We begin the new year's missives as we ended last year's, with an apology for infrequency.
A couple of days after I last wrote I had a classic old-guy mishap whilst taking my boy to the mind-blowing new Sydney Park skate set-up. Borrowed a kids board, as a brand-new one was being custom-built for me down the road. Was feeling up to it as I've miraculously been in the best shape I can recall for decades - super-active, strong, flexible and fit.
I hadn't skated for 30 years, since stacking bad on Cleveland Street on the way to a party whilst at uni - and waiting 4 or 5 hours in RPA to get my dislocated shoulder put back in. Needed an op after that. Luckily my mum ran the rooms of a reputed shoulder surgeon in Doctor (now Professor) David Sonnabend, who patched me up for free as I recall. After that I gave up skating and my favourite activity, body boarding (which had already pulled that socket apart about 6 or 7 times prior). But I hope to body surf til the end of days.
Anyway an innocuous slope and slight tilt had me land from no great height or speed on my good shoulder (my right, the left always having been the issue - and I am right handed) and bang, it was out. Sadly seriously smashed inside too somehow. I've had X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and the reports are not pretty reading - full of references to high-grade tears, completely torn off bits and bone fragments. It was either crazy-bad luck re the angle of the fall, or just an accident waiting to happen (or both) - but either way I need an operation ASAP.
Then, would you believe it, my son fell out of a tree whilst camping west of the Mountains two days later, badly breaking his right wrist. He was ordered to fast for an operation to fix that in Bathurst, before being directed instead to Orange the next day (after fasting, for nothing, again), before that too was cancelled and he instead had to come back to the Childrens' Hospital in Randwick. There they (thankfully) dispensed with surgery and yanked his bones back into place on gas alone. This was all before the bloody new year could even ring in that night!
So it has been A TIME - with 2021 so far not particularly dissimilar to the endless escalation that was 2020. Naturally all surgeons are on holiday so I've been hustling like crazy with my damn left hand to wrangle any remedial medical possibility - and come tomorrow I may actually see the one shoulder specialist who will be back in surgery before February.
On this front I want to send endless love and gratitude to the indomitable Professor Sonnabend, who reviewed my MRI report from his bed whilst himself hospitalised in St Vincents. Without David's authoritative assertion that I needed surgery I'd have never been able to get a bit of a head-start in spending a week now hunting down help.
TLDR: Shit happens, no newsletter, hurt/s to write.
But the show/s must go on...
Saturday January the 2nd ~
Jack Off will never yield to anything beyond acute hospitalisation or incarceration (perhaps not even death). We air from 3 til 5 every Saturday arvo rain, hail, or shine.
Sunday January the 10th ~
Of course my minor woes are matched or exceeded by some severe disruption, displacement and loss for people here and across the globe at the moment. One couple who have persevered in endlessly re/arranging their nuptials are Josephine and Mikey.
This Sunday, at last, less than 100 (can you fucking believe that 600+ wedding, or the bloody beaches couple and their mob?!) guests will gather at Rockpool to celebrate their union and (self-evident) commitment. And I will get to work with my brilliant photographer partner Liz, who has been so steadfastly caring for me of late, for the first time. Sure I'll be medicated heavily, wearing a sling (and a mask) but shit, we all need light, love and each other right now.
Onwards (if not up)...
Apologies for intruding on yr Xmas day. I neglected to get this last edition for 2020 out in time for my gig at Palmer last night.
Things have been beautiful but busy.
Somehow we made it to see my dear Mum in Queensland prior to the latest border closures and quarantines, then, on our return to NSW, we were fortunate enough to stay at the sanctuary of Jack's Cottage amongst the Scarborough vineyards of the Hunter.
Saturday December the 26th ~
There's little left for me to deliver musically this year. Firstly, one broadcast of Jack Off on FBi Radio, between 3 and 5PM tomorrow. Tune in for sincere sonic perspectives and inklings of infinity.
Sunday December the 27th ~
Thence, a final, five-hour-long set (from 2PM) on the ravishing rooftop of the Imperial Hotel. It's a breeze to socially distance up there in the fresh air. Would be lovely to see you. Attendance is free.
Unsurprisingly, given the utter clusterfuck to befall this planet of late, we are ending the annum with another blooming viral reminder of our fragility and the tenuous nature of humanity's place on Earth.
Locally (and personally) that means 3 NYE gigs I had slated are cactus. That is for the best I think.
We've untold tasks ahead to rebuild and renew in a wiser and more sustainable fashion in 2021. Take some time now, while nature affords another chance, to reflect and replenish.
I wish you peace and health. Thank you for listening out for each other and staying in touch.
On a personal note I'd also like to send heartfelt love and gratitude to a few individuals who've borne me up through a time of grave loss and upheaval (beyond the pandemic):
To Soup and Blob, you'll always be kin. I sure have been A LOT forever but you never baulk and always encourage perseverance and the sound path onward.
To Sean, the bravest brother imaginable. No-one could ever countenance what you endured - and you did it with wry good-humour and dignity til death. Yr with me mate. I won't forget.
To Mum and Dad, for remaining real and genuinely supportive despite distance and decades of trauma.
To Rabia, for yr sincere, enduring efforts parenting and yr determination to make a difference at home and via hard work.
To Errol, words will never capture the sheer wonder and joy I derive from witnessing you think, seek and grow. You open my eyes and earth my feet through yr insight and empathy.
To Liz (plus your kind, inclusive family and community) - thank you for yr steadfast ethical grace, passion and creativity. Despite this sorry year I am a stronger and better person due to you. Life is a joy. I love you.
Kia kaha. See you on the other side all xo
I write from rainy Queensland where (at last) key folks from my family are reunited. I'll be back in a few days to get stuck in to a handful of functions and shows before holidays really kick in.
Wednesday December the 16th ~
Last week Palmer & Co careened over a precipice into a world of sheer delight after midnight - every person in the place dancing in disbelief and joy. Just like the old days, yet more keenly felt and appreciated.
We'll be aiming to do it all again this Wednesday, straight out of multiple sets of live music and on into the early, early hours. I start spinning antique audio at 10PM. It's absolutely free!
Saturday December the 20th ~
I've a secret party prerogative to pursue this Saturday, so I've requested a far better DJ take the reins in my stead for Jack Off. I'm absolutely stoked to be handing my 3 til 5 shift on FBi to the iconic and inspirational Jonny Seymour - a man who has tended to flocks of kooksters across our community with grace, courage and tenderness for decades.
Tune in to feel love and affirmation over the airwaves. I'll personally be on the road to the Hunter Valley at the time and I know the selections programmed will be the ideal escort as I head towards a small but long-awaited break.
Hitting the next half a hundred hard - not taking a back-woods step, floating and flying free instead.
Thursday December the 10th ~
My menagerie and I entreat you to share a feast of below-ground sound for free betwixt 9PM and 2AM at Palmer & Co. Follow yr scentses to find us.
Friday December the 11th ~
My eyes will be fixed on the horizon, despite all the limbs akimbo, as I spin at an actual house party where many humans will dance. Cannot fucking wait!
Saturday December the 12th ~
A trio of unlikely events that I pray will somehow dovetail despite the scant minutes and many miles between each: beginning with a preschool age ballet concert; proceeding to being sole selector for a parkside 50th birthday bash; thence to Jack Off on FBi Radio, before drinking all the beverages left at a local street party and falling in a heap.
Almost like the old normal what? Bring it!
Unbeaten tracks, maiden (half) centuries and stone-free sanity for wild things everywhere: a passed marker, for love as logic and music's merit.
Saturday December the 5th ~
Jack Off in domestic environs or in public, alone or together. Suspended reanimations resume between 3 and 5PM on Free Broadcast Incorporated. Tune it!
Sunday December the 6th ~
A (extra-special) day to celebrate survival, despite all that 2020 has thrown at us.
The first of many postponed weddings (and the first for me since this triumph of spirit/s) to stand on ceremony and insist on signifying the breath, determination and dignity of love, now.
That's what I do!
Borderline braying and weigh-laying - an escapist index of evasive opportunity for lovers of light.
Thursday November the 26th ~
Counting down the plays, deep beneath the sordid city streets, at Palmer & Co. 9PM til close. Free.
Saturday November the 28th ~
Envision eternity, strictly between 3 and 5PM (or anytime really), as Jack Off turns it's soft yet steely sonic gaze on far horizons.
Sunday November the 29th ~
One last chance to not dance by the verdant greens of the Petersham Bowling Club, as I spin my final set there for 2020. Birds, bees, puppies and poppies - what have I not given thee? 6 from 3. Free!
Dicey drapery and the lottery of leisure...
Saturday November the 21st ~
Jack Off oscillates between offerings of crude shark bait and the most minimal inklings of inducements.
Tune in between 3 and 5PM to try to delineate between what taps yr appetites or steals yr heart.
Sunday November the 22nd ~
Baby dragons and outsize divas scale the heights of Erko's iconic Imperial Hotel each Sunday, as an eclectic array of sounds play in the beautiful early summer air.
It's free (and rare) to have the opportunity to transcend earthly cares on such a sunny/shady rooftop - but it's there for the taking and making. Join me for a five hour bracket that begins at 2PM before travelling into twilight.
Clowns to the left of us, jokers to the right! Somebody pissed their big boy pants man!
Thursday November the 12th ~
Bad seeds from good breeds stare down the competition as folks are forced to dance inside their bodies at Palmer & Co. Free from 9PM til 2AM.
Saturday November the 14th ~
The blind lead the blind with aplomb between 3 and 5 each Saturday arvo on FBi Radio. Jack Off attunes the keenest of ears to the latest and strangest fare from Earth's final flush of folks.
A one-eyed overview of escalating entropy.
Saturday November the 7th ~
For a second perspective on the collapse of capital, Jack Off on FBi Radio from 3 til 5PM.
Two wrongs don't make me write!
Audible traces escape suspended animations.
Thursday October the 29th ~
Relics rain where blood curses: Palmer & Co - between 9PM and the early hours. Entry being free.
Saturday October the 31st ~
Viral avian transmissions via Jack Off - 3 til 5PM.
Tuesday November the 3rd ~
Square thighs and blinded eyes gather online and at Giant Dwarf for Julian Morrow's Totally F*ct Trivia from 6.30PM. Musical queues by Monsieur Merde.