03-06-11 Melbourne Australia: 1605 hrs. It’s Saturday night in Los Angeles but Sunday afternoon here. I have been in Australia for a few days now. I leave for soundcheck in less than two hours. I have two shows here, two in Sydney and then back to the States.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard is either in America or on her way. She will be there for a week, I read. She will meet with president Obama and perhaps Hillary Clinton. Her press release says she will steer clear of the topic of Julian Assange but will have lunch with Rupert Murdoch in New York.

The weather here for the last two days has been dazzling sun, warm air, cooling somewhat at night but still short pants friendly after dark. I am staying in St. Kilda, off Fitzroy St. It’s where a lot of people come to enjoy themselves and to raise their spirits with spirits. Lots of youth meeting up with alcohol.

It’s been interesting reading about America from this great distance. What’s happening in Madison, actors acting out, etc., it’s all a little stranger from here. I have been hitting the gym every day. A great facility that I go to every time I am here. I have the music jamming in my ears but watch what’s on the news on the screens on the wall. Charlie Sheen gets a lot of coverage here. Like mainstream news coverage. It’s too bad that the travails of the man even registers here but it does. I guess many countries now have that problem of needing a constant flow of content.

The neighborhood I am in is the same one my old pal Mick Geyer used to live in. There’s no way I have not written about him to you before. He was a good friend for many years. I used to book a day off into the tour so I made sure we had time to catch up on things. He died of cancer a few years ago. Whenever I am here, I walk around on the same streets we used to walk on and think about him. I learned a lot from Mick. If you listen to my radio show, his influence is all over it. If you check the albums of Nick Cave, you will see Mick thanked on a number of them. They were very close. In fact, Mick willed his vast library to Nick. I saw it all before it was packed up and sent to England where Nick lives. It is an amazing collection of literature, poetry, history and criticism. He once gave me his own copy of Nabokov’s essays on literature. Many of the pages have Mick’s hard to read scrawl on them.

Perhaps you had a friendship with someone who is now dead. I couldn’t possibly know what the impact of that passing would have on you. Everyone processes things in their own way, of course. I tend to carry them around with me, go back to spots I saw them in, keep them in my mind. I am listening to a Chicago Art Ensemble album Mick gave me many years ago as I write this.

Back to thoughts about America. I think more and more, we the people, are being left to our own devices. To wait for government to change or to listen or to act, often seems like a waste of time. I am not saying don’t vote or give up, etc. I am saying that it seems that the real maintenance of the country will come from the inherent goodness of the country’s citizens. Good things for good people by other good people. I vote, I pay attention and do my best to understand things but at the end of the day, I don’t rely on politicians to do anything of great substance. I hope that doesn’t strike you as cynical. I think there are many good men and women on either side of the aisle who are working very hard to make things better and there are people on both sides who waste time. Rather than wave my arms and think I am in the middle of nowhere and get too frustrated, I would rather just do stuff. Benefits, gathering information, somehow being of use, rather than just doing nothing. It’s the way I keep myself not exactly optimistic but enthusiastically realistic, if that makes any sense.

As some of you might know, I have a lot of North American shows starting in several days. The venues are small and the tickets went very quickly. I am sorry if that caused any frustration with you. The idea for the tour was to do a few shows in small places because there was no way I was going to turn fifty and not be on the road. So, these shows will happen in March and April and then the big tour will be next year. I have been thinking about some different ways of going about shows that I will explore next year. I had a really great time in NYC and LA with the multiple nights. I was thinking of picking some cities and doing a week of shows in each of them towards the later part of next year. So, perhaps I will become a temporary fixture in your city in 2012. I really like this idea.

Soundcheck looms and I must prepare. Until next week, when I will be back in Los Angeles, thanks for reading this. Henry




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