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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 50. ‘Dances with bulls’

It was a glorious sunny day, as nine year old me rode with my Father to the neighbour’s property some ten kilometres away. We’d come to fill water barrels as the summer had taken a toll on our tank only farm. Leaning against the shiny black door of my Father’s beloved classic car, a Humber Super Snipe, I watched him unload the containers from the attached trailer.
A half dozen large black units would hopefully see us through until it rained. Our host hailed my Father for coffee, and I was left in charge of moving the hose from one tank hole to the next. With the job almost done, I proudly took the initiative to gather more of the precious commodity by flipping the petrol cap on the next shiny black container. Some moments later my Father came tearing out in a flurry of arms and legs, yelling, “what are you doing!” His red-faced demeanor suggested I had done a bad bad thing. Opting for flight and not discussion, I took off over the pile of push bikes that had been left scattered in the driveway and headed full steam for the cow paddocks. Hastily glancing over my shoulder, I spied my father in hot pursuit. I watched long enough to see him catch his foot on the pile of bikes and face plant the ground with considerable force. This did nothing to allay my fears of ‘I’m in big big trouble.’ In the distance lay refuge in the tall brown grass, I just had to clear this rickety barbed wire fence. Diving headfirst between the strands, I thought I was in the clear until my backside caught on the sharp pointy bit! My gazelle-like move abruptly terminated, I fell face first into a pile of cow dung. With a stinging butt, and a face full of gross, I resigned myself to my fate and lay there defeated. In the distance, I could still hear my Father’s roar, just a little more panic than anger now. Moving ever closer I heard, “get up, get up, get up.” With a renewed sense of nervousness, I rubbed my eyes clear of the yukky and found myself nose to nose with the biggest bull I had ever seen. He exhaled his rancid hot breath all over my terrified face, as he quite calculatingly sized me up. Backing up a few feet and hooves pawing at the ground, his intentions were made perfectly clear. My Father, almost upon me at this point screamed, “run!” as ‘Bullmania’ lowered his horns and commenced descent. A pitiful roll was all I could manage, as his horn scraped down the length of my right arm and hand. (I still have a tiny war scar to this day) I should have returned through the fence, but in my alarm, started running toward the trees some BILLIONS of metres away. I could hear his massive feet churning the ground behind me as he summoned the herd with his righteous war cry. Cows from every corner answered the call, and the stampede toward me was surely not something I would survive. In my peripheral vision, a shiny ute kicked up dust in its wake as frantic hands tossed bales of hay to the ground. The collective “oooo food” was almost audible as the mob lost interest in me and clamored to be first in line. Bullmania was the last to retreat, with a look over his shoulder, “and don’t come back.” Many hours later, after the car had dried out, we made the silent trip home. Breaking the standoff, my Father finally grunted, “you could have stuffed the Humber completely!” I countered with an equally defiant grunt. ” You chased me into a paddock of killer cows!” More silence, but as we turned into our home’s driveway, a truce was reached when we simultaneously said, “just don’t tell Mum.”

Thanks for listening.

Until tomorrow,
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 49. ‘Waiting for inspiration’

I’m that person who stands in the middle of the road, peering into the distance to see if the bus is coming. I’m still washing the tyre marks off the back of my head πŸ™‚

Until tomorrow,
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 48. ‘Zzzzzzz’

Do you guys remember the post about setting my brain free for a wander? He has not yet returned πŸ™‚

Until tomorrow,
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 47. ‘Just a little Friday funny’

Pretty convinced that everyone feels like this at least some of the time. Not me, this is most of the time πŸ™‚ . Newsletter for Feb coming soon, don’t forget to head over to the website to sign up if you’d like to receive it.
Have a lovely day!

Thanks for listening.
Until tomorrow,
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year. Day 46. ‘Recording with Double Trouble-almost’

I saw this pic today and it kinda struck a chord with me (excuse the pun). I rarely talk about my dealings with the music industry, mostly because I think it mundane and I don’t want to be that person who cries, “well I would be this if so and so had not happened.” It’s tedious, untrue and frankly annoying. I have of course had many angsty moments, just like anyone else who takes this path. The “willingness to cooperate” from this picture brought back some memories. I have lost count of the record deals, agents, offers and opportunities that I’ve tied concrete boots around because of my “unwillingness.” None more so than my deal to record an album with the legendary rhythm section, “Double Trouble”. Yep, those guys. Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton. Junior Brantly and Jimmy Vaughan were also on board for this project. (I can already hear some of you…”Stevie, what’s wrong with you! πŸ™‚ ) With me still in Australia and the record label in the USA, much pre-production was being done prior to my leaving to join the band. During this time the label owner and producer decided I would replace Junior Brantly’s vocals on a song he had just finished recording with this unit. Junior Brantley is an exceptional talent, and at the time I thought to myself why? He sounds brilliant. BUT this was an opportunity of a lifetime so I said yes of course. Now pointing out the obvious, Junior Brantly is a man, with man like tonsils and range. I am not a man πŸ™‚ My range is different. It’s just physics in the main. I know there are exceptions, but not in this case, and definitely not for this track. Whilst I have a ‘wideish’ vocal range, it starts and ends in my zone. This song of Junior Brantly’s went off the scale for me at the low end, and no matter how hard I tried, nothing, not even a bad note came out. :-). Like all things, it is never one incident that sets fire to the best-laid plans of mice and men, and I, of course, wanted this projected to get off the ground more than anything. I really did keep myself well in check for the longest period of time during our discussions. I consider myself an amiable chap, but this was the tipping point. “Stevie Paige, I pay the bills. You will sing it in this key, and you will do what you are told!” This tore it for me. Charming went down the drain and flaming ranga took over. I never got to meet Junior, Jimmy, Chris or Tommy. I still have all the scratch demos of their work, some of it wonderful, some of it as you’d imagine live studio scratch tracks to sound. These, along with the contract remains in a plastic case for posterity for what was nearly something awesome. Perhaps like Ms. Mitchell, (if indeed the quote is accurate) who found peace in painting, I should stick to writing πŸ™‚

Thanks for listening.

Until tomorrow, Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 45. ‘Impulse’
Saw this, just kinda fancied it πŸ™‚ Recharge day today. xx

Be good!
Until tomorrow,
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 44. ‘The little shapers’

Catching my eye on the first day of high school was the “wanted- lead guitarist for school rock band.” Taking up guitar two years prior in primary school, I felt totally prepared and was super keen to get my mitts on anything music related. Fronting up with my trusty Takamine steel string I plugged it into something resembling an amp. Two minutes later the group of boys I was surrounded by gave me a brutal, ” get lost.” A little crushed, but as yet undeterred I asked why. The bass player responded to me, “do you even know what an electric guitar is?” Somewhat indignant I stamped my foot. “Of course!” (I’d seen bands on tv πŸ™‚ ). The next day, after beseeching my parents, we went shopping for an electric guitar. I didn’t even try it out. This beautiful blue beast sang to me….”pick me, pick me.” There was no way they would reject me now I had this super awesome guitar. Rushing to school the next day, I couldn’t wait for lunchtime so I could join the band. It took less than one minute. ” You still suck, get lost.” Makes me laugh now, but at the time it was quite a crisis of lip quivering. That would be the last time my blue beast saw my face until after I had graduated as a classical guitarist from the VCA. This memory was triggered by someone asking my advice on how to join a band. And truthfully, I don’t know. Apart from the odd dalliance here and there, I’ve never played in someone else’s band. I’ve always been captain of the ship. I think high school scarred me for life, as does it all of us probably:-). The sliding door philosophy sometimes pervades my thinking. The ‘what if’ that had been different. Or perhaps all roads lead to Rome in the end. Deep! I’m having a deep day πŸ™‚ Regular butter-knife deepness shall return tomorrow.

Hope you’re all having a top day!
Until tomorrow,
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 43. ‘Brain hatch’

My brain loves taking advantage of the permanent trap door I have behind my right ear. Some days he just grabs a swag and takes off. I like to think he’s gone story hunting and will come home eventually.

Until tomorrow,
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 41. ‘More tired funnies’

Spurred on by Jimi Hocking’s post the ‘classical education via Looney Toons’ I have this! There was a time I would have been offended, Bach is/was one of my all-time favourite composers to perform. Guess my la de da side has been well and truly smooshed by blues n stuff πŸ™‚

Thanks for listening
Until tomorrow,
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 40. ‘The Zimmer frame train’

I sat in my car this morning trying to determine if I could dash the thirty odd metres in the pouring rain, to the safety of the undercover walkway. Assessing the awkward parcels strewn about my backseat, I thought in true Aussie spirit, “yep, she’ll be right.” My cargo of musical delights that was about to make its way to the far North, needed to go now! Barging forth with all the grace of a giraffe on skates, I was too busy assessing the dampening cardboard to notice the rim of the sidewalk. ‘Paigeovsky’s Foot Cracker Suite Opus 1.’ The rolling of one’s ankle makes the censoring of language in any forum difficult. And censor it, I did not. πŸ™‚ Yelping with pain and severe irritation I toppled forward, surprisingly catching my balance on a cold steel handlebar. I peered over the top of my bundle to spy an unlikely rescuer. This elderly lady, impeccably groomed from head to foot, had parked her zimmer frame between me and my impending fall. Still flustered I spluttered out, “oh my goodness, thank you.” Then, remembering my less than ladylike outburst, cringed a little with “sorry about the language.” She responded heartily, “that’s alright love,” her appearance belying her rougher interior. ” It looked like it f#@#ing hurt.” She smiled at me as I laughed for a moment, then generously assisted me to shelter. What on earth that must have looked like as I hitched a lift on the corner of Ms Zimmer I do not know. My mission finally accomplished, I returned home. But I will be taking Ms Zimmer for coffee next week!

Thanks for listening
Until tomorrow,
Stevie. x