they made a huge
chocolate cake with "Happy Birthday Sharon and Neil" on it....and were
having so much fun that they decided the hotel wouldn't charge me....which
was very nice.
9.10 Neil phones and asks if I had ordered brekky (he was very embarrassed)
I told him that a very cute maid just called by and its on its way. I
I can NOT do makeup to save myself, its that Aussie bloke syndrome....so I
gave up on the eyes, the lips looked good though and the super pancake hid
shaved face. Thankfully I had some 1960s deco black sunnys (very Jackie O) and
that covered the eyes. Amazing how you can face any challenge providing you
are wearing shades. Rupert from Room service (thats the name I remember him
turned up...he was very funny with his European accent.
"You loook su beautifall"..."if youz worked here Idd chase you around evrydayz"
I think that was a compliment? I stared down at my tattered stockings and nets
wondering just what sort of signals I was giving out here!
We headed to the elevator, a trolly full of yummies, a huge birthday cake
surrounded by roses......now my fear, an elevator of tourists......the
doors opened and a stunned plumber stared at me mouth aghast. He was staff
and I couldn't tell if he was just happy to see me or had a wrench in his
Opps I'm falling into character. Be a nice maid Peter not a slut!
We arrive outside the Finns room and Rupert has a plan, I hide and he
knocks on the door, the cake ablaze with candles. Sharon opens the door and
is so happy...."But there is one small problem" says Rupert "Housekeeping
needs to start on your room. If you dont want this you will have to tell
the maid your self as she might get sacked". So the maid walks up, I hug
Sharon and give her a
gentle peck with those huge painted lips....she just pisses herself
is blown away. I spot Neil out of the corner of my eye, it takes him a good
20 seconds to recognise me...(in drag time thats a LONG while)...he lets
rip a very huge laugh and this mans smile almost circumnavigates his head.
Rupert departs leaving me with the Finns. Within seconds we are all killing
ourselves laughing......"what else could I give you guys....I told you the
maid was cute".
I plop myself up on the window ledge of the suite- one of the best views of
Sydney. The phone rings- Sharon is still giggling, its singer Jenny Morris
and she asks what all the laughing is about- Sharon tells her and Jennys
Morris laughter ripps through the phone lines......god I think, there goes
At some stage Neil talks seriously about the tour, I interupt telling him
its so weird to be sitting here in drag having a serious conversation. We
It goes on like this for awhile, its a bit of fun, and hopefully the Finns
got a laugh out of it. Sometimes, for friends you can do things you'd never
anyone else. As I leave I'm told that I should do the whole world tour- but
I have to wear a different outfit everyday! (I knew that one was coming).
So thats my suprise, and believe me I could of given Mr Hester a run for
his money as Mrs HairyLegs in the Choclate cake clip. ( I have a cuter
Now I had to get back to my room without bumping into the tourists, then again
I've been to Elton Johns suite here and he has done more bizarre things
then this at the Sebel.
My elevator reaches my floor and I'm almost back in the security of my room...
(phew)....as I turn the corner I hear some whispers and giggles, a huge platoon
of the Sebels maids have turned out and they all clap and cheer me to my room.
Its like the royals driving past...all thats missing are some flags. I tell
them that their jobs are safe and this maid is retiring!
I open the door,go inside and lean against the back of it pissing myself
with laughter. Thankfully the water is back on at the Sebel so I dont have
home on the flight as a Sebel Drag Queen.
As I'm checking out various people like our publicist, Frank from EMI and
others turn up early- hoping to catch me out. "hey you missed a great show"
I wink as
I depart. Deff. a once off performance!
Happy Birthday Sharon and Neil (27th).
Catch up on all the work, we are getting 70 emails a day and I'm finding it
hard to keep up. Mark is working on the Video newsletter #4, we are holding
it back to mid June so we can add some new Neil footage.
Neil is on several tv shows, one gives him a cake and talks about his birthday.
God I think- I hope he doesn't mention it- Mum would just shake her head....and
I'd probably die of embaraasment. I think this might haunt me. He doesn't.(phew)
Work on a Skyhooks mailout. The Australian Rock and Roll stamps are out on
Monday. Prahran post office borrows some of my guitars and the huge framed
Skyhooks gig poster for the front window display. Skyhooks have a stamp in
the series for their song "Horror Movie" (about the 6.30 news). The stamp
titled the early years and is basically the sixties and the seventies. We are
going to start a letter writing campaighn soon to make sure they include
SplitEnz and Crowded House in the Eighties and Nineties stamps for next
We'll have more of that in the next Newsletter.
Wow only 4 weeks till we move....start boxing more stuff. Our last month at
the Woodface apartment. (now I'm depressed).
Find out that the Neil tickets for Australia are delayed till May 29th. The
NZ ones are probably delayed too. So check with the Venues.
LLT have added 4 new dates for Melbourne, the launch for Hellbent will be
at The Conty again on July 23rd. This show will be a sellout and tickets
are very very
cheap. If you dont want to miss out phone and credit card book on 95102788. The
tickets are on sale from June 8th. I'm hoping people like Nick will be in town
and all the usual associated people around the Crowdies family. It will be a
great night and is really targeted to club members and friends of Hester
and LLT. Just remember to phone book.
Skip drops me an email, Mental as Anything just returned from the UK, had a
few immigration problems (the usual work visa's) but the shows went well.
Love the next Mentals single "Just my luck" which is in the stores in
Australia June 29th. Classic Mental as Anything. Talk of LLT being special
guests at their Melb
Hear on my grapevine that the production of SteelCity might be coming to
Melbourne later on. Hope Tims down for opening night.
A very grey Melbourne day. Last day that I will see Becky before she heads
off on the Seekers country tour. Keith from the Seekers turns up at the
Elephant and Rosemaree arrives. He even stands when she sits, which is
pretty sweet. I've decided that I do like him, ok it's true, all the truth
has come out in this Diary site...I have dressed up in Womans clothing and
I've befriended a Seeker. Goddess I'll even be nice to the Catholic Church next.(Marj tells me not to
set fire to , too many churches. *grin*). But I will never like John
No Drag Queens at the Elephant this morning (I've had enough Drag this week)
and I check with Kath to see if Jed has left for the States yet...he hasn't.
The Coffee has no effect on me this morning and I'm very sleepy eyed. Keith
pulls out some Burgundy and I decline....Rosemaree is happy for the break
as she has been working xtra hours to cover registration etc. I decide on a
new name for Seekers singer Judith Durham. LSD (Lead Singer
Head to the car before the City of Stonnington trys to give me a parking fine.
Run into Safeways first and find black tracky panys on special ($6) perfect
for painting etc. Rosemaree fills my car up with empty packing boxes and we
somehow squash Keith and Beck into the back. Rosemaree gets a peck on the
cheek by Keith. She whispers in my ear "I've been kissed by a Seeker" (the
same way Fran did a few weeks back).
Get home and Mark is working on the Video Newsletter.....he's using some
neat effects, so it will be a good issue and well worth the wait. Spend the
afternoon going through the huge ammount of club Life Memberships that have
Life membership deal finishes in 3 weeks...so if you are signing up for
this, please do so soon.
Thats all for now.....as the site heads towards it's 28,000 hit I'd like to
thank a few people. My friends for giving me some good 'food for thought",
Deb for allowing the site to grow at it's own (non-edited state), Mark for
doing all the work while I tap tap away on mindless waffle, all of you who
really don't give a fuck about Finndom and just love a good gossip, John
Howard as we all need someone to pick on, Hairball the wonder cat, my family and my musical
family both whom I love dearly. "If Music be the food of life, Split Enz be
silverware." What more can I say. have a good week.
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