Blog Post : Shep Gordon's first-ever blog: The Australian tour 2009
I'm sitting on the plane on the way to Australia...memories of l977, when Alice first played there..very exciting..over 40,000 people in sydney...lots of political controversy...golf with kangaroos on the course, we didn’t know what to do so we waited for them to leave...shark fishing in albany..what a trip...picture went into newsweek...miss brian around now...he would have the picture in easy reference form (if anyone reading this has the picture of alice with the whale please send it in).
I arrived in Sydney a few days after the tour had started and had already seen the first review...which was fantastic...and arrived as alice was being interviewed on television on ROVE..he's sort of the David Letterman of Australia..great show...Alice was very funny..had me laughing out loud...spent the next day going around Sydney..seeing old friends...talking Alice...I really love Australia..the people work hard and party hard and still love their music and good times...the economy has not been corrupted totally like in the states, so people are prospering and spending and laughing...every paper and mag had great Alice articles and the town was buzzing that he was coming in for a concert.
Met Alice, Sheryl and Calico for lunch at ROCKPOOL BAR AND LOUNGE -- an old acquaintence and great chef, Neil Perry's new place...at one point in my life I represented chefs and during that period I brought Neil in to cook at the ACADEMY AWARDS....he did a great job both then and for lunch this day...we were joined by Patty Mostyn and her husband Eric...she did the press for Alice back in the day (she was THE powerhouse) and Eric's sound & lighting company is the biggest in Australia and did the production at the Ent Centre where Alice played that night...we reminisced about all the funny and exciting times on past tours ..like the time Alice was arrested at the end of that first tour for owing money, a false charge but nonetheless he was handcuffed and taken to jail....the promoter of that tour, Gary van Egmond (who we renamed Gary van Eggroll due to his fabulous Chinese catering after some coercing by our 300 pound road manager Fat Frankie Scinlaro) bailed Alice out.
I saw Gary a few days later in Melbourne and we had lunch at a very famous Chinese restaurant called LAUS FAMILY DINNER...Gary looked great and is promoting the AC/DC tour of Australia Gary looked great and is promoting the AC/DC tour of Australia. In Melbourne, we also saw Trevor and Jan Smith, who have been our friends since Trevor managed our opening act on that 1977 tour.
Anyway, back in Sydney, show time was upon us...great audience...great show...the audience stood at the first note and never sat back down..its been like that for almost every show...this new show is connecting with the audience in a way few Alice shows have since WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE...people are following the story as well as the music and action..very exciting for Alice..he's having the best time he has had on tour in a long time...it's a tough show on the crew to get it up and down every day, but we are all rewarded for the hard work every night when we see the crowd reaction and the reviews.
We went on to Canberra, the capital of Australia and one of their few inland cities...a little colder there, very beautiful...a city of about 400,000....I'm the "food guy," so I took Alice, Sheryl, Calico, Cesare, and my wife Renee to what was supposed to be a great Turkish restaurant...WRONG!..so wrong it was funny...no need for full details but the first 6 things we asked for they were out of, including orange juice and vodka...luckily the show went better...another great crowd...another great reaction...they wouldn’t leave the building after the show.
On to Melbourne, which is a great city...sort of feels like Frisco during the Haight Ashbury ddays..2 great shows there, 2 great audiences audiences....the best part of the whole experience for me was the age of the audiences in Australia, lots of young fans 14 years old and up...people wearing eye makeup...singing the lyrics...even recognizing me! I signed lots of autographs...can't wait to get back to Australia....hopefully SOON...I left the tour in Melbourne and went to explore Byron Bay....very beautiful, but I missed the action of show nights, and now I'm back in Hawaii with some great memories.
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