Tuesday, December 18, 2007

* 21 February 1981, 11.13am

The following appears to have been written under the influence of amphetamines – therefore I’ve made an editorial judgment to amend some of the crazed grammar that fizzed from my young mind.

Speed was then amphetamine sulphate, not the methamphetamine we have today. Traditionally, it came in small translucent red
capsules worth twenty dollars. Heroin came in half clear/half red capsules referred to as double oh’s. The caps were sourced, I think, from a cold medicine and if the smack was not served up in a double oh, it was instantly suspect. Later, foil and paper folds came into fashion. Later still, balloons. In 1981 a ‘cap’ was fifty dollars – and, unless things have changed just recently, the price remains the same.


I went off to the Crystal Ballroom last night, though I can remember little of it. Afterwards, we visited Constance at his petrol station, and some friends came over to Milton St. – Jane, Leia & Cathy [a visitor from Adelaide]. We drank a huge amount of vodka and wound up being very sick. At about 9.00 we awoke from our stupor …

The Ballroom was full of friends. Even Warren Coleman was there - he dropped by with [Paul] Storm at four yesterday morning and yapped… and yapped …

I found myself in a very lurid mood. The girl Tobsha was giving me the eye, I’m sure, and I was returning it. My recollections of the night are full of skirt-filled flashes … Sometimes I’m like that; most of th
e time in fact, but never wholeheartedly. When I think of Christine, I lose any active interest.

I am on speed and have not slept a wink.

It was probably a foolish thing to do, taking it, but it was kind of fun.

There’s a lot I have to say, but I’ve little inclination to say it.
I’m experiencing that dreadful speed state in which you are forever teetering on the edge of a ghastly chasm*, waiting for your life to crumble around you…

Somebody asked me to write a story for a magazine last night… Mmm … perhaps ... It will feature a pallbearer and be called ‘The Pallbearer’.

Christine is going to live here for a month, she thinks, before
she moves in with Craig Elrick. In my paranoid state I can’t help being worried about that… We may be going to Adelaide. That visitor I mentioned, Cathy, she would be arranging it.

Wally is sweeping the path outside. A slow fly is on this book. Christine is in bed, awake, and probably grumpy….


Paul Storm, a school friend, was living around the corner around this time. I remember running to borrow money off him for a cab, after cops – called by my mother - came to my door and alerted me to my father’s terrible stroke. It was only a few months previous to this diary that he died.

I see Paul often these days.
He has a daughter Polly’s age, Caitlyn, and as we’re all Sainters, we catch quite a few games together.

1982 beargarden

Constance working at a petrol station … I believe he would die if he knew this information was publicly available. He’s a serious [and I think successful] visual artist now - whom I last encountered at Troy’s wake.

Warren Coleman was another school friend. He was one of the boys in The Devil’s Playground and a co-writer, I understand, of Happy Feet. I don’t know much of what fell between, but we used to share very similar tastes and it was he who came to school with an Aladdin Sane haircut and he who introduced me to The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, and thence to Philip K Dick … My parents hated him, blamed him for the incident when I took Bowie’s Young Americans record cover to the hairdresser and asked them to duplicate it. [The Gitane I could arrange myself.]

And Tobsha. Hmmn… A strange game of sexual chess stretched for years before burning out sans consummation. Then a VCA sculptress living at the end of the street, now she lives in LA and writes erotic novels with names like Quiver and Tremble and The Witch of Cologne. I’ve always been jealous of her success, principally because once I was far superior at spelling.

* Wasn’t someone teetering on a brink in my last post? I wonder how often I use that metaphor? Possibly a lot – I always seems to be treading the edge of some abyss or chasm or whatnot ...

Diary of 1981 - index

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Chris Boyd said...

It amazes me that we didn't meet a decade earlier, Sam.

I met Paul Storm (I thought he had the coolest name!) in my first year at Monash. He had this Raymond Daniel Manzarek attitude and a Will Self voice to go with it. I think I was in awe of him. He seemed so grown-up and self-assured. :)

Tobsha I met a few years ago, in a theatre foyer in Sydney.

Can't vouch for her spelling, but her plays were okay. Sometimes very very okay.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great shot! I used to love seeing Beargarden, you used to prance along the stage, kick your long legs and flick the floppy fringe...I can't believe it was so many years ago!
Love Amanda

Sam Sejavka said...

I bet you we did meet, but either we can't remember or didn't know it at the time ...

Though Paul's from New Joizy his accent was very New York. He still retains it after 33[?] years. Holding your accent that long is a sign of either strength of character or stubbornness. Lynne's another example.

We met after I saved him from a beating by the prevailing bully-boys who didn't like his accent or his attitude or his intellectualism. This was at a cadet camp ...

Sam Sejavka said...

Ta, amanda. Sheer luck that the photo still exists; found it lining a drawer. My friend George [previously mentioned] had set up a photo developing studio and that was the first photo we tried to develop. That's why it's such a lousy print.

By the way, if any one out there has any photos from this period, I'd be damn keen to see them.

H.Glass said...

On 21st Feb 1981 at the crystal was
Equal Local supporting the Boys Next Door

Sam Sejavka said...

My's email's in my profile, but ... here's another one I've known of that ML Ears track for quite some time, but I didn't know it wasn't connected to the shop ...

H. Glass, thank you. I was wondering who it might have been. Boys Next Door would have been a safe guess ...

mel said...

I hate to be picky, but the question is not who was on 21 Feb 1981 - it's who was on 20 Feb 1981? Sorry, I can't control the picky brain. And it would've been The Birthday Party playing 21 Feb, not Boys Next Door.

Sam Sejavka said...

an apposite observation, to be sure.

Sam Sejavka said...

when exactly did the BND become the Birthday Party?

mel said...

They played their last show as the Boys Next Door on 28 Feb 1980 in Melbourne. They played their first show as The Birthday Party in London 29 June 1980. The name seems to have changed just after the last BND show.

Amazing what details you can find on the internet!

Chris Boyd said...

They were certainly "The Boys Next Door" when they performed at Hearts with the Primitive Calculators on January 30, 1980. And with Ron Rude's Piano Piano on February 16. But that February 28 date doesn't look right to me. (A farewell gig on a Thursday?) Where did you get the information Mel?

I recall being pissed that the Boys played 'Shivers' (which had long been out of their repertoire) at the last Melbourne concert.

They were definitely The Birthday Party when they were back at the Crystal Ballroom on 12/12 that year... but the name was fresh enough for me to add a parenthetic "nee Boys Next Door" after the band's name in my diary.

Anonymous said...

Happy to have found your Blog Sam. I still remeber meeting you, just the once, many years ago, whilst hanging out with Robert O. Whatever has happened to him btw?

Sam Sejavka said...

The last time I saw old Robert O was in a doctor's office. He was swollen with spasmo-dromoran and involved in shonky sounding lawyership. This must have been at least 5 years back.