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"The Southport News" Archive:  2006 | Pre-2006

The Southport News

The Southport News started out as a humorous letter written once a month to keep in touch with family and friends in Adelaide, following my marriage to Jean, and subsequent move to Queensland.  Over the years, the format became more professional, complete with graphics and newsletter layout, and I'm told scoring a place on the subscriber list was quite a sought after privilege!

Below are some music-related and other excerpts which might give you a laugh.   Although the news might be old, the views haven't changed!  Feel free to email me, I'd love to hear from you.

Cheers, Ray


(These around 1993-94 following the big move from Adelaide to Queensland.)

  • Big Hi Fi Installation

  • Gold Coast Health & Harmony Festival

  • New Music Acquisitions

  • Billy Thorpe at Bikie Bash

  • Frank Zappa's Death

  • Cassette Cleanup

  • Aztec's Rule, OK!

  • Aggravated Acoustic Assault


    Big Hi-Fi Installation
         Recently we decided to complete installation of Adelaide's most travelled Hi-Fi system.  I was very keen to hear how it had survived the longest journey of its career.  Most of the components, apart from the amplifiers and tuner had Jean's TV set surrounded already, and all that had to be done was to add the amplifiers and tuner, align the speakers and to connect all the leads.  This was done without problems and, with one flick of the power switch, everything operated perfectly.

         Jean, who has developed a taste for Jimmy Buffett, "Ballads" reckons he sounds a lot better now!.  Her system now sits somewhat quiet and forlorn, although rumour has it that we may try it in the bedroom so we can be serenaded by a little Lou Reed or better still, Frank Zappa!!  Just like a penguin in bondage boy! Oh Yeh! Oh Yeh!


    Gold Coast Health & Harmony Festival
         Jean and I, along with quite a few other SNAPS (Sensitive New Age Persons), attended a healthfest under a Big Top at the Carrara Sports Complex.  All sorts of miracle cures were on offer.  You could have your aura photographed, or even some Kirlian Diagnosis.  The prize for the best name went to "Esogetic Colour Puncture and Energy-Therminal Point Diagnosis". while the Belly Dancing was the most popular remedy on the show.

         No matter what "Show" it is, there's always some bugger flogging a household gadget.  Remember the Slurpex?  This time it was a gadget to remove fluff from your clothing.  How herbal is that?  Now every SNAP on the Coast is running around in a fluffless jumper, sari, or sarong.

         Best of all, in an outside tent, the Archangel Michael made a guest appearance to spread the latest word from the big G.  Actually his real name is Edward and he's a Channeler.  I listened for a while, but it was hard to believe the old AM speaks English with an Australian accent, and is as boring as Federal Parliament.  He was, however, wearing a fluffless sarong which was probably a miracle, as I couldn't see a gadget anywhere on his being.


    New Music
         Despite impending financial disaster, a few new cd's have slipped into the household via the plastic, or through birthday appropriations.  Robert Plant's "Fate of Nations" is very good, as are his previous albums.  Unfortunately, my Plant collection was stolen in the Great Norwood cd Heist of '92.

    The Kinks "Phobia" is a good high energy album.  Neil Young's "Unplugged", an acoustic set recorded for MTV is very good, but not quite as listenable as Eric Clapton's excellent "Unplugged" album.  Warren Zevon's "Learning to Flinch", the most bizarre album is notable because one track, "The Indifference of Heaven" was recorded last year at the Big Ticket in Adelaide, while another, "Mr. Bad Example", mentions Adelaide in the lyrics.  Pete Townshend's "Psychoderelict" is also a rather bizarre concept, but the songs are great.


    Billy at Bikie Bash
         It was wall-to-wall Harley-Davidsons at "Purga Creek '93" as the bikie community got down to some serious fun and games.  Bikes, booze, birds, and beards were the order of the day, with tattoos featuring on many bodies.  Apart from the occasional sniff of dope, dust, was the most pervasive substance going up the nose, which accounts for the large amount of "Tooheys Mouthwash" applied to the back of the collective tonsils.

         The show was staged by "Odin's Warriors" and attended by such brethren as the "Black Uhlans", the "Gladiators", and the "Finks", as well as yours truly and a few other high society figures.  Dirt Drags, Skydivers, one naked except for a G-string and goose bumps, a Wet T-shirt Contest without the T-shirts, and Strippers without anything but the occasional tattoo, provided the background for the appearance of original Oz rock bad boys, "Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs", who at midnight turned the clock back 20 years and the volume up to the pain threshold.

         Adhering to the "Ulysses MC" mottoo - "Grow old disgracefully", the "new" look Aztecs played a 90 minute set sounding as good as they did in the early 70s.  The new look for the Aztecs is "Old".  Billy is a little pudgier, keyboard player Warren "Pig" Morgan, has grey hair, drummer Gil "Rat" Matthews, has no hair, and bass player Paul Wheeler, no longer moves as deftly around the stage.

         Other bands included "The Radiators", who put on a good show and "The Painters & Dockers", who didn't.  The food was good and the whole event was very well run.  We even picked up a "Ducati" belt buckle we'd been after for some time.  See you there next year!  They're gonna dig up Johnny O'Keefe!


         One of the greatest musicians and composers of the 20th Century is now appearing at the great gig in the sky, where I dare say he is wielding the conductor's baton.  Frank Zappa was an uncompromising musical genius whose bizarre lyrics, and on-stage antics, kept him out of mainstream popular music for the sum total of his career, although he did win a Grammy for his album "Jazz from Hell". 

         A guitar virtuoso and keen social satirist, he played twice in Adelaide during the early 70's with different configurations of his band "The Mothers of Invention".  As an indication of his standing in rock music, the list of ex-Mothers reads like a "Who's Who" of Rock 'n Roll.  He will be sadly missed by many fans.  Vale FZ!


    Cassette Cleanup
         In order to tidy up the lounge, my cassette collection had to be sorted out.  It proved to be no easy task with over 300 cassettes.  Most of them are copies of original albums, but almost a third comprise compilations of music dubbed from FM Radio, including live concerts and simulcasts.  They represent countless hours of recording and dubbing work and a great deal of free music. 

         The most valuable cassette, now over 18 years old, features a rare album called "Silver Faces" by Doggerel Banks which was played on the ABC's "Rocturnal" before the advent of commercial FM radio.


    Aztecs Rule, OK!
         Within two hours of arriving in Adelaide, the "Great cd Shop Blitz of '94" was in full swing.  Thanks to Greg of "Adelaide Uni Record Shop", I scored the long awaited Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs "Lock Up Your Mothers" boxed set, along with a number of other discs.

         Imagine my astonishment when one last, quick look in yet another cd shop resulted in discovering my copy of "Who Are You?", last seen just before "The Great cd Heist of '92.  I collected a new copy just the day before!

         Unfortunately, I was unable to track down who had sold it to "Andromeda Records".  Pity.  I would like to have learned how many more "red star discs" the Norwood police might have been able to recover.


    Aggravated Acoustic Assault
         A couple of Gold Coast mothers have conspired to inflict grievous bodily harm on Lord Hogan's eardrums in the most dastardly fashion imaginable.  In a secret trip to Tugun under cover of darkness, Lady MacJean retrieved her ancient Hohner piano accordian and smuggled it into Mudgie Mansion in the back of the Red Dwarf. 

         It lay idle in the garage for some weeks until Lois dug up some old music and offered it to Lady MacJean so she could crank up the infernal device.  One evening Lady MacJean got out an even more rusty and very mouldy squeezebox-type-contraption and let it rip with a few sounds loosely described as tunes.

         Needless to say, said "tunes" brought back long-buried memories of the similar sadistic torment inflicted by a family member with the same type of device.  Both sounded remarkably like a one-lunged ashtmatic cat trying to play a set of moth-eaten bagpipes.

         Perhaps they could get together for a special Christmas performance, or even a recording session, so more people can be exposed to the unique and joyful sound.  As long as this occurs out of Lord Hogan's earshot.  His shot ears are still recovering from the cross-keyed rendition of something called "Spanish Eyes".



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