Posted by: jkirkby8712 | January 10, 2011

Sunday, 9 January 2011 – Adam heads home, while I remember Elvis, a revisit a great movie.

9.50 pm tonight, that was the time that Adam took off from London, on his 24 hour return flight to Melbourne. And that that time, I knew that I was going to be apprehensive about the flight. He had gone over with Brent, and I guess I just assumed they would be returning at the same time! Anyway Brent left a couple of days ago, perhaps he was staying over there in Europe, not sure. All I can do now is hope and pray for a safe trip for my lad. He has a medical history of panic attacks  –  let’s hope nothing causes that problem to arise!

While Adam was leaving England, I was watching another great movie – on the ABC again, so no advertisements. As with last week, a movie I’d seen many years ago, but because of the vast development over the past decade or so in my love for music, I think I appreciated and enjoyed the film more on this occasion. It was 1996 film ‘Shine’ starring Australian actor, Geoffrey Rush, who won an Oscar for his role. The film, biographical in nature,  chronicled the turbulent life of David Helfgott, an eccentric and troubled Australian pianist who suffered a nervous breakdown, at the age of 23 years in London,  on the verge of his brilliant career. He would spend more than a decade in and out of a mental institution as a consequence.

An interesting review of the film appeared in last week’s television ‘Green Guide’, written by  Scott Murray, which noted the events that took pl.ace after he was finally free of the hospital treatment.   ‘David led a sheltered existence until a doctor hired him to play at a wine bar, where he was spotted by a divorced astrologer, Gillian Murray. They fell in love and were married. With Gillian’s persistence and the support of friends, David finally returned to his true destiny: playing the piano on the world stage. Showing similar single-mindedness, Adelaide filmmaker Scott Hicks encouraged Jan Sardi to write an intelligent screen play, and then spent seven years battling financiers who didn’t want the unknown Geoffrey Rush in the lead role……..Hicks never wavered, Gillian and David never lost their faith, and Rush gave what seemed the performance of his life……….Sine is a rapturous film full of respect and a rare fidelity to the known truth’………………………….the reviewer ends by saying that ‘it is impossible for me to write objectively about ‘Shine’ because Gillian is my mother and David my stepfather – and he is hugging me as I write this’.

I had two music shows on the radio – the usual Sunday morning 7am program of classical music, which, didn’t feel to go as well as normal, no doubt a consequence of being awake from 3am!! That was when the electricity went off in the neighbourhood, and ironically, just as I up and getting ready to go to the station, the power came back on, must have been a planned three hour maintenance job!! Anyway, I went away from the station feeling with a little dissatisfied with the way the program had gone, just a few little mistakes here and there, probably not noticeable by the listener, but nevertheless, I feel aware of any mishaps of that nature, very quickly myself.  Hopefully, I made up for that feeling later this afternoon, when I returned to do a program of mixed music and genres – in fact, with no meal commitment at home tonight [Susie was going out somewhere], and no other presenter scheduled to follow my show, I stayed on for an additional 40 minutes, such was my enjoyment of what I was doing. Included a range of songs from old and new recordings over a number of decades, and as hinted at yesterday, I did a little tribute to Elvis Presley, whose birth date was yesterday, the 8th January [1935], he would have been 76 were he still alive!

The music I played came from a recording of a live performance of a relatively young Elvis, politely spoken [when interviewed] and obviously at the height of his popularity, especially with the younger female sex judging by the background crowd noise.  The recording included a brief dressing room interview with Elvis – on today’s standards, a very amateurish sounding interview [from the interviewer’s point of view – some of our presenters here at the studio could do a far superior job!], but nevertheless, the recording captured some rare and exciting live tracks with Elvis interacting with the crowd and obviously enjoying the session. Born on the 8th January, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis was the twin of a stillborn brother. He spent his teenage years I a poor white area of Memphis, Tennessee. He died on the 16th August, 1977. I was in a motel room in a town up in the far north west of Victoria, having breakfast, when the news of his death came over the radio in the room, and immediately created a sense of shock and disbelief. Had a similar reaction when the announcement was made at a football match in 1997 of the death  of Princess Diana.

An interesting comment was made in the notes that came with this particular cd. James Hannaway wrote:- “It is a pity that his last performances in that suit [the unforgettable, fat, white rhinestone, junp-suit] and those [not-so-dark] glasses have become the most impersonated for would-be Elvis look-alikes. Sadly for the new musical generations – and Elvis – this enduring image is the only one they may ever have and one which pervades the karaoke bars and mawkish, look-alike competitions throughout the world. Perhaps there is nobody young, and pretty enough willing to impersonate his earliest days’.  A good point, and I got to wondering whether we do these days ever see an impersonation of the young Elvis. I imagine there would be plenty of impersonations up at Parkes today – wonder if any of them are a ‘young Elvis’?

I took my show through until about 6.40 pm tonight, was enjoying the music I was playing [much of it, a sharp contrast to the Elvis Presley style] so much, that was content to keep going, with no major immediate commitments. Was rather pleased I’d gone out for a brief walk [in a light shower of rain] this morning, rather than putting it off until tonight.

Went off to sleep tonight thinking of Adam, thousands of feet above eastern Europe, heading back towards Australia.




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