NEW GARMIN DAY! (+ a murder)


This is my new Garmin. I am yet to really bond with it, but it looks shiny and new and it matches my bike so much better than the “Electric Pantone Reflex Blue” of my old unit.

It is incredibly meaningful to me – but to everyone else who doesn’t have a Garmin – well this blog will be cryptic at best. And perhaps written in a dead language at worst. But I will try to explain. So this is how it works. The Garmin unit is essentially a GPS device much like the GPS navigation contraptions they sell for cars at JB Hi Fi. But it’s not about navigation – it’s about recording events. It’s HISTORY. So it logs as much data about your rides as it’s tiny brain can manage via those beautiful invisible satellites up there in the heavens. Plus it has some altitude and temperature sensors as well. (The temperature sensor is a bit bullshit if you ask me – but it gives you the general idea – if not the exact conditions).

And then you plug your Garmin unit into your computer and you get this training homepage. It’s like Facebook but for crazy data-riding-freaks like me. And you can look at each individual ride like the screen-grab below. (A ride last Saturday where I might add Ryan, Tom and I creepily went within 10 or 15 metres of a dead woman, most likely murdered, which was found today).

And just in case you were worried – the Garmin didn’t add the “dead body” tag.*

Or you pour over the data in the “Reports” tab which collates all your stats. So below is the last 30 days of riding. (You can also draw up random reports or “this year”, “this month”, “the last 365 days” etc)

Then you can see your Calendar (my last month’s activities below) and you can even do this live animation of your ride which I can’t really visually explain. You will just have to trust me how amazing it is!


But I should just devote some of this gushing-rant to my old Garmin, just out of respect. As you can see from it’s battered and disheveled condition, we went through some epic times. Good times. The big dent and cracks at the base there is from the time it broke off my bike and bounced down the road somewhere near the Rathdowney and the NSW border. I was oblivious that it had gone missing until I looked down and freaked out. Luckily Shirts was riding behind and picked it up.

I should have been impossibly dirty about how the little plastic flanges — underneath the unit where it connects to the mount strapped to the bike — had somehow failed. But I knew I had been so regularly ripping it off to download stats. Then twisting it back on its mount with no real consideration to how it felt about that rough-treatment and then raking it off again to whack it on the roadie. You can see the damage to those flanges and more evidence about what the poor little fella had been through in the photo below.


Reflex-Blue-Garmin had also lasted almost 450km on one charge on that big 2010 three day ride to Byron and Lismore etc and back. It fucking pissed down that ride too.

And January 1, 2011 I made a “New Years Resolution” to document every ride possible on my Garmin for that entire year with the determination that I would be able to achieve 10,000 kms and be able to prove that. It turns out I got a bit excited and decided on a new goal – climb 100,000 metres too. And I logged and documented everything. I spent almost every single day last year – and this too – with my Garmin. I took it with me on that 7 week overseas trip and it was a joy to log the rides over there. (Just seeing new maps and routes in foreign towns – Amazing).

Once the Garmin and I went swimming too. I had ridden a big, ugly, sweaty ride and had ended up a Dee’s folk’s place and it was so hot and I looked so about to melt they suggested I dive in their pool – which I did – forgetting I had the Garmin in the back of my jersey. I was splashing about for a good 5 minutes before I realised. But it survived.


Totally matches the bike now!


Another casualty of the big, wet ride on Saturday was the ZIPP “Z” decal on my handlebars (which was previously on the left of the bar). Completely destroyed.

And I should say – this is the story of how reflex-blue-garmin chose to exit the world. Poor little guy. I will miss you.

* Can I just say I am quite a bit freaked out that I came within metres of a murdered person and had no idea. I am literally stunned. Is it wrong to feel that way?

The week in photos


The Victoria bridge, Brisbane’s first river crossing and me being arty. This bridge walk (I believe) has the greatest propensity for vomit stains. I imagine this is because people at the Treasury Casino get a bit too toasty late in the evening and end up here. Someone should write a vomit-opera about it.


I am normally quite hostile to the forced art-project facades that Council dictates on new buildings in the city. They are usually horribly tragic and so very obviously “Public Art”. But I like this one on the new Wintergarden project. Give credit where credit is due is what I say.


The confluence of Queen and Albert Streets. “THE” meeting point for generations of Brisbane people. Just outside Hungry Jacks. How many hours I have spent here waiting for friends – I do not know. Countless.


My 2009 collage is in the frame above – partially the face of this blog, and something I needed to do. It’s basically a picture (or motif) of everything and anything I love and have loved over my entire life. It is a history. My history. Just like a book can be a history or a timeline or a whole volume of words. It is a snapshot of history but ART at the same time. I have decided I will do one every 5 years and see how things change. Just like a FIVE YEAR PLAN.


My tar-stained legs. I was so freakishly stained and dirty I just needed to document it with photos. EPIC. I still have that tar on my legs. Not sure how I will get it off.


Today I noticed the tar had seared itself on my bike’s tyres too. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?


On Anzac Day, Zoe (6 years old) and her friends had a street stall next door. I bought this bad boy. The cat hated it – but in a good way – she just instantly attacked it. It kept her amused for a bit.


Cleaning and greasing the bike after the 9 hour bullshit it suffered yesterday. The chain was already rusty. As you could see from the photo before – I had to scratch off TAR as well as dirt and other detritus.


Today I walked up the road and took a photo from almost the top of the street – there was another 20 metres of climbing behind me but I couldn’t be bothered! The view is even more dramatic at night. The kids do street parties here when there is firework displays in the city.


AND THE OTHER BIG NEWS TODAY- the cat got freed. Dee and I had negotiated and decided today was appropriate. The cat woke me up at 6 am and I knew that was too early and I fed her and went back to bed. Then at 7:30 she started walking over my head. Literally. I am used to this. And she was purring all the while like she was on drugs and somehow doing me a favour. I then groggily got out of bed and opened her cat window for the first time in 6 weeks. She almost reluctantly walked outside and spent some time on the deck just wondering if this freedom was real. I watched her from the windows inside for about 5 minutes. When she decided to disappear from view in leaving the front yard to go next door) I almost immediately heard a kid’s voice exclaiming “SASHA!!” I was so proud she was amongst friends and free once more.


Although the cat spent all day in freedom – she came home at various points. The above picture was at about 6pm. And I know many of you won’t believe this…and I still don’t believe it. But at about 12pm I heard her jingle outside and I opened the front door to say hello and I found her INSIDE her special cat gulag:

The picture above is just descriptive. The gulag was on the deck, but there she was. It was like she had Stockholm Syndrome. For all these weeks we had shoved her in there to give her some safe outside time and she seemed to tolerate it – and very rarely she seemed to be OK with the experience. Cat’s rarely show their true feelings. So it turns out she might have actually liked it. BIZARRE.



We have a moth in the laundry that seems to live there now. She has a crazy-awesome disguise. I am totally fooled.

A very wet, and long ride to Caloundra and back

Today I did the biggest ride of my life, and I’d say right now, I am the proudest I’ve ever been about a riding effort. 203kms, at over 30km/hr average speed, well over 1000 metres of climbing and crucially – through extremely shitty, soul-destroying conditions.

And I tell this story not wanting to gloat. This was just another adventure me, Shirts and Ryan had planned. It was ambitious on paper, but with all the elemental forces that occurred today – it just accidentally got so much more important.

And this ride was so full-on it brought doom upon my beloved Garmin. It got so wet it first went a bit nuts, then faded and then went blank. Dead. I could have cried. At the time it felt like a part of my being had be excised, not to mention seriously ominous. Image

Art on the early morning Bicentennial

Since Wednesday Ryan had this plan to ride to Caloundra and back as prep for the big overnight ride to Toowoomba in two weeks. “Fair enough,” I thought. This was maybe achievable. In my brain I assumed I could bail sometime on the way back at a train station. So in that context I signed up.

I spent quite a good deal of Friday worrying about what would happen on the morrow, but I believed I was prepared. Mentally at least.

I set the alarm for 4:40am but woke at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep so I got up. It was raining intensely outside and the tin roof made the feeling I should just get back into bed so much worse. So, so much worse. It was like a tractor beam gripping every atom of my body. But I resisted and continued with my prep. At 5am Ryan texted me saying – “This wet will make the ride pretty miserable”. But I was determined. I had spent all that time worrying. I couldn’t let that big, fat block of time spent fretting go to waste. I wrote back saying we have to do something. I’m up, let’s just do a route to Scarborough. Ryan agreed.

Ryan texting Shirts to see if he was still coming

So the hardest thing about riding in the wet, is just starting out. Once you are thoroughly soaked you grow accustomed to this fate. It was BLACK outside and I was freezing cold, but I just rolled the long way to the meeting point.

For once I was not the first to arrive. Ryan was like, “I kinda feel like doing it now.” And I said, “Totally. I wanna do something different. We can always bail at a train station if it gets too miserable.”

And Shirts was suddenly there and just a bit surprised we had showed up in such atrocious conditions.

Then we set out into the darkness. I should say at this point that it rained ALL DAY. At very brief points it just trickled. But it was quite relentless. Even now it is still pissing down. And if the roads weren’t like lakes, they were like rivers. Huge puddles and slippery nonsense and just perpetual spray from the bike in front.

So for the first 65km it was pretty dark and there was no drafting cause getting into the slipstream of the bike in front meant you got a face-full of intense road-grime. Gradually, when the road narrowed that became a given and having that grit in your mouth – like you had swallowed a fist-full of sand – was omnipresent.

Over this period we got a break when Ryan got a flat at the Bonney-View in Bald Hills and then a quick stop at Caboolture. At Beerburrum I halted the crew and reluctantly ate my first Chiko-Roll in many, many years. Although they advertised sausage rolls – it was too early for them to be ready.



The next 20kms was on quite treacherous roads. There was little or no shoulder and 100km/hr traffic blasting past. The shoulder was dilapidated and in some points the bitumen had been crushed into a hump that we had to smash over with no warning (like we were kids again on our BMXs jumping bumps). I put my sunglasses on, not to diffuse the glare, but to limit the splash. And they were foggy and wet and killed about 30% of my vision. But I just had to attempt to protect my eyes from all that shitty spill from the bike in front. Despite the glasses it was still like getting a horizontal shower full of grime and – what I realised later – road tar.

The whole ride my eyes, and everyone else’s, stung from the grit – my nose was perpetually running and I was spitting constantly trying to expel that shit the road had spewed into my face.


Yet we just lifted the intensity. I blame mad-dog Ryan. He just pushed and pushed and I felt good enough to reciprocate. We took turns in this mash and I looked down at my Garmin Temple and the average speed went up to 31.7km/hr. I felt good that the Garmin Gods would be pleased with this sacrifice.

By the time we hit the hill just outside Caloundra the average started to be dented. It was a shitty little climb – truth be told. We had just ignored a “bikes must exit” sign (I love doing that – and we got to do it again on the Bruce Highway at Bald Hills on the way back.) So pushing ahead on this brand new highway we had this massive shoulder which made that sign we just ignored seem even more stupid. The rain and headwind and traffic got mental, so we had to go easy into Caloundra. We stopped at Bulcock Beach and each had a big breakfast with bacon, eggs, sausages, mushies, tomato, hash browns and toast at some place we just randomly found.

Shirts was like, “How far do you want to go back?” Ryan said, “I’m happy to go the whole way.” I said, “I will go as far as Caboolture, then make a call then.” Secretly I knew I would almost certainly bail then.

On the way back we spent a good 5 minutes warming up again. It was so brutally cold. My teeth were chattering and I was shaking uncontrollably. We had a tail wind for a while, but it soon disappeared. We were smashing again through these horrible roads. At one point Ryan lost concentration and ran off the road into the grassy ditch beside but managed to stay rolling at speed until he found a suitable place top regain the road. I didn’t see this as I was leading but Shirts told Ry later, “You kept going through that mush at 30k/hr!”


There were so many points on this entire ride where I hit something and I felt the bike about to lose it. After the third heart-stopping event I remember thinking it was only a matter of “when”, not “if”, one of us would go sideways in this slippery, watery, grimey hell.

And it did happen. But more on that later.

Meanwhile this was when my Garmin suddenly stopped working properly and eventually died with apparent water damage. It was utterly tragic. I was lost without it. I had only a vague idea what distance we had covered and what mattered most: what was left. I also fretted cause this would mean my stats would all be comprimised. But then I thought – well it had worked for half the ride, so if I just double that it will all be ok. SWEET. And plus now I have the best excuse ever to buy a new Garmin.


At Beerburrum we stopped again this time for coke and lollies. I was starting to feel sore and miserable and was more convinced than ever that I would call it a day at Caboolture. We plowed on but then the tunes through my iPhone went nuts and I knew it was getting fucked by water. A quick stop and I tried my best to wrap the phone with plastic. But this meant no more tunes. DAMN.

For the next 15ks I was feeling tragic, and just sucked Ryan’s wheel. I could feel these twinges like I would get a cramp any moment – but I survived. And then at Caboolture I just got lost in the task of riding through the traffic and forgot I was going to bail. So when I realised the train station was far behind I just kept going and luckily the traffic lights and nonsense around here slowed everything down and gave me some respite.


After a bush-pee at Morayfields I was feeling a bit better and the ride to Petrie went quite well. I mean – I was still feeling shit, but I was gaining some confidence. At the approach to Petrie I was thinking of bailing again but then we were smashing down and I felt good and then this deadshit in a car was being nasty so I just smashed and drafted him and got a free 50/km/hr ride for about 800 metres.

It was then only about 25ks to go so I just had to keep going and I suddenly got quite excited that I was about to do this.

With the last 5kms or so to go we all went our separate ways and with just my own company I decided I felt pretty fucking good. I wanted to scream at everyone, “I have just ridden over 200kms today!” “TRUE FUCKING STORY!”

When I got home I was covered in grime and something else I have never encountered before: ROAD TAR. Sticky, black tar that has all the properties of old chewing gum. No matter how much I scrubbed with soap it refused to come off. I feel like one of those water-birds caught up in an oil spill. My right eye is also horribly sore. It feels like a piece of that tar is stuck in there. OW!

Meanwhile Ryan texted me saying he had a crash 100 metres from his home. I knew one of us would go down. Luckily for Ry Ry it’s just a few scrapes.


It was a great ride and apart from the hour of so around Caboolture – I felt pretty strong.

At this conclusion I would also like to say that my Grandma lived in Caloundra for many years and I would visit her by bus initially (when I was a kid – and on these very same roads) or by driving (when I was old enough). And if you had told my former selves back then that one day I would ride a bike to and from Caloundra in around 8 hours (including breaks) my old incarnations would have thought that notion was utterly ridiculous. Just fucking silly.

And so I say to my former selves, “fuck yeah, take that – deadshits.”

Music I’ma diggin (April Edition)



This song has a version of that drum-riff I call “Bruce” – after the drums in “Dancing in the Dark“. And I rarely find a song that employs this that I don’t like. Understated chorus – nice groove. Eminently danceable. (I like the awkward family portrait promo shots they did for this new album too).



I am not sure I like anything else by this band – but this song has those clean, pleasantville guitars: this simple accessibility. And it builds. And when the drums/percussion get more interesting towards the end, it should have you hooked.


ALEX WINSTON “Velvet Elvis”

Alex has a new single. YAY! About 90% of you will complain about her voice – but I love it. This song has a bunch of awesome hooks and I heard it precisely once and then bought it off iTunes. TRUE STORY.


BAD VEINS “Dancing on TV”

I only heard this song today, maybe I will end up hating it ion a few hours – but the clip was interesting and as I’ve said before – dancing in videos holds a very special place in my heart. Indeed dancing is the GREATEST. (I am a pretty good dancer by the way.) Anyway – what do you think of this song?


Don’t forget that Frida Hyvønen‘s album is finally available. That Spiritualized album is fucking fantastic – ignoring a few songs a bit too rich in the “Jesus save me” or “Jesus saved me” stuff. Cate Le Bon‘s album comes out in 2 days. Beach House are ripping shit up as usual, but you don’t need me to tell you that.

Weekend in Photos


No – they’re not dead. Just resting after I mowed the lawn. (With our hand-mower it should be noted! Tough, noisy work, but you deserve an extra beer afterwards)


Dee bought some plants for some terra-cotta pots we were given ages ago (when we moved in I think). The plants will hopefully frame the front door. Potting plants is harder than I imagined.


The one on the right ended up a little lop-sided, but hopefully when it grows bigger it will look more impressive.


The cat got some precious outside time to celebrate me finishing this job.


Saturday afternoon I went to my very first baby-shower. Exciting. I guess in this modern world we live in, such an event would soon pop up. Dee and I bought gifts at mini-boutique in St Lucia. I also bought my nephews some more presents. SPOILT! Above is a timer shot of me with my pants half down surveying another shit bowl I had delivered. Oh well.


Me trying to be arty with the bowls and the afternoon sun at Wellers Hill.


The cat stalking the Don’s flamingoes.


Supervised outside time ended up with the cat hiding under a car. I then had to chase her through the bushes. She eventually stopped and admitted defeat. She has this idea about right and wrong. She just likes to petulantly push that notion.


They will look better in a few months. Stay tuned.


Thomas! The most beautiful man I know. TRUE STORY!


The weekend’s epic ride. Tom, Ryan and me. 105kms. Almost 1200 metres of climbing. 29.9km/hr. Only 1 very short stop (Tom had to get back in time for work). And no cramps during or after on my part. I was pretty proud of myself. And so with a few more weeks of training I just might be sound for the overnight ride to Toowoomba. (More on that later).

And then this afternoon – after riding and grocery/antique shopping I sat down to watch a western on iTunes but just as I did so, the Gregory Peck version of Horatio Hornblower started on GEM. And I was soon hooked. Fantastic movie. Peck has quite a demeanour. And Horatio is a bit flawed, a bit unsure of himself and dismissive of all his skills. But Peck plays this character quite convincingly. The humphs and grumbles are endearing and the moment his lieutenant catches him smiling he quickly turns the emotion into the sternish frown possible. Awesome and hilarious. And, I should say, the battle scenes (and tactics) were quite cinematically realistic, and horribly dramatic. It’s basically the trusty tale of a smaller, more-agile ship with half the crew and half the firepower getting the better of a massive Juggernaut that believes it’s invincible. A lot more authentic and real than the crew of the Enterprise “running and falling” from one side of the bridge to the other after every proton torpedo hit. It’s a little more full-on when the captain and pretty much all the crew are in the one place at the one time (the deck). It’s a democratic battle and that makes for drama – right? Perhaps if I write a science fiction drama this dramatic device could be appropriated.

HISTORY – November 23, 2006. “What Laura did next”

Following up on Laura’s adventures with my washing machine – here is her first show – and by far my most favourite show ever. Here is the words I wrote way back in 2006. It was meant to be my very first solo show but I couldn’t help but ask some friends to help. Mostly cause I was too shit-scared to do it on my own. I had the biggest smile I could manage on my face for days after. And then my face just hurt for days after with the effort. Ow.

Rics, Brisbane, Australia — Thursday, 23 November 2006

Greg Brady (ex seminal bris-band Cunningham) asked me to play a solo show supporting his new band The Anchors, but I am too pussy to play alone so I asked a bunch of my rock’n’roll buddies to play with me. So there were 9 of us: Laura K (Laura K), Michael (Violent Soho), Ben + Wintah (Little Lovers), Clay (Modern Lies), Choomby (Mean Streakz), Mel (Mt Augustus) and Dee (Lovesquints) plus me.

This is Laura K:

This show was also an opportunity to get Laura K up on stage cause she writes such amazing songs and so deserves to have a band. Laura ended up playing and singing on every song and she had no trouble learning the songs. The only hurdle was the fact Laura didn’t have a keyboard stand. “Goob!” I said. “Not having a keyboard stand is like a guitarist not havng a guitar strap!”
“Soz ginger,” she replied.

This is me, Mikey and Laura K. Mikey hit the drums so hard. it was orsm. —>

Putting on a show with lots of guests is logistically really tough. There were three different drummers so I had to have three times as many band pracs as I would normally do for that type of show.

This is Choomby and Laura K’s mad mic skillz:

At the beginning I had decided to cover a Cunningham song just for Greg cause he is such a legend. When the Little Lovers had played Ramoneathon we had to learn a bunch of Ramones songs and they were tough! So decepively simply. And learning Cunningham’s “Giant Steps” was like revisiting all those struggles again. The verses are really short and leap into the chorus and you just can’t stop concentrating or you will be left behind.

This is me lookin a tiny bit ‘rock’:

I also wanted to cover a Little Lovers song and then when I bumped into Clay in the city one day I asked him to play as well. Bang! Clay used to play bass in the Little Lovers before I did and I thought it would be nice for Wintah and Ben. Plus we made it a secret so they would get a surprise. Laura managed to convince Wintah Dee was actually our special guest – so Dee was kinda our Dee-coy. LOL.

This is Clay, me, Loz and the Dee-Coy performing the LL’s tune “Sharp Shooter”:

Loz looks like she has just played the wrong chord or something. It’s hard not to pull faces when yr up on stage. Dee is playing triangle.

This is Laura K, me and Melissa’s sweet glock skillz doin Laura’s song “In my flat”:

Next we played a Grandaddy song called “Hewlett’s Daughter”. Wintah looks pretty tough with his super low-strapped bass:

Jebs took the photos. She has orsm skillz:

All our friends came. It was amazing!

WinTRON rocking out:

Wintah and Choomby rocking out, Loz looking perplexed:

So then the show was over. We played an Extra Foxx song to close and I only just found out Conwae was there to hear it. Orsm. Hello conwae!

Before the show I banned Laura from drinking. After the show it was gay abandon:

Laura is an angry drunk…oh wait! that’s not her arm

Pullin’ shapez: (drinkin shapez)

Ben demontrates his anti-gravity straw:

Loz: “Hey Ben, is this guy a goob, or what?”

Wintah wrestling (again!)

Loz got to slap ben’s bum. So jealous.

This happened after I had gone home…something about a broken water bottle and drinking outta the bottom of it…

Thanks again to everyone who came!


Happy Birthday Mum

This is my mum. It is her birthday today.

Here are TEN things about her.

1) She is a ginger like me. (In fact my Dad is a ginger too – even though he had the blackest hair I’ve ever known.)

2) My mum was born in Ipswich (like me too!) She was 2nd of three born. Maybe she had middle-child syndrome, but whatever she had – it made her smart.

3) And then she was Dux of Ipswich Grammar. I have seen the volumes of school-notes she made. Epic. Although it made me feel quite dumb, I knew I had just a fraction of her talent which was enough I thought.

4) My mum has the most amazing handwriting you will ever see. It’s incredibly stylised – but so lucid and legible and with the deepest rightward slant you could imagine possible. My mum thinks she was actually left-handed as a child but forced to be right-handed by our stupid education system which frowned upon such sinister activities.

5) Although she was ultra-brainy, mum started, but never finished a University degree. Yet she worked her way up and eventually had major 6-figure salaries. She was the media spokesperson for HUGE companies and even multi-nationals (ones you would have heard of) and was regularly on the TV news but I didn’t pay too much attention – cause it was my mum and how uncool is that?

6) My mum can seriously paint and draw. Like – she’s really good. And I am pretty fussy about what I like in Art. The “lonely girl” pic below is just a fraction of her talent – but my fave.

7) She’s a great writer – not as good as me of course! But she’s written a book which I haven’t really done.

8) She has INCREDIBLE taste in mid-century modern design and furniture. Her apartment in St Kilda is like a museum. A FUCKING cool museum. So just imagine you were at GOMA visiting a mid-century modern exhibit and the bar actually has booze and cocktail paraphernalia you can use. All of these skills have bled somewhat into me – but she should take all the credit.

9) She’s a talker! In fact I wrote a song earlier this year called “I talk too much at parties” – but it was almost more about my mum than me. Cause I remember her telling me how when she was a teenager and drunk she would spend all night at parties talking too much. I never really got invited to parties as a teenager and to very little more in my 20s. But now it’s like I am sprinting all the time to catch up on all that terrible conversation I could have had!

10) She’s (almost) always goes with her heart over her head. For example as soon as she could afford to – she bought the best. I guess she realised quite early not to do things by halves. If you want something – buying the cheepest option is just going to bite you later. You won’t love it – it will be barely functional and you won’t care. From my perspective I suffered for 10 long years with furniture my parents donated or others were going to dump. And then a bunch of second-hand bullshit. I love the fact that now – despite my brain screaming at me “DO NOT WANT!” – I bought the most expensive and beautiful house I could afford and the right furniture – no matter what the cost. It is a dream to come home and a bit of my heart explodes when I (temporarily) leave.


My uncle took this photo in Bardon


Brisbane Airport – I was pretty sad cause mum was flying back to Sydney.


HB mummy!

How I came to be writing a zine about how rock n roll was actually a big fat pile of stinking shit

In the 2000s I was in a band (and sometimes a few bands) and in doing so I knew a bunch of other people in bands and we’d get talking between soundcheck and showtime and gradually I got to understand my humble experience of rock n roll was not that unique.

And one day somehow I stumbled on the launch of this zine someone (also in a band) had made.

And everyone was gushing over it and I was like, um – it’s nice and pretty and simple – but I couldn’t help thinking, “Is that it?”

So I was chatting to another Brisbane rocker at this pub-launch-thing and maybe because it was not the usual time we got to chat – between soundcheck and showtime – that we quite conspiratorially decided to write something decent ourselves. A real exploration of rock n roll.

And it was meant to be us, together. Except, two days later when I had literally finished the entire zine and he had only barely written about 200 words over 2 weeks later I thought I like this idea enough – I’ll just take charge. Many things are committed to in pubs and that’s the end of it – but I understand I am unusual and can’t help it if I get an idea and go a bit nuts with it.

In that two weeks I made and printed this zine – 24 A5 pages in 8pt type – and the gimmick was there was no interviews with bands. There were quotes from people in bands – but no fluffy band propaganda. It was just all opinion and insight about the little stuff that concerns an ordinary band.

And it was FREE. I was already embarrassed enough asking people for money for my music so I assumed my pathetic ramblings were far worse. Apart for the give-aways at my zine launches, the “give-aways” at shows (which was mostly me just stuffing the zine into a guitar case hoping it would get read) I plied the magazine racks in Rocking Horse and Skinny’s with multiple copies. And it seemed as soon as I put 10 of them in – they were gone the next day. They were free of course, but that did give me encouragement. Indeed some people have contacted me saying they got this zine and were all praising it and shit. I just tried to hide. I am not good with compliments.


Design by Matt Jones (AOI)



Art by Flid

So getting back to the zine – it was just about “us” in Brisbane. There were no articles about how your roadie got your guitar’s tuning wrong or how the limo didn’t have a TV or even how shit it is when you got bumped from a TV appearance. The bands I knew were all struggling and humble but also absolutely brilliant and chockers full of dramatic stories about life in rock n roll.

And then I was writing about “stinky microphones”, “how if you have a band play at your party you need to buy them beer”, “the trouble with sound engineers”, “how to be an effective door-person”, and “how to avoid looking stupid when your parents want to come to your show”.

I also wrote about the people (and infrastructure) in the Brisbane scene – the people at least had a bunch of awesome stuff to say – but weren’t recognised. There was Gareth (the G-Man), Jimi and 610. And later I had planned for the 5th issue to interview that guy who plays guns n roses riffs in the valley mall every saturday night. I half finished it – but got a bit bored.

The other reason I started writing was cause I found rock n roll increasingly undignified and quite an emotional struggle. I could deal with the fact you never got paid, you went to work during the Monday-Friday week just to recover from the weekend, you were hated by other competing bands, you had to lug gear so much you had a curved spine at 28 – but when you got sacked or a band member quit…that really, really, really hurt. Like I am grimacing writing these words. It was that bad.

Anyway – more on that some other time. Here is a guide to playing drunk!