November 24thThe public ticket sale for the upcoming SEVEN WORLDS II shows happened today in NZ, I still don't like the venue, just seems like it will lose some of that magic in what is a glorified pub- but in the end it's what the boss and gang are going for- I'm sure it will be a kick arse night but the venue last time was so classy and cool.
Continue on getting envelopes ready for the mail out, it's one of those endless chores- seems to go on forever and forever and just side tracks from everything else we are doing in the office. I leave in 4 days for tasmania and haven't even thought about packing my bags till this minute. I just know Tassi will be great, expecting one of those major sing-along crowds.
November 25thWe finish up the last of the wheatgrass, urgh tastes like hay! Isn't everything that tastes bad good for you?
Email Sharon and Neil for a strudio snap for the glossy- Nick returns my email with a fisheye lens shot of the band rehearsing- good lad.
Am excited to see his new born baby Lola Mae, a baby on the road again, it's been awhile, wonder how we will all react- bet it will make us clucky! All those little hands and feet and rather huge ear covers.
November 26thHappy Birthday dear Toija- glad you enjoyed the present.
Chat to Nicky about the printing, they are onto it, will all be fine.
A HUGE box arrives from Lisa in NSW crammed full of tuppaware , and it's the very rock and roll black lid design- I expect one small container, it's incredible, enough containers to last me a life time! Thank you
November 27thSome new christmas music for us. Our lovely mate Bic Runga mailed over her upcoming TRY TO REMEMBER EVERYTHING cd. It's 14 rare and unreleased songs...my fave is GRAVITY from the KCRW sessions. It's possibly my favourite Bic song and a killer version on this CD. At this stage it will only be available via NZ, so grab a copy (as I think it's limited) from our friends at Marbecks. If you live overseas it's tax free and the exchange rate is very good at the moment. Their website is: http://www.marbecks.co.nz/
The voting continues for The Age EG awards... and those Skyhook boys are way ahead. They have 30% of the vote, You Am I next with 18%, ACDC third with 12%, Midnight Oil with 9% and INXS with 8%. Only a few days to go so I'm hoping my seventies iconic heroes win 'favourite all time album'. Living In The 70's is one of those rare gems that only comes around every 50 years and it truly changed the Australian industry.
Got a lot of Christmas cards today, the really cool thing is quite a few had a message that said ' no idea what to get you for xmas so included some unused stamps' - which was so great- the perfect gift really, postage is always the thing we run up against so stamps are just a blessing- so a big thank you to the kind souls who have been doing that- made me smile. I'm glad people are not sending us E-Cards!
It's so good to see a federal government that can be flexible- as they had a change of heart over Dr Moeller and his down syndrome son and allowed them to stay here. Every so often they do the right thing politicians.
Spend the night packing my bags... all very last minute.
I'm off to the airport early- David has signed us all up for the Virgin freaky flyer so I can take the guys into the lounge. I'm nice & early to meet everyone when they come out of International Customs. They sneak out a side door and surprise me, I wonder how long they were watching!!! *GRIN*I meet Lola Mae- oh what a beauty she holds my finger and gives the best smile- what a gem. Nicola is so gorgeous with her- this will be fun, a baby back on tour. What a funky baby carriage... wow-high tech.
Mark and Miss C head off to check in with Virgin, I worry when they escape my clutches, usually there are two of us doing the walk but today it's just me and 10 and 1/2 people.... thankfully I've scouted ahead and organised a few things and walk them through the gold area as the Virgin lines are huge!!!! The freaky flyer lounge is good very spacious and kind of empty. We all sit chat, I sneak off and vote in the EG on several lounge computers. (every vote helps).
It's so nice to see everyone, between us all we consume all the raisin toast in the lounge- some things don't change.
We board the flight and all our seats are at the very back, just so we can sit together- I'm next to Matt and his gal Kel... it's a chance to get to know them much better, it's always been so rushed in the past so this will be good. As we are taxing the stewardess and stewart (Mr G ....Elroy?) come up and say the plane needs re- balancing and we should move up the front...(it's all that raisin toast!). I think it's subtle way for us to have a sneaky upgrade to first class... and do I complain- f*ck no! So all of us are shuffled about and I'm next to Nick, Nicola and lovely Lola. The true test, babies crying on planes..oh no. She does cry for a minute but it's the softest noise, can we please patent this cry..it's so quiet... wonderful. Chat to Nick all the way really cool, share a sandwich and before the blink of an eye we are in Tasmania. Mr G is a sweetie and has us chuckling. The Finns are the 3 seats behind so thats both odd and cool... I guess????????? Walk off the plane with The Harts and have a sing along about cats (don't ask).
Our glorious leader David is at the airport... and so is our bus that takes us to the Grand Chancellor Hotel on Davey Street. A quick shower and off to sound-check #1... I head back to grab the guys...and my first day on the job- I blow it. I call Don's room and he's not in but he turns up in the foyer...so when I do the head count it adds up........ till we arrive and I realise Elroy is not with us- Neil laughs and I feel so bad..I know sound-check is behind but I rarely stuff up. I'm so use to him walking down with Dad. El lets me off the hook, but I feel crappy all evening. Neil tells me not to worry he was left behind in Canberra one time by the tour manager.... but it sits on my head, I'm one of those ' no one gets left behind' tour military guys. At soundcheck they work on 'Other side of the world' and 'Left hand'.... I get caught by the boss grinning..I love 'Left hand'.
So great to see the crew, all my brothers....hard workers.... and even more so with the Tasmania drizzle that is falling. I fix up the band room a bit, it's like a Turkish Spa inside so air it a bit... and keep the tea and coffee coming. Film some of soundcheck...also a shot of the guys posing for the press.
We are all home by midnight. Nick calls my room from the restaurant to come on down for a Thanksgiving dinner but I decline as I need to do about 5 hours of other work...
I go out early and try to find a Santa suit for my photo shoot. I finally track one suit down at 'Chicken Feed'.... all the other suits were plastic YCH- plastic santa suit- how crappy. This one is felt and I figure will last for one shoot. I don't think I can get it shot in Tassi it will have to be Melbourne- Neil's given it his blessing. Buy some very cool santa hats too- they look Dr Seuss-ish....! I yawn a lot today not much sleep.
The crew call is at 11.30 so see them all stumbling out while I am walking in. We head off at 1.00- I have a life member sound-check today so that will be cool, just trying to slot it in. Almost knock Josh Pike over in my speed to head out to the fans- Josh is kinda cute- the guys all watch his set from side stage. he gets a thumbs up.
The fans are cool, and open air gigs like this are much better it's less intimidating.
The set starts with It's only Natural and the crowd goes for it from the first tune. Neil introduces Nicks new baby to the world and the crowd burst into The Kinks LOLA, all by themselves almost zero prompting, Nick was glowing, such a proud dad, I filmed it for Lola, for later when she can understand what it all means. Two encores...
I have the side stage table all set up-feels odd without Dee there BUT Davids up for the challenge and just makes it all easy. We work well together, and I'm just so stoked he's on board. The crowd sing Better be home Soon for Paulo... they are in fine voice, the rain holds off... god I love this band. Matt has fitted in so well, I'm amazed at how well- this was the best I've seen him drum...cool gig- we have to come back to Tasmania soon. I talk to the guys about leaving the stage and straight into the vans- to avoid the traffic. David and myself pack all their clothes in the trunks so they can escape an instant after the encore..and they do. Meanwhile we wait for hours which is ok... waiting is part of touring too. Home to my room at some silly time... can't sleep, read my Led Zep book and watch the news.
We assemble in the lobby at 9.30, give everyone a wake up call, which is part of my duties but as expected they are all up and about. Nick and Neil are the last stragglers onto the coach, I knew Nick would head to the first bus which isn't ours and full of cute old grannys..... so we kind of let him almost board it- which gets a chuckle from both of us...."Nick your fans are getting older' I joke. The Grandmas look at Nick with lust in their eyes (ok maybe not).
David zooms ahead in the van and gets to the airport before us and sets the day in motion- I do a head count and can't spot Elroy who's head pops up at the calling of his name (PHEW).
We end up getting a later flight today, which was Jetstar and we use the lounge area. I honestly remember very little of today. I do sit next to Matt on the plane and we swap photos of our houses.
Arrive Melbourne, grab my bags and I'm off. Home to Marky for a day and a bit and (yum) home made sausage rolls. I am spoilt, he is gorgeous.
December 1stWorld Aids day today, I make an online donation.
The EG awards voting finishes and I'm fairly positive the Skyhook boys did win "all time favourite australian album' they will be stoked- thanks for voting readers.
Nigel turns up with Miss Kim and we head to Rickettts Sanctuary and a coffee at Sonyas. I only show them into the sanctuary, using my year pass, takes some snaps and zoom home.... so much work piling up in the office. It's nice to see Kim even for a brief moment, think everyone understands how flat out it is. Good to see them though.
It's great to be in my own bed tonight- though I don't sleep too well.
December 2ndGreg calls and the EG people are in contact and he is going to accept the award with Bongo Skyhook. The crowd will love that.
Drive to the venue for soundcheck and the Melbourne traffic is truly evil. The hotel person gives me incorrect directions and I end up stuck in even slower traffic several blocks away. To make it worse the hotel car park is blocked by a truck so I end up parking in a car park on the 24 hour car park stretch.
Neil is rehearsing half a dozen new songs so part of soundcheck is closed off. I walk some people out and tell the life members outside that they will be called in, in half an hour. They are all fine about it. Chat to Laura and Stella.
Davey Lane from You Am I is at soundcheck so I grab him a AAA pass and just chat- he's a lovely bloke, always nice to see him- such a big rock n roll heart.
I note that Cars Collide is also called Higher Consciousness("and everythings moving so slow, the doors of perception will open & close"). Isolation is played, and the new version of Lucky. The fans get to see People are like suns, Not the girl and a few other songs. They are happy- have to say no to photographs of any kind today-sometimes we do sometimes we dont.
The band room is in the bowels of the venue so up and down several flights of stairs all night. Neil signs some art for one of Sue Gudinski's charities. The band go 45 minutes over time tonight, such a long set. I tell Fang not to worry, in the Led Zep booked they played for 4 and a half hours and 12 encores!!!!!!! They ran out of songs so ended up playing Beatles tunes.
It's not an aftershow as such but various friends are backstage, Greg Skyhook ventures down and I introduce him to Nick. They are both bass players, and have worn white suits onstage..and both respect each others playing, so a nice moment. Sally Crombie and Pinky and a host of others. Kim gate crashes and security turns a blind eye! It's an hour later and decide I'd better go and do the long drive home. I am at the hotel tomorrow night but for tonight...Kalorama.
Head outside and a cluster of fans are going up against the elements waiting for the guys to appear. My car parking place is just around the corner, and I'll be glad to drive and get home, those stairs really did me in tonight. Imagine my horror to find the security gate locked and my car inside. So the Gryphon gets a taxi home, $110.00 later. I just roll my eyes at Mark... one of those nights.
December 3rdThe second Crowdies show at the Forum is tonight, crew call isn't till 2.00 and band at 5.00 so an easy day.
I walk to the Verandah for breakfast with Marky and spend the next 2 hours trying to find a local taxi to take me to the city. Finally one turns up, and $95.00 later I'm at the hotel. I have to say my hotel room is really fantastic and just the best views, I'm in it for 5 minutes and off to the venue which is an easy walk. Sound-check has the band playing a lot of new songs like The Intriguer. 789, Better things, Amsterdam etc. The show is another good one, they really only detour from the set during the encore which becomes Italian Plastic, Mean to me, Weather with you and Better be home soon.
I organise the Santa snap in the band room, change into my $5 suit in Dons room. The band have a chuckle.
I walk Neil, Sharon , Pink and George out after the show just to make sure they get back ok. Neil is pounced on per usual. he signs and poses, such a good lad. Next it's Nick and Nicola and Lola so I do the same and end up heading back with Nick. Some autograph hounds are at the hotel and I wonder if they were real or Ebay. I call Mark all is well at Kalorama.
Breakfast Cafe Cento Venti
Depart the hotel before lunch, Davids away at the airport so I get everyone on the bus. I take the 4WD to the airport and manage to park and get to the check in as the band walk in. Qantas today so we fill up the freaky flyer. Our flight gets cancelled so we all spend 2 hours together chatting, eating, it's quite nice really. Matt is asleep, I kind of enjoyed these few hours.
I read the Led Zep book on the flight. Pretty much check into the hotel via the back door and depart 15 minutes later for sound-check via the front door. Back at the Enmore so many good shows have happened at this venue.
The band are rehearsing new songs so the fans coming in for soundcheck wait in the side room and then they are walked in. Recurring Dream gets a solid workout- it starts the set tonight. hear from Skip which is great and during the encore Nick suggest to Neil that we dedicate a song to him, Neil does. Lots of familiar face sat this one, people we've worked with. Totally flat out- fans are asking at the stage door for me but these days we are so busy we cant even say hi-it's work, I think some people think I'm on the road for a holiday and we all sit about-far from it- touring is such a long day. A very passionate crowd tonight, loved this show.
Pete and Sue are backstage, good to see them, make a few munchies and serve drinks, I don't mind be glorified bar tender for an hour. Jenny Morris is all smiles, it's a nice night.
December 5thDay off...catch up with some fans. Go for a quick shop, buy Mark a present. Flowers in my room, huge red star dahlia's. The hotel can't find a vase big enough.
I'm sitting on my bed at 4.42 (sorry Duges we kept you awake) and I can hear Crowded House's "when you come' that must be a LOUD car radio- oh it's the guys rehearsing across the road at the Homebake sight.
Susan's art show tonight but I can't make it as I have scheduled in time to catch up with 3 old friends- Amanda, Jenni and Elaine- went to school with them. It turns out to be a very fun night and we eat dinner in the room, I crash about 4.00. Think I talked too much. Was a nice surprise to see them.
December 6thSydney Homebake.
We head down to the Quay for some breakfast and I wave goodbye to my school friends. Benny calls and the lovely foxy one is in town so I am spoilt with some brunch. I am now FULL guys! I hear someone playing T Rex's "Baby Boomerang" in their car, what a cool song.
I head to Homebake with the guys, our band room is in a good spot and well stocked. Baby Lola holds court backstage- we all love her. Bill & Amanda are backstage so that's fun, and in walks Edrei -so a family reunion. Stage right is for family and a few friends,stage left closed, so Dugald , David and myself do band walk on from that side. Neil's voice is a bit raspy but he does well and keeps the crowd going, even the dick who through his thong onstage. There's always one at a festival.
I meet foxy one at the gate and she gets a prize position on the side and enjoys it- some of the midnight oil guys are here too. Most of the hits in this set, and we are really tight for time, so Something so strong has been dropped from the encore, but Neil adds some of 'throw your arms around me into 'weather with you'.
Say goodbye to some of the crew and band and take the van back with Ben and Jen, spot a guy and his girl doing lines of cocaine on a wall while we are waiting in the traffic jam. Finish the night with a cuppa- nice. Benny is awake in 4 hours and off to tour with the Wiggles- how does he do it?
The check out at the hotel is crazy, Elroy and Dugald are with me..the line seems to be going nowhere. Neil and Sharon come down to say goodbye which is sweet. I'm on the flight with Angus and Duges, QF431 and that leaves at 12.00. It leaves on time, and I'm home by 4.00.
So a lightening run of dates, who knows when Crowdies will return for more shows.
Have a great Christmas everyone, and check out Bic Runga's Try To Remember Everything , nice to have some music for christmas.