June 15thWow Peter Costello quits parliament today, I guess that dashes the Liberals hopes for him to try and be PM. He has been fairly useless on the back bench, might as well get on with his life, I'm sure Turnbull will be sighing with relief, as opinion poll wise Costello was way more popular- no one really likes Turnbull-even in his own party. Politics is such a weird beast, Costello was always the Liberals little prince in waiting but he blew it- he should of had the balls to stand up to John hoWARd and go for it- obviously he didn't have the 'right stuff' to lead.
Life is cheap on the street- another member of the Moran family gunned down at a coffee place in Melbourne-- I don't think there are many left. Another chapter for the Underbelly TV show? Judy Moran seemed to be crying crocodile tears , it just looked like she was doing that for the media- how odd.
I hear from Neil and the Crowdies are now doing over-dubs on the new album. He's not giving much away, at least we know there is more fresh music on the not too distant horizon.
June 16thOff to Warrick for my chiro today. Needles in my hands for the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome stuff. He tells me my hands will become heavy and they do so for about ten minutes. After that it's like flood gates have opened and my hands are full of electricity. If I was in some lycra super heroes outfit I'd be firing energy from my finger tips- it feels that electric. I guess he has opened up some blockages.
Banshee wanders into the kitchen with no cat collar on her- so no ID, no bells etc. We go out searching for it, but no sign, I wonder what she has been up to. Climbing those extremely high trees I bet. I look all around the neighbours property's but no sign of it. She is micro chipped so even if she wanders away we'll get a call.
I do my washing today, so boring, but finally all done.
Martin next door gets to hear some of Seven Worlds II- new music always excites our friends on the block. The album is now called '7 Worlds Collide- The Sun Came Out'!
We spend the afternoon doing a target mail out for POOR BOY's Sydney show. Nice glossy flyer. Quite a few emails from Sydney fans who are attending. Tickets available here:
June 17thWe mail in the donation to TRUST FOR NATURE, all helps- they seem like a very cool organisation. It will help both habitats and animals so that feels good.
I fill up the baskets with kiwi fruits, 12 parrots are on the vine eating them so I'm trying to get as many picked before the birds devour them. Unfortunately it's Racist Ron and his tribe so they are not scared of me, one even lands on my arm while I'm picking the fruit and scares the living hell out of me. Oh well it's nice to share, we really don't need 300+ kiwi fruits anyway.
We mail a dvdr to Neil and Tim, Enz footage. Hoping to time it for Tim's birthday as I know he loves all that Enz footage especially the early stuff.
June 18thThe Aussie Socceroo's beat Japan 3 to 1 last night at Melbourne MCG. It was quite a decent crowd too, 5 times what Sydney got. The Socceroo's are loved in Melbourne. Good to see a young team doing so well.
My vibe is shitty for the Crowded House book. This is normal,the 'starting gun' never seems to fire.... I just 'float' about, no vibe. I WANT to start, possibly my aching fingers from the Carpal stuff are not helping. I also know once I start it will be o.k and will roll along. I have to look at my other diary to work out when I'm interviewing people- still heaps of bits and pieces to set up- just waiting for the Muse to land and take me by the hand and give me a damn big push.
In some ways I'm not being honest, I've dragged out boxes and boxes of stuff, cool little things, the odd handwritten lyric from Neil that he's given or thrown away over the years. I think I'll probably start on the Complete Live Show list first as that will be a nice guideline and it's probably the biggest pain in many ways. So many shows. Also, I have a feeling I might of done the very last Interview with Paul before he died. It wasn't all about Crowded House but there is a segment on the Crowdies so I should find my notes from that day. I'm getting some urge to go 'visit' Paul at Blackwood cemetery. I'm not a big cemetery person but Paul pops into my noggin' at weird times and it's the closest thing we can do to say 'hi'...and pay some respects.
Nice afternoon, love my sexy old man Marky! He's blushing while he reads this I'm sure, he'll hate that I have penned this on the diary- so private.
June 19thI have a chat to David who's on the Pink tour. He offered to bring me in with Pinks crew which was so sweet of him. I was very very tempted but at the same time know how busy he gets on the road so I'll probably let it slide. Such a huge Australian tour, overseas tours are never this big. She has 4 or 5 albums in the Top 50 here.
Oh god I'm so over Kylie. Now that she is talking about a range of golf clothes I'm thinking she is becoming a boring old fart. She can't just go and play dull old golf, she has to 'design' a range of outfits for it- what a load of bull shit. Maybe if she spent more time focusing on making some good music it would be time better spent. The world really needs Kylie Golf Outfits? She should design some Kylie Squirrel Underpants?
Chat to Bongo Skyhook, he's on Channel 31 and needed some Skyhooks photos for the show. So naturally we help him out. I also sent him some extra shots just for him- Bongo in full drag as 'Sleazy Sue' from the 'Party to end all Parties' clip, and the time he painted his face totally black for stage after meeting Little Richard in the USA! We love our little Bongo, he still has to visit though-slack bastard! *GRIN*
June 20thWe work in the office for most of the weekend. I have some vibe around 'Ghost Cars On The Freeway' book (finally) and decide to go through my Video shoot files. I'm so glad I did as I found copies of many of the original video concepts. The one for 'Don't dream it's over' is great, the original was so German expressionist in style. Static, extreme angles, band in black-with dense B&W photography . Some parts shot through a brightly painted primitive DADA type sculpture and band reflecting shadows of strange evil looking creatures!!!! The best part, one of the original story boards I'd saved. There are also ideas for other CH clips, one rejected idea used further down the track for a Neil Finn solo clip (I'm not saying yet) just fascinating fan stuff that will read well and people will get a buzz from. I love band books that have stuff like this, especially around a band that has been explored and commented on numerous times. It will be nice to add another aspect to Chris' wonderful CH book. I think over the next week 'Ghost cars..' would of sold out-so no doubt stragglers will miss out. I'm fighting for it NOT to be released everywhere, as I like limited editions where fan club people get something special. I still get emails every day from Split Enz fans who love our Enz book. At least one email a day on that- makes you feel good.
I decide to do a stock check for Rocket Pocket Books, especially with tax time coming up for Filthy Rich Promotions. I hadn't realized that both Hussy and Bang! had now gone to the final handful. There have been dribs and drabs of sales over the past month, but after a very solid week- it now looks like that these first two diary books will sell out within the next few days! Holy shit!
June 21stI make homemade chocolate chip cookies, none of that bought cookie dough stuff (urgh) the real thing, you know brown sugar and butter etc. I think I've only ever made cookies once before and that was years ago, think they had a bit of pot in them for the Chapel street store holders at Christmas!
Anyway todays (drug free) cookies turned out really well, way too many but after the third tray I got it down pat- our huge ovens can be like inferno's., easy to burn them. Mark nibbles away- Banshee steals one- nothing like a cat running down the corridors of Ailsa Craig with a cookie in her mouth!
I watch more Aussie Koala Bear bushfire survivors get released into their new habitat, all healthy and boy can they run up those gum trees. Nice to see them looking so happy and safe.
It's been another incredible weekend of Auction results here, 86% sold this weekend. Victoria is running out of houses. Only one house around our area doesn't have a SOLD sticker on it. A few friends have given up on trying to buy.
So France is about to ban the Muslim Burqa. I love how graffitist Princess Hijab covers billboard models in spray painted Burqa's! I've fallen in love with 'the princess'- both Mark and myself are marrying her and will give her a dowry of 500 spray paint cans! She does rock: http://kaukasus.blogspot.com/2009/03/princess-hijab-naughty-girl-with-bad.html
June 22ndGreen Day's 'Peacemaker' track from 21st Century Breakdown is playing while I'm writing the diary.... serious clapping and dancing in the office. All the local kids are in here today, dancing on desk tops and someone just fell off the old fax machine. 'Last of the american girls' from the same album is now playing so that has slowed the pace down - more bodies almost entwined swaying. Maybe I should just open the Ailsa Craig dance groove pit and be done with it. Green Day Aussie Tour tickets on sale next week, so I'm thinking of going- should be a fun tour. Their ticket prices have jumped a bit though.
The leader of the opposition Malcolm Turnbull makes a total galah of himself over 'ute-gate'. Talk about not bothering to check your facts- that's it, game over for his career. Flimsy and fabricated, he'll be back to record lows in the polls again soon. I still can't believe a politician can be that stupid.
I do a small Q&A on Nepal for our friend Stella- nice to relieve all those Kathmandu memories.
Australia has it's highest rate of new car sales for 5 years last month. When you consider that the car industry has collapsed in several major countries this is indeed amazing. It's like the house sales, what's going on!
June 23rdOk one of the best presents I have ever received. Awhile back I was looking at the wonderful artist Shepard Fairey's DEXTER poster art, and decided the money would go to bushfire charity instead. So I did the right thing. Anyway amazing Jennifer in NYC just made my afternoon when a poster tube arrives with the exceptional Shepard's DEXTER poster- signed numbered.... see me dancing, see me smiling. Love it- beautiful You all know Fairey's work- you know the Obama poster and cover of Time etc. Anyway we have one space left for art so this one gets framed and goes up- yey! Thanks JG.
The Oz lotto prize of $50 million doesn't go off tonight...so it jumps to $90 million next week- God I could be so annoying with $90 million dollars.
June 24thWe decide to do the drive to Blackwood today. It feels like the time is right to visit Paul's grave, take some flowers and clean up the area around it, like we always do. It's very grey outside, one of those Melbourne Winter days where you could easily hide away in bed for another hour. I'm up early, just a restless night- so a bit hazy. We have some brunch on Canterbury Road and the car is full of fuel- will take us between 2 and 3 hours, probably longer as we are calling into the city to grab a few more copies of The Conversation by Tim Finn. I end up parking in an underground car park and if we drove down any further we could pop out on the other side of the planet. Almost giddy from driving around and around and around.....
JB stores in the city are now out of The Conversation stock, all gone, so a few more stores off the list. Tim will be happy. I ran into Myer's and bought some bio-therm High Recharge- anti fatigue, that's the main one I seem to use. It works well especially after a night of serious partying.
We depart, drive over the West gate Bridge and are on our way to Blackwood. It's an easy drive, especially with the GPS, even with some new road words throwing it off course for 10 minutes it did it's thing and soon we were driving through the Lerderderg State Forest. Wombat crossing signs, Kangaroo crossing signs, Sheep crossing signs what critters don't cross here. Gryphon crossing sign would be cool! We are both busting to go to the loo so in the end a quick run into the bush(natures toilet)- sometimes guys just have to pee!!!! Nothing bit our body parts but I kept getting the feeling something was watching us- very strange.
We drive past the general store-coffee house at Blackwood, the only shop...and it's for sale (Blackwood Cob & Co Tearooms). Turn right and head to the cemetery. As always we are the only people, as I said to Neil, "the only living people". We have some flowers from Ailsa Craig so clean out the old dead ones and leave this bundle. It's not as messy as previous visits. I am worried a bit as the Hester piece on the bottom of the headstone is flaking off, just the black covering. His Mum has a similar headstone but her's seems ok, so maybe faulty workmanship. I smile as the drum 'brush' is still at the grave and the little Eiffel tower. A few small flowers and plants are popping up where we put the seeds in. I have some bronze shade sunflower seeds so I pop them in the ground too- no sign of any cockatoo's (they love sun flowers) so these may have a chance. Love the idea of Paul's grave having some flowers growing near it. Mark and myself say a few things, I'm not great at the grave side chatter. I'm so happy Mark is here, not sure my head could get around this if he wasn't. It's such a beautiful day, blue sky. I go to the back of the cemetery and look at the old china men graves from the gold mining times. Blackwood really was created in the 1850's from the gold rush- so it's a gold-mining village.
The nice part about today were all the Hessie stories Mark and myself chuckled over, just stuff he said or when he visited, all those little things, tears of joy. I think of him these days as being very vulnerable, even to look at in photos and footage, which I guess is strange. As we say our goodbyes I comment to Mark 'No cockatoo'. Of course we instantly hear a squawk and there he is, the sulphur crested cockatoo, looks like he is hanging out with a crow. He gives us a final LOUD screech...I expect to hear it sing "I'm still here I wont go away...'. I take a photo of the grave, as I'm not sure of Neil, Nick etc have seen the headstone, or even if I will send it. A headstone is never the most joyous photo image to receive in an email.
We head out the gate and an old man in a car stops and asks for directions to Trentham, and he looks even more confused, he's probably still driving around looking for a way out of Blackwood.
The drive back is slow, forced to go onto the Bolte bridge and via another cemetery on the other side of the city. Peak hour traffic, but we are patient. We get home at dusk. The chickens have put themselves in and I lock them up so Mr Fox doesn't grab a quick snap. Banshee pays us back by not coming in when we call. We settle down and watch the Larry Flint doco on ABC 2. Banshee eventually walks in.
June 25thA really fun Enz recording arrives from Peter in the UK- so many cool memories from 1977- it all came rushing back.
Greg Skyhook calls and we chat about Hooks on iTunes and several other Skyhook related projects, still life in the old girl yet (Skyhooks I mean not Greg....well life in him too). The wonderful 'Living In The 70's' album turns 35 years old on October 28th 2009. Amazing where has time gone. For a decade it was the biggest selling Australian album, it actually spent SIX MONTHS at the #1 spot on the Melbourne charts. I mean six months, what album is number one anywhere for 6 months- crazy! (and it deserved it). It's always nice to chat to Macca, such a father figure for us. For Australian music fans- 'Living in the 70's' is a MUST HAVE for any record collection- still sounds incredible.
I know Bec is heading to see Dali's 'Liquid Desire' at Melbourne's NGV International. I've seen it overseas, pretty cool- for Melbourne art lovers it's on till October 4th. Make the effort, some great Dali objects and art pieces.
June 26thLet the circus begin! Michael Jackson died today- I was awoken after a very long night with a call from Bec- she found out what seemed like ages before anyone. Hardly anything on the News when she told us. At first it sounded like a hoax- as there was nothing. 30 minutes later the news was everywhere. I keep thinking how weird the autopsy will be when they take off that wig of his. I don't think many people knew he had so little hair. Lucky the members of Kiss don't die this week as well as they are the masters of wig wearing. I can confirm that both Finns chunky locks are real- but maybe next time people see them go up and give their hair a tug!
I was more saddened that Farrah Fawcett lost her brave fight with cancer. With MJ dying she will get pushed to page 60 I'm sure. The next month will be nauseating while the media and some of his strange fans build him to god like status. The positive thing I see from Michael is that his music did make many people happy. The negative, the child molestation stuff, and lets face it you don't pay out that money to a 13 year old boy if you didn't do it. There are so many other kids who were Michael's 'special friends' that never scored a cent. His drug addiction, his sad child hood with all those beatings from that wretched father, it all just seems very sad, under the gloss and hype. The magazine trade will be massive over the next few months and the fight for his estate-which from memory none of his family, with the exception of his Mum are in the will. (I think). Uri Geller hogs his media space on Michael and looks nervous and avoids the question' when did you last see Michael'. Truth is Geller hadn't seen him for ages- he just beats his own media drum for attention...I don't like Geller very much- so fake-like his magic. Maybe he can make himself disappear (forever).
Richard Wilkin's makes a fool of himself by reporting Jeff Goldblum died (he didn't)- that guy never gets it right. I wonder what Bubbles thinks of all this, locked away in his pen at Ape World at Miami...waiting for Michael to come and visit (he never did).
I drive to Bridgestone in the afternoon and get 4 new tyres for the 4WD. $1000 later (yieks), but I guess in the 9 years I've had the car it hasn't needed any new tyres. I sit in the car place green room and watch the Michael fanfare unfold on TV. The interviews with the fans are odd, some of them seem like they are a bit, well dumb. I guess Crowdies are lucky, our fans are far more articulate . That says a lot.
Spend an hour in the office and the last 2 diary books-Hussy and Bang! Sell Out. (When asked 'where were you when Michael Jackson died- I can say- 'signing my last 2 diary books') Gone, no more-empty stock shelf. I feel really happy, and thankful that so many people have found homes for the diary books. The third one Glamour will run out next- not many of that left, so that will just leave the recent release TRIP. It kind of blows me away. Out of the 7 Rocket Pocket Book titles, 4 have now sold out! For a small book company that is amazing. I also feel strange around this, not sure why- do I have some weird low self esteem around writing books- how odd ball of me! My life could be worse, I could be on a slab in LA with a crooked wig, broken ribs and needle marks all over my mottled skinned anorexic body. I count my blessings. Maybe Bubbles could live with us- I too love banana's!
June 27thWake up to the news that Michael Jackson died owing over $400 million US (about 1/2 a billion Australian). Obviously the poor bastard was leached by so many hangers on.
Fun article in the paper that 450+ animal species exhibit some level of the same sex behaviour in their groups. The rest don't know what they are missing out on, do they!!! *GRIN*.
Make some homemade soup today- it's real Winter weather, all foggy and wet. I make kick arse soup.
More info on the forest report. 132 Forests around the planet were measured and our own Yarra Ranges Mountain Ash came up as #1 for storing of carbon. They are also long living, up to 350 years. I think we should get a rebate for storing everyone else's carbon in our trees at Ailsa Craig.
I hear from Bic Runga and I'm doing some Q&A interview soon, she's getting ready to get into her next album- working out producers etc.
Nigel from the Enz call and we have a long fun chat, think we keep each other in stitches ...such a funny phone conversation.
June 28thThe charts are in for Australia and no MJ. I guess Sony are holding back all the sales points so he can re enter at #1 next week. In the USA more Jackson songs sold in 24 hours (on Amazon) than in the past 11 years combined. At least the sales may mean his kids get some money from all of this horror.
Working away on our Crowded House GHOST CARS ON THE FREEWAY book. Checking out Chris Bourke';s book and The Doole/Twoomey Private Universe book in case there are any important areas I am missing. After 13 years the Private Universe book is still a horrid , release full of mistakes- while Chris Bourkes book is still a fantastic read. I can't believe the difference.
We watch 'The Spiderwick Chronicles' movie on cable. The one thing that blew my mind about this movie was the pen drawing of the Gryphon in the field guide. It is so similar to my Gryphon tattoo (without the colour). When you consider mine was specially drawn and we burnt the original paper....
I checked out their website, love the line ' The Gryphon becomes more majestic with each generation ' (maybe that's why I picked the Gryphon..or did it pick me? How conceited! Majestic old me.....maybe not.). Anyway cool kids movie, for the kid in all of us. I'll have to grab the box set off Amazon of the books at some stage. Excellent. I loved the Gryphon flying sequence in the movie too.
Star Trek the movie moved into the USA Top 50 (at #50) biggest grossing movies at cinemas. It's done around $250,000,000 in the USA- the company must be happy with those figures. Biggest grossing for 2009 so far.
I found at some more about Bubbles the chimp. Michael sent him to an animal sanctuary in LA because he had become aggressive and started attacking people. In December 2003 Bubbles tried to commit suicide!!!!! but was saved. Each time we tell people this they want to know how a chimp tries to commit suicide. Mark said he pulled out a gun, I said crack over dose! After that he was sent to the Centre for Great Apes in Miami. MJ has never donated a cent to keep him, all monies raised to keep Bubbles alive are from public donations. Typical case of someone getting exotic animals and just dumping them when the novelty wore off. I think Bubbles should do a reunion tour in the USA to make some bucks! or maybe Bubbles can perform at those 50 shows in the UK instead of Michael?
Bruno and PM Rudd were on Rove tonight. It looked hysterical. Bruno says PM Kevin is cuter than Obama! Love it. I think Bruno fever has hit Australia, he's giving jackson a run for his money in coverage here. BRUNO movie will do well.
All the best, and sorry this is a bit messy. Fingers are still strapped because of the carpal tunnel 'stuff'.