Sunday, October 07, 2007

top ten highlights for the week

1) Interviewing Boxer Sakio Bika about his role on The Contender show for People magazine. I’m a boxing tragic and have cancelled nights out just to sit and watch Friday Night Fights so this last month has been (an athiest’s) heaven. Interviewing former world champ Lester Ellis last month and now Bika. Years ago I talked to Jamie Wallace who went on to win an Aussie title (now there was a bloke who deserved the “I coulda been a contender” moniker – always took fights on short notice always made the other guy work for his win and then finally got his shot at a title and took it) and Kali Meehan who fought on the big stage in America but fell short, even made pals with Amateur Boxing Legend Joe Bridges so the other night I introduced myself to the good wife as “Campbell McInnes – sports writer” and she didn’t laugh (well not too hard)

2) Being asked to pen liner notes for an upcoming reissue of Loaded Dice’s classic album No Sweat. Loaded Dice were a sweaty power pop/pub rock band from Perth late 70s/early 80s that I’ve always thought were vastly underrated and damn good fun. They only ever did the one album and I’d long given up hope of them being rediscovered but they have been and now everyone will have the chance to revel in the glory of lyrics like …”baby baby got a good thing going, dress so high your slip is showing…” and “these pants they don’t fit, fact is they hurt a bit but they’re gonna get me in the mood…” all with killer pop riffs and a nod to the best sixties sensibilities. Don’t worry when its released I’ll make sure you all know about it! Hell, I might even get myself back on the radio just to flog the damn thing some more! (must get around to doing that long delayed tribute album too)

3) Kicking the footy in the backyard with beezlebubby. Apparently they’ve been having a kick at school and she wanted to practise some more. Fine by me, sunny days, kicking a size 3 sherrin across the lawn as she tells me about her day and her friends and counts just how many times she can mark in a row or kick straight. Interesting too that she tells me all the boys feel the need to chest mark but the girls tend to put their hands out and mark the ball and they don’t understand why the fellas have to hug the ball. Is it the girls protecting their budding chests or the boys trying to beat their chests in that macho ain’t I a man fashion? Or maybe its just simply the boys being coached that way or maybe seeing their heroes on telly doing it… I’m sure one day there will be a report on it (funded by us) by some poncey professor who’s never kicked a footy in his life but has a lot of initials after his name and chronic asthma.

4) Being given a Mt Burr football blazer by Joan Lawrence that belonged to her late husband Ray – one of the three musketeers, my dad and his mate Ces Leibhardt being the other two. There aren’t too many of these blazers about, they were specially made back in the day and its an incredible honour to be trusted with it. I’m seriously thinking of getting it framed because I don’t want to ruin it or lose it. I was a pallbearer at Ray’s funeral (he was the last of the musketeers by then) and I felt proud to be part of a strong and close knit community that day. Its one thing I feel lacks in Beezlebubby’s world because the city just doesn’t seem to have or create those bonds. That’s why I take her home so much.

5) Yellow Dog – Little Gods 45. I found the Yellow Dog album the other day and gave it to Nigel ‘Home For The Def’ Koop after he told me he’d hunted down the Fox single Single Bed because I mentioned it in my zine Wham Glam. Its kinda nice to know occasionally that someone does read yr shit and even act on it. Yellow Dog was an offshoot of Fox (both trashy pommy pop outfits from the mid 70s) and I’d mentioned them to Nigel but he hadn’t managed to track anything down. After I gave him the lp I came home and played this single, their finest moment and unfortunately for Nigel not on the album. I guess he’ll have to hunt that down for himself ‘cos I’m not parting with it! Its too dang good. (weirdly enough though on the day I gave him the album I saw another copy second hand! Two copies within a week, very odd – so maybe the single is out there too)

6) My mum (Left Hook Lu) and her eightball team making the grand final again second year running. They won last year but the comp is a bit tougher this time around. Always underestimated, mum’s team of “girls” (and I use the term loosely), just play for the fun of it, the social night, though of course they like to win too. They just keep a steady pace, win a few, lose a few but if they make it into the finals, look out. Once again they’ve snuck under everyone’s guard and all of a sudden they are there once again facing their arch enemies (who were once playing for the same pub but got the sooks up and took their cues and went off to another pub.) The strange thing (at least for me) is that anyone could underestimate my mother. Christ, there are trophies all over the bloody house, she’s been playing the game for ever, she once beat snooker legend Eddie Charlton and yet they all treat her with disdain and seem shocked when she wins. Be it on their own heads, Left Hook and the girls will have fun win or lose and that’s the difference.

7) Catching up with my old school mate Ganders this week while i’m back home in the country. I’ve known Ganders since the first day of primary school and that’s a damn long time. The first thing he says is you should see the medal. His boy Max was in the Mossies under 18s premiership team and damn the old fart is proud. Might have something to do with the fact that neither me nor Ganders could play footy for shit and we’re both living vicariously thru Max. But then the boy himself is pretty proud of it too. City folk don’t realize just how much sports means to a country town, it can really lift the whole community when the kids do well. And its not for nothing that we are known as “Zooeys” by all the other teams – we are animals when it comes to Mt Burr and our footy – we take it damn seriously. So Ganders is a very proud dad and the town is bubbling with pride too. And more than a few hangovers.

8) Being home in the country for a few days holiday and catching up with old friends. Ganders, Mitch, Strop – all mates from my early years. We’ve slowed down a bit, got a bit bigger, realized we can’t party as hard as we used to (or used to think we did anyway) but we’re all still here, we’re all still kicking and considering the mortality rate of our age group back in the day of cheap grog and fast and stupid driving that in itself makes it good to catch up. Sitting in Ganders shed sucking on beer and listening to joe walsh rates pretty high in itself too!

9) The rumours that Betty Paginated zine might be back in a smaller junior version. Dann the man Lennard and I met back in the early 90s when he and I stumbled onto each other’s zines. It became a strong friendship based I think on us both being country boys (we had in fact lived in the same area without knowing it) being lousy drunks, having good looking wives who somehow saw through our schtick, liking similar comics, books, music (though he’s got a thing for big nosed girly bands) and just generally enjoying each other’s company. I can say without reservation that he is one of my best friends and I always enjoy catching up with him. So when he announced the end of BP it was a sad moment. Now it seems that he might have a wee spark still in him and we will might yet again get those words of wisdom about wrassling, naked chicks and whatever else takes his fancy. Till then there’s always his blog.

10 ) Friday morning walking home from taking beezlebubby to school and walking past a couple who were much older than me (and I’m mid 40s now so they musta been ancient) holding hands and obviously still quite happy to show some public affection. Might not seem much but I’ve seen how many of beezle’s school friends are from separated families. Two or even three houses that they loosely call home, mum, dad, new dad, new mum, or just new boyfriend/girlfriend… can’t be easy sometimes to work out where you’re going in life when you’re not even sure we’re you’re going this weekend. So to see a couple of “wrinklies” quite happily holding hands, smiling and enjoying their morning walk was a damn fine way to start a day. (for all I know though they might be having an affair or be new to each other – why do I assume they’ve been together for a long time?)



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