JANUARY 2020 – the year is flat out from the get go. I arrive back in Sydney from NYC after doing last minute research on my next novel OVER MY DEAD BODY. The first murder in the book takes place on Roosevelt island and there’s an exciting climax too on a houseboat down by the Hudson.
Here’s some photos of my NYC reccy. .
As for released product the big item is the long-awaited MUGS GAME double vinyl album. Only 500 pressed so it will be a collector’s item. It contains never before released tracks from 1977. Listen here
My usual hard core of a hundred or so Suburban Soldiers swoop early and the fabulous shop What’s That in Augusta Western Australia takes a bunch. I had planned to sell the rest on the 40th anniversary Suburbs tour but –
FEBRUARY 2020 – Nicole releases her single FOREVER AND A DAY off the album of the same name. Martin Cilia, Nicole and I had worked for 20 years on the songs and demos and Tony Cooper did a great job of helping lift some original recording from that time.
I release SUBURBS LIVE AT THE VICTORIA AND SHENTON PARK HOTELS 1977 as a streaming and download album. The album contained those tracks that were on the original blank cassettes. On CD the album is SUBURBS IN THE 70S. Listen to the album here
We do a sensational sell-out Valentine’s Day gig at the Django in Sydney – Suburbs plus Nicole.
We tour WA for the legend that is John Starr, and do a couple of wonderful gigs for the Festival of Perth’s Highway To Hell extravaganza. The Clancy’s gig in Fremantle is superlative with many of the original Suburbs fans turning up. Next day we have a totally enjoyable gig at Mojos with Winterfold in support. But COVID is coming fast.
MARCH 2020 – Sensing the plague I cancel our reunion tour. Though it is with a heavy heart I am sure it is the right move. But on the recording side there is more fun. Out by now is a streaming and download release of DARK SIDE OF THE SCRUM my 1989 Rugby League album of comedy songs. Listen to the album here
But with AFL about to kick off comes the monster release BALLBURSTER. Martin Cilia and I wrote and recorded many of these 50 tracks in the 90s. Some are dance tracks, some tributes to yesterday’s heroes. Like this one about Kouta. Although there are new ones too like this one about Coniglio
A highlight comes when Nicole’s album FOREVER AND A DAY is finally released but the sold out launch has to be Covid cancelled at the last minute. I think there are some terrific songs on here and Nicole sings so well. Listen to the album here.
APRIL 2020 – As we are all huddled indoors and wear masks outdoors I start recording recording a bunch of short-stories I’ve written as audio short-stories. Tony Cooper produces. The first is CABIN PRESSURE.
I begin work on the exciting biography of indigenous footballer Marlion Pickett whose story has captured the hearts of the public. A true story of redemption, from inveterate prisoner to proud family man who overcomes incredible hurdles to finally make the AFL, and then becomes the first man in more than 60 years to make his debut in a grand final.
MAY 2020 – My publisher Fremantle Press decides to push back the release of Over My Dead Body to October. That is disappointing, however, I begin work on a new musical play, IN SEARCH OF THE SUBURBAN BOY and continue work on the Marlion Pickett biog BELIEF.
I also bring out my second audio short story ARTSPRESSO which features the return twenty years on of Rick Boski and Goose Gordon from my novel EXXXPRESSO. Listen to Artspresso here.
JUNE 2020 – I am a very grateful recipient of a grant from WA Arts and Culture that allowed me to push ahead with writing a first draft of the musical IN SEARCH OF THE SUBURBAN BOY.
I continue talking with Marlion and other people associated with his life story for the book BELIEF.
Nicole releases a video for FLATBED FORD off her album thanks to Mark Gould, sensational director and editor.
JULY 2020 – I am knee-deep in interviews and writing up BELIEF but find time to do a very detailed Master-Class for Writing Victoria.
AUGUST 2020 – By now it is time for DEAD CERT the third of my audio-book short stories.
SEPTEMBER 2020 – IN SEARCH OF THE SUBURBAN BOY my new stage musical is delivered to the stage of draft 1. The play sees Derek, Sandra and Zongo plus a host of other Warner characters like Joey Black, try to convince me to continue performing.
I begin recording the audio-book of BELIEF.
OCTOBER 2020 – OVER MY DEAD BODY is finally released to great reviews.
NOVEMBER 2020 – BELIEF the Marlion Pickett biography I co-wrote with Marlion hits the shelves just five months on from the start. Out also the AUDIOBOOK that I voiced with Meyne Wyatt. I am absolutely thrilled to have the respected Noongar author and football administrator Sean Gorman say the Marlion Pickett biography reads ‘like a Steinbeck novel cum Tarantino film due to the vividly unfolding drama on almost every page’. You can find it here (hard copy, audio, kindle).
DECEMBER 2020 – It’s Christmas a season festive and spiritual. The fourth of my audiobook short stories CHARITY deals with the spiritual side of life. I was intrigued by the idea of what would happen if somebody found today that they had the ability to perform miracles of healing. I begin to release my short-stories as Kindle reads too for under $1.
The festive side of things sees me dust off MERRY AUSSIE CHRISTMAS the Christmas song I wrote and recorded last year with Martin Cilia and Tony Cooper. Being a cynic myself I can understand that a lot out there might despise it, but then there are others maybe like me, who at least for one month of the year abandon the cynic for the wonder of the child. I have always and will always love Christmas time, especially the lead up to the big day.
2021: Plenty more Warner stuff heading your way. Most importantly the new Dan Clement novel is being written and I’m hoping may be ready next year. The musical auto-biography MUGS GAME: A SUBURBAN ODYSSEY will be out at least as an audio-book.
I am also working on a book that will contain the lyrics to all the 600 songs I’ve written, plus my poetry from schoolboy to Australia 2 and beyond. And in addition to that book another that will contain my main stage plays including the recent IN SEARCH OF THE SUBURBAN BOY plus all the comedy revue sketches I used to do with Johnny Ryan.
There will be a gig over the June Long Weekend in Glen Innes and who knows what else.
Stay tuned and have a wonderful Christmas and brilliant New Year.