Greetings listeners and thank you for joining me for this episode coming to you all the way from Bowral, my garage studio, Melbourne Airport and the kitchen.
The Rolling Stones – Travelin; Man - https://youtu.be/US3fczvs6pQ
Last time we spoke I was about to head to the Southern Highlands for a long bicycle ride. Well the short version is that we went, it was windy, it was cold, the hills were huge and there were yet more hills. But we made it around the whole 160km loop in good humour. Fuelled by some rather fine sponge cake and pineapple sports drink from the aid stations, motivated to continue as those around us looked far too comfortable for our own mental health and thankfully not bothered by magpies it was a wonderful day out. Many thanks to DJ Hamer-time for the company and good humour.
Queen – Friends Will Be Friends - https://youtu.be/gJWqw6XiuXs
DJ Al-ee-sunshine and DJ D-Bilby seemed to enjoy the ride a lot more than we did. They were at the day spa! Next time, if there is one, I may be tempted to book in for a massage post ride.
Matisyahu – Sunshine - https://youtu.be/E_Vt4MlbM0c
Musically I played my last gig with the band for 2016. It was a fundraiser for Palliative Care ACT and a roaring success. After having fun playing slow, quiet(ish) stuff during dinner we pulled out all the stops with some rock and roll for a while. There was plenty of dancing and a lot of laughs. It's amazing how many AC/DC lyrics George can fit into a Midnight Oil song to keep the punters happy! And apart from a very quick cameo at Green Valley Farm this show marked the first time that Tim actually played keyboards on stage! Usually he's tinkling the ivories from beside the sound desk. The band is playing New Year's Eve at Vivaldi's which should be a great event. If Billy Joel and Elton John are your thing, or if you just like to have a good time and be well fed then book now. I won't be performing at this show but will be back in 2017…you've been warned!
AC/DC – Dog Eat Dog (live Glasgow, 1978) - https://youtu.be/h8xNn4td37k
You know, I thought my great mark of success would be to turn up to a show, get handed a guitar and just play without all the setup rigmarole. I've changed my mind. I just want someone to hand me my guitar when I need to swap between songs. There are a few tracks we play that my Stratocaster just isn't beefy enough for and I would like to use something else. I just don't like disrupting the flow of the show though. Maybe next time I'll play the good old Burns Steer which goes from sweet single coil tones through to humbucking overdrive without effort!
John Hiatt – Perfectly Good Guitar - https://youtu.be/socOVnFqAK8
So let's talk music.
I'm reading the Springsteen autobiography at the moment and I'm quite enjoying it. Any minute now I'll be on a plane for an hour which is my cue for uninterrupted reading time. Like almost any good rock musician, Bruce's skills are honed at an early age by playing as much as he can in front of an audience (big or small). It really is the best way to get good. I'm still lucky enough to play with musicians much more talented and proficient than I am and it improves my skills and confidence every day. As George and I agree though…if Bruce is trying so hard to appeal to the "everyman" then why are his concert tickets so very, very expensive? Fast forward and now I have finished the book. Well worth your time. It was very interesting to read about Bruce's struggles with his own mental health and how he manages to get through it. You'll have to read the book (or ask nicely) to find out why I chose this track.
Bruce Springsteen& The E Street Band – Badlands (live 1978) – https://youtu.be/YL72VcbKSEY
After listening to a lot of Springsteen as a result of the book I agree that he's a great songwriter and performer. Still, I prefer Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes who are friends and contemporaries of Bruce.
Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes – Without Love - https://youtu.be/ks7FLXKozj8
I'm disgusted by our current government's latest refugee policy. To say that genuine refugees who attempt to come here by boat will never, ever be allowed into the country no matter what happens is just horrible. To backdate it is even worse. Despite what Pauline Hanson says, we ARE a lucky and rich country. We can do so much better for those who need our help. Yep, this is an angry song…
Rise Against – Prayer of the Refugee - https://youtu.be/9-SQGOYOjxs
At the moment I'm watching a documentary about country music superstar Glen Campbell. It's tracking his career since his diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease. As the film goes on, Glen's memory (and temper) get worse. It's amazing to watch his family hold the tour together and to see audiences genuine love for a legend of Country Music. I watched it on Netflix but I'm sure it's not that hard to find if you look a bit.
Glen Campbell – A Better Place - https://youtu.be/JMh78jF-fMQ
Today I finally managed to finish the online course I have been taking about the music, art and literature of the American South. One day I'd love to meet the lecturer and thank him. It's been a very interesting pursuit and has left me with a notebook full of musicians, authors, artists and places to explore. One day maybe I'll get there in person.
This song is all through the course played by any number of people. BB King features heavily as well in a whole lot of interviews and lectures.
BB King, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi – Rock Me Baby (live) - https://youtu.be/GHcQ6sG4om8
There's a lot more to write about this time around but at just over 1000 words I think that's enough.
I'll leave this here. Some of you will understand.