I first met Doc Neeson of The Angels in 1984. We were sharing a caravan back-stage at Narara, perhaps the largest outdoor music festival I’d ever been to… both then, and in recent years. I was just a couple of months out of Private Lives and writing for On The Street.
We were bequeathed the caravan by an RCA Records A & R person who had left the festival early. Prior to that I’d been sleeping under a tree! A third person, a girl whose name I can’t remember, a friend of a friend, and quite beautiful in that true sense of beauty, kept both the Doc and I enthused to the point of exhaustion… we talked till sun up, well after she’d fallen asleep.
We talked about books… Gormenghast I think… Buddhism, song-writing, performing and audiences we’d encountered over the years… the rest is a blur. I was probably stoned, most likely holding back a cold from having slept outside and certainly pumped from having seen Talking Heads, Simple Minds… from standing behind David Byrne in the food cue, from seeing Chrissie Hynde and wondering why all these people, from her to Mr Byrne to Jim Kerr, whom Chrissie had met and fallen in love with there, were so short!
The Doc and I ran into each other once or twice since then, but that Narara was so amazing in itself, having had that one conversation lingered till this day… and it was a day such as this, only a week or so ago, that I caught up Peter Bain-Hogg and some how we got talking about Sydney and the early 80’s, neither of us aware that we’d both lived, worked and played there, and of course, knew many of the same people and bands.
Peter’s the EP and co-founder of Rockwiz and informed me that the Doc was to be at the next shoot and that I should come along and hook up! After all these years, I couldn’t think of anything better to do. But alas, I didn’t make it. Not only was I working at OPEN CHANNEL till all hours, I was suddenly alarmed by the prospect of being shown a bridge back to that world, a world I had so much to do with and do very much miss.
A few text messages later, the shoot was over and Peter told me the Doc had most certainly remembered me and that caravan, at that most astonishing of festivals.