September 7thI thought it was a bit too early for a chart for The 7 World Colliders and THE SUN CAME OUT, not sure how this one will go as even the stores are unsure where to display the cd. I have to admit I haven't spotted any copies at the OXFAM stores yet, which seems odd as Oxfam benefits from this. I'll have to have another look next week. I did see a John Butler cd at their stores though.
It starts raining in the morning, a bad start for the visit by Marks mum Margaret and Allen. We are fairly sure it is going to rain the whole time they are here. Which is sad, as the Dandenong Ranges are amazing when the suns out. Still it's good to see them, a bit road weary from getting lost but happy to be staying at Ailsa Craig. It's funny I've got all my dinners planned for when they are here, I'm normally not that precise, I think that it's having four people eating not two that makes me more focused. Lovely people happy they are staying.
September 8thWake up early and yep it's raining, bucketing down... at this rate our dams will finally hit the 30% mark-still a long way to go.
I manage to sprain my ankle on the decking. A break in the weather so I'm encouraging them to be outside and call some of the local birds. I grab Allens video camera and film them feeding the tree parrots on their arms. The parrots are so vibrant- looks good.
I stumble around the house all day, ankle wrapped- boring.
I do look up Marie Hay- who performed The Boys Next Door 'Shivers' in the Dogs in Space movie.... nice version.
I also check out some PLB's, never know when you will need a half decent personal locator beacon *GRIN*. See I'm not conceited- FIND ME FIND ME!!!!!
September 9thHey it's raining again, I know it will stop the moment the in-laws leave *GRIN*. I sneak to the bakery and the girls add some extra icing roses and a birthday sign onto a cake- Mum's birthday so I thought we'd surprise her at dinner.
I hear from Gill who used to be in the Crowdies playing keyboards, she sends some funny snaps- especially those of Paulo, Nick and her heading to Adelaide. All the way back to September 1986....so 23 years ago. Has it really been that long? Over the next few weeks I'm interviewing Gill for both the newsletter and the Ghost Cars Crowdies book. I don't think anyone has, pretty sure Chris B didn't for his Crowded House book... so it will be nice to have someone else's comments and stories from that early period of Crowded House. Plus she seems quite nice and not bitter etc which is a relief. You just never know after all this time how people are- she's pursued her own career so she hasn't really looked back.
September 10thWe wave goodbye to the in-laws and of course the sun comes out an hour later! We have our house back, always feels good, no matter who is staying, almost sounds selfish doesn't it? It's not, we love people staying but it just feels nice when we reclaim our turf.
Bill the Blazers guy turns up, to take notes on Ailsa Craig. It's some super water spray system, for the bushfire seasons. Many of the houses saved had the systems, it's an hours worth of water from huge storage tanks spraying out everywhere. Ailsa Craig is such a large house it's going to be costly we think, but we will get a quote.
Spend the afternoon packing our bags and camera gear for Queensland. The wedding is in a few days time, will be nice getting some Qld sun.
September 11thI'm awake fairly early so take the risk and let Miss Banshee out to do her business....hoping she will return before we head off. She does- good cat.
Mark seems rather on edge, he's nervous about the wedding, more nervous then the groom...well maybe not. We head off, it's not too early our flight is at midday. We miss the morning workers traffic so apart from what seems like endless red traffic lights we get to Melbourne airport with time to spare. Coffee up at the frequent flyer- it worries me that they know me by name when I walk in. When I die I wonder if the frequent flyer lounge will have a sofa named after me or a metal plaque on the mens room door?
Flight is a little late but strong tail winds speed things up. It's quite a boring flight, I read and nap.
Arrive Brisbane, sunny, and with some help of my GPS arrive at Roma Street accommodation. The suite is on the 10th floor, right at the end of the building which is great, a view of the river and no one on one side so it should be quiet.
Go for a walk with Mark for some necessity's, yeah chocolate. Find the local JB who have one copy of 7 Worlds II. The mall is packed with school kids and teenage runaways... it's out of control.
We give Cathy a call, we are anxious to see her. She's had a bad news week, and it makes me wave my fist at God. She's amazingly brave like a few of our mates have been, and that dark sense of humour still exists. She is late for dinner, at first I thought she chickened out, but knew she would be happy to hang with us. Food arrives, and it's a bit strange, tastes ok but the delivery and presentation is odd. Mark is easily convinced for a few snaps of us three.... we go over his limit but tonight he lets us get away with it. Most shots we look ok except one where all three of us look incredibly tragic..... I'm laughing so much of our freakiness that I have to go to the loo, or pee my pants in hysterics.
I walk Cathy to her car and now I know why she was so late, she's miles away. Brisbane is kind of dodgy this time of night, people looking for fights , people offering drugs and sex and god knows what else. I think i was more worried walking back to our room alone- I've seen Cathy swing a hang-bag and take someone out so she was really protecting me when I walked her to the car!!! I walked back fast, just glad to be in the security of the hotel. Double lock the door.
The Queensland Tourism sign glows across from our suite, it's so bright and sunny...ah Queensland.......!!!
September 12thOur breakfast arrives in the room, it's huge, I never eat this much in the morning. Tastes great. We drive to Jen and Bens place. It's about 30 minutes away, and I'm stoked that the landscape changes from Brisbane city to loads of gum trees and nature. It's not Kalorama but at least the gum tree environment is calming and pretty. We are greeted by Mr Yeti outside, and I was trying to figure if we had caught him bolting from the scene..... cmon inside you are getting married in 2 hours.!!!You can't escape now!!!
Great to see our best mates, and so happy for them. We film relatives, just comments from everyone before the big event. It's funny. Both families are so warm to us, really nice- we feel a bit special. I'm wearing a hat so I don't get fried by the Queensland sun. I like my Victorian 'tan'! We meet Ben's grandmother and she is the most adorable woman, you honestly want to steal her! It's a great day, a few drinks hic hic hic...some have even more HIC HIC HIC... but weddings are like that. We tend to avoid them if we can and so glad it's not a church wedding. To each their own but give me a warm family backyard wedding in a beautiful Aussie setting then some cold stone church full of baloney. We sadly had to zoom off in the evening as they were closing the Brisbane streets, River Fire is on- the start of the Brisbane festival, 600,000 head to the city and streets are closed off. We make it back to the hotel with 3 minutes to spare. Suddenly people are everywhere, like lemmings ..... we see the last of the fireworks and the jets fly over from the 10th level of our room. A nice ending to a really positive day...love rules he! Congrats guys, we were stoked to be part of it, and so happy for you both.
September 13thMark had little sleep last night, I'd like to think it's my wild sexual appetite but just the lingering of the wedding festivities. Once more the breakfast but they forgot a few things, like cereal and no milk!! Mark is in slow mode and the drive to the airport is a bit chaotic. I basically dump the hire car and send Mark into the business class check in. I'm stoked we have business class back as the economy line goes out the door. I walk Mark upstairs to the Brisbane frequent flyer lounge. We are having a coffee and I feel some eyes on me, it's not a pervy old Qld business man but Stephen Cummings. We met Stephen a few times when we were kids going to live shows. He was the lead singer for The Sports, and has since had an excellent solo career, as well as a half decent writer. He tells me he has a new album coming up with Billy Miller from The Ferrets..a joint effort. As he talks to us I start to obsess about the 3 hairs growing on his nose (not in it)... I notice things like that-weird I know. He's a nice guy, and I'm eager to hear the next release.
We board the flight and have the front 2 seats on the plane, plus I'm given a chunky Qantas pillow so I attempt to snooze and fail. My brain is ticking over, just want to get home. The flight seems much longer, I'm just impatient.
Melbourne is a bit grey, especially after 2 days in Queensland , sunny one day, cancer the next-yieks.... give me the grey with some sun. Banshee is happy to see us and she talks her cat talk, the chickens have laid some extra eggs, all is fine at Kalorama.
I check some mail, apparently several countries have mail sorting strikes which is annoying as it means some of the copies of THE SUN CAME OUT will surely get stuck in this mail delay. The postal service annoy me when they do this, happens regularly these days. Its extra annoying as I managed to get copies of the 2 cd sent out several days early. I'm glad our fan base is patient. The mail is now taking over 2 weeks to arrive from overseas destinations, very slow.
The 7 Worlds II album debuts at #39 on the Australian ARIA Top 200 chart. I was hoping for Top 30, as I know it would end up in more stores (like target stores only have the top 30 albums).... so OXFAM would of benefited more.... I'm hoping it will climb next week. It's a good album and hey OXFAM, that alone is a reason to grab a copy.
September 14thI hear from Bic and send out a VIP email with a Q&A from her, she's working on her next album. I avoided asking her about the rumour that Bic-Dave Dobbyn and Tim Finn are playing a 10th anniversary tour in NZ next year. I've had a few emails from people asking me, starting to get one a day- I just keep saying I have no news (which is true), but it only takes one and obviously there has been a leak (I guess), and not me. I'm sure we'll find out more over the next month.
Poor old Patrick Swayze lost his fight against cancer, we loved him in The Outsiders, I still think that was his best work. (women will disagree with me). he seemed like a decent bloke.
I get a postcard from Rosemaree, she doesn't like Blackpool, but I think her holiday is rolling along, she still hasn't said if she is having fun though- hopefully she is. Scotland is so lovely, she'll dig that part of her trip I'm sure.
September 15thTrue Blood Season 2 returns to cable, yey- excellent, I'm glad it's back. I also see some of the footage from the next Twilight movie.... it will be huge. I see some schools are banning the Twilight books but allowing Harry Potter still (snore)- don't they know each time you ban something kids will REALLY make an effort to obtain it!
It's an incredible Spring day outside, a great day to be alive, I go for a run around Ailsa Craig.
I visit Dr Chiro for some acupuncture, I forget to get it in my hands, he does some new leg bending thing... OK that's new I chuckle. Kinky Dr Chiro!
I think I'm calling the chapter on Crowded House keyboardists 'Keys to the House' in the book- mostly Eddie, Mark and Gill. It's a bit cheesey but suits the chapter.
September 16thMark is happy as they have their 'lime tart' at Lilly Pilly, only a few days to go before the current owners hand it over to the new people, we worry that it won't be as good, but we have to give them a chance. But will they make Lime Tarts?
My sister calls and tells me that my Mum is in hospital- she's ok but they needed to keep an eye on her, her blood pressure went through the roof. I feel useless being down here, but Sis assures me it is pointless flying up and they hope Mum will be out in a day or so. So I'm sad guy today.
Fiona E's present arrives and cheers me up. A cute book 'Never have a bad day again'. Each page has a single line on it...I open it to 'Thinking about future shags'! Typical that's the one I'd open. Made me smile a bit.
I head off to do some store checks, some bimbo at JB Knox gives me some grief because I bought more then one copy of a charity cd... such a cow.I'm tempted to tell her to get fucked but I'm a nice guy so just give her a sour look.
I also grab 'Before the Frost' the new Black Crowes album- really exceptional, my album of the month. It comes with a code card so you can download a 2nd album of unreleased material- great value, excellent production.
If I wasn't so fried I would of headed into Readings at Hawthorn as Jeff Lindsay is signing copies of his Dexter books, in Australia for a promo trip.
We watch some South Park tonight- it's the Manga inspired episode - sometimes this show is brilliant and rises above it's Cartman fart jokes- this episode is so good-love it.
September 17thIt took awhile but finally got some code words for the pre sale for Tim shows, I wasn't a happy camper, no reason why this stuff shouldn't be easy, someone emailed me that they 'thought' they sent it.... well you know you didn't!!! Once more I was nice, but it also means Tim doesn't get the full promotional value... we could be doing more.
I checked out the production notes on the Black Crowes album and was happy to see it was produced by Paul Stacey. Paul played guitar in the Finn Brothers band- well he's done well. A fine effort.
I head outside in the afternoon and start trimming back bushes and greenery from the house, fire season is only 6 weeks away so we are all preparing for it up here.
'Skippy-Australia's First Superstar' is showing on the ABC tonight. A doco on our fave marsupial... hmmm if Skippy was meant to be a boy- why did he have a pouch? It's actually a fun documentary , one of those iconic flashback type things. I remember 'meeting' Skippy at the Dapto show when I was very young....I wonder if Mum took any photos, I'll have to ask.
I chat to Sis and they are keeping my mother in hospital for a few days for observation. I'll be glad when she is at home but happy the doctors are being careful.
September 18thI head to the city for stock check. Mark thinks I'm insane but want to stay on top of Seven Worlds II. It means a very long day, but for Neil's sake I do this. I also grab the new Pearl Jam cd-Backspacer. It gets a good work out in my car and another good release, but the Black Crowes steal the crown and their 'Before The Frost' is still my album of the week (sorry Ed...he'll kill me for that). The PJ album is very cool though.
I hear that Blockbuster in America are closing 1000 stores, phew that's a lot- more people join the unemployment line.
I finish my store check and have to say that nearly every JB HI FI store in Victoria has ran out of the 2 cd set of THE SUN CAME OUT (7 Worlds II), and they tell me it's now deleted so it can't be re- ordered, so whatever stock remains in Australian stores of the 2 cd set- well that's it. I don't think they are planning on pressing more for here, so if you live in Australia and have been thinking of buying this album- don't delay, you might have problems finding the 2 cd copy though. I guess that is the case Australia wide.
I put in the order for more copies of the Enz LUTON (2 cd) and Mental Notes. Luton is down to 280 copies, once we sell those out the two cd set will be gone forever. I love the two cd Rootin Tootin Luton ENZ release, from sounds to songs it's one of my favourite albums, it just shines with potential-I'm so happy Eddie Rayner made this one happen.
September 19thMark downloads the two free Pearl Jam live shows that you get as a bonus for buying BACKSPACER... I'm playing Madison Square garden (June 08) while I'm working on the diary. Great show- good choice MG!
We watch the remake of GREY GARDENS on foxtel tonight. A few years back I mentioned the original on this very diary site. Big Edie (Mrs Beale) and Little Edie. Big Edie was the aunt and first cousin to Jackie Kennedy. The original documentary was filmed in 1975 by Albert and David Maysles-the day to day life stuff of the two Edith Beale's (little Edie being thew wacky wonderful daughter...who reminds us of Vivienne). They lived in the decrepit mansion at East Hampton New York. We love the Maysles work -they filmed The Stones 'Gimme Shelter' (and that Beatles first US visit too I recall).
Anyway HBO put together a new movie/documentary "Grey Gardens' which is what we watched tonight. It features Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore- they are both astounding. If you have watched the Maysles original you will be impressed just how perfect Lange/Barrymore are....as the documentary flashes between their lives years earlier to the Maysles documentary being filmed. It's funny and incredibly sad..... horrifying in parts as you realize what a pig sty the lovely Grey Gardens ended up as....till Little Edie spots a photographer and the shame is put on Jackie O- and it's semi restored.....and stabilized so the Edies wern't evicted. Anyway this is a fascinating glimpse and Little Edie's thoughts on her stardom are just over the top-visions of grandeur- naturally I just love it.
I chat to Mum at the hospital, and she sounds good so I'm not jumping on a flight, but a few more days for her to be under observation, she'll be glad to be home, I can tell. I'm just relieved.
September 20thI grab the scones from the bakery for the Verandah and have a quick coffee- some sunshine today. As I'm typing goodbye to you all, the Madison Square Garden crowd are singing PJ's 'Better man'- what a cool song! I've got to go turn it up a notch.....