Monthly Archive for March, 2008

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21 characters, 4 lines…

lcd sign

Yesterday Jasmin and I went down to visit John Longley from the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce. He’s kindly agreed to let us use the Freo red LCD sign. As you drive into Fremantle, over “the old bridge”, you inevitably sit at the traffic lights for an aeon and stare at this electronic billboard. It says things like

DONT DROP
LITTER
IN
FREMANTLE

or

QE2 SHIP IN PORT
WED 5TH MARCH
LAST CHANCE AT
PASSENGER TERMINAL

or

OUTDOOR FILMS
TONIGHT AT FILM AND
TELEVISION INSTITUTE
STARTING 7:30 PM

or (my favourite)

FAREWELL TO CITY OF
FREMANTLE CEO, RAY
GLICKMAN. TODAY
IS HIS LAST DAY.

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The guys rent a warehouse…

acdc warehouse dream

My first AC/DC dream.

The guys rent a warehouse in Sydney. It’s relatively cheap and a lot of space. They take the whole floor, and keep it free for whenever they’re in town. The warehouse is shared with a group of feminist architects. This is during the Bon era. They set to work insulating it for soundproofing. I don’t know what my role is in all this, I seem to be hanging around a lot. Maybe I also have a space to work in the warehouse.

AC/DC only come in on Sundays for rehearsals at first, but later they start to occupy the whole warehouse more and more.

There are a lot of people hanging around, maybe its a bit like Warhol’s factory. Angus, as it turns out, is also a really good DJ, he makes these melodic noise records which deafen and delight. They bring you to a frenzy and then stop just as quickly with a cheesy mozart ending.

I am sitting at the warehouse kitchen table and reading a biography of AC/DC and I discover the following:

“Bon had all his trademark hair carefully shaved off and set into a wig which he wore religiously from that day forward, although he regretted telling anyone about losing his hair.”

The members of the band have a “wall of conquests” where they chalk up another line on the 5-bar-gate whenever they sleep with a girl. Bon is clearly in the lead but I am surprised to see that Malcolm isn’t far behind. To the right of the individual scores is an aggregate tally for the whole band.

One time, sitting around the kitchen table, the entire warehouse collective is trying to write a manifesto or a press release. One of the lines is “if you’re coming to visit us in the morning, make sure you bring up at least ten coffees, they will never go to waste.” It occurs to me, sitting at the table, that it’s strange to have a feminist architecture group sharing with the band. But they all seem to get along pretty well…

The Fine Details

bon and me
[The author clutches Bon’s knee and wonders what will become of him…]

Everyone, it seems, wants to know exactly where the bronze sculpture of Bon Scott will end up.

Forgive me if I’ve got some of the following details wrong. I’m sure it’ll all come out in the wash.

On Wednesday Simmo came to pick me up in his cream Kingswood station wagon, for another look at the statue. We drove the two blocks over to Greg’s studio, where we took some great closeup photos of Bon’s face and shoelaces and buttons and veins.

There was a definite sense of relief in the workshop. Greg was out, but one of his assistants, Alastair, told us about the week leading up to the big unveiling. Greg had been extremely anxious about the statue. More than any of the other dead-white-males he’s sculpted in bronze, the Bon Scott statue would have the eyes of a million experts scrutinising it for defects. The team put the finishing touches on the statue at midnight on Thursday. Greg looked crestfallen. “I’ve fluffed it,” he said. “I don’t know why, but it’s just not quite right.” But being made of bronze, it was too late to change anything.
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The Aftermath

I wish my camera hadn’t run out of batteries.

A zoomed-in image of the Bronze Bon was beamed up onto the big screens to either side of the stage. Every so often, some brave youth would do a runner, hop the barrier, and climb up to have his photo taken with the little metal man. Normally, a brazen act like this would have spelled violent eviction for the trespasser. But such was the holy nature of this moment that the bouncers simply smiled beneficently, and gently guided the little rascal back onto the grass.

The trampled grass exhaled some kind of steam. The area in front of the stage was thick with crushed UDL cans, broken sunglasses, lost thongs, cigarette butts, muddy baseball caps, and torn plastic bags. Arm in arm, contented and love-sick, with ears ringing, some of us still humming to the tunes in our heads, the crowd began to shuffle and stumble through this dense swamp of garbage towards the exit.
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