Band Aid – A Short Story

Trigger warning: this story contains references to some heavy shit. I’m not going to say exactly what because I don’t want to ruin it, but you get the idea. There is also time hopping, and neither the characters nor the story are based on personal experiences.

Enjoy xo

~

The scream of the crowd was so coarse it almost sounded like waves crashing in to rocks.

P’s knee-high boot heels clacked and echoed through the empty hallway. Everyone was watching the show, and she was on her way out. Her once soft blonde locks were pulled back in to a messy bun. Her chiffon maxi was fraying at the bottom and torn at the knee. She hiked it up and slung the oversized denim jacket she stole over her shoulder. One of her three lighters fell from the pocket to the tiles below. She didn’t stop to collect it.

~

The tour had been grand, to say the least; twenty five shows in thirty days.

The bus stank of stale cigarettes, spilled bourbon and sweat. It was dirty and it was home.

P usually slept on the top bunk, far right. Reuben was on the bottom. He was always on the bottom.

He wasn’t married, which was a bonus. He was one of the few she knew who let the life consume him without pretending to be a human outside of it. The only person he was hurting in the process was himself. He had a bad habit involving injectables and could fall asleep anywhere, guitar laid gently in his lap.

Smith was the daddy. He would carry the boys both figuratively and literally from time to time. He always had time to talk because he was the singer. Making noise with his mouth was his favourite pass time, and he especially loved the sound of it. He tried to be sober once and it lasted three weeks. In P’s mind, that was an excellent effort. His bunk was always immaculate.

Mick, the bassist with the permanent chip on his shoulder, was the polar opposite. Purposefully destructive, his anger was palpable. Everyone but Smith wanted him to leave. Even he wanted to leave. Coke doesn’t pay for itself, however, and he wasn’t going to get girls outside of his rock star persona. Matted brown hair hanging in his face, deep set green eyes and a forever furrowed brow; P thought he would almost be attractive if only he’d lighten up. Smith and Mick had known each other since they were four years old. Smith was the kind of man who made family out of anyone. Mick knew he wasn’t going anywhere without destroying the only long term relationship he had.

Shane was the happy-go-lucky drummer with a permanent grin and glint in his eye. He was just happy, man. He knew how good he had it. His sandy blonde hair sat in a Beatles’ style mop. Often compared to a young Ringo, there was a constant stream of giggling fans in his presence. The girl he’d married at twenty one only ever made an appearance when they approached places she found interesting. She flew to Sydney last week for a two day shopping and fighting spree. The rest of the group avoided the bus like the plague in that time. The usual complaint was the fact that Shane refused to book them a hotel. P suspected she knew exactly what ghosts were haunting that bed.

Lastly there was Matthew; Matthew the Manager. Matt was kind and intuitive, older and a gentleman. He was P’s favourite person. He was British. His thick Yorkshire accent could calm anyone. His hair was long and grey, often in a neat pony tail. His beard was trimmed, beer belly was prominent and hairline was receding, though no one would ever say that out loud. His shirts were always pressed to perfection.

Matthew had been big in the 70s. He was part of a folk trio who had taken off in the hippie community. Their songs about love and unity still struck a chord today with many wandering music fans, and he often had groupies of his own after each show. He’d always take time for a chat and an autograph. He never lost patience with anyone. It was a gift.

The other boys were less inclined to be so accommodating, though that depended on how short the skirt was.

P shivered as she used her modest body weight to press open the emergency exit door. The air was bitter cold. Their tour was ending in Melbourne, and at 11pm this August night the atmosphere was unkind. A speck of rain tapped her nose, and she pushed her glasses further up the bridge. She wouldn’t normally wear them at night, but she wasn’t in the mood for answering questions and her eyes always betrayed her.

Passing a pack of huddling fans in fur coats and Doc Martens she made her way towards the main road. She felt the looming tour bus presence behind her, but daren’t chance a glance at it. The events from the night before still brought a heap of bile to her throat.

She shook her head firmly to remove the thought and pulled the denim jacket tighter around her shoulders.

A taxi with their light off wizzed past her. Her phone screen was too damaged to order an Uber. She could barely receive a phone call.

On the corner she waited, for a touch too long. The cold was creeping its way in to her bones. The shallow breath escaping her mouth appeared in small clouds before her.

The girl had been young; too young, P had known from first glance. Buried beneath the layer of beautifully applied mac products was a child, no more than fifteen. Her gold halter neck hung loose at her undeveloped chest, but she supposed the boys were more likely looking at the shapely thighs on full display under her barely-existent mini. P had watched her carefully from her perch on Reuben’s lap. She had won her way in with her armful of flowers and gram of cocaine poking out of the wrapping. Where the fuck did she get that? was all P thought at the time. P was very used to sharing the group with other women, but she hadn’t expected this girl to hang around. The young ones get a bit giggly and see themselves to the door when the hard stuff comes out. Not this one though. She knew what she was doing, and it was equal parts mesmerising and terrifying.

P had shook her head as her brown leather boots found the floor. She lifted herself up and walked slowly around the circle that formed at the coffee table. The girl glanced up at P, and with a little smug smirk she made herself an enemy.

P marched from the room and found her way to the bathroom. A moment’s reflection in the mirror had her questioning her own motives. Do I want rid of her for her wellbeing, or because I think she’s a threat? She bit her lip. P was older when she hit the music scene, early 20s, passion before sense. She’d always been prone to hero worship in the place of love, but times were changing. These boys were now men in their 30s. She’d began following their tour three years earlier until eventually she’d become part of it. Every June she waited for the call, and this year it was Matthew instead of Reuben.

“’e needs you, Miss Thing,” he’d affectionately referred to her. It started the day they met. Her vintage Harrington had caught his eye and he nodded with fatherly approval and pride. You’ve really got it girl. You’ve got that thing they all want. Mystery.

Mystery is loneliness, thought P.

Apparently one bad trip too far, Reuben was on his final warning. Maybe his muse could fix the problems six months in the studio had festered. Maybe not.

The tour started wonderfully. Family nights, as P liked call them. They’d sit around and wax poetic about dreams and ideas, their solutions for all misery and corruption. Matthew would let out his billowing laughs and shake his head affectionately at the dreamy souls that surrounded him.

“You young ones, just you wait,” he’d say. “I once thought I could change the world too.”

P and Reuben were as close to love as two broken people can be. She sought therapy in his affections and he seemed to find his own in illegal substances.  He needed her physically, but mentally he was never quite there. In a way P never thought of herself as the type who would enjoy someone actually loving her, so this was easier; a story, with highs and lows and adventure and nothing else. It would end, as everything did, and she would go back to… what? Nothing. Sometimes nothing is better than the alternative.

Oh how her mind had changed. P used to dream of taming a wild musician, someone to share her passions, to dance and sing and dream with. Now she knew better. Artists can’t love. They’re too busy giving their all to their creativity. There’s nothing left but scraps.

A taxi pulled around the corner, yellow top light beaming. P raised her hand and it slowed before her. She wasn’t really sure where she was going, but it would be far away from here.

~

“Can you see with those glasses?” remarked the driver. He had a thick accent, it sounded Eastern European. P couldn’t manage a reply. Her gaze didn’t shift from the passing street lights.

A flash of big brown eyes returned to her mind, large and bewildered, pleading. P let out a heavy breath like she was trying to expel the memory. This time it wasn’t working. Her eyes welled painful but blinking away the tears just caused them to spill down her cheeks. Now she wanted to vomit.

That’s not my world, she told herself over and over. It’s not me. It’s not my fault.

The taxi stopped at a red light and P pushed open the door just in time for the puke to hit the pavement below.

“Hey!” growled the driver. “You can get out if you are sick. I will have no mess in my car. You will pay for it.”

P wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and slowly pulled the door closed with the other. “No,” she gasped, “I’m sorry, I’m okay now.”

He narrowed his eyes in the rear view mirror, but continued towards the city no less.

P pulled at some material in her hold-all and out came a t-shirt of Reubens. It was black, the band’s logo emblazoned on the back. She wiped her mouth and hand on it before throwing it on to the seat beside her.

~

When P returned to the room that night, the bouncers had already moved away. The music from inside was thumping. Smith had on Appetite for Destruction, his favourite post gig blow out album. Matthew pulled the door open just as she had reached for the handle. His face was paler than usual, and he avoided her gaze.

“I don’t think you should stay around, Miss Thing. Those boys don’t know what’s good for ‘em.” He bowed his head and gently moved past her, his hand grazing her shoulder as he went. P watched him go. The drugs are out, she guessed, before turning back to the door and letting herself in.

She wasn’t expecting the half-naked teenager to be even more naked than before, nor was she expecting Smith and Mick to be watching hungrily from the couch as she danced to Rocket Queen on the coffee table.

Shane had two slightly older but still young ladies perched on his knees at the far end of the room, joint hanging out of his mouth and eyes closed as he head banged to the beat.

Reuben was holding a pipe in one hand and reaching to the young one with the other.

She hopped off the table and bent over before him as he placed the pipe between her lips. The wind was knocked from P’s lungs.

“Reuben!” she snapped from across the room, but he wasn’t listening. A cloud of smoke shielded his face from her. When it dissolved she saw the wide smile once reserved for her. Every cell in her body wanted to rip him limb from limb, but something was holding her back. No, it was someone.

Mick had his arm wrapped tightly around her waist, holding her firmly in place. He had a good five inches on her, and was the only one in the group to frequent a gym. She saw his tattooed bicep flex as he pushed her backwards against the door, blocking her view.

“Don’t,” was all he said in his deep, intimidating way. P didn’t.

What felt like an eternity passed and Mick still hadn’t let her go. P found her words. “What are you doing?”

“What I was told to do. Reuben is busy. Why don’t we leave him to it?” It wasn’t a question, and he was standing so close she could barely catch a breath.

“What do you want?” came out as a whisper, which frustrated the shit out of her. She was strong; she wouldn’t be intimidated by this idiot. She tried to stand up taller, so his right hand closed around her arm.

“It’s almost the last night on tour, what do you think I want?”

“Fuck off Mick,” she snarled. “How dare you?”

“You think Reuben gives a shit?” he retorted with venom. He moved just far enough to the side for her to catch a glimpse of the girl now straddling the only man she’d ever let herself get close to. Her stomach dropped completely. Her throat went dry. Her words were gone again.

Mick didn’t speak this time either, he just yanked her forwards painfully, throwing open the door and tossing her outside of it in one fluid motion. She hit the floor with a thud and felt something sharp pierce her knee. He stepped out and closed the door behind him.

P looked down at a small pool of blood, a piece of glass. She pulled it out quickly and covered the wound with her other hand, her back to Mick the whole time. She had never liked him, but now? Now she hated him.

“He’ll fuck anyone, and I’ve heard the same about you.  I know what the fuck you do when you’re not with us. I know who you hang out with. You’ve got a reputation to uphold Miss Thing,” At that he pulled her up by the back of her shearling jacket. P spun and held the piece of glass up to his throat.

“You fucking touch me and I swear to God I’ll slice your neck and your wrists. You’re a shit bass player anyway and the boys would be a lot better off without you.”

Mick stepped back with his hands up, utter fury across his face. P lunged for the door.

It slammed hard against the wall when she flung it open. She saw the back of two heads, one blonde and one brunette, both messy and unkempt. Between them she saw wide, glazed over eyes and lips parted in an ‘oh’. The wild eyes fixed on hers and filled with tears, the girl was crushed beneath the weight of them both, but she didn’t make a sound. Reuben flicked his long dark hair over his shoulder and let out a howl of laughter, Smith took the girl’s chin in his hand and her eyes flicked to him. That was all P saw.

Her head was ripped backwards as Mick grabbed her by the hair. He pulled her so hard that she hit the floor again, this time with her head catching a badly placed amp on the way down. He entered the room and clicked the lock behind him.

“Who invited that cunt anyway?” he barked, but that’s all she heard. Welcome to the Jungle was playing now. Her vision went blurry, and then it went completely.

~

When P awoke she was still in the hallway. Her head was in someone’s lap, and her hair was being stroked. When the haze subsided, she saw the young girl gazing down at her. Her cheeks were streaked with mascara and dry tears, but when P’s eyes flickered open she had smiled.

“I’m Isa,” she whispered.

P couldn’t move, her head was still pounding, so she stayed in Isa’s lap. “I’m P,” she replied eventually.

“Oh, I know who you are,” the girl grinned back. “You’re my hero.”

What a bizarre thing to say, thought P. But the pit of her stomach was still churning, and what she had witnessed came flooding back to mind.

“Are you okay?” she asked meagrely, knowing what stupid question it was.

“I’m better than you,” Isa giggled. Her youthful jubilance seemed betrayed by the state of her hair and makeup. P had no idea what to make of her.

“I’ll take you to the hospital,” P said, slowly forcing herself up in to a seated position. The aching inside her skull was almost intolerable, so she lowered her head in to her hand to block the light. They were alone, and it was silent.

“Why would you do that?” Isa asked quietly. “I’ve been having fun.” Fuck, thought P. That’s not what it looked like. She turned one squinty eye towards the girl, who in turn raised her eyebrows at her. “I’m here because I want to be, and they wanted me to be, and you are lucky I am.” That petulant smugness had returned. P lost a few sympathy points.

“Fine,” she muttered. “Help me up then.”

The girls struggled to their feet. P looked down at her bloody knee and sighed. It looked worse than it felt. “Are you going home now?”

“Smith said I could stay the night, actually. He said there’s a free bed on the bus and my mum thinks I’m at a sleepover anyway.” She was proud of herself.

P knew the free bed was hers.

Both girls stood in silence for a moment. Isa shuffled awkwardly.

“Well, I think they’re waiting for me in the bus so… I don’t know if you’re invited.”

P wanted to spit. Her whole world was being torn apart by a Lolita. “Fuck off then,” she barked.

Isa sighed heavily. “I don’t want you to hate me.” P turned to look at her fully.

“You have no idea what you are getting yourself in to. I just hope for your sake they treat you better than they have me,” and with that she bolted down the hallway, never looking back.

Sitting outside the emergency exit door was Matthew. He had on two knitted jumpers and a parka, and was holding a cigar. He jumped to his feet the moment P appeared, and within seconds she found herself in one of the tightest, warmest hugs of her life. The tears weren’t voluntary but they came anyway, like a flood gate giving way after a long, wet winter.

Several minutes later, when the weeping subsidised to sniffs, Matthew placed his hands on her shoulders and pulled her back to see her face.

“P you’re one in a million darlin’. I really can’t ‘elp this. It’s the life they want to live and I’ve got to let them live it. If they aren’t ‘appy, we don’t get a record and then we’re all finished.” He brushed a limp blonde strand behind her ear and lifted her chin, so she would meet his eyes.

“Matt you’ve got no idea. She’s a child and they’re disgusting.” He looked hard at her for a moment.

“No one forced her to be ‘ere.”

Those were not the words P was expecting. Her world began spinning. They’re all as bad as each other.

~

Matthew begged P to stay for the last night on tour. “We’re in’t middle of nowhere,” he’d pointed out. Out of a sick sense of desperation for that not to be the end of her story, she agreed. One more day, she told herself; one more night.

When P returned to the bus at 4am, all was dark and silent. Isa was not in her bunk, nor anyone else’s.

The sun rose a few hours after, and having not slept a wink, so did she.

She ambled in the brisk morning air to what looked like a tradesman’s deli and bought herself a black coffee that tasted like tar. She just needed a purpose at that moment, and a morning coffee seemed appropriate.

After staring in to nothingness and smoking three cigarettes, P wandered back. She passed Shane’s ladies of the evening on her way in to the car park. Their hushed whispers rung heavy with excitement. Smith was standing by the door of the bus, cigarette in hand.

“Good morning beautiful,” he purred. P narrowed her eyes at him. Are we really just going to behave like normal? He furrowed his brow at her.

“Get out of the wrong side of the bunk this morning?”

P made a decision in that moment. She reminded herself why she was still there, she needed to get to civilisation, she didn’t want her adventure to fall to pieces, and from then on it was quite easy for her to pretend like the night before never happened. In fact, it was almost as if it didn’t.

Mick ignored her like always, and Reuben had given her cheek an affectionate stroke as he passed her on the way to the bathroom. They dozed through the four hour drive, interests only peeking when the Melbourne skyline came in to view.

“Honey, I’m home!” cooed Smith as he gazed out the window. Reuben wrapped his arm around P and kissed her gently on the top of her head. She tingled from the spot his lips touched to the tips of her toes. “It’s almost the end,” he sighed in her ear. She leaned back to look him in the eyes. He grinned that same old grin at her and her heart melted just a little less than usual.

~

The show was due to start at ten but the supporting act was running over. It gave the boys time for one more beer. As she followed them on their purposeful march to the stage she felt her heart break in to a million tiny pieces that she wasn’t sure she would ever be able to put back together again.

One by one they pulled back the curtain. The excited screams from the crowd grew louder each time. Reuben was the last to enter, and this time, he didn’t look back.

Neither would P.

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A Lady I Dig Called… DJ Honey

The stunning Miss Honey and I have been friends for about a year now.

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The first time I saw her it was love at first sight. I thought, who is that tiny girl with the massive beehive, incredible record collection and stellar moves? Outfits always on point, she began her weekend residency at Sonny’s House of Blues (my favourite bar in Brisbane) a month before I moved back to Perth. Honey commands the stage with her classic presence and transports you back to a dance hall in 1965. She is the perfect Soul Girl.

After spending the morning co-hosting her show ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang‘ which features on 4ZZZ every Thursday morning from 9 – 10am, we found ourselves snuggled among wood and ropes in The Lost Boys; a sweet little brunch spot in the Valley, and perfect setting for our Passion Chat.

Soundtrack:

Barbara Lynn – I’m a Good Woman

Okay Honey, who are you?

Ah… I am a woman. I am a human being and I am a DJ.

I like that. I like the order. I am woman, first and foremost. 

Yep. Conquer of my own destiny (laughs).

Excellent, and describe yourself in three words.

Absolutely fabulous, darling.

That sums you up perfectly. What’s your favourite childhood memory?

Probably… Travelling (pause) Definitely. Growing up we lived in Kombi vans, caravans… and we got to see so much of the world. Mother nature, really. The ocean, sand dunes, bush, animals –

Exploring Australia properly.

Yes, Australia, and Europe. England!

You were born in England?

I was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Then I moved over to Australia when I was 8. I have lived here every since. I grew up in WA then moved over to Melbourne in a van with my dog.

What kind of dog do you have?

A Chihuahua cross – and now I’m residing in Brisbane.

You love it?

I love the weather.

So what do you do for a living?

I am fortunate enough to be a DJ, so I play 60s soul records every weekend and I get to eat and drink for free while playing my favourite songs and dancing.

You’re mesmerising too! I’ll always remember the first time I walked in and saw you and I thought, oh my God I need to know her. She is a Goddess. You rock it.

I love it. Oh my gosh. It’s such an incredible opportunity. I get to share my favourite songs that I used to dance around to in my lounge room while drinking. Now I get to do it in a bar! and I get paid to do it.

And you have your radio show too.

Yes I have my show on 4ZZZ called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and through that I’ve met some incredible women. I interview female DJs, authors-

That’s me.

(laughs) Plug. But yeah, just some really awesome women.

Is your show always about women? Based on female artists?

Yep. All female artists. Particularly from the 50s, 60s and 70s but then also we have modern day artists with the retro sound.

You’ve been doing this for six months.

Yep, that’s right.

Okay, here’s a good one. Name a band or artist that changed your life.

So… I love Elvis Presley.

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Yes you do! (laughs) Look at your little face. You really love Elvis.

Yep. He is, other than my dog, the love of my life. I remember first hearing him when I was about 7 years old and… We used to go to the library every week. I asked mum and dad about him- because this was pre-internet days-and we got all these books. I knew the Elvis Presley section off by heart. I used to borrow all of his CDs and cassettes. When we went to the video store I got all of his movies. I learned everything about him and I love it all; his music, his style, the kind of human he was. He was so new and paving his own way, but still paying respect to the Blues and  RnB artists who came before him.

There is no one else like him.

He was the start of your love affair with soul music?

Yes, definitely. I listened to his songs and in the CD sleeves I’d see the writers of them and I would look those people up. Again, at the library.

So vintage.

So time consuming! Then I would listen to all their stuff. I was very lucky that mum and dad had a really vast collection, and mum would say, if you like that you should listen to this which is similar. Then it just grew and grew.

Have you been to Graceland yet?

YES! I went to Graceland last year (huge sigh) best moment of my life. That place is just… so magical. The whole of Memphis is so dedicated to him. You talk to people in bars who have met him, seen him around. This person who was an idol to you is an actual human being now. Then you go to his house and, again, his style was so ahead of his time and unique. He was just doing his own thing. Obviously they have all of his awards on the walls-

But it’s about so much more than that.

It’s about how kind he was as a person; not in a bragging way either. It was just the way he was. The overwhelming feeling I had after going there was what a wonderful man he was, not about his super-stardom.

Listening to Lisa Marie on the headset as you walk around, talking about the wonderful things he did for people and it’s just – emotional!

Yep. Random people in the street received his generosity. He is the King of my heart.

What makes you smile? Don’t say Elvis.

(Pause) um…. The King of Rock and Roll? (laughs)

He’s all you can think about now. I’ve got my questions in the wrong order.

Yeah, we should have saved him until last. Okay, so: my dog, Angus, my records – they are my confidants.

You must have a really good collection by now.

Um… yeah, it can always be better (laughs) it’s growing. Okay also… G&Ts, sunshine, ocean, animals, dancing, my girl posse, my family, travelling and… Orgasms! Because… of course!

What makes your frown?

Plastic bags, animal cruelty, sexism, racism, inequality. People who use the wrong there, their and they’re.

Oh we’re getting political. Who do you admire?

I admire people who are true to themselves. People who seek adventure, who won’t settle for what they’re told they should be content with. People who are kind. Ain’t nothing sexier than kindness.

Hashtag.

That’s my motto.

What’s your favourite line from a song? 

There’s so many… ‘A little less conversation, a little more action’.

Good choice. That kind of sums it up really. 

You could be talking about lots of things.

What your favourite film? 

There’s an Italian film called La Vita Bella (A Beautiful Life) and it’s probably one of the saddest films I’ve ever seen, but it’s so full of love and hope and optimism.

How old were you when you first saw it?

18 I think? Quite old.

Who is your favourite person?

You can’t have favourites (laughs).

I feel like I could answer that very quickly.

Well I’ve been banned from using that name anymore.

I’ll allow it for this one question.

I still don’t know if he’s my favourite person. I don’t think I have a favourite. I have lots. I think if you pick, it closes a door to finding more favourite people.

That’s very true; but who is your least favourite?

I don’t know… Everyone I think of still has their own story of how they got there, and their own rationale. So… you can somewhat understand how they are who they are. That’s a really lame answer.

No it’s actually a really good answer. Once you learn the art of empathy it’s hard to let it go. 

Exactly.

What’s your proudest achievement? 

This is a hard one. I’m always striving to do more. I haven’t got there yet.

You have such a high standard for yourself! I feel like you have done so many amazing things; just from the stories you’ve told me today. I get it though. What’s your biggest fear? 

This is really quite a privileged fear, but, it would be living in a house in suburbia with a mortgage, trying to keep up with the Joneses and trying to be some Stepford wife. I mean, it’s a safe life. But that would do my head in.

If you’re not living, you’re dying. There is no in between.

Yep, doing the same thing every day, that would be my biggest fear.

What is your biggest passion in life?

Music is definitely up there. I have always listened to music and there’s a song for every mood. Every song can take you back to a time, a place, a person. Happiness or heartbreak.

But also, just being kind and compassionate. Every single day I try to be kind.

Do you think it takes such a strong person to be that way? I think it’s so easy for you to close people out and not let them penetrate your shield, but to be kind you are putting so much of yourself out there. It’s a really good way to be. 

Yeah. Like you say, it can be exhausting.

What’s your favourite piece of advice?

I don’t think anyone ever said this to me, but ‘live every moment as if it’s your last’, tell everyone how much they mean to you, even if they roll their eyes because you’ve said it to them 100 times that day.

It’s still good to hear.

Spend as much time as you can with the people you love, and doing something, even if you’re completely exhausted. Just do it, because you could die tomorrow.

I often hear people say ‘If you die tomorrow, would you be happy with what you’ve accomplished?’ And people say no, but I really would. I do everything I want to do.

You make choices every day to project what you want to achieve in your life, and you might not accomplish everything but you should be happy in your back catalogue about the steps you took to get yourself to where you are now. 

At least you tried.

Well done for getting this far. So, are you in love?

Yes. I’ve been in love since I was 7 years old with Elvis Presley.

(Laughs) How does [your partner] feel about that?

He has no choice. He has to share.

Do you love yourself?

Um… I think we all do in a way. We have to.

Some people don’t, I think. Hopefully not many. I think most people can’t admit it because there’s such a negative connotation with it. 

Yeah, like you’re up yourself. But, okay. Do I love myself? Yes. But-

Look at you not wanting to just say it!

Yes! Exactly! And you’ll say it about every other person and yet you’ll be the last to say what a good job you’ve done, yourself. I try.

Be proud. I think that’s shifting it away from, ‘oh I’m so in love with myself’ to just being proud of yourself.

Be proud of your efforts, and what you’re putting out there.

So what is love to you?

It’s… Acceptance. Nobody is perfect. It’s actually our imperfections that make us beautiful and lovable, I think. I’s about enjoying another person and it’s about trust. Trust is… so rare.

If you could have anything in the world right now, what would it be and why?

A G&T.

~

Thank you beautiful creature for being my first.

For anyone interested in checking out Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, here is the stream link:

http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/program/kiss-kiss-bang-bang

https://www.facebook.com/kisskissbangbangradio/

You can find Honey Hip Shaker at Sonny’s House of Blues after the band every Friday and Saturday night.

All my love

Harleigh Q

xoxo

Outcast At Last

It’s been an emotional week in my little band aid world.

Having finally caught Sticky Fingers in the flesh a few weeks ago I was well and truly still riding the high when the news broke this week of their impending hiatus.

The official statement goes as follows:

For some time we’ve been dealing with some internal issues in the band. They’ve heightened to the point where it’s not fair to anyone involved for us not to do something. We have looked for help to try to get through this and will continue to do so. As a result we’re going to try to finish the shows we have booked over New Years to the best of our ability – then the band will be going on an indefinite hiatus.

We would like to apologise to anyone that has been affected by this.

~

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say I worship these boys. My heart dropped and my eyes filled with tears. Between calls I mustered a no, no, no, no before immediately sending the news to fellow Sticky lover Kate.

We spent the afternoon in shock, messaging back and forth and googling furiously for any evidence as to why this was happening, and in particular, why now?

That’s when this happened:

In recent times my behaviour for a large part has been unacceptable – I’m writing here and now with a heavy heart admitting this, and wish I had faced my issues earlier.

I am realising now a lot of people around me have been hurt by my behaviour and for that I am incredibly sorry. I have not sought to target individuals or groups. All people around me have been affected by my behaviour during these episodes.

I have been dealing with alcohol addiction and mental health issues. Last year I was diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia and have struggled to deal with that. This is not an excuse, but it hopefully means I can get better.

To try and work through this I am seeking help and will be attending rehabilitation and therapy in the coming weeks. I am truly sorry to the people that have been affected by my behaviour. Many thanks to my friends and family for helping me through this. I hope to one day make amends for my actions.

Yours sincerely,
Dylan Frost

~

Diz, the sweet, swaggering gentleman we met at 1am on a brisk Perth night in the car park, had made his decision. With an aching heart, I bow my head in understanding and pride in his strength.

Then the other side of the story came out:

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In her now deleted post this person has made some pretty serious accusations. Where is the evidence? Were the police called? Are charged being laid?

But guess what? As angry as I am at her methods, it doesn’t matter.

Those of us who follow the boys have heard stories about their wild behaviour. They’ve been evicted from hotels and venues for destructive and anti-social behaviour. Diz in particular is known for his lack of regard for property and equipment.

Gone are the days when we are allowed to excuse it as ‘rock n roll’ because we’re more aware now. We think about the implications of our actions, how they affect others. I’m a bit prone to hero worship and I must admit I easily excuse this stuff because it’s what my heroes of yesteryear did, and I get it. Everyone wants to feel like they’re above it at some point; how wonderful it would be to do and say what we want with no implications. Thankfully, though, there are consequences. It’s all well and good until you’re on the receiving end.

The receiving end:

I am a feminist, I will back women until the day I die, but I am really, really frustrated by this.

My issue is the fact that this was posted on Facebook, when if her accusations are accurate, it should have been reported to the police.

I take issue with her casual throw in of violence again women. I know what that does to people. I know the affect it has on people. Drunken arcing up yes, but definitely not that.

I have also followed Sticky closely for years, and I have never heard of a charge or even an article with allegations to that effect. That is an earth-shattering, life-altering thing that she has now put in writing for the world to see and judge him based on. She didn’t just express her version of that night, she brought up past unfounded accusations.

Hang on a second…

Don’t. Don’t try to ruin someone’s career because you had a run in with them. None of us were there, and it’s clear by their knee-jerk reaction that something did go down, but that doesn’t mean that her statement is word for word accurate. That’s what I take issue with. It’s a passionate post with a lot of anger behind it, and that doesn’t make it fact. God my generation sucks.

I wish people wouldn’t believe everything that they read, but they do. I wish people would do their own research (like I have, extensively), but they don’t. The fact is, the man’s going to have to crawl back from this, and my heart breaks for him. She will be more notable than ever.

Personal opinions aside, Facebook Court needs to calm it’s farm. People on both sides of the fence are lashing out. It’s not right to abuse anyone, and though I completely agree that she was wrong in posting what she did, because people are not entitled to free speech when it comes at the expense of someone else’s livelihood, that doesn’t warrant harassment. Obviously he was in the wrong that night.

Diz is a young man with mental health issues and addictions. I’m not making excuses for his behaviour, it’s obviously appalling and really not acceptable. However, personal opinion in full effect, I love him. I think he is wondrously talented, he was an absolute gentleman with so much time for us when I met him, and all of my well wishes go to him and the boys. I hope after some recovery time out of the limelight they can make a comeback, or at the very least Dylan can strike out on his own.

The best artists often have their demons. I know with love and support he’ll be back to us. When you’re a true muso, that passion runs through your veins.

Get well soon, Dizza.

Harleigh Q

xo

Life and Times of a Band Aid

Today happens to be the 16th birthday of one of my favourite movies, Almost Famous, so appropriately titled here’s the story of my brief adventure to Melbourne and Adelaide last week.

~

I was bedriddenly sick the week leading up to my trip, and awesomely enough I am now again only this time it’s tonsillitis. I just love this time of year! Thankfully though I did start to recover as I caught my overnight flight to Melbourne. I generally love a red-eye. My body seems to go in to sleep mode as soon as I snuggle in to the not-so-comfy leather seat. Neck pillow at the ready (I recommend memory foam) I then spent the entire three hours wide awake. The veggie pie didn’t go down well either.

Upon arrival I retrieved my bag and hobbled through the darkness to the taxi rank. My driver was excellent. Not only did he know all the short cuts, regularly disagreeing with the satnav, but he was telling me the most fascinating stories.

He was from Africa, and when we passed a large tanker he pointed to it and said, ‘every time I see one of these I think of my friend’. I asked him why. He went on to tell me about a man in his late 20s that would do business by transporting cloth between countries. He wasn’t supposed to stop in Kenya but they needed supplies, so he did. It was dark when he arrived, so he climbed in to the back of the tank and lit his lighter. The entire thing exploded. He left behind a wife and little boy.

Its a tradition, he told me, for a wife to marry the brother of their deceased husband so they and their children can be taken care of. He said it’s good because they can choose to leave, but the children must be left with the family. She has to give them up. He said it was okay though because they were very happy together. What an incredible thing to share with me. He was such an interesting man.

After a few more stories and him laughing at me referring to my singleness as ‘sweet freedom’ we arrived at my beautiful Tori’s house.

I met Tori on my last contiki in the States and we just clicked. She was kind enough to offer her home to me while I explored my possible future home. As it was 6am we both went back to bed and I slept away most of the day. I was definitely starting to feel a bit more human in the afternoon when she showed me Chapel St (probably my new favourite place) and that night we dined on Brunswick St.

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My mission for this trip was to experience the eastern suburbs more as, from what I’ve heard (and seen on Offspring, my latest obsession. Seriously do any of you watch it? Message me cause I need to vent!) it sounds like the kind of place I’d fit right in to. Sadly it did rain the whole time so I didn’t take any photos, but the real adventure began the next morning.

~

We were heading to Adelaide to see my favourite Aussie funkmeisters on their album tour. I’d had it on repeat constantly. Thankfully Torz is also a fan and so I whisked her away on Tiger to the city of churches.

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I have such a soft spot for Rads having explored there just over a year ago on my Topdeck. It’s where I bought my first pair of cowboy boots!

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Tori and I had a stunning 2 bedroom apartment on North Terrace so we were easy walking distance to everything. Including the bottle shop. We loaded up on snacks and booze, I somehow made myself presentable and the night began!

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It was an eventful pre drinks.

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Two hours became three and we arrived just in time for the boys going on. Now I was lucky enough to meet three of them previously back in my wild Brisbane days so I was thrilled to get big hugs from them. Always nice to be remembered!

Their set was perfection and I got most of my favourite songs. I think my favourite part was Tori getting cut off from the bar after downing three tequila shots. How I was still serviceable after a week of antibiotics I’ll never know.

We continued on to a karaoke bar where Marc took over the mic and I had the D’est of M’s with each of the boys. Don’t ask me what we were talking about. I have no idea. Somehow we got to the casino and then this happened.

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So it was back to our apartment for even more beverages, Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind and Fire.

You know it’s been an excellent evening when your company leaves and you follow a few minutes later to check out. Good job team.

Tori and I spent the next day on another planet and I managed a handful of chips. The boys came to see us off at our gate. Honestly, I’ve never met a lovelier group of men in my life. One of the many reasons they’re my favourite!

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By the time we got home I’d lost my speaking ability and after the greatest shower ever I slept for 15 hours.

What a ride.

For my last day Tori took me to my new favourite place, Soda Rock Diner. I donned my pinup gear and nommed hard on my curly fries and vanilla shake.

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I had the most incredible time over the long weekend. It was hard to leave Melbourne. I feel like it’s my soul mate in city form. It was hard to leave my beautiful Tori too. She absolutely made it for me and I couldn’t pick a better adventure partner.

I’ll be back beautiful city. I’m still yet to decide if it’s you or Brisbane that takes priority, but I know I’ll be living there eventually.

Ah man. Talk about off the Richter scale.

Just another weekend in the life of Penny Lane!

Harleigh Q

P.S. ch-ch-check em out:

xo

Baby, You Rock My World

My Gods have voices of velvet and sometimes play guitar. Oh soul music. I don’t know how I’d live without you.

There’s something so breathtaking about listening to someone croon and you can tell it’s coming from the depths of their heart; chills me to the bone.

To think two years ago I didn’t really listen to music. I certainly wasn’t very passionate about it. I was interested, but now I feel like it’s the air I breathe. I get edgy if I don’t have my headphone time every day. I need to be alone with my muses.

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Gotye – Heart’s A Mess

When going through some really tough things I found music and talking were the only ways I could heal. I distinctly remember listening to Gotye’s Heart’s a Mess and feeling like my ribcage was caving in. There’s just so much emotion in that song and where I was at the time allowed me to really, truly feel it.

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INXS – Baby Don’t Cry

Next came INXS and Baby Don’t Cry. I feel like that song gave me the strength I needed to push through. I’ve never been a wallower. I really don’t like the idea of putting on sad music or a romantic film and hurting myself further. I feel things way too deeply as it is. That would kill me! Gotye was my little moment and then I’d pull myself back out of it with Michael Hutchens’ husky tone.

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The Clash – Rock the Casbah

More recently, within the last year, I’ve discovered the absolute gold that is music from the 60s, 70s and early 80s. I’ve always been a lover of the Police, Prince and Bowie but bands like the Cure, the Clash and Earth Wind and Fire have influenced my modern favourites so much. It’s so good to go back to where it all began. That music doesn’t age!

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Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby

My other loves, the ones who hold my nostalgic heart, are the indie bands of the 2000s. I don’t know about everyone else but as I kiddy I was heavily influenced by my Mumma’s taste. I remember hearing Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand and thinking, I think I like this. I asked mum is she did to which I got a distinct ‘no’ and so I didn’t really pursue them. It was a only short period in time where I’d lost my incredibly strong will!

Now, at 24, I go back and listen to KC greatest hits on the regular and realise the little indie kid has always been in there. Ruby has to be one of the greatest songs of all time. I’m calling it. Though I must admit, we do share a family love for Stereophonics.

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Stereophonics – Dakota

It would be a crime if I didn’t mention my birthright here too of course. I think my close friends all know my family and I are Mods. Those unfamiliar with the term need only google the likes of ‘Quadrophenia’ and ‘Paul Weller’. We’re all about the smart shirts, shift dresses, monochrome, Jam shoes and of course, scooters. I myself love a good beehive. The music is otherworldly and a fantastic mix of soul, ska, r’n’b and new wave. No greater band show the pure genius of the movement like Modsquad; our wickedly talented WA based legends. Without a doubt my favourite nights out are spent grooving to these cats with Mumma and Papi.

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The Jam – Going Underground

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Madness – One Step Beyond

With a swell in my chest, I mention my current obsession. I love funk. I can’t wait to get my abs back and don some bell bottoms and dance like there’s no tomorrow in Melbourne with my two favourite bands, Vaudeville Smash and Sex on Toast. They have taken the greatest music decades, in my humble opinion, and brought it in to modern day in such a refreshing way. I honestly have their discographies on repeat. It’s timeless shit. I’m going to stop fan-girling now.

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Vaudeville Smash – Richter Scale

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Sex on Toast – Oh Loretta!

I haven’t even gotten in to my Rockabilly side. I’m a girl of wide variety that’s for sure! Cash and Elvis know they have my loving, victory rolls and pinup dresses to-boot. But I think it’s safe to say from this post, there’s no one particular era that I identify with. I feel incredibly lucky to live now, so that I can enjoy every era at once.

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Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line

Of course, special mention goes to the love of my life, Alex Turner. He is my own personal mod father. I love him more than white bread. His genius is on par with the greats and I feel honoured to have grown up witnessing his own artistic growth. Arctic Monkeys and the Last Shadow Puppets are in my mind the greatest bands of all time. BIG CALL. The lyrics are beyond anything I could even begin to attempt. The eloquence with which Alex writes is unparalleled. His voice is silk, he’s a Yorkshire lad and honestly, he’s just lush.

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The Last Shadow Puppets – Standing Next To Me

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Arctic Monkeys – One For the Road

That about sums up my little journey through music lane. I’m so passionate about it and thank you to anyone who took the time to read. Maybe a few of you agree with me.

If you’re looking for some new tunes, please check out my picks. I don’t take love lightly.

Take care and Alex Turner bless.

Harleigh Q

Xo

For the love of music

Tonight our hearts are hurting. Loss may be a part of life but that doesn’t make it any easier. My timeline has been flooded with the most gorgeous tributes from my amazing friends and we are all connected in our sadness.

My best way of dealing with grief is trying to express it. As I lay here in my Ziggy singlet watching YouTube videos of one of my favourite artists of all time, I want to take a few minutes to thank every incredible musical talent who has touched our lives and left us too soon. I’m sure we’d never be ready to say goodbye, though.

They don’t ever really die. Their art is a part of their soul that we are left to cherish. Here’s my little tribute to my greats.

~

For the longest time I lost my love of music. Now I can’t imagine a day without it.

I use music to pick me up, relax me, get me excited, work through things that are bothering me… It literally soothes my soul! I’m sure most of us feel the same.

I fully credit David Bowie and INXS for getting me through the bad times last year. I’d sing ‘Baby Don’t Cry’ and ‘Modern Love’ at the top of my lungs with tears streaming down my cheeks. Let it out! Live it, get it over with, then take a deep breath and leave it behind. That’s what good music taught me; how to be completely 100% in the moment.

Thank you, beautiful geniuses, for giving us all an outlet in our time of need. Thank you for sharing all the good times too. You’ll live on in those who love you. We may never have known you, but we feel like we did.

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Rock on and we’ll be seeing you. It’s only forever. Not long at all.

~

Sorry if this is a little bit mishmash. As Gotye sang, my heart’s a mess.

Harleigh Q

xo