Wow you’re only discovering LZ at 65! he said

Well not quite.  They were the first band i ever saw, when i was 17 although all i can remember is being held up by the crowd on the stairs with only a toe touching them; so that we could see.  It was just before i met uni friends and am not sure who i was with.   When we arrived here, from Cheshire, life was different and I was so homesick, which I really didnt get over til the 2000 Sydney Olympics when the ‘aussie aussie aussie woy woy woy ‘ made me realise i’d been here most of my life.   Coming down to the island below the mainland, mainly for financial reasons and to get off that frozen stuff through a relationship; I breathed a sign of relief.   The cold winters invigorated me and the pressure I’d felt was off.

My friend Dale died in ’91 as did the conductor of the orchestra i worked for in admin; Freddie Mercury – and our Mum.    I was given his artworks so that the family wouldnt take it all, as gay marriage didnt exist then and his boyfriend had no rights, and who also died within the year.   Dale’s art, which had been in storage for yonx as i moved around after leaving the granny flat at the back of The Glebe when Dad died, fit in like a glove; two of the huge big ones fit over the mantelpiece as though they were made for it.  I actually laughed to myself and said to the ‘spirits’ hehe course you can live here – just be friendly which reminded me of another bf who in that shock of when they go suddenly; i said sure you can visit but only if you are friendly and leave that anger behind.  He was the original inspiration behind the book i intend to finish this year.

My interest in Led Zeppelin has been building slowly, but got a huge increase when i realised that they had tons of acoustic tracks and that JPJ was an amazing musician in his own right.   Back to when we arrived here …. in those days the TV Times that i think were free in the Sunday papers, had advertisements in them that influenced me – one of them was for the International Correspondence Schools which i did tons of courses with much later, but always used to look through the lists; and the other one was the World Record Club.   We’d left in the beginning of 1968 – i would get up on my desk when the top ten hit show played on the radio on a Sunday evening; and had the Jackie magazine posters all sellotaped together and hanging like a sheet from the picture hooks ( dad said i couldnt stick them on the wallpaper so found an equivalent ) : and when i started flute a friend asked me to play Pink Flamingo.  Oh and i remember Top of the Pops when the Who came on with a big fluffy dog; and our eldest sister came back for the summer from Reading University in a very short lime green mini and showed us the twist; and how Clapton was God.

With the world record club, at first we got about 6-12 albums right off, and then one a month.  With the three of us younger siblings, we would choose what to get.  One of them was a Led Zeppelin album and when i heard some of the lyrics i recoiled in horror.  I have found it is a blues term lol but in our transition to this other country, which in fact our parents actually came from, going across to Ireland at first for work after WW2, we all put on weight and had body types that were scorned on by the opposite sex here.  I remember a time in the UNSW medical school common room, in the days Denis Tek was there ( getting full marks in the weekly tests even though Radio Birdman were playing every week ) .. where a group of students were perched up on the window sill giving us girls a score out of ten as we came in – when it was my turn they said ‘pass’.  It might have been funny for them but it hurt big and anyway with age all of that is in the past!

Anyway on hearing those lyrics, i banned myself from listening to them.  Went to heaps of concerts and had tons of fun dancing and fan-tasizing about groupie life .. ecetera; eventually working in offices to calm our parents down, bless them.   Of course i was aware of LZ’s hits and the record covers, but had no interest in them at all because of that initial hurt.   Then once i was regularly online in music discussion groups, a lady said that RP had replied to a post of hers when her dog died, as he kept the same dogs.  That made me change my mind about them, and i lost my prejudice against them.

So i’m not sure how it happened – i think it was seeing the dragon suit – but i’ve found what many people say is the best rock n roll band ever at this advanced age, when i have heaps of time to listen.   And read.

Currently reading Salewicz on Jimmy Page – quite slowly as listening to all the music mentioned which is a trip in itself; in fact just joined Apple Music as easier to concentrate just having the music rather than stopping reading to watch videos.   Also go into the discussion groups as i always have ( loved alt music queen where i similarly got into them long after the fact, having been obsessed with Bowie for yonx ) where the discussions and personalities are huge source of fun, info and debate.

Currently listening to Buffalo Springfield, mentioned in the above book, 2018 paperback copy, p218 : which the next post will be about; but then i’ll have to go back to collect all my notes and listenings from before then, which has had me intrigued for days.

Notes on A Shopping List B4 Recycled

Not being a particularly tidy person, when it is necessary to do such i build up all sorts of defences .. however am getting better.   Some things I cant bear to throw away, so now i make piles of like-minded things, such as shopping lists which on the back of them have various names and ideas I want to look up so provide links here ..

Robert Carl Sticht : an American who introduced pyritic smelting to Tasmania and had the mineral stichtite named after him.  The Felton Bequest gave some of his art collection to National Gallery of Victoria.

Eric Thomas Galley Museum – Queenstown, Tasmania : over 1,000 photographs and memorabilia in 23 rooms giving insight into past lives.  $5 admission

Roger Murphy – watercolourist

Tasmania once part of America say scientists looking at 1.5billion year-old rocks

ABC Open – the other storytelling sites seem to be in abeyance at this time

James Dryburgh – writer

Another one – this time a ripped out page of a spiral-binded notebook ..

Chimanmanda Ngozi Adiche, writer : inspired by Chinua Achebe

Nigerian Soups ( fuf and onugbu soup mentioned in Adiche’s Purple Hibiscus as is ofe nsala, harmattan wind, Igbo peoples and yes i had to look up glass etagere ! )

.. another one crumpled up into recycling / tinder box and the tidying continues …




Mona .. On the Origin Of Art

Mona’s own page for its exhibition On The Origin Of Art is extensive and I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel more like how we explore what art is in ourselves.

The opening page of Mona’s dedicated info about it explains it’s ‘one man’s attempt to piss off art academics’ ..  i guess that means their four guest curators – Steven Pinker, Geoffrey Miller, Brian Boyd, and Mark Changizi – care more for the planet than art theory .. and that the one man is David Walsh.

Once you are down in the bowels of the earth ( well not quite ) the staff show you four doors which are separate exhibitions of each of the guest curators.

My own art academic experience is vague.  I dropped out of uni in the early 70s heavilly influenced by Timothy Leary, and believed there was an ‘intergalactic university’ that was training me .. in many ways it is a miracle i survived.  I was always falling through the cracks; the square plug in a round hole; ‘crazy’.  Later on in life, after our mother died and i wanted to make sure Dad was happy, I enrolled in the early days of Open Learning Australia, and gained an art theory major through Charles Sturt University.  However I wanted to experience uni life, and explore academic writing more ( i had been heavilly criticised for it during the OLA degree ) so with my redundancy from the ABC I enrolled in a Master of Arts Coursework University of Sydney.  When i rang up to enquire about it the course-coordinator said something like ‘no you do not want to do this degree’.  Well I did but that is a story in itself.  The cost for such degrees was going to skyrocket the next year so i crammed it all into the one year.  One of the things it taught me was that art theory as taught at that University was remarkably more detailed than what I had studied.

After that I fell into a crowd that didnt like my ‘arty-farty’ side and for many years on a Sunday afternoon merging into late night ridiculed my politics too .. so much so that i was the first to volunteer to go down the pub to get new art supplies.  I did find artistic friends though – including Marie who gave me glowing accounts of MONA.

Of course while they are trying to piss of art academics if they can be taken for their world, they also create a type of mumbo-jumbo that can hurt brains not used to it.  The question of what is at the heart of art, why it is an urge and a pleasure, is given free play to these four highly talented and motivated men to choose what they deem as important art.

Meeting a friend at the coffee shop in the Royal Society of Art in London, a young man with a ring in his nose plonked himself down at the table next to us and started clicking his youth membership card on the table which started off a conversation with him and my Londoner friend who had a different membership card.  I mentioned how Instagram shows that art can be shared for free, that everyone is an artist.  They both disagreed with that speculation, in that art must be kept valuable.  From that conversation I was able to find this guy’s art exhibition where he was selling art.   I’d love to sell art !  My own way of dealing with the value of expression is to keep all my internet activities separate from each other so that most people have no idea of other pages that i have.  I do this to avoid old friends thinking I’m up myself, mostly; or embarassing friends I’ve known for a shorter time.

Also in this day and age we are allowed to take photographs of artworks; just cant flash at them.  I’ve made slides of the ones that i also took the details of; one of the underlying reason for me making this is to learn how to do blogs, use creative cloud tools properly (a large and endearing project), and generally get back into the workforce.

By the way studying Art History gave me the shivers as I found it totally elitist and was horrified that i was expected to understand french extentialism as it was apparently at the heart of modern art.

I add my little personal nuances to the pieces.  For professional views of this exhibition there is a fabulous (and expensive) MONA catalogue.

Edward Collier is one of the ways this artist’s name is spelt.  The Letter Rack is one of several of such paintings; so much so that Dror Wahrman has written a book about them ( Mr. Collier’s Letter Racks: A Tale Of Art and Illusion at the Threshold of The Modern Information Age, Oxford University Press, 2012 ).  A google search brings up many if you are so inclined, as do sites such as Pubhist.  This particular Letter Rack is on loan from the Art Gallery of South Australia … another reminder of my masters by coursework as curatorship was the only real career-orientated subject offered … which i didnt do.

I love this probably because of the music, the chiaroscuro, the daily mess of homes and activity and finding things … as i typed that a bird arrived on the balcony edge rather noisilly announcing himself; then flew off.


Suransundaris .. such statues always remind me of old friend Fifi LAmour telling me about when she accompanied her documentary-making father to India for a year after finishing school.  They were outside a temple and a man came rushing up to her; ‘We’ve been waiting for you to return’ he exclaimed, probably profusely bowing down; ‘You’re the reincarnation of our goddess’.  She was given a full tour of a complete tantric temple; and I always remember this story when i see any ancient Indian Statues.  BlessU Feef x.

Searching on these brings up many pinterest posts.  The National Museum of India provides a powerpoint Glimpses of Indian Sculpture through the Ages.surasundaris

Raoul François Larche : I cant read where this is borrowed from; there is one in MOMA’s collection and in the NGA’s where it is designated as a lampshade base in gilded bronze.  The freedom of such dancing is catchy; it was with somewhat amusement that I realised recently that although I feel dancing is part of me, I wasnt a dancer as such although I felt i was in my bones. Art Nouveau still strikes a chord in many people. Larche apparently also made statues of religious figures as well as partially draped and nude women.  The combination of the impression of gold and freedom of expression is paramount as well as its beauty. There is film available of Loie Fuller dancing on youtube.monaEXB01larche

Kantharos .. my photos belie the importance and beauty of these objects, but as i was travelling and couldnt afford more weight to lug around despite anything else, i took some pictures … also to amuse and remind myself as i was alone.   This particular old object reminded me straight away of a friend I’d only recently made back contact with since we had worked together in the 1980s; Helen, who comes from Greece originally, and has happiness in her soul despite everything.  I couldnt get over seeing something like this up close… it’s beautiful.   Many examples from this period have apparently been reworked.monaEXB01kantharos

Yanagawa Shigenobu .. Japanese Art was one of my subjects in my MA although I barely touched the surface.  This is hopefully a pretty obscure photo.  Our lecturer took great delight in the tutorial about this element of Japanese woodblock print.  A delight of this little project is finding out just how much of art collections are online, and just how much Japanese Art is included in the collection of The Art Gallery of South Australia.


Takashi Murakami is obviously a lot of fun and very relevant.   This artwork is purposely only shown part of here.   There are lots of videos available; this one where he explains Otaku; and how with this particular artwork that has no specific meaning, relating to Warhol’s Lonesome Cowboy, he wished to combine the influences of Japanese PostWar Art with Otaku.  In our society it’s a bit like ‘how is he allowed to do that’ but he did and has and it’s lol exceptional. Apparently he originally trained in Nihonga. Definitely an artist to learn more about !


Yayoi Kusama – must say i didnt understand this but noticed that it was generating a lot of interest and enthusiasm; people were captivated by it.  It reminded me of Infinity at the Gold Coast which is probably a derivative of it.  I was reminded of it when some facebook friends were discussing an exhibition of her work at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC which is so popular one is only allowed a few seconds in each exhibit; and I remembered this immediately.


Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi  .. I loved this … based on weaving of coconut fibres.  It reminded me of the Aboriginal Memorial at NGA and of recently art gallery visits where famous priceless artworks were painted on boards nailed together.monaEXB01sopolemalama

Faig Ahmed has his own page where is work is described in his biography. I found it pretty confronting in a good way in that ‘what a waste of a carpet’ interweaved with ‘gosh in this day and age cultures are getting lost’ sort of feeling.  The Jameel Arts Centre will open in 2018 in Dubai.


Fertility Figure .. what seems to be lapels of a coat could actually be stick arms across the body with only nipples evident.   Havent been able to find any more about this little figure ( until i find the catalogue in a library ) which seems to have been on loan to or from the Ian Potter Museum of Art University of Melbourne.


Head of Oba King Brian Boyd uses this in his opening remarks and it is a much better image.   Roger Fyfe and Sarah Murray write about the Benin Collection in a Records of the Canterbury Museum from 2014


Marian Ellis Rowan rang a bell inside my memory about some of her work at Kew Gardens and while i may be mixing her up with someone else, her paintings of New Guinea plants are treasured by them.  It is named after Princes Stephanie of Belgium after being discovered by Carl Hunstein in 1884.


Mask of Xipe Totec is from the British Museum and is carved on the other side creating criticism of authenticity amongst some scholars putting it and another mask of Xipe Totec in lava under scrutiny


Dr Seuss has his own webpage, facebook page and art gallery in Chicago.  Seuss worked with Judge magazine from 1927, creating covers, before his children’s book characters.  Judge was one of the magazines he worked on.


 There are many images of this exhibition available and there are still two days left of it (ends Easter Monday 2017).

A First Month

It’s been a month now, since I left Sydney; four Mondays ago.

That  Monday,  I’d woken up early in a hotel room in Central.  It reminds me now of the night I stayed in Central before I went down to Melbourne to the Bowie Symposium.  That in turn reminded me of decades before when a friend had lived in a tiny turret which i could see from that window.

(pic of Central from 2015)

This time, I explored a Central side that has grown up since old factories and breweries have become high-rise fabulous apartments, winning awards.


I was staying in a hotel so that i could leave my luggage there when I handed back my key for the little studio apartment that I had rented for over a year.


I also rented a storage unit as I had too much for one little room and in the last weeks I moved as much as possible into it but still had room for my birthday cards and we had fun at Timbah on the day.


Exploring Central was a lot of fun including finding a ping pong shop.


So in the morning of that Monday I woke up, packed my bags, went back to the rental, packed up everything that was left in bags I had bought at the central Daiso shop, took the keys back to the Real Estate, went back to the hotel, had a shower, left the hotel and went to the Airport; I was exhausted so i made sure i had two gos of a massage chair when i found it.


I went and sat at the gate where the plane would take me to … Hobart.


The flight was all very well and on arrival I waited for my case where there was a seal statue on the move-a-lator to show us when one whole round was complete.  I took the airport shuttle bus which went a very roundabout route which gave me my first ever look of the city.  One of the stops before mine was Wrest Point Casino.


The first two nights I had booked at Hadley’s which is one of the oldest hotels in Hobart and a favourite of my friend Marie.

I was absolutely exhausted as well as having a cold/flu and after my sister Ek had texted that no Errol Flynn’s ghost wasnt at Hadley’s Hotel he had died in America; I fell asleep with Rage on ( a Monday night what’s more ! ).

So that was the day I arrived on this island.




MONA first visit

Shortly I’ll be able to visit MONA for free as a tassie-an I presume.

As for now, I purchased a ‘posh-pit’ ticket, still fragile from a cold and realised while it was now Thursday, Monday was still only days back


We’d meant to make MOFO in January until other things prioritised – i guess i need to make the next blog entry about friends alcohol-love .. yet ‘something happened’

I needed to know about this dude Marie had told me about who afforded the whole place through gambling, so early in the morning before dawn i read about him by Richard Flanagan in The Monthly … which got me reading another article that came up just now in  searching for it; by Amanda Lohrey, which mentions DW’s autobiography A Bone of Fact (Picador; $55).   I read the latter article instinctively as I’d earlier read – probably after MONA visit, her article “Tasmania Got Gamed” reviewing James Boyce’s book Lucky Streak ( i’d nearly gone to a book opening Tuesday but was coughing etc madly ) which now means i need to subscribe to read more Monthly.  Some point in all that I read Richard Flanagan from December 2015 in The Mercury’s Talking Point

Yet Mark Opitz’s Sophisto-Punk (2012), ‘as told to Luke Wallis and Jeff Jenkins’ calls; as does Jesse Fink’s The Youngs (2013) about ACDC .. both sourced from a bargain bin at the central Post Office yet even for that price they came into the right hands… mine x : one of them has already thanked me


I foregoed the canapes of the posh pit on the way back to sit at the front slightly corresponding with the gent that had been on the left side on the way over .. the breeze was gentle and velvet and the rain had gone just leaving its trails … taking my orange juice glass back as i disembarkt

While I cant remember exactly where i read ‘he was a cicada of a man’ or some such, which i really enjoyed, when i searched for it I found the cicada puzzle

Icehouse tomorrow – first time in about thirty years !    Might as well read the day away before it as the present pile of books is getting bigger and also the local newsagent might have the current Monthly lol










Post-Bowie-Me now/then


Collage from cutting up Uncut Bowie

While I actively social media-rised with Bowie fans after the shock of 9/11 woke me up to that was where they were living, and I read his published reaction, my years of total Bowie worship were only remembered by relatives laffing at a aunt’s 90th birthday about how i couldnt talk about anything else; and the social media put me in the situation of reading how others were in the same boat.


Then he died; creating an art-form of it.   I’d already moved back to the city due to the effect of the Bowie Melbourne Symposium; but was horrified looking from the outside at the extent of alcohol love amongst my friends.


So I’ve just left the rental where I got the phone call; SMA told me to sit down; i said i dont need to you’re going to tell me either a nuclear bom has hit Pari or Bowie died.  I’d already run home from after watchin the Lazarus video on pub wifi with headphones on, freaked out as instead of him looking at a pen, I’d visualised a junkie hitting the needle to get the air out; but at home lisnin to the music it enveloped me in sound magic.



I’m off the mainland; surrounded by ‘evergreens’ and seemingly looking back on fifty years in a place i never wanted to be, living a life accordingly; full of now-learnt ‘grace’.

( re-starting blog; these first two posts are from a while back )


A Daft Draft Punk Funk

I wrote this nearly two years ago .. slightly edited ...

The July 2015 Melbourne Symposium The Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie, somewhat carries on from the October 2012 University of Limerick’s Strange Fascination? A Symposium on David Bowie from which David Bowie: Critical Perspectives (Routledge Studies in Popular Music, 2015) emerged.  Presenting a paper at both, Ian Chapman and Sam Coley provide a lighthearted experience of the first, which sounds similar to the mood of Melbourne.

They had a vox pop or similarly monikered; where we faced a camera and spoke of our Bowie experience; and to finish into a sentence “Bowie is..”  I looked into the camera and said Bowie is still alive.. and so am I … it was a joke at the time

Limerick [symposium] and the V&A Show began (or were begat) before his return to commercial recording embellished upon us in January 2013.  Forty years before that, many of us were encroaching upon our adult self, admonishing its relevance to subservience, and imagining we would change this and the spacemen would come [in 2012].  Bowie, Pink Floyd, Stones, Cat Stevens, Moody Blues; all of them made life worth living.


Before attending the Melbourne Symposium – a partnership between ACMI, The University of Melbourne, Deakin University and with the support of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation – I’d read the hardcover Orange catalog book Bowie Is, also full of essays. Reading it in tandem with Moonage Daydream (Rock/Bowie, 2002) seemed apt, as both books rely heavily on the accompanying photographs yet have crucial written evidence of the Bowie phenomenon and history.

( I’d done the research due to being chosen to attend the press showing to write a review for davidbowienews website )

I struggled with the idea of intellectualising Bowie but dutifully summarised the Orange Book, shuffling between stories and picture albums until I came to Camille Paglia where i nearly gave up.  While pressing the point is important the reader can disengage when being told why an artist does something when there is no obvious contact with the artist themselves.  Paglia makes sure we set Bowie’s androgynous look in within influences such as early Kathryn Hepburn early on; the 1968 movie Queen, Vince Taylor, and many of the ‘other’ forms of androgyny such as the 1931 August Sander Secretary photograph.  She reminds us of the 1932 film Freaks as similar to the background of the Diamond Dogs cover.  She talks about his physical attractiveness.

One aspect of the larger than life footage of the Bowie Is exhibition, is that it sets us free from the ‘gazely stare’ in that it is not possible in such a social environment to believe that that wink, that all-encompassing I-want-you charismatic invitation is for yours truly.   Bowie’s photographs show a mastery and ease with the camera encapsulate that sense of him sharing an intimate moment with us yet in reality he is in love with the camera or at the very least sharing an infinity with it, and a professional understanding with the photographer of the genius they were creating.

Yet the extent of his fanship and the way it has changed over the years is evident in facebook post David Bowie Is Mistaken  .. there was no public internet in 1973 and even the comments on this post show the extent of fanship today.

(so much has happened {since his absence} since i wrote this; yet with distance I’m aggrieved at his suffering and feelings of desolation; at other’s suffering and desolation that he’s disappeared)

Then you see a letter from the late seventies where he suggested a fan read Julian James’ The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (1976, 2000).

(Their level of intelligence isnt often publicist’s main concern in creating rock stars; after all Brian Cox was one once)

This intellectual approach towards a rock star ( or ‘rock god’ in his words as quoted by Ricky Gervais ) isn’t what many of us expect however in academic circles it’s undoubtedly exciting to write, research and teach on such a topic.  From these readings I began to see his use of collaboration and inspiration, not to prop up his own misgivings about his talents but to create an altogether more interesting phenomenon, was the most vital part of his success.

So many light-bulbs flashed during reading the catalog and listening to the symposium talks.  Yet overriding most of it, was the camaraderie and joy of like-minded people, as if someone had spread bliss amongst us.  It was obvious amongst many of the speakers as well as the audience.  Even at the press call.


My real “Bowie” obsession was in the late 70s and early 80s; about six entire years thinking of nothing else.  There’s a mob of us who ‘left’ him, some at Let’s Dance, some very shortly after.  I came back in 2003; home-computerless at the time, I spent an hour every day at the internet cafe listening to Bowie Radio on his website, re-introducing myself to his songs and acquainting myself with Bnetters, who had even had special shows put on just for them.

Lindsay Kemp’s Flowers created big waves in Australia from 1975.  The atmosphere was created immediately you arrived on the steps of the New Arts Cinema in inner-Sydney Glebe by trumpeter, incense, colour, smoke.  As one walked through the foyer becoming more entranced with each step.  It was a big moment in Sydney.  While it was based on Jean Genet’s Lady of the Flowers, the pure eroticism of taut men clad in not much at all, covered all-over in white theatre paint with made-up faces, writhing on 3 layered platforms of scaffolding symmetrically on each side of the stage to overpoweringly excellent music and lighting was just the start.  It is hard remembering details because we invariably went stoned.

flowers Glebe

It wasnt as if Australia had no theatre or stars. Dame Edna can attest to that. So can Reg Livermore.   They both created themselves.  The documentary Brilliant Creatures by Howard Jacobsen, 2014 concentrates on the impact that Barry Humphries, Germaine Greer, Clive James and Robert Hughes had on the cultural revolution in the 1960s … in Britain.  And that’s just four of them.

In one of Lindsay’s dance classes during his first Australian tour he mentioned that he cant turn everyone into a David Bowie.  Music was all important to all of us, especially after the early 1970s.    We were young.  We were also involved in a magic group with further debauched influences and indeed Bowie’s “Cygnet Committee” (as well as ) was one of the enabling points of realisation to get out of it.    Much emphasis had been made within that group regarding Bowie’s referencing ‘Kether to Malkuth’ on Station to Station.  This was many years before Madonna, in 1996, publicised her Kabbalah teachings. in an online article, quoting from Bebergal’s book…

“The theater of rock began long ago: in the smoky UFO Club when Arthur Brown wore his flaming helmet, when Hawkwind hypnotized their fans with lights, when Bowie came onstage not as himself but as a crash-landed Ziggy.”
Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll, Peter Bebergal, 2014

( these first two posts were drafts when i decided to activate this blog )