“I’ve had enough of this shit” roars Mrs O’Way, whose first name is Belinda by the way. Belinda is the the little sister of Glenda from Glenda’s Pain and Torture Clinic, just down the road and around the corner from the Pigs Arms. “The Fictional Characters Union has just amalgamated with the Characters Fictional Union to become the FUCU(Fictional Union of Characters United) and we’ve become the laughing stock as now everyone is referring to us as fuck you.”
“Merv, pour me a double South Sea Island Blue Label and are you fictional or real?” she demands.
“I think I’m real, no hang on a minute, that’s right I’m fictional but a union member of FUCU” replies Merv.
“So fuck you” says Mrs O’Way.
“ Hello, look author here. I’m not into this swearing stuff so please close your eyes when you are reading some rude words. Anyway kiddies may be watching.” says Mark from the commentary box.
“So hands up, who here is real?” demands Mrs O’Way. A limp response is recorded. “What about fictional?” same sort of reply.
“Are there any cats here we can shoot?” asks Algernon.
“Hope so” replies Big M. “Anyone seen Mother O’Way?”
“STFU Big, do you want Gordon to zap our brains out?” cries Algernon.
“What brains would that be?” Big M replies. Good point thinks Algernon.
“Look I used to be real till I came across the Pigs Arms” says Sister Yvonne.
#Metoo say the girls, oh boy, I can see a movement happening.
“Now, now, lets just all keep this in Perspex” says janowrite out of left field.
“Drinks on the house” says Merv trying to avoid a disaster, “did you mean perspective jano?”
“Probably but a South Seas Blue Label will do me” janowrite struggles at this point to attempt to see what’s happening in this story but you are in it now, bad stinking luck, just ask Sister Yvonne.
“Where’s my Sandy” cries Mrs O’Way, oops I mean Belinda.
“Well sorry love but he’s down at the dress shop”
“You’re not allowed to say that Merv otherwise Gordon will zap our brains out, hey there’s a cat” says Algernon in a timely fashion as only he can do.
Big M and Algernon open fire with their shotguns and unfortunately after open heart surgery the cat dies. Snigger, snigger. Oh well, that’s how it goes, snigger, snigger.
Mrs O’Way, oops, sorry, Belinda, belts the boys around the head with an umbrella.
“Where did that come from Belinda?”
“Out of the props section, they have lots of things in there, even dildos”
“Yeah I can see a #catkiller movement starting as well, lucky I’m smart” says someone unnamed form the FUCU. Is that you Hung?
“Not me, I’d never say something rude or smart, I’m a nurse you know and us nurses never are rude or swear or are smart aren’t we.”
Hung. “I thought you were writing another episode?”
Big. “Err, yep, suppose so.”
Hung. “ You know, you mentioned Foodge’s head in a box.”
Big. “Yeah, I did mention that.”
Hung. “Well, get going!”
Foodge was at his usual place behind the coffee machine busily bringing her up to a full head of steam in readiness for the anticipated influx of customers.
Hung. “Hang on. You’ve started nearly every episode in the last few months with Foodge at the coffee machine.”
Big. “Well, so what, it makes the writing easier.”
Hung. “You know that I’ve been in strife with the Fictional Union of Characters!”
Big. “Wasn’t that the Union of Fictional Characters?”
Hung. “Yes, but they renamed themselves to get a better acronym.”
Big. “Well, FUC certainly has a ring to it.”
Hung. “There are regulations around the use of two dimensional characters in stories. You’re running a risk of only using a two dimensional character in a one-dimensional plot thereby undermining said character’s dimensions. In effect they can simply disappear.”
Big. “I’ll try again.”
Granny was woken in the middle of the night by Foodge’s groans and flailing limbs.
Hung. “That’s better already.”
“Come on, darling, you’re having a nightmare.” Granny soothed.
Foodge managed to pull the pillow from his face. “I dreamed that my head was stuck inside a box.”
“What, like a disembodied head kept alive by a mad scientist, as in the movie, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, or like someone had smashed your head into a box?”
“Dunno, I could still feel my limbs.”
“That could be phantom sensations.” Granny pondered.
“Does it matter now?” Foodge turned over to try to get back to sleep.
“It sort of does. Could you hear anything?”
“Yes, there was a humming sound behind my head, you know, pumps and so forth.” Foodge pulled up the duvet, even though it wasn’t particularly cool.
“Yes, umm, those two fellows that pop in occasionally, um, Hung and Big M.”
“What did they say?’ Granny was becoming anxious.
“Something about two dimensional characters and one dimensional plot lines.” Foodge suddenly started snoring loudly.
Granny didn’t get back to sleep, but sat up wondering what all this meant.
Foodge was back at his usual station behind the bar. Merv slipped a middy along the bar. “Get that into you, it’ll put lead in yer pencil.”
“Love a stout, especially first thing in the morning.” Foodge skulled the dark liquid.
“It’s Granny’s new Porter.”
“What’s a Porter?”
“It’s essentially a type of stout.”
“Right.” Foodge pushed the empty glass along the bar, which Merv quickly refilled (the glass, not the bar).
Foodge raised the glass to his lips but his eyes were transfixed by the most beautiful face he’d seen in his life. She really was a long cool woman in a black dress (as the song goes). She was tall, slender, slightly athletic, with black hair, emerald eyes and pale, almost alabaster skin. “Morning!” He blustered, with the glass still in front of his face.
Merv was just as enchanted, but somehow, maintained some composure. “Good morning, madam, can I be of assistance?”
“What a darling man.” She enthused. “I’m hoping that you can help me.”
“Yes, yes.” Foodge and Merv leaned forward.
“I’ve lost my husband.”
A flicker of hope flared in Merv’s heart. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“No, he’s not dead, he really is lost. I haven’t seen my Alexander for months. He said he was coming to the Pig’s Arms to help out for a week or so and hasn’t been back.”
Merv was slightly crestfallen. “Alexander you reckon? Never ‘eard of him.”
“You may know of him as Sandy?”
“Doesn’t ring a bell.” Both Foodge and Merv shook their heads.
“He sometimes dresses as a priest and claims to be from the Generic Brand Church.”
“Oh, of course, Father O’Way, or FOW as we sometimes call him.” Foodge motioned to the coffee machine.
“Thank goodness, no, I won’t have a coffee, I wouldn’t mind something stronger…perhaps from the top shelf.”
Merv picked up on the hint and decanted from the South Sea Islands Blue Label.
“You know that he’s not really a priest, he just dresses that way to avoid the risk of becoming a one dimensional character. The problem is that we all run that risk in the Fictional Character Industry.”
Foodge nodded carefully, as it took his brain a little while to catch up. “You don’t think we’re all characters in some sort of fiction?”
“That’s like Descartes’ Brain in a vat idea, where some evil demon has placed a brain in a vat of nutrients and connected the nerves to various inputs to make the person think they are still alive.” Merv postulated while pouring Mrs O’Way a second drink.
“Yes, I was dreaming about this only last night, that I was a brain in a box.” Foodge motioned for a third Porter. Merv quickly obliged.
“We can’t be just fictional characters, because we’re here all of the time, talking, moving, eating and drinking. I can’t see how someone could make all of that up?” Merv wrinkled an already much troubled brow.
“Do you ever have people who seem to wander in for what seems to be minutes? They often have outlandish descriptions of themselves or their experiences.” Mrs O’Way sounded like she was on to something.
“Yes, we do.” Foodge looked slightly comical with a beery moustache. “Big M and Hung would be the primary candidates. Hung seems to appear and disappear at will while Big M always claims to have travelled by steam train.”
“That’s exactly the sort of character I’m talking about. Almost like ghosts trying to manipulate the living.” Mrs O’Way was interrupted by a tall man, who planted a kiss on her cheek.
“I hope you aren’t telling tales out of school, darling!” Grinned O’Way.
Story by the Mighty Hung One On – a reprise of 2016
Yes well hello. This is the beginning I suppose so I guess that you will all want to know what has happened. I was born, hmm, no, I mean yes, I was born but perhaps we don’t want to go there, well not just yet. Look, lets get down to facts. This is true fiction and no lies have been added to this story unless it has been necessary and it seems it has been necessary quite a lot.
My name is Sandy, well sort of, my real name is Alexander however I prefer Sandy. I mean lets face it, Sandy is better than Alex or Al or something. One reason I prefer Sandy is acronyms, yes acronyms. See my real name is Alexander Leonard Lyndhurst O’Way, ALLOW, dreadful isn’t it, so over time I have developed a love hate relationship with acronyms. Anyway as the story develops you will see what I mean.
So yes, I was born at the Inner Cyberia Hospital(ICH) and as little kids we couldn’t resist putting a “T” in there to make it ITCH as we all reckoned that if you ever went to hospital you always came home with an itch. Sorry, what was that, you have never heard of Inner Cyberia? Well it’s next to Middle Cyberia and on the other side of Outer Cyberia. Pretty simple really. Anyway I was born at the ITCH and unfortunately taken home by the wrong family. See I was born right on change of shift which immediately put me off side with the staff. Nurses hate having to do anything during hand over and guess what, that was me. Well my new family were Chinese and they named me Zing Zang however they gave me a nick name, Nick, phew, imagine trying to explain away Zing Zang when the local bullies are just about to bash you.
My dad, Walter, a very wealthy man, was a watch maker and he was very proud of his shop “Walter Wong’s Watches” (WWW) being displayed across the front in large letters. “One day all this will be yours Nick ” he would say. Well dad, my name is actually Zing Zang but hey, never call me a pedant as I don’t even know what that means. I think you have it on toast for breakfast, pedant butter and funny, yumbo.
My dad was always looking to get richer. He used to tinker with computers and one day at a large family gathering my Dad said “You know, one day computers will communicate with each other via the phone line, the information will be broken up into packets and reassembled at the other end.” “Preposterous!!” came the cries and the next day the men in white coats, other wise known as purse carrying nancy boys, came and took my dad away.
Soon after that the police arrived. My mum was feeling bad because she missed dad but more importantly she had just broken a fingernail, as you do, and the policeman said “Mavis” that’s my mum’s name, “Mavis you’ve brought home the wrong child from the hospital” “Yes, that’s right the Wong child, my Nick” replied mum in her broken English. “No the wrong, wrong child” emphasised the policeman “He’s a Wong” said mum, “No wrong, w.r.o.n.g. child meaning Nick isn’t yours” and so I was taken away to my new family, Farter and Mafarter O’Way.
My new family were poor but really good to me. They didn’t eat fish and rice like the Wong’s but lamb and potatoes instead. My dad was a Traffic Control Officer with the Main Roads dept., otherwise known as a lollipop man, good for a lick for a zac to go to the shop, and my mum was a farmer’s daughter. But, my English teachers will cringe with me starting a sentence with but, but hey, who gives a fun, then they went and named me Alexander, hmm.
This was all very different and it took me a long time to adjust. The great thing was that my first mum and dad became good friends with my second mum and dad, so in the end I had two sets of parents. Farter and Walter would debate every issue under the sun while Mafarter and Mavis would trade recipes and take turns at cooking the main dinner, life was pretty good. And of course the real Zing Zang was nicknamed Billy, Billy Wong, hmm. One day the Wong’s came over, with sad faces, to tell us that they were moving to Outer Cyberia. Walter got a good job offer in charge of trying to put and egg back together that had fallen from a wall, so he took it.
Now let me tell you, you know how some things are a long way, well Outer Cyberia was a long way plus a bit, like another long way. See what I mean. Perhaps even further then a long way, maybe it might even been further then Coals(Thanks Dave) an, an, and you may not even eat cannibals, whats this world coming to, next there will something good on TV except Aunty and her little cousin
More to come so grit dem teeth and laugh so hard you hurt. Please avoid consuming liquids when reading this story. Your cat and keyboard may end up hating you.
[1.] Think about it
[2.] I think a zac was sixpence and then became five cents, robbed again as usual. You can see that I am still bitter and twisted about 1966
 I have no idea about what this story is about but I’m having fun, hope you are.
 I dedicate this story to Helvi who gave me much support and encouragement to get Father O’Way into space and to the WDAPAW Crew who have all contributed ideas for the hapless Sandy
Nurse Barbara…One small step for Piglets, one giant [static……] for the Pigs Arms
Nurse Barbara For Social Club Pres.
By Hon Shades aka Sandshoe
“Ya plant garlic on the shortest day of the year. Ya dig it up on the longest.”
Merv was holding court to a bar of gardeners who had been bussed to the pub by the organisers of the 2017 International No Dig Gardeners Convention. They looked like a conference of hippies in an assortment of rubber boots and khakis draped over with camel hair ponchos. Some individuals appeared to have been yarn bombed.
Others carried bundles of plastic raincoats and everyone had an ID card around their neck on a lanyard as you do.
“Good on ya, Merv. That’s our friend,” a voice rang out. Merv looked over at the nurses’ table no mistaking Big M’s voice. A cheerful Big M
Starring Big M as Joyce*, book now
was standing on a chair on one leg. The next sight Merv had of him was Big M and the chair toppling sideways.
A loud caterwauling and cheering went up out of the crowd of inebriated newcomers at the bar.
No harm to Big M in the re-enactment of this classic scene of a chair falling over and a man with it who was in fact standing on one leg on the chair however previous to the moment Merv or anyone else looked in the direction.
“The chair was definitely on one leg,” Merv said when the insurance assessor from Cyberian United Assurance came knocking.
Hung One Over chimed in, “That’s crook for a chair.”
“Mr Merv and Mr HOO, I’m only here to check the detail of Mr Merv’s witness statement,” the assessor insisted. She adjusted her frilly black
I love research
bra straps with teensy weensy naked breasts on them of every colour showing from under the low cut neckline of a classic Inner Cyberia corporate wear pinafore. The uniform for staff was made of a watermark design silk shantung in pretty chartreuse and with layers of frills in the same fabric edging the overlapping wrap-around skirt front and skirt hem.
“Big M was all over the shop. That’s all I saw,” Hon Shades said at the bar later.
“He must of near transpired from the unexpected shock. I was painting.” Foodge was ordering a drink. He was dressed in paint splattered overalls and in one hand he was swinging a 4 litre paint can. He lowered carefully down onto the towel bar runner his barrister’s wig he was carrying in his other hand.
“That’s not true truth,” he said when Sister Yvonne told him the insurance assessor marked him down as pub lawyer and a witness.
“Been painting when I’m not in court. Can’t purge myself.” Foodge was worried.
“Mate, we each said on our damages claims you’re our lawyer and you
were here,” Therese chimed in. “You’re not going to go all ipso facto and all that, are ya. Done deal almost. We’ll get a new chair out of it.”
The customers at the bar as one turned round. They looked at the sea of dangling springs that had fallen out of the upholstery of most of the chair seats and dangling strings of jute thread and decayed jute strapping. Rips gaped open in the vinyl upholstery of unoccupied chair seats and a scatter of unoccupied bar stools that displayed grey compressed padding.
The chrome surrounds of the seats of the bar stools and their legs were pocked with rust damage. The rubber tips on the legs of the bar stools had perished.
The pub fell quiet other than for the slurping noise of patrons turning their attention back to contemplation and refreshment. The chooks in the rafters set up a flustering sound of soft clucking.
Nurse Barbara…do you want fires with that punk?
Nurse Barbara was one to speak up.
“Merv,” she said, “this bar needs an entire set of new chairs and new bar stools. With the seats covered in that same clear plastic you’ve had the new carpet and the surface of the bar and the tops of the new tables covered with. If nothing else, it’s O and it’s H and it’s S, Merv.”
*Joyce the Musical – coming to a reputable theatre near you. Follow the story of a well hung but disconnected suburban youth growing up on the Northern beaches of Kidney(named as it stinks like piss) who at a tender age throws away his burgeoning career as a lawn star, Lidcombe Bowls Champion 1902 or thereabouts, and becomes a purse carrying nancy boy, no good poofter male nurse that has never had a hard days work in his life. Book at www.joycethemusical.con/bookings
Buy one, get one free, Mono-pedals only, must purchase pair, free shoe at $89.99, monochromes more than welcome(while stocks last)
I’ll admit it. I tied one on with Hung One On down the Pub last night. As I recall, it all started amicably enough. All the locals were there celebrating the 5th Anniversary. Viv’s spread was a real treat. Gregor took to the mic early on and told some raunchy jokes. Big M was singing Karaoke. I had a grand old time catching up with Algy, Shoe, Voice, Asty, Lehan, Gerard, Helvi, Warrigal and, of course Emmjay. But, much, much later, as closing time drew nigh, things got a little…well, strange. Hung grew increasingly introspective, almost wistful, as the night went on and we began to talk – as we often do when we get this way – about life, about love, and about…poetry.
“Some day, Mate,” he says to me, “I’m gonna go walkabout. I gonna drop this…” he paused for a moment to choose just the right word, than added: “façade…and start living.”
“I know exactly what you mean,” I replied, appropriately emphasizing exactly in exactly the right way as I downed my last Trotters.
“I think you do. I think you do. I know you do!” Hung said with a sudden smile. “You and I aren’t the types to be penned in by… by rules…and, and rules. We are the truth tellers. We are the rebel alliance. We are poets, man…and we should be out there poeting our guts out.”
“We are poets,” I agreed with him. “When I look at you that’s exactly what I see.” I was at this time somewhat fixed on the word exactly as you might have already guessed. But I continued nevertheless: “You, for sure, are a fucking poet, Hung. Walt Whitman’s got nothing on you, brother.”
“Walt Whitman!” Hung leapt to his feet like a sleeping dog woken by a noisy cat. “That’s it!” Hung cried climbing his stool to reach the bar.
“Hey, hey,” Merv sang out. “Closing time, Hung. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”
“Hear him out, Merv,” I said quietly. “He’s on a roll.”
“Warrigal kept to himself. Quietly sketching away in the corner; but I saw a wry smile break across his face as Hung began to recite a poem in a loud, clear voice.
“Song of MY self,” Hung announced to the almost empty bar. “By Hung One On Whitman.
And what followed, I recorded exactly as it poured from his soul…’cause no one would believe it if I didn’t write it down.
Song of my self
Come breathe the musk of morning
sit silent at the desert dawn;
Listen for my breath
Here me cry the empty sky
Bathe in the light
I am not lost
nor hidden in rock
I am not dead
you are not dreaming
we are Life eternal.
Throw off your shoes
Did toes in solid earth
Draw kindred souls into your veins
There is not end in sight
no apocalypse is nigh
there is not one of us will die
we all are Life eternal
we are the one supernal
I take you in as you do I
Give yourself to the forests and the seas
We are all what feeds the other
There is no turning back
This is a never ending track that leads back to an open door
no ceiling to block the light
you are in my sight
no need to fear the night
Feel my warmth on you skin
Let me in
Turn your face to me
Give me a smile for today
You are Life eternal.
Look to the sky
Not a cloud to block the blue
This is my gift to you
This blue sky
that greenish-yellow leaf
the purple pinkness of the flowers
the richness and ceaseless variety
you are wrapped in a multitude of color
all for you this glorious display
I paint the world this way
To make each day your canvas
Take it in
Hold it with you to look upon
During the hours of grey and black
Remember my gift
Seek it out
The new day is just beyond the horizon
It will not be slowed or stopped
It will not hold back from you
Even if you doubt or despair
Even if you curse and cry
Even if you lose your way
Even if you forget
A new day is coming
a hundred million every second
all across the Earth
a billion others like you and I
feeling with us
We are Life eternal.
Hung stopped for a moment, then a moment more, then paused, then graceful as a dancer, he bowed deeply and humbly. Emmjay and I cheered. Even Warrigal rose to his feet in applause.
I don’t remember much that happened after that. It’s a bit of a blur. I remember watching the sun come up a few hours later and replaying Hung’s poem in my head; but that’s about it. Still, it was a top notch 5th Birthday bash and I can’t wait till next year’s party.
They are pissed, stoned, drugged and belong to some sort of group.
The longer the night went on the closer they got. Here’s another bracket. Now there were other songs but I can’t remember them all. Johnny B Goode was one we could pull out on request along with Today is your Birthday by John Lennon another. The singer would set the list depending on his mood. Bill was also a solo performer so at the right venue he would play half a dozen songs either by himself or with me and the drummer, mainly stuff like James Taylor, Neil Young or Paul Kelly.
Angels – Long Line
Mustang Sally – The Commitments
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
Black Magic Woman – Santana
Crossroads – Cream
Whole Lotta Love – Led Zepelin
Black Night – Deep Purple
Paranoid – Black Sabbath
White Room – Cream
Lady Writer – Dire Straits
Money for Nothing – Dire Straits
Otherside – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
TNT – ACDC
Long Way to the Top – ACDC
Things were starting to go wrong, not with the band but with me. The black dog was approaching but I couldn’t see it coming. My job was very stressful and my alcohol intake was really bad. Smoking dope didn’t help either. I became very bored with the other band members who except for Tony I started to see them as ignoramuses. They didn’t want a sound engineer, the song list selection was getting tacky and the singer would get so pissed that by the end of the night you had to pour him in the car while the rest of us did the heavy lifting. Try lifting a woofer out to the truck by yourself at one in the morning after just having played for 3 or 4 hours. Some off the light weight members wanted to drop certain songs as they didn’t like them but I stood my ground as the songs in question would get the girls up that got the boys up, basic stuff really.
The last two gigs were agony.
We called her Princess but she never spoke to any of us as far as I know. She came to other gigs we did in the area and I think somehow she may have been related to the men in leather jackets. These men in leather jackets never wore their colours, never threatened us and really liked what we played. I think it was because Tony was a great player and had that ability to mimic all of the solos. Page, Hendrix, you name it, he would nail them. One day when I was at Tony’s house he showed me how he did it, a multispeed tape. At first he played the song really slow and Tony would work the solo our by ear then gradually he increased the tempo so he could play it at the right speed. Amazing as regardless of the tape speed it always remained at the right pitch.
Anyway Princess was, hmm lets guess, a professional dancer. She had a stunning figure and long blonde hair but when you got close she wore a stack of makeup. I loved Princess as she would get up and dance by herself in the centre of the stage and she really knew her moves. This would then drag others up and before you knew it the dance floor was packed and everyone was having a good time. This to me was what the whole thing was all about.
I then lost my job, my family, my wife and was detained in psychiatric institutions. I gradually got better and Tutu and I built the house I am living in now. Tutu tried her best to stick by me but finally she left. I did try and rekindle my music with a poster here called Astyages however it was too late.
The good news is the black dog did finally leave and after some tough times when Emmjay kicked me out of the Pigs Arms I did get better. The medication has been stopped and Tutu and I see each other every weekend, have holidays together, still love one another.
To the Pigs Arms community, thank you one and all, you are my friends and even though at times I have been horrible, I love you all.
Story by the Great Hung One On and Digital Mischief by Warrigal Mirriyuula
Hung here again. When you play in a pub on a Sunday night and everyone wears a leather jacket the music needs to suit. The crowd arrived irrespective of our music and I eventually realised that the only way to live through the night was to play this. Second bracket.
The Connection – Well you have heard of the six points of separation, well my last band had something similar. So I met my wife, Tutu, at the hospital were we trained in NSW. We had a great mutual friend, Kathy, who also did her training with us but came from Melbourne. For some reason she and her new husband, Bill, decided to move to Adelaide.
Prior to getting married Tutu had travelled to the UK and became friends with a girl from Adelaide, Kate, so putting the two together we planned a trip to Adelaide to catch up with our friends. Unfortunately I was involved in a serious motor bike accident that really set us back but after another year or so we set off. Well we had a ball. Kathy and Bill became our best mates and Tutu and I moved permanently to Adelaide to live. Kate let us board with her till we got on our feet, housing was cheap and there was plenty of work.
One day Bill said that he could play guitar and of course I said I could play drums. Now Bill was in the car trade and knew a bloke called Simon who played guitar so we teamed up for a jam. After many line up changes we joined with the Wilson brothers, who Bill met in a bar and we had our first band. Problem for me was the accident had interfered with my drumming technique and eventually I quit the band and sold my drums. Isn’t this interesting folks! (Ed’s note: Yes, it IS, Hung. Now get on with it J)
I missed music bad. Tutu had an old guitar that her mum wanted to get rid of however Tutu could play piano but wasn’t interested in the guitar so she said you learn. So I did, at first through WEA, then just by buying books until I met a young Greek bloke called George who really taught me how to play. Using motivational techniques and many hours of practice I became really good.
One day Tutu and I were out dining with friends when Simon walked through the door, just like it was meant to happen. We hadn’t seen each other for 10 years or more and started jamming together but this time as guitarists. We put a song list together and invited some folks to join in. None fitted until one day Simon suggested Tony, his ex-brother-in-law and our old mate Bill, who knew John, a drummer, from another band.
Trouble was we needed a bass player. No one knew one but I had been given a bass by a friend who said that he could never get his head around it. So I became the bassist, Bill sang, John drummed, Tony played lead and Simon rhythm except for the Dire Straits. So Ambush was formed.
The connection was: Wollongong, nursing, Melbourne, cars, Adelaide, in laws and best friends. Okay then seven points of separation. Sheesh!
Story by Hung One On – Mystery Digital Mischievist
Hi, Hung here.
Don’t you just love it h,h,h, anyway me and young hph (another h, all I need is Helvi or Huffed Holive J) have been talking about music over at The Muse page here at the Arms, the page I originally set up for music as The Dot was starting to slow down. At the time me and Mikey thought it may be due to all the links we were all posting so I set up The Clip, The Muse, The Comma and The Link to take our posts into categories.
Hph was interested to know that I was musical so I thought you may want to know about what is was like to be in a “band”.
When I was a kid growing up in Austinmer, as you know from my Christmas story, I didn’t mention one of my real sisters. Her name is Clare. Clare’s boyfriend now husband was a drummer and he taught me how to play the drums. I then went to the guitar and then finally to the bass guitar. Now I was good but never great, although some said I was a fantastic blues guitarist and the last band I played in was called Ambush. We played pub rock seventies music. Heres out first bracket, not in any real order and I am struggling to remember them all.
Now let me tell you. Being in a band is crap. We got $85 each a gig. I would leave home at four in the afternoon and get home at two in the morning. This is sweatshop wages. Rehearse Friday nights and one big lesson I learnt. Never introduce a song to the band that you really like. The reason is by the time you have perfected it you will hate it. Play songs for the audience not yourself. In my song list there are several examples of this. More later.
Groupies – Not when you are big, fat, married.
Drugs – heaps and heaps but you couldn’t take any and any way apart from a few whiskeys to settle the nerves you couldn’t afford to take drugs, you have to stay alert, you need to know how to play around 50 songs, people would steal your equipment and you had to drive home.
So why did I do it? – Simple, you can sit at home and play Stairway to Heaven perfectly to the cat, dog and TV set however playing in a band made you play to a certain level. The song had to be right, as close as to the original that you could get. When I retired from the band scene I found it really difficult to play a song out on the back patio as I would need to get it right. From time to time I pick the guitar up but honestly I really can’t get into it any more.