The Good News and The Bad
G 'day Folks! I have just been to Karoonda in S. A. , a 2500km round trip, last week for a new Australian Music Festival (multi styles but Oz only compositions) organised wonderfully by Jeanette Wormald and her Committee and my brother, Geoff who lives in Adelaide, was also on the bill so we played as a duo all weekend. It was a very important occasion for me as we had never done that before. He played all the songs he had written which I have recorded as well as heaps of new ones. It went over very well, although people kept referring to him as my 'older brother' (He's 18 months younger but a bit "thin on top" to quote a certain P. D. song) which didn't please him at all!! Bald guys just don't get no respect.
Jeanette e-mailed me this morning and says
"It looks like crowd numbers were about 1200. We'll definitely hold one again next year and a final date will be discussed soon. The crowd loved our duet on Old Time Country Show!!!"
I am back home again for a few days for the Galston Country Music Festival which was organised with Tony Page, Len Knight and The Galston Rotary Group. We probably picked the best weather of the whole year with the three days of the festival a big success culminating in the major Sunday concert which, in it's first year, attracted 9,000 people!!! We were chuffed!! Still are. I am working with Allan Caswell on Saturday in Moss Vale on the Southern Tablelands. After that I am off to Mildura and Victor Harbour.
Now The Truly terrible News. If you have been to our Web Page http://www.lisp.com.au/~ patdrum recently or have attended the Sydney Gigs you probably have already heard. Some time on Sunday July 13th thieves broke into my truck and stole, among other more replaceable items, both my guitars. My beautiful 22 year old Maton on which I had written so many songs, and the relatively new custom made De Gruchy. Both were acoustic electrics with pickups. I'm sitting here with a bottle of red wine saying a long goodbye to them.
On a practical note, The Maton (Serial no 62- 677) has a very distinctive Headstock. Instead of the brand name on them they have a single letter M in Mother of pearl on a highly scrolled headpiece,The De Gruchy (Serial number 415) was similar. A Brazilian rosewood instrument it featured a simple Mother of Pearl D on the headstock instead of the standard De Gruchy brand name.Also taken was a large Roland synth box containing A Roland MC 500, a Roland TR 707, A Roland Guitar Tuner, A Roland U-220, a Mackie 12 channel Mini Mixer as well as cabling and cases. This is older equipment which although not worth much on the open market, is invaluable to me.
None of the gear was insured. I guess I'm a trusting sort of type but in 22 years full time I have never had anything else stolen; so this comes as a bit of a shock.
Please keep an eye out for these items in your local Cash Converters; Hockshops or pubs. I am offering $1000 reward on each of the guitars and $1000 reward on the Synth case and it's contents,and contact us on any of the numbers or by email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suspicions.
I might not have received any of the gear back, but I have received some very touching expressions of concern from people all over Australia. It really has been very gratifying. It's been good to hear from other players, Michael Fix and a couple of others have e-mailed in the last few days. The Dead Ringers and Marcus Holden have lent me some axes. Al Ward offered his Maton and Vince Brophy rang from Adelaide with an offer of a Martin on loan. I said no. I wasn't sure I wanted the responsibility but the thought was lovely. I think other players do understand very well. Electronics are replaceable. Guitars are more organic than that; and no two are ever the same, so you do tend to become more attached to them.
To make matters worse my hands had really grown into those instruments over the years and I am finding my performances have suffered as I have struggled to come to terms with new gear. Worse still, since none of the gear was insured, the expense has brought our recording plans to a screaming halt. This is really frustrating because The live album, already recorded, is still some way short of having post production, covers and pressing finished; and the kids album is now firmly on the backburner. I am gradually rebuilding the synth case with the help of the eyes and ears of the net community (one item from Cessnock and one from Cootamundra so far) and, although it is an expensive exercise, both Brian De Gruchy and Neville at Maton have undertaken as closely as possible to replicate my original instrum- ents at a substantial discount, if they are not located.
UP COMING EVENTS DEPARTMENT
On a more positive note, there are some things to look forward to. In addition to the approaches I am now making to the Folk festivals in North America, Wongawilli have approached me to be their guitarist on a tour they are planning next year in May so . . You never know!! On Thu, 6th Nov we will be back with the band at Nth Annandale Hotel and to make it really special, Geoff will be in town on stage with us. In the course of the night we will be performing a bunch of his songs that I have recorded over the years.
If you haven't been to the gigs recently, the last year has been fairly fruitful on the writing side with the arrival of The Road To Damascus, Foolin' Around on Line, The Lovin' Of The Bush, Other People's Dreams, 2RG, Eighteen Wheels on an Inland Sea, Someone Else's Slides, and Something Better In The End. If you haven't heard some of these, maybe it's time you caught up again and said G'day. Wheels and Wires continues it's strong Sales and the dreaded "Toilet Paper Linedance" is the current single which is receiving pretty heavy airplay on Country Radio Shows.
On The Home Front, Spring has hit with a vengance and the mountain weather is PERFECT!!! My garden is full of various coloured azaleas and the first hint that the heating may go permanently off is in the air. Meg is still in love with Carli. Peter is in Queensland touring with The Lemmings; a Christian funk band!!; that he recorded for earlier this year and who have turned out a remarkably good album.
Carol has had to leave on a very early train for Sydney and I have 'Cyclone Josie', our 3 year old, by myself today so I am trying to get through the newsletter and backlog of mail before she wakes up. The dawn is particularly lovely so I am going to take a cup of coffee out onto the back verandah and try and spot a few Crimson rosellas as the mountains wakes up.
God Bless, See you all soon