Yep, the first week back and, appropriately for summer, JVG’s theme was ‘Bay’. Each year, returning to the Corner, I’ve tried to get myself out of the comfort zone…I was extremely nervous about starting 2012 with a soul classic. Let’s face it, I’m no soul singer, but, what the hell, I thought I may as well give ‘Dock of the Bay’ a crack. Luckily I was ably assisted by Ed Bates on steel and Dave Evans on accordion. They made swift instrumental work of the whistling theme!
This week the theme was ‘Washing’. I had to play solo for a change, as all my cronies had left town for one reason or another. As I really like the Lisa Mitchell song, Coin Laundry, I thought I’d give it a crack. A couple of weird coincidences ensued. One: JVG and I worked out that we used to frequent the same coin laundry in Mitford St in Elwood in our youth – it is this coin laundry I always imagine when I listen to Lisa’s song. Two: Lisa Mitchell her-very-self was listening when I played the song on the radio. She sent me a nice email.
It feels strange that the radio show is winding down for 2011. This week was the second-last Warner Corner for the year. Jon had chosen the theme ‘Rainbows’ as Sarah Carroll had organised a gig at the Rainbow Hotel: Sarah also co-hosted the show…
About twenty years ago I had been out on the tear in St Kilda one night when I had a brief exchange with an old digger in one of those last-drinks dives…Joey’s? The Linden Tree? The old bloke was charged up as he’d just won a tidy sum on the dish-lickers. ‘What will you do with all that cash?’ I enquired. ‘I’m gonna buy me a rainbow suit, Danny, I’m gonna buy me a rainbow suit.’
This week JVG’s theme was ‘Faces’. I decided to play the Beatles song from Help, ‘I’ve Just Seen A Face’. Luckily Dave Evans had stayed at my joint in the country on Friday night (we played a show at Rattlers in Wallan) so we had some time to work on the song.
We were also lucky that my diligent and talented bass player, Nathan Farrelly, agreed to play his twelve-string. So, the line-up is Ed Bates on lap-steel; Dave Evans on accordion and vocals; Nathan Farrelly on acoustic 12-string; and I’m having a sing and playing my trusty Maton flat top.
A difficult theme this week: doll. Of course the first song that came to mind was Cliffy’s ‘Living Doll’. Not this week. I’d also played the Grateful Dead’s ‘China Doll’ on Warner Corner before, so that was out too. I finally settled on Elvis Costello’s ‘All Time Doll’ from his recent acoustic album, ‘Secret, Profane and Sugarcane’.
No Dr Bellows in da house this week, so the on-air team was a little diminished. Ed Bates – lap steel; Nathan Farrelly – bass and BVs; moi aussi on vocals and Maton Em-325. It takes me a while to grab the melody, but we’re up and away by verse 2.
Also, this Sunday was the occasion of the Mick Cameron memorial gig at The Lomond. Mick was very much a local identity and wrote a swagful of songs for several ratbag outfits, including Sandilands and Headbelly Buzzard. On this Sunday, Ed Bates, Nathan Farrelly and I were joined by two of Mick Cameron’s close compatriots: Aubrey Maher on guitar and Tony Hargreaves on piano accordion. The song is ‘I Hear The Wind’ from the Sandilands album, ‘Cookin’ Crabs’.