The Basement Tapes

Saturday, 1st February 2020 – If you have taken note of the sign behind me, they should change it to read, ‘Watch The Sweat’. It is 37 degrees celsius here in Sydney, another day where the weather seems to sap your energy and your will to get things done. It has not been much spoken of across these months of excessive heat and fire and smoke, but the state of the environment is having an affect on people’s state of mind. It seems as if a mix of fear and exhaustion are entrenching themselves in not just how we feel, but our bodily condition. We are only three quarters of whatever we we were, struggling for enough clean air to breathe and any optimism for what comes next…

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Rebranding Sunrise

Must have been channeling something special when I wrote this piece on the axing of Melissa Doyle from Sunrise in July 2013. Somehow I reimagined co-host Kochie as some kind of psychedelic Godfather figure of the infotainment Age. Reads to me like genius now. Acid news still might work its magic as an angle… an idea ahead of its time!

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The King is Dead

I remember the legendary chef Tony Bilson walking to meet me in Surry Hills for the first time. Physically he was probably only half the man he used to be. “Cancer,” he said, like it was something to be exasperated by. Then with a hard breath he guided me up the street to a corner café where we spoke for quite some time and with quite some intensity.

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Heroes, Just for One Day

I was always really proud of this story. A stonking hot summer’s day in Sydenham with my youngest son and his scooter buddies at a skatepark opening. Wrote the whole thing on my iPhone, sitting there in the concrete trenches among all the skateboard and scooter action. Youth and young manhood, a state of grace, a slice of nowhere.

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Fire and Ice

In this regard, there seems to be an archetypal story uniting the constellation of works being played tonight. One that might tell the tale of a man caught between two worlds; a man who must play out a fated role, with a woman’s suffering or absence haunting him, with a lost child or shadow brother in danger, with an act of violence made necessary along the way, on a journey through places hot or cold – and always endless– where his spirit might be purified and put to rest, and some idea of justice or balance be restored. I don’t know if that is the story. But it sounded something like that to me as I dreamt and woke again.

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Wild Colonial Boys

At a venue called The Factory, I join an unusually busy line-up for an obscure band called The Barking Spiders. My wrist is stamped with what looks like a bird’s wing – and in I go, to a not-so-secret warm-up show by the legendary Australian group, Cold Chisel.

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