This bio is what Iím prepared to talk about. Itís brief, but explains the basics.
I grew up in a place called Mount Eliza, Victoria, Australia. (South of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula.) I had a brilliant dog, Benny, and an artist and a writer for parents.
It was one of those rich suburbs, a leafy place with a lot of rich kids in varying degrees of plutobrat-insanity. One of my first social faux pas was to be the only teenage boy for miles without any money. Thatís a skill Iíve been trying to lose for years.
I should have been one of the rich kids, with my upbringing. Particularly with my preferences for music and writing. Art, in Australia in the 60s, was the sort of thing that other people did, even in an area like that, which was much better educated. It was also ďweirdĒ. I think my undying hatred of human sheep dates from about age four. I, naturally, got called a freak, etc.
(For the record, Iíd rather be a freak than shit.)
I also invented acne, and did so at a time when the place seemed to be literally inundated with incredibly beautiful girls, at least one of whom still is.†
As it happened, we couldnít stay there, and the family home moved, to the Far South Coast of New South Wales, a place called Batemans Bay, which in the early 70s was literally one street. Now, itís a tourist icon.†
Thatís not the sort of place for a 16 year old, so back to Melbourne I went, flat broke as usual. That wasnít a great idea. I got involved in drugs, eventually becoming a junkie, God alone knows why. Did all the things associated with that, errand boy for dealers, etc, thankfully nobody died as a result. I managed to OD a few times, on various things, over the years, and I really donít recommend it. To this day I loathe heroin, coke, and speed.
Cost me a few teeth, and convinced me that:
(a) My liver prefers to be in proper working order.
(b) Iíd seen enough crims for the rest of my life. Thatís glamorous? More like a form of diarrhea.
(c) I was just living the pitiful market image of the generation. It was meaningless, and got stale very quickly. That was enough to turn me off for good.
This is no bull. You can take or leave the ďmoralityĒ about drugs. Just donít bother. If you want the entire addictive drug trip much more cheaply, just get a couple of good hemorrhoids and a supply of semi-insane hypochondriacs. It really is a waste of time, and a colossal waste of money. Does nothing for relationships, either. Stupidest thing Iíve ever done. To this day I donít know why I did it. I assume it was because it looked good at the time.
Fun is fun, and most of that definitely wasnít.† I wouldnít know a ďgood old dayĒ if it bit me. Maybe people get nostalgic for the past they want to remember, but I doubt very much if anyone gets too teary-eyed about all the unbelievable crap.†††
It will be obvious that I had none of the background to do well in this sort of environment. As a matter of fact anybody less emotionally or personally qualified to live the sort of life I found myself leading would be hard to imagine. Added to that my supernatural ability to be broke stayed with me throughout that experience. Being broke and aged 16-22 isnít a great move. Donít do that, either, if you can help it.
A few other things had also happened in the course of this merry little interlude. Iíd been playing some music, some quite successful, for which I expected to be paid. The music industry being the famous charity that it is, that of course didnít happen. Iím still extremely pissed off about it, by the way, decades later. ďUnforgivableĒ hardly begins to describe it. That is one of the very large number of reasons youíll never see a good word from me about the industry. I just hope my experience isnít common. I didnít see one cent, or one hand clap out of any of it. I did meet a lot of the very bitchy, greedy, hippies around at the time, who really redefined hypocrisy for me, if nothing else. ďLove and Peace?Ē Never saw any of it from them.
Anyhow, in what might be called my classic state of being broke and underweight, (I went down to six stone at one point, a stone a foot.) I returned to the family home, which was now an enchanting bit of masonite with a tin roof, in which the three of us tried to fit the contents of a three bedroom house.
I dried out from the effects of the heroin, malnutrition, neuroses, and other dalliances, and discovered that if nothing else I now had a few things in common with people my own age, and finally developed something resembling a social life.
Didnít last, of course. Dad died, and in the course of trying to find some money, (how utterly unexpected) I found a job in the NSW state government in Sydney.
Another new environment, although by now, the extremely novel experience of regular income did help. Canít help laughing at all these celebrities going on about their five seconds of hardship. Really, they donít have a clue.
Should the topic ever come up, this is why I donít give a damn about celebrity, fame, or the rest of the masturbatorium and why I have no respect whatsoever for it: Itís a prat-a-thon. What bloody use is it? Iíd rather have my dog back. He was more intelligent, had a better ear for music, and was better looking, too, and much less of an animal.
Eventually I got my own flat, had my records shipped up from the coast, and for once was able to get down to doing some real music and art. The art was strange. At about 27, some gene said ďpaintĒ, and Iíve been doing it off an on ever since.
The Singer, on CD1, dates from that start. Itís watercolor on canvas. Yes, watercolor. You just abrade the canvas to get through the white spirit (water repellent) and the paint adheres to the cotton duck.†
ďImpossibleĒ, eh? No itís bloody well not.
In a bit of a turnaround from the usual scenario, Mum moved in with me. The place was a bit small, rundown, cockroach infested, (If you want to get rid of cockroaches, get some mice.) not really good enough for her. Even so I still have fond memories of the first place Iíd ever had where I could really be myself on a large scale. I found a house round the corner, which is also where I started an ongoing love affair with gardening. Never gets dull. Always something happening.
There was a cat next door, who became a great friend, and is featured in some of the furry tales (sigh) that Iím trying to weasel into the current books. When I moved it got a bit difficult, trying to find ways of asking my ex-neighbors if I could come and visit their cat, without saying so.
If you want to stop generating garbage, by the way, a furry garbage disposal, particularly with a taste for Bolognese sauce, is invaluable.
That, sadly, didnít last, either. Mum died. That was a real pity. Sheíd been through so much, and deserved so much better. At least I had the very mild satisfaction that Iíd managed to give her a decent home for a little while, if nothing else.
I was staggeringly lucky my mother was the person she was. We were actually very good friends, as well as mother and son. God how I miss having an intelligent woman around. She was one of those people who really has read everything, had an IQ of 150, was musically literate, and was always able to help and advise on all the new things I discovered as a kid and as an adult in art, music and literature. Compared to her, Iím an illiterate ignoramus.
Dad had a lot of difficulties as an artist/ex serviceman, with hypertension, TB, gout, and numerous other acquired entertainments. It took a while for us to get to know each other, and he taught me some things about art which he did so easily and so well, I donít think either of us realized heíd done it. Thatís helped a lot since.
By this stage the grind of the job, in my third department, was getting a bit much. The opportunity to take a redundancy came up, and it was undeniably the best possible thing that could have happened. That was the end of another 20 years as a fish out of water walking through a desert, and although I found a few nice people, the culture was quite incomprehensible. Suburbia, its bizarre culture, and I are distant acquaintances at best.
I started writing on a scale and at a rate that I never did at work. The Threat-Hamster Papers came out in 2000, followed by Mimbly Tales in 2002. Gardening Is A State Of Mind was next, then Ads. Wanderlaugh followed, Sheridan Derwydd, Gothic Black and Ads2 are currently being done, as is Oak, the fourth Threat-Hamster. Still under construction are War Is A State Of Mind and Wankersí Wonderland (Australia in the early 21st century), which are becoming epics. †
No doubt about it, my genes and I are in full agreement.
In total, in 2006, there are now eleven books either done or in process, any number of graphics, Jamming, and a lot of music on the way.
What I need is an eight track, some dedicated computers, and a studio,and some decent storage, for bloody once. Everything you see on this site was done in the living room.
NowÖ about all this moneyÖ.†