Well, were on our way. Me,
Mitch and the lovely Cat zooming all over Australia on the Cat Stevens tour. The scenes at
the Airport on his arrival. . . well lets face it my lovelies, I dont think
anyone was ready for it
let alone Cat Stevens
out of customs, through the doors
and then screaming hysteria
I touched him, he touched me, I got a bit of his shirt, I
think Ive got his trousers
it was UNBELIEVABLE. I mean, there were quite a few
people there too many in fact but Ive got to give it to Ron Blackmore and Michael
Barnet, they ushered him through it all, whisked him into a car then to his motel.
A couple of the more eager
reporters and D.Js in Sydney remarked that it was something similar to the Beatles
reception but I wouldnt go as far as that
I mean the Beatles reception had ME
screaming, shrieking and trying to touch them.
Spent the rest of the day
sunning my body out at Ken and Dolly EMI Easts place and must admit that I got the
the next morning I had to be in at the Kingsgate Hotel Motel to attend
Cats Press Conference at 10.30. Heaven forbid, how do they expect you to be
brilliant at that time of day let alone sound intelligent. . . . First disaster
Pressed the button on the
cassette machine and it wouldnt work. Either I had forgotten to put the batteries in
or they were flat, but forever trying to be the Jimmy Olson of the pop scene, taking
nothing away from Barry Sloan; ex-GTK, I conned some poor chappy from Channel 9 to lend me
a rather long electrical lead. Hey presto, plugged the thing in, switched over from DC to
AC. . (now theres a change), and wormed me way through em all and plonked me
little microphone amongst all the 2UW, 2SMs ABCs biguns. Well. I might say
that Mitch and I clutched each others hands and featured quite heavily with the
questionnaires. You did see us on telly didnt you? That was me in the check jumper
waving a lot. If you cant remember that I was sitting on top of a bird it was Mitch.
Anyway, all in all, the old conference went quite smoothly. There were a few of the
typically embarrassing Australiana questions like What do you think of Australia
since youve been here, 'How come your name is Cat but as I said it did
go smoothly, and Cat was forever obliging. Quite a gentleman, in fact.
Spent the rest of the day
whizzing around to all the recording companies. I had a look over the new EMI recording
studios and heard Johnny Farnhams new single which was produced by EMIs newest
of newest producers, Peter Dawkins. 'Tis good, it is very good. . and back to Go-Set and
picked up the desperates that get out the Sydney bit and rocked off to the Festival Gold
Record reception for Cat. Well, me lovelies, everyone who has the slightest thing to do
with the media, was there even Cynthia Dyer-Bennet. Yes, she was definitely there.
Surprise, surprise, who should also walk in but Rupert Murdoch who owns Festival Records,
The Australian, the odd radio station and Fleet Street, London. Come to think of it I
think he owns London. What a homecoming for the lad.
Well, we all got a little
boozed. No, that might be a little defamatory. I got a little boozed and it started to
develop into a roaring turn. Said hello to all my friends at that radio station of much
more music 2SM I couldnt resist asking them about the much more music? Saw Noel
Brown from Festival featuring rather heavily. My friend and yours was there, Kevin Sadlier
who I believe had a portable television set in his pocket and kept the odd watch on it.
Jeune Pritchard was there getting more than K-ing that forever intrepid Go-Set
photographer who is absolutely brilliant as well as stunning featured. My God when he
flashes, its better than being put on canvas. Tulula, the auntie of them all was
there. . . why I dont know. In fact it would be easier to say that they were all
there. Well Cat finally arrived and mingled and then Allan Healy took over the microphone
with a stunning back-drop of TWENTY-FIVE GOLD RECORDS and made one of the nicest but
shortest speeches in history. . . which was a gas because theres nothing more boring
than LONG speeches. To sum it up, he congratulated Cat on his fine achievement for sales
in this country of his three albums, Mona Bone Jakon, Tea For he Tillerman and Teaser And
The Firecat. All in all they have achieved 25 gold records in this country and on top of
that, Teaser also notched up a gold cassette. Cat accepted them graciously (actually he
didnt have to really hold the whole 25). Festival Records made up an extra gold
record package with the map of Australia, with three little inserts of the actual covers.
It was a beautiful presentation. Plus a framed gold cassette award.
Cats speech was even
shorter than Allan's. All he said was Thank-You. After much applause, we resumed to
our drinking and talking and Cat tactfully and very quietly left the reception.
During the night I had a
very interesting talk with his manager. Mr. Barry Krost who also manages David Bowie and
Peter Finch. WOW, Peter Finch is one of my favourite actors. Barry is probably one
of the most interesting guys you could ever talk to. He is oh so young and clever to hold
such a position.. Cats guitarist, Alun Davies seemed to be enjoying the reception as
did the rest of the group and I sincerely believe, regardless of several reports, they
were really knocked out touring Australia. The following day, actually the day I am
writing this column, they spent their time by hiring a launch and cruising the harbour for
about six hours. It must have been fantastic because Sydney put on some of their best
weather. You've got to give it to this city; they sure know how to treat their guests. I,
my friends, have to admit, spent the most of the day trying to get over a rather severe
hangover. Ended up plunging into Dolly East's Pool. It was icy cold, but believe me, it is
the best remedy for such an illness. And on top of that, Dolly has lent me her car to
whizz around Sydney. Well, lets face it Ive only just mastered it in
Melbourne, let alone tackle it in this city. There I was sailing over the bridge, getting
an eye-full of that wretched opera house, and wham, straight into the tollgate. I think
the expense came to 20c for the toll, $1,580 for the tollgate and half the funeral
expenses for the toll man. No only jokingly Im a wizard like the rest of them.
Well, tomorrow, its
off to Brisbane to witness the first Cat Stevens Australian concert. Just cannot wait.