Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Scott & Hanesy, World Record Holders

Last night we were at Trafalgar Square as part of the Guinness Book Of Records' attempt to break the "World's largest Coconut Orchestra" record. the previous record was 1800 odd people in New York. Naturally, the gig was sponsored by the good people of "Spamalot", The Monty Python musical playing up the road. Basically, we registered, were given our nuts (marked "L" and "R", and with instructions). We then rehearsed the clopping a few times, and then the leader of the Spamalot orchestra led us through a full rendition of "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" (whistle bits changed to coconut clanking). We smashed the record, with almost 4400 people taking part. As a reward, we were the treated to an outdoor screening of "Monty Python And The Holy Grail", which I hadn't seen for a good twenty years I reckon.

There's some more photos here.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Radar - The story

As an adjunct to The Whitey Stuff's coverage of the recent surge of interest surrounding the doyen of 70's Hobart Radio, Tim J "Radar" Franklin, herewith the text of the story from tome of note, The Mercury:

There's treasures in the Batcave

HE is a well-known identity in Tasmania, his beaming, bespectacled face a regular sight on television advertisements and at charity functions.
But if the South Australian native hadn't made a miraculous escape from the jaws of a savage white pointer shark in his teens, he might never have found his way to Tasmania.
The then 15-year-old was surfing at Southport in South Australia in 1971 when the predator sank its razor-sharp teeth into his thigh.
A friend dragged the bleeding youth ashore and applied a tourniquet to his leg before he was rushed to hospital.
Franklin says he is grateful he lived to tell the tale, but still bears the scars of the ordeal, which resulted in 262 stitches and the loss of one-third of the muscle in his leg.
The shark attack made front page news, and the framed clipping is one of many items on display at his inner-city Hobart home and office which have proved to be great talking points for visitors and clients.
As well as newspaper clippings and charity certificates -- from organisations including Ronald McDonald House and Camp Quality -- the walls boast countless caricatures and posters and other mostly music-based memorabilia.
Shelves and coffee tables brim with candles, trophies and trinkets collected during the DJ's many years of travel around the world, where he has worked in New York nightclub Studio 54 and interviewed some of the world's best known entertainers including Elton John, Meatloaf and Michael Jackson.
He even has ornamental guitars which were a gift from Jon Bon Jovi.
But while his tastes are eclectic -- a trait he says he inherited from his mother -- Franklin is adamant that none of his bits and pieces are junk, and he says he has a very good reason for collecting it all.
``It's for when I get Alzheimer's,'' he says. ``I'll be able to look at everything and then say, `Did I really do that?'.''
Everywhere you look in his home you are confronted with teddy bears sporting different outfits and poses -- evidence of Franklin's love of handmade character bears.
``People just make them for me and my collection keeps growing,'' he explains of his 140-strong collection. ``I reckon Tasmanian arts and crafts people are the best in the country.''
Franklin also has a collection of panama hats, and over 105 watches and more than 40 pairs of glasses.
But his main love in life -- besides his black labradoodle appropriately named Radar Junior -- is DVDs.
Thousands of discs fill floor-to-ceiling shelving in the lounge room -- with hundreds more VHS videos filling another set of shelves -- and Franklin says the lounge room is his favourite place in the house.
He has nicknamed it The Batcave -- all of the rooms in his home have names -- and with the exposed brick walls, stained glass detailing and an assortment of memorabilia, he has created a haven for relaxation and reminiscence.
Franklin says he likes nothing better than relaxing in his reclining armchair -- remote control firmly in hand -- enjoying his favourite music and movies.
He buys around 10 new DVDs a week, and counts Ray and Platoon as his all time favourite films.
The Batcave is also home to a cream couch sporting an animal print throw rug and a timber coffee table which is just one of Franklin's many furniture pieces and sculptures made from Tasmanian timbers.
There is also a rarely used pinball machine in one corner, a conga drum which the keen drummer sometimes has a belt on and a surfboard up against a wall, although Franklin says he has never been back in the sea since his brush with death.
A white kitchen with stainless steel appliances opening up into a leafy courtyard completes the downstairs area, and the amateur cook admits his skills extend only to stir fry. Or toast.
Upstairs is a bedroom and a recording studio, again dotted with mementos, and Franklin says he is quickly running out of space to store all of his bits and pieces.
But having lived in the cottage for almost two decades -- after being drawn to Hobart to work for radio station 7HT in 1977 and then setting up his advertising and events business Radar Promotions -- he says he would be reluctant to leave.
``This home is my passion because there's stuff in here from every corner of the earth,'' he explains. ``It's like a sanctuary in every room.''
And he can thank in part the shark that spared him his life all those years ago.
``If I hadn't survived the shark attack I would never have made it to Tasmania,'' he says.
``And that would have been a real shame.''

For pictures of Radar and Radar Jr, as well as Laurel & Hardy, check Whitey's page.

Here's some info on another larger-than-life former Radio DJ, Jimmy Saville.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

SMH goes one better

Check this link out. You can now view the whole print edition of the Sydney Morning Herald (and, I assume, The Age) online. It's free. At the moment!

The service provider, Newspaper Direct currently has over five hundred newspapers available.

Friday, April 20, 2007

".....it would be like allowing a gravel company to quarry Stonehenge."

The art of darkness

Richard Flanagan has been accused of seeking out controversy. His new book about the 'war on terror' supposedly reveals a 'messianic agenda'. But, the Australian novelist tells Stephen Moss, when the country is going to the dogs you have to speak out

Friday April 20, 2007
The Guardian

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hanesy's film cracks the festival circuit

Hanesy's film "The Truth About Weapons of Mass Destruction" has been shortlisted for the "Best UK Documentary" "Tinny" at the 2007 Swansea Bay International Film Festival. It's also been selected as an official entry in the Everglades Film Festival in South Africa.

Filmed in Belgium, France and the UK, the film documents just how easy it is to get hold of chemical weapons armaments left in what were once the trenches of WWI.

Hanesy's brother also seems to have a bit of a penchant for the camera (tho admittedly, production values are not quite as slick)....check out the Wollongong Rocket Club.


The snowball keeps on rolling....word has it that TTAWOMD will also soon be screening at a regular London documentary night. Watch Hanesy's space.

The Tory Atlas Of The World

Or "What do you mean, the world's not pink anymore?"

Thanks to Simon for sending this thru. Click image for full size.Image originally found here.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Travolta: Is a new renaissance (in oblivion) on the way?

From this:
Virgin Radio, (Christian O'Connell, how do you feel?) to which I have the slight misfortune of listening to most days (hey, it ain't 6Music, but it certainly isn't the wrist slashing numbness that is Heart) has been plugging the absolute bejesus out of the latest John Travolta vehicle, Wild Hogs. Along with a relatively humiliating appearance on Jonathan Ross and a "mystery mechanical problem" with his personal 707, the publicity machine has been running overtime. Well, the reviews have hit the papers now, and surprise, surprise, it's no Wild Hog, more like a lame dog.

It's also a shame to see William H Macy relegated to such turgid Disney dross.

I'll let Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian give it his single star best......

....To this

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Boat Race 2007

Most of the Australian expats in London seemed to gather along the banks of the Thames on Easter Saturday for the annual Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. As you can see from these pics, the race itself took a bit of a second precedence to events more onshore based......

Cambridge did it by a length and a quarter or so, by the way.

Monday, April 02, 2007


The Fall - Last stand @ Hammersmith Palais

Dave, Chris, Hanesey, Pandora, Andrew and myself went to the Hammersmith Palais last night to watch Mark E Smith and The Fall. The place was rammed, as it was the last night before The Palais, London Music institution closed forever. the bulldozers move in mighty soon to reduce it to rubble..to be replaced by an office block and restaurtant (probably Starbucks). Anyhow, the gig was great, Smith was incoherent. The band (all yanks now at the moment, apart from his wife on keyboards/vox, who is from Romania) were amazingly tight. There was a one number encore, before Smith announced "Thank you for allowing me access to your secured area" and left the stage. Unlike other venue closedowns, the crowd then filed obligingly and quietly out of the building that has seen many thousands of acts for the very last time. There's a few more pix on smugmug.

Next act: Jim and the JCB's