A late arrival in Brisbane, flights were delayed due to weather and one of the equipment trucks broke down getting to the gig late so sound check was scuttled and we went straight from the hotel into a meet and greet. Then suddenly we were dressed and on stage, Matt having the presence of mind to wear something green for St. Paddy's day.
On the meet and greet front, I've had more than a few requests from folks curious to know what songs The Maui Boys play at these dark, secret society gatherings held deep within the bowels of aging arenas. The music that springs forth from deep within the bowels of aging musicians is a broad spectrum of tunes from the arcane to the absurd, none of which anybody would know or care about except for Glenn and I, and I'm not so sure about Glenn. A sampling of titles are: In The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Moonland, Red Sails In The Sunset, Spanish Fandango, Roll Along Kentucky Moon, Hair Brain Hop (a Bennett original) and more. We are whipped into a tropical frenzy by Paul Crockford, a managerial type with a weakness for loud shirts who herds us together at the appointed hour in front of total strangers and yells, "Hit it, assholes!" Taking the subtle cue we play merrily along until every last person is met and gret, uh, greeted. We're just a couple of happy kamaainas* playing instruments without frets, blithely in search of a pitch centre.
I was reminded today of the last time I played in Brisbane with Neil Diamond in 1976. Media guy David Frost invited us on a 42-foot motorboat to Tangalooma Island off the coast of Brisbane. On board there was much 70's style merry making and some unveiling of flesh in hopes of getting a bit of color. The concept of sun block was still a long way off. I got a bit of color alright, in a very short time I managed to cook myself to the shade of a rare roast beef. We returned late in the day to play the show at the now demolished Festival Hall where the temperature indoors was probably 100 and 10 degrees. Feeling a little woozy from the heat and sunburn but wanting to carry on the party and being 24 years old and bullet proof, I made the fatal mistake of indulging in an alcoholic beverage or two during the show. During the most hushed moments of I Am I Said I felt like my body had been plugged into a wall socket and my legs went out from under me. There was a thunderous crash of R. Bennett and the open strings of his guitar hitting the ground and the next thing I remember was coming around back stage with a cold cloth to my head. It was a lesson well learned, I no longer drink during a show making certain that kind of thing is done prior to taking the boards!
And so with tonight's sold out gig at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre we bid farewell to old Australia and hello to New Zealand. I'll lob a few kiwis your way in the next day or so.
* Kamaaina; an Hawaiian term of endearment meaning old-timer or dead but won't lie down.