August 8thA sunny day at last - I don't mind our Winter, I am surprised that we had almost zero snow though. I DO enjoy the sunshine today, even some of the flowers have been fooled to pop open. Ailsa Craig has a bit more colour to it.
I've got this third 'Largo' show embargoed till later this evening, they said after 7.00 so I'll wait till 7.15 and do my thing. It means yet again I'm doing work in the office on the weekend, but it means so much to so many and any sort of 'heads up' on such shows seems to help. I'm hoping quite a few Finn music lovers get to go to these- I'm sure he'll shake up the set a bit. I've decided to stop working on weekends for now now, no Emails nothing, lock the office up and don't return.
Mark starts scanning some photos for one of our other bands, some possible re issues coming up with bonus tracks- after all these years we still continue to find photos- 'no idea where that one came from'- wow!
August 9thWe watch 'Man On Wire' excellent doco on Philippe Petit who illegally walked between the wire between New York's World Trade Centre , about 1350 feet up. It also has some of his pre- New York wire walks- one being on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I love the scene where the Police are on their radios and one says...how Philippe was walking to the end of the wire, the Police gestured and he 'RAN' back to the middle... how funny- and how scary. The shots 'over the edge' fill me with nausea. It's one of those documentary's that you MUST see. Excellent for all the right reasons.
Oh that damn Squirrel appearing in photos....we were tempted to use Belinda our Black Chicken to take up the challenge and have her appear in snaps around the world..... you know this will peak and then fade away as people get bored. The Net is slowly becoming a cheap novelty area........ and remember Michaels nose is now on Ebay - we've had so many offers.
I'm glad Liam Finn is one of the special Guests for Pearl Jam in Australia , those big shows give him such exposure and the crowds seem to enjoy his short set. The EP will be out soon, hope it does something on the charts for him.
My favourite band this week is Melbourne's ELECTRIC MARY, some very tough hard rock...they kick arse with their 'Down to the Bone' album. Like the rest of the planet they have a MYSpace site: http:// www.myspace.com/electricmary I'm enjoying music with some edge these days... I know they have scored the support for Alice Cooper Aussie tour, and September 12th play the Gershwin Room at St Kilda's ESPY. Bare bones rock and roll babbbbbbbby!
August 10thRosemaree drives up for some breakfast- the last time we'll see her before she flies out for her first overseas holiday in decades. I get this very funky hand knitted hot water bottle cover.... it must have taken her ages- really cool- no more burn't feet in Winter when I'm snuggling deep under that Peruvian blanket. We head to RIPE as Lilly Pilly is closed on Mondays. We shout her breakfast, I don't quite trust Etihad airlines and in case they crash we may never see her again- hell in that case we'll have desert too *GRIN*. I'm sure her flight will be fine.
So we see Sarah Michelle is pregnant- the Buff is up the Duff!!! Yieks.
I grab our book on Australian birds as I'm sure it's an Owl that's making that murderous noise. I actually spot two owls together- one a powerful owl the other a barking owl- they must be a couple- rare they hang about together.
August 11thNeil's on one stage in London tonight, I'm on a VERY much smaller stage at The Laundry , Fitzory Melbourne for the Managers Forum. I leave home after lunch as I have a hundred and one things to do in the city. Because we live so far away now I try to get everything out of the road in one drive these days. It's grey and starts to rain, I'm sure this will change a few peoples minds from coming along. The Laundry's a cool little club, so I'm glad they choose this for the forums. It's weird being a guest speaker, at first I said NO straight away, but thought it could help a few young bands or artists so a chance to give something back.
I arrive Johnston street early, so I head around the corner to Cafe Nova. I've been to Nova a few times before so glad it still exists, they have coffee and always find me a table. The lovely Ruby the waitress looks after me, have a late lunch and way too many coffee's. I move my car to the Coles car park as parking really is shitty around here. I sit in the car and read for awhile, killing time- I must of looked like some sort of Fitzroy drug dealer.
I head across to The Laundry, the door just opens and there he is, ex Enz manager and good ol' boy- Nathan. He is at the bar punching away on his i-Phone, damn thing won't work....I'm just grinning-same old Nathan. I'm offered some alcohol and decline-water is fine though... just don't want to 'do a Molly' and be up their drunk.
I sit and chat to a few early -birds- both musicians which is nice. Wendy arrives- from Queensland which kind of blows me away. Hell I'm sure it will be a let down to travel so far ! The room fills up rather quickly - I have no idea if this is a regular crowd. Porzia who looks after the door and all the guests etc, tells me it's one of the largest crowds they have had. I'm stoked to see so many familar faces- Jan, Tania, Karen, Mikey, Trevor, Linda, Luke, Simon, Sue, Ken and Jenni and Michael. Bec turns up as does Laura. At one stage I swear I spotted Tania Gillett. Soon we 3 panelists are up on the stage, it goes ok. Cover several topics, questions.....it's not something I enjoy- but I think it's good to face things you dislike. What's the worst that can happen- you can feel uncomfortable and totally blow it. No big deal. I always feel a bit empty afterwards, and no idea if I helped anyone. The mates who turned up are so incredibly supportive, it really is amazing, people probably have no clue how nice it is to look out into that void and see some people that you know. I try avoiding calling people 'fans' these days as we are all fans in one way or another for something I guess.
The one bit of joy from tonight is that one of the girls in the crowd mentioned that she heard that Paul Hester won BEST DRUMMER IN THE WORLD on Triple M (radio) in their Top 10. Paul would love that SO much, just brilliant, even bumping off people like John Bonham from Led Zep. The Hester is still loved, maybe more so these days. I heard that matt Sherrod was just outside the top 10 too which was nice to hear. So my thoughts were with Paul for awhile I can see him with that grin 'Petey I've still got it eh?"!
After the Forum I head off with a dozen of the regulars for some coffee and cafe at Cafe Nova. Ruby is still at work so I call her and they put some table together up back- we squash in- I mean SQUASH in. We sure did get to know each other - now everyone in-hale so we can fit one more in at the table. Thought I'd repay their good will by shouting everyone. For me it was far more enjoyable talking to these guys at Nova then being under those lights. Though that many coffee's have me motor mouthing.
I head off home, the freeway is covered in fog so by the time I reach Mount Dandenong it too is fog bound. I am just about to turn off into our street- I can just see a few metres in front of me- and I spot 2 foxes sneaking out of someone's yard-they cross the main road in front of my car. The moon is shining through the skeleton trees and the fog is swirling around in the breeze. They are such a good looking pair of foxes-amazing tails. I pull the car over and voyeuristically watch these creatures of the night. I am amazed, it's like they are dancing under the moonlight, jumping around and rubbing up against each other- at one stage they rise up like two stallions and twirl about. It blows me away and kind of brings me back to earth. It's nice to be home.
August 12thI turn on the computers in the office and there are 21 emails from bands and artists and I guess managers from last nights Forum chat. So many nice emails, and nearly all of them mention how some of the things we talked about will help a lot and in some cases save money. So I feel good this morning, even if there was one email it would of made me happy. 21 is amazing and people would have to track down my Email address so I'm ecstatic. Nathan sends me a really nice email too. There was also an email from Matthew and he is fairly sure the 'woman being killed' is a Barking Owl as well. It's quiet funny as no one else up here has heard it- the rest of Kalorama are in a very deep sleep indeed.
Banshee slept in Marks room last night so I managed to get a really solid sleep. Mark on the other hand looks rather tired- Banshee the cat seems to snore a lot in his room!!!!
Nigel from the Enz leaves today for a few weeks in England. We said our goodbyes a few days ago. It's good that he goes home to see his mum and the old country (: He's only gone for a few weeks.
I hear from Mark Hart today , I'm hoping he has a certain prize for the fanclub auction. He sounds great, guess he'll catch up with Neil at Largo.
August 13thLes Paul dies today. I didn't know he was 94 years old. His input into guitars and multi track recording was incredible. Still 94 is not a bad run.
Work on the yard and garage roof today. Well in the afternoon. I get heaps done in the office. On top of most of our stuff. Trying to lock in a date for the next mail out- really would like to corner Neil and get some more information, maybe an interview on the next Crowded House album. September 1st I have to put in the artwork for the Recurring Dream mouse pads. I have a half decent slide so the quality should reproduce quite well. I've already bought all the cd stock too. This baby keeps on ticking over- I think in September I'll get some more sales figures for Australia, I'm dying to know how close to 13 platinum we really are.
People have been great around my carpal tunnel syndrome, my hands seem to be improving noticeably and the acupuncture helps for short bursts.
August 14thI buy the wedding card for the happy couple, can't believe that Mark and myself are jumping on a flight in a few weeks, Mark avoids weddings but we'll happily attend this one, it will be fun, nice and relaxed and thank fuck- not in a church. (Urgh). More fun less stuff ritual.
I'm now painting the outside roof of our garage- god it's a big job, holds 4 cars and by dusk I've maybe painted 20%! Just clearing all the tree drop for fire season and protecting it against rust. Trying not to think about the price of all this paint. But I guess with us doing this we save a small fortune. Neighbours and passers by have commented just how good it looks. I have a sound system set up outside, so Electric Mary are really blaring away, nothing like hard rock in the air of Kalorama- good to shake the neighbours up a bit. Hard to do the hard rocking devil symbol in the air with a paint brush in my hand (but I tried) and the odd rake solo!!!!
Gourmet Sausages and vegies for dinner. The Pellegrino folk now have King Island beef and a wide variety of organic sausages. Not bad.
August 15thI spend time at The Verandah going through folders and folders of my Crowded House photos. I'm really happy as I do find the original negatives taken around 'Don't Dream It's Over' video in September 1986. God 23 years ago... time really has flown by. Only a few ok shots, all a bit dark but some wonderfully moody. There is one with all the cameras and booms so it will suit the Video area of the upcoming book...they are only small size negatives so most I can't use, a few a bit blurry because of the limited light too. The Neil shot at the top of the page is one of the rejects from the clip.... not strong enough for the book but thought it would be good on the diary. At least Neil's white socks and sandals are hidden in this shot! That is never a good look.
I call Rosemaree to say goodbye, I hope she has the best holiday. She asks me if it's illegal to take dental floss on board- ok it has been awhile since she has flown!!!! I think people could do more damage with their shoes laces I point out! Have a safe journey.
August 16th115 km winds hit the mountain, the split tree groans and moans and suffers several hours of bombardment but it's still standing. I am amazed. I just want to clear all the other broken bits before the other half comes down. Winds, fires, the joys of living up here. We only have several acres but you'd need to spend 5 days a week staying on top of it all, well sometimes it feels like that. Still we love it up here. I keep holding Mark to his promise that if we bought this place he'd have to commit to keeping it tidy as far as the vegetation and overall he really does. It's still the best decision we made. We feel like Aliens when we head back to the city and walk down those concrete streets.
I make soup for myself for dinner, Mark is creating some award winning omelette!!!! Crowded House STILL on the ARIA Australian album chart, week 74!!! Recurring Dream continues to shine, it moved up one spot to #18 this week.
August 17thA recent study found 90% of USA notes contain some trace of cocaine. It's a 20% increase on the last survey. God that's a lot of rolled up bills, drug money or coked out people rolling naked on mountains of US greenbacks. Probably all three.
Well not sure if he just doesn't have his computer with him but my boss Neil Finn is not replying to my emails- none are that important, maybe he is just avoiding emails for awhile while he focuses on the '7 Worlds' stuff. Who knows- "Kalorama to Finn-man, testing one , two three'.
I hear from Enz manager David and we are going to see PINK on Wednesday. David is looking after the tour, so happy freebee tickets, I don't care where they are just want to check out this show that people are raving about.
August 18thHappy Birthday Nigel- the big 60! Have a great day.
Dr Chiro today and he really worked on my hands. It paid off, the whole day it felt incredibly 'normal' - I did cop a lecture about emailing and being told everyone can wait- no emails! (and yes I felt like a bad school boy getting a talking to).
The main part of the bay dredging has now finished. The Queen of the Netherlands is leaving soon. So Blue Wedges where is all this huge bay disaster, this massive destruction of the bays environment that you hyped to the public? Jenny Warfe and her stooges are totally paranoid- I can't believe sensible people fell for this. Propaganda and paranoia at it's worst, they should be held accountable to how much money their actions cost the local economy. Even a few of our friends believed this rubbish, they are VERY quiet these days- guess they feel foolish, I would if I believed that propaganda. There is fighting for environment and being suckered, in this case Blue Wedges are the later.
August 19thWeird Lilly Pilly has been closed for several days now and no sign on the door. We are hoping all is ok.
I hear from the girls in LA, they loved the Largo gig. I wish I could of been hanging at La Velvet Margaritta Cantina (that's the one on Cahuenga Blvd!) it's a very cool watering hole- nice decor. I'm sure they had the odd toast for me or three (hic hic hic‚). I'm loving all the Largo reports that have been coming in from everyone.
I give David a call and the plan has changed slightly, instead of being on the floor in the mosh we now have seats for Miss Pink. Which is just as great. We head off and go via Prahran. I still clear the old post office box 333, only every few months, it has two letters in it. Mark suggests Mexican for dinner on Chapel street, which is a fine idea- though expensive but what the hell- zero Mexican food places on top of Mt Dandy so this is a treat.
Extra spoilt as our car has parking in the bands private car area at Rod Laver Arena. David comes out and shows us the fast way to the seating. I am so stoked he has done this- he really looks after us.
Sit outside and miss most of Evermore's set, some people smoking but thankfully not as many as years gone by. You just want to say- 'hey everyone 70% of you will die in the next decade or two from smoking related disease,' but their lives I guess . Just shrug and head in.
God these seats are brilliant, Row G so 7 rows from the front! Think I owe David a huge favour now. The lights finally dim.... a circus performer comes out while the band thrash out AC/DC's "Highway to Hell'..and a mighty fine version too. The circus guy turns a monkey grinder box and the massive curtain falls to reveal the most amazing set I've ever seen.... a trap door rips open on a cat walk and out FLIES Pink, hitting all the right notes for 'Bad Influence'. She's now off the ground, some wire work underway and flying above the stage. People have their mouths hanging open, I'm all smiles- killer start to a show. Without giving some endless Pink gig review, lets just say- if Kylie or Madonna could even put on a show 1/10th as good as this they'd be redeeming their careers. She worked every inch of the stage, sang incredibly well, and it was good to hear her voice faulter a bit- as she was doing some triple somersault several stories up... 'So What' about half way through the set was the song that had everyone hooked. Such a nice little tough pop song, great hooks. Mark basically came along because I wanted him to see a gig with me. In the encore I suggested we go so we wouldn't get stuck in the Rod Laver Traffic.....he says 'one more song cmon'.....!!!! He told me what incredible respect he has for her.... and he never says that. She truly kicked arse in Australia- and thanks David for brilliant seats!
August 20thHappy Birthday Rosemaree- nice that you are celebrating somewhere exotic!
I'm pretty fried today so we miss the RAW Rock Photo Launch..it's on at RAW gallery Sth Melbourne for several weeks still so I'm sure we'll see it.
Neil mails back the 10 signed DONT STOP NOW cd single covers (it's 4 tracks- Dont Stop Now, Lost Island, mean to me(live from Real World Studios) and Stare Me Out. ) All 10 have been signed by Neil. Because it's such a small number it's pointless putting these out via the club- so thought I'd mention it here. If anyone is after a Neil Finn signed copy email me (email@example.com) with name, address (so we can send you cost details)....and mention it's for the signed DONT STOP NOW cd singles. he signs very little these days (unless cornered at a gig! *GRIN*). First ten people will have them reserved.
August 21stI can be so mean when I really want to be, you know I can cut you into pieces if I try!
Some days I have an itch to be the B-itch. It's rare but this morning is one. It could be the big windstorm building outside (again), I do find apathy towards the elements. Thankfully our area of the mountain is spared. We detour down Inverness road which curves around the side of the mountain to Mt Evelyn. Really a bad call on my part. I hit the steering wheel and the brakes SHIT! Trees are falling like dominoes before us. A huge one just misses killing us. I turn a nice shade of white. We stop and start dragging them off the road-we can't go back. A car is coming the other way and the guy helps too- between us we clear some space. As we drive down you can see trees and branches crashing around us, like bombs are exploding in the earth. We finally make it through the carnage - that was insane- and the bitch mood has been tamed- normal again...it's electrifying when nature shows how small we all are.
We arrive at Morrisons and Sheridan says 'you're a bit white' -death defying trees do that! I see the Supermarket has it's self serve area operational, I refuse to use them, I think they reduce jobs. Check out chicks and guys for us!
We watch the 'Towering Inferno' on Blu Ray- love those disaster moves. Oh this one has killer OJ Simpson in it, but the highlight is Fire Fight #14 when he over acts and exclaims 'My God!". So dramatic- and Mark and myself just roll on the floor in hysterics. We try different versions of 'MY GOD!'...... we both could take on the role of fire fighter #14! I bet that was the only movie her ever did!
I opened a Facebook account the other day, and no I'm not going to keep it (: I just needed to access someones photos and the best way to look at them was via FaceBook). Of course I'm not under siege with people wanting to 'add me' , which just adds more emails. As soon as I run through all the photo's I'll gleefully close my account- I so don't need another outlet on the Net.
August 22ndThe sun is shining through the curtains, it feels like Summer , in Winter. Amazing day outside.
I take a file of photos to The Verandah. One proof sheet has some very rugged Crowded House shots on it. I'm fairly sure it's from the bonus track sessions for Recurring Dream. Paul with a #3 clipped hair, Neil and Nick 3 day growth, Mark hart same as always- does he never age? So be good if I can use one of these. I quite like the look it's far removed from the nice clean cut Crowded House that people expect.
The Verandah is packed, it's all this sunshine. I have my table #1, but the cook forgets my food, and coffee eventually arrives. The staff look relieved when some extra help arrives.
Still have not seen anything around '7 Worlds II' in Australia, the local release date is September 4th.
Tonight's movie on Blu-Ray- the wonderful SPINAL TAP- it is still wonderfully brilliant after god knows how many times we've seen this.
August 23rdThe chickens are laying eggs every day again, a sure sign that Winter is coming to an end. Martin and one of his boys drop in from next door and bring over some more eggs. I guess it's time to make some chocolate mousse, add a bit of liqueur- Mark is happy.
I keep thinking that my great escape for next years birthday will be Africa. Giraffe Manor located in Nairobi just looks fantastic. Something brilliant about a giraffe popping it's head into a second story window to pay you a visit. I know I've had the Manor link on the site before but it's so cool thought I'd add it again: http:// www.giraffemanor.com/ I can't stop looking at giraffes tongues such a strange colour.
That's it for another diary..... I can't believe how fast this year has gone by.