Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Rolling Thunder Vietnam

My bride shouted me to this show in the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba last week.

I enjoyed it, but mainly because of the music, rather than the storyline or production. In fact, the storyline really only functions as a means to link the songs.

The music is well-chosen, although I would expected more Motown. Perhaps that's simply a consequence of my obsession with that genre, and the memories that listening to it evokes.

And it is a nostalgia trip for people of my generation, especially veterans. The themes are all covered, if lightly, almost as if they form a checklist. It's all there, the initial enthusiasm, the political references, the loss of public support for the diggers and the personal stories are woven through.

What can't be faulted is the enthusiasm of the performers, none of them yet well-known. They were universally energetic, full of life and connected well with the audience, which, incidentally were mostly over fifty.

I have no idea what the younger people in the theatre made of it. Perhaps it was with a thought for them that the sound levels were a hazard to auditory health. Perhaps it's a function of the Empire's sound system, as the last show I saw there (Paul Kelly) was also over the top when it came to auditory levels.

I left the theatre with a vague understanding that this particular performance reminded me of another live show.

Then I remembered - it made me recall "Hair" live on stage, that I saw (with my sister) in Sydney in late 1969, when I was preparing for service in Vietnam.

You could say I've come full circle............

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Corones Hotel

Pic courtesy of Corones Hotel website.

I was working in Charleville last week, and took a bit of time out to have a good look at Corones Hotel.

I also had a meal in the steakhouse, which rejoices in the name "Moo".

I've blogged about it before, but more work has been done since then.

This place has an amazing history.
The Verandah

It's a beautiful old pub, built in the twenties and heritage listed. For a period during the second and fourth decade of the last century, it was the social centre of not only Charleville, but arguably the whole South-West.


Deals were struck, marriages celebrated, vice royalty entertained and thirsts slaked in its ballroom, on its verandahs and bars.

There was a contingent of US Air Force personnel based in Charleville during the second world war, and apparently they spent heaps here. Rumour has it that one of them was Lyndon Johnson.

The place fell on hard times with the development of motel accommodation in the fifties and sixties, but a recent flood had the effect of motivating the owners to begin a restoration and refurbishment as they did the cleanup.
This has nothing to do with the pub - just an interesting shot with the in-car camera on the Charleville - Morven road.

They've done a great job.

The rooms at the front have been transformed into self contained air-conditioned motel style accommodation. Previously it was hard floors, metal framed beds and bathroom down the corridor.

The toilets are all proudly labelled "lavatory".

The photos, incidentally, were taken with an iPhone (except the top and bottom ones).

I don't bother carrying a camera any more.

Hugh White - Without America

Hugh White is always provocative, and doesn't pull any punches when it comes to criticising current defence policy. In 1995, he was appo...