JA Tour Diary – Volume 2

The Cherry Reds with Sean at center with his arm around, Cherry Bar owner, James Young. We stopped off in Mildura for the night on our way to Adelaide. Mildura is about 12 hours drive from Sydney and another 5 hrs to Adelaide. There’s nothing really note worthy about this stop over other than the fact that Geoff Trio (aussie manager) claims to have saved my life. We were rooming 3 to a room and Geoff, being the last to fall asleep, spotted a mischievious looking spider crawling toward my head as I slept. He swatted it with the tv remote but the little bugger didn’t die and scurried under the bed at which point Geoff chased after him, moving the bed and eventually finishing the job with the remote. Somehow, perhaps magically, I slept through all of this but the next morning, after recounting the story, Geoff showed me the carnage and indeed it was a dead (and potentially deadly) spider – another catastrophy averted.

It was a windy drive to Adelaide but the sun was shinning as we drove through the rural wine country of Victoria and South Australia. At one point we stopped off for fuel and I picked an orange from a tree on the side of the road that was probably the best orange I’ve ever tasted – my apologize to who evers orange tree this was for the theft . Adelaide was good, we didn’t have much more than a few hours to check things out between check-in, sound check, food, show. The Jive bar is a great venue and we had a good enthusiastic crowd in there, we would definitely stop in there again. The next day we had to split up the group a little. Our radio promo man extrordinaire, Johnny Zucco, booked a live on air interview on Triple M in Melbourne to advertise the weekends triple header at the Cherry Bar, one of us would have to fly in in order to make the 11am interview and I was elected. The rest of the guys were stuck driving 9 hours to Melbourne, not the most ideal of situations for a show day. The interview was fine and I had a nice leisurely, relaxed day in one of Australia’s great cities while the rest of the band and crew slogged it out on the Aussie highway – for some reason I love this! Does that make me a bad person?

The first gig was good, Friday night at the Cherry Bar on AC/DC lane. I’ve gone on record a few times but I’ll say it again – it’s the most rock’n’roll, rock’n’roll bar in the world, or at least that I’ve been to.  The crowd was great, a lot of ex-pat Canadians in the house as well as new local friends and fans we’ve made in Melbourne. One of the best things about playing the Cherry Bar is the after party. We usually wrap up playing around 11:30 at which point the place turns into the best rock’n’roll dance party in the world. They play great music at ear splitting volume that forces you to rock out or else… there’s no small talk because you can’t scream over it… just rocking, awesome…

The next day, after shaking off a shinny new hangover, we headed to St. Kilda down to Pure Pop Records, an indie record store that is reportedly owned by, legendary AC/DC front man, Bon Scotts son Dave Scott, for an acoustic in store appearance. It’s a great shop with all kinds a great rarities and collectors items –the kind of place we all have to keep shopping at because it’s places like this that can really turn you on to some great stuff. It’s these locally owned and operated types of places that really are the soul of a neighborhood. The man behind the counter of this record store/coffee house/bar/intimate music venue does look eerily like Bon Scott but it’s not really the kind of thing one feels comfortable bringing up to someone – “Hey, you Bon Scott’s kid?”. After about an hour of getting caffeinated and shopping for records we take the stage for the small group of friend and whatever people are sauntering in and out of the store. It was a really stripped down and intimate affair with most of the set being audience requests which suits me just fine…one less thing for me to think about.

Saturday night at Cherry Bar was probably even more rocking than Friday night. We changed up the set list just enough to keep ourselves interested and the energy was great. Jack’s birthday was at stroke of midnight and much celebrating ensued. Afterwards, while hanging with Cherry Bar owner James Young and Puppetry of the Penis star Friendy, we hatched a plan to have Sean play in the annual “footie” game between the Cherry Bar Cherry Reds and the Espy Rock Dogs,  a competing local rock venues team. We were stoked for it, all we had to do now was  convince Sean, who had already split the venue for the hotel. Luckily when we woke Sean up the next morning he was into the idea – he just had to learn the game now…

We all pilled into the bus on Sunday and headed down to the field were we watched Sean help the Cherry Reds beat the Espy Rock Dogs 17-13, Sean even set up the game winning goal. The third night was a quiet night at the Cherry Bar, I guess people were too rocked out from Friday and Saturday night and Sundays footie match by this time. After adhering to the set list for the first half we went off script and took all audience requests. This made for an interested set list featuring a few songs we never even played before. I’ve printed to the Set Lists below so you can see how they differ.  If you ever find yourself in downtown Melbourne I highly recommend the Cherry Bar…so cool.

The next day was 8 hours back to Sydney. Got back out on my surfboard this morning. All is good…

JA