SCENE: Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong: you should have heard ‘em just around midnight.

Bloke emerges from dunny: “Wocka!!!!”


Handshake, no that’s bullshit, huge hugs.  Then another handshake.

We reckon it’s 11 years, probably right, 1995.  Eeek!

The kid from the first ever, live to air TasTalent concert from the Peacock Theatre in Salamanca Place, the unmistakeable voice of the Ordinary Blokes and own eponymous band, is no longer a kid.

He¹s got a red hot band called Borne and going seriously okay.

Web-site: (usual over-written stuff but hey, who am I to talk?).


Massive tour of the Eastern states.

Manager (nice bloke, too).

Really talented guitar player and back up singer. (Equally nice bloke).

Some shit hot songs.

Pretty hung over

One thing the same though, drama about making sure Cam gets to Barwon Club on time ­ clear concise direction, etc.

Just like ABC Open Day in Launceston, 1994, or was it 1995?  Anyway, Ordinary Blokes are supporting Bananas in Pyjamas ­ we got the big gigs in those days, don’t you worry about that. Will Cam get up in time to catch bus after big night in Hobart.

A miracle to pre-date Beaconsfield in Northern Tasmania! He does. A photograph proves it.

“Was pretty hung over that day.”

“Know that.”

“Don’t show that picture to anyone!”

Of course it’s shown.  Memories.

Cam has a pony-tail, Chelle Burt looks stunning and sings the same way, Ricky Whitney tosses his hair back like Richie Sambora, Rosscoe Teders retunes his bass after the machine head tangles with tent roof and Mikie Wilcox bends studiously over the pads wondering who it is playing out of tune.

“Hey, it’s not Wockie this time.”

Girl with Cam looks at photo, looks back at new Noughtie’s rock star look courtesy of trendy South Yarra stylist and says: “That’s not you, is it?” Wrong.

Cameron’s voice is rated by my youngest.

James — who turns 21 (more eeeks) the night before — rates no one unless they’re Blackie Lawless or Bon Scott.

Cameron is in good company, even if mix sounds better in the dunny than in the main auditorium.

Flashback to lawns of Parliament House, Hobart, 1995.  Coltrane, enduring Hobart covers band, is playing with casual, leather-jacketed fifth member when bloke in crowd has fit.

“Horizontal dancing, never seen that before Wock,” says Rosscoe from behind his bass. Suddenly realise it’s a bit serious, unless Paramedics are here to dance, too.

Neville Oliver recycled

This Saturday night girl collapses in front of us. Soundo rushes to aid.

Sound not very good for a while, but essence is there, young Mr Tapp can still sing.

Still uses the G Cmajorie thingie a lot.  We laugh about that later.  It’s the Ballad of Neville Oliver re-cycled!  Don’t say Neville who, it’s impolite!

Much discussion about Rosscoe and Mikey et (you can call me) al.

Would love to catch up sometime, all that sort of stuff.

Deliver iron-clad promise to go to album launch on June 23 — at the Espy in St Kilda.  People needed in the audience, a video will be shot.  So will anyone who doesn’t turn up after giving iron-clad promise.

Another hug for goodbye. Home at 2am feeling good.

Latest book finished at 11.30am before heading back to the pub, so flying already.

Then at midnight, catch up with a wonderful old buddy who, just as I always knew he would, is doing good.


So cruising in the stratosphere.

Borne again.

Winning earlier verbal exchange with nong in pub also helps euphoria. Editor, paid up member of the “Jagger stay young forever clique”, will approve of this.

I’m holding on to a copy of the 500 Club, my book, plan is to swap it for the Borne EP.

Half-shickered sheila comes up for a chat. Wants to know all about the book. Try not to look down front of low cut dress. Fail.

Her half-shickered mate — who is already on the nose ‘cause he’s barracking for Sydney — says “hey Sally, leave my grandad alone”.

He’s early 40s so it irks big time.  Got to think of something quick here, Wocka.

“I might be older than you buddy, but I am nowhere near as fat!”

Yeah I know G.B. Shaw or Oscar Wilde would have done better but …...

He looks down at the protuberance preventing him tucking in his shirt, the veranda over the tool shed, looks back at the svelte figure that delivered the punch line and knows he’s lost.  If only Geelong had played as well as me as either me, or Borne!