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 #1 
APRIL 20TH - IN MID-AIR

Just goes to show you how little I fly these days.
With WI-FI and my iPad I can make entries in this blog while traveling.
Won't be any colourful letters or fancy highlighting but I will be able to check in almost whenever I want to.
We flew from London to Dubai (7 hours), had a 90 minute layover and got on the plane to Sydney (another 14 hours).
I think we have about 5 or 6 hours left.
I've tried to sleep in this Transformer seat which turns into a bed of sorts but, let's face it, I'm not usually very successful at that in my own bed at home, so it's been restless to say the least.
Some fat guy in the pod behind me snored and wheezed like a wounded animal for awhile and there's been quite a bit of turbulence.
I had a few bites of what they called a Spanish omelette but eating on planes has never worked for me, mostly because you eat and just sit or eat and lie down. Ugh!
They like to feed you at regular intervals in an attempt to trick your body into thinking it's adjusting to the time changes but it just makes me feel like a ton of bricks.
Watching inflight films or TV is also not something I enjoy doing.
It's all just a way to kill time.
Lots of it.
Claustrophobia sets in after awhile and i get more and more fidgety.
I think I'm gonna ask for some tea, even if it is served in one of those tiny, two sip cups, and see if I can read for a while.
I may be back... ~

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 #2 
APRIL 21ST - SYDNEY

We arrived at 10:05pm and were at the hotel an hour later.
Day off tomorrow and I will need it to figure out where the hell I am.
Once it kicks off it's pretty full on for the entire time we're in the country.
Right now I'm gonna take advantage of a real bed where I can stretch out.
The airplane was OK as far as they go but it's still awfully tight and restrictive at the best of times.
So here I am and here I'll be for the next six weeks.
Fading fast, but that might only last a few hours.
Damn! You'd think I'd be used to that by now.
More when I get my bearings.
And so it begins. ~

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 #3 
APRIL 21ST - SYDNEY HOTEL

Finally got to sleep about 4am and stayed that way until about noon.
That was pretty unusual for me but it got better (or worse) because after I checked and sent a few email I fell back to sleep for another 3 hours.
Had anyone who knows me been with me they may very well have put a mirror under my nose to see if I was breathing.
Given that I've been sleeping so little at home for the past several weeks I guess i needed it.
I've asked Adrian to apologize to the promoter for my unsociability because we were going to go out and grab a bite to eat tonight but I've decided to just stay camped out in my room, read and let myself drift in and out of consciousness as I obviously need it.
Been a long time since I've had to adjust to such a drastic time change.
Glad today and much of tomorrow - there may be some phone interviews to do - are not jammed up because, as I've said, once it begins it doesn't let up, whether it's shows, PR, travel or a combination of the three.
I hear it was a lovely, sunny day in Sydney, but I didn't see any of it and the sun was going down when I finally threw my drapes open.
Oh well, as was and is always the case, I'm usually not anywhere to see anything but to be seen.
May as well have my shit together when that time comes.
Gonna see what there is to eat now.
More later, altho I don't really know what there will be to say.
But you know me. ~

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 #4 
APRIL 21 - A NON-DAY

Just had my breakfast/dinner of warm chicken salad and a diet Coke.
Bored to death now but still glad I stayed here tonight.
I could start to fade again quickly or be awake until the middle of the night.
Unless something unbelievably wonderful or terrible happens in this room or in an email I'll probably give the blog a rest until tomorrow, with the understanding that 'tomorrow' is a whole different set of circumstances to anyone not in this hemisphere.
Later, folks. ~

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 #5 
APRIL 22 - BORED!

It feels like it's been nighttime for days!
I'm officially tired of laying down which is all you can really do in any hotel room.
Guess that's a good thing.
Getting a bit stir crazy now.
Have to go somewhere tomorrow and do some kind of passport and birth certificate ID that was supposed to be done before we left but they didn't mention it until about two days before.
They said I'd have to go into London, to the Australian Embassy, and queue up but there was no time then.
Not sure why they left it so late, especially when there was sooooooo much other visa shit that had to be done and was.
Bureaucracy.
With all the importance they put on our visas no one even looked at or asked about them at immigration.
The agent who checked me in asked what I was doing here and I said 'Singing'.
He asked who I was and when I mentioned Hook he warbled a few lines of A Little Bit More.
The fella who was checking Adrian thru sang a bit of Only Sixteen and I said 'Yeah, well, that one is politically incorrect these days' and he just laughed.
They said to have a good time and waived us thru.
When I was doing the promo stuff for Timeless I was told, and I quote, 'You can't sing that song on the BBC anymore'.
ANYMORE!
How sad is that???
It's not about a grown man and a young girl, fer f8ck sake.
It's a simple, sweet reminiscence of once being that young.
That prick Saville robbed us of our innocence and screwed us all by dying before they could hang him.
What a world, eh?
Well, time to read my book about Tom Petty.
It's titled Rock And Roll Guardian.
Interesting read about a true original.
'Night, folks...or whatever time it is where you are. ~

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 #6 
APRIL 22 - SYDNEY HOTEL

Turned out the lights about 3:45am.
Didn't sleep as soundly as I did the first night here, but I was pretty sure I wouldn't after all the rest I got yesterday.
Funny, but being tired and being disoriented are not the same things.
It still feels like the middle of the night to me.
I woke up every few hours until about an hour before my alarm was due to go off and suddenly fell into a deep sleep.
Typical.
I don't thnk there is much to do today but get this ID stuff taken care of so I will still have a day to pull it together.
Now tomorrow will be a different deal altogether and Thursday will begin with an early morning radio show, including a performance, and the first show is that night.
When it rains, it pours, as they say.
They say that stuff for a reason, y'know and sometimes it's the best way to put it.
I can't imagine this blog has been very interesting to anyone so far, but I suppose the unexciting bits are as much a part of my days on the road as anything else.
And reading them goes alot quicker than living them.
It still amazes me the number of email I recv that say "I just realized from watching YouTube that you were the guy that sang all those songs I love!".
I don't know whether to be thankful they finally figured it out or a little perturbed that I spent a lifetime doing these things and many people weren't aware it.
Retro flattery.
A tough one to know what to do with, I must admit.
Better late than never?
Another well worn adage.
Speaking of well worn I have to take a shower and be downstairs in an hour so it's time to get on with it.
I'm not expecting the ID thing to be very exciting so don't you. ~

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 #7 
APRIL 23 - SAME FOUR WALLS

It's almost 1:30am.
Up for radio phoners at half 8.
Just wanted to mention that the Vintage TV interview I did with Neil McCormick is on tonight (in the UK, of course).
They play two episodes at 4 and 5am, but it's also on during the week at an earlier time and they replay it later on.
You'll have to check your listings.
It was a pretty interesting chat as I recall, altho it will probably be cut down a bit.
They told me I'd most likely be gone when it aired and they were right.
If anyone catches it let me know.
Gonna go read and hope I can fall asleep.
Right now I feel wiiiiiiiiiide awake but that can change in a second.
I hope so. ~

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 #8 
APRIL 23 - GUESS WHERE!

Did three radio phone interviews this morning and am out to another station (2UE) here in Sydney this afternoon for one more.
Actually had breakfast at the proper time today so maybe that will kick my system into the right time zone.
I hear the Vintage TV interview will be aired in the UK again this coming Sunday night at 8pm.
I was asked to read a few poems from Whatever's Burning Now during the chat.
I don't recall which ones I chose because the request took me by surprise.
Tomorrow starts with a quick early morning national TV chat and performance on Channel 7's The Morning Show.
It's the same station that was kind enough to talk to me from a studio in London at the end of last year.
They asked me to drop by when I was in the country.
So here I am and by I will drop.
The song choice will be theirs.
I suspect it will be When You're In Love With A Beautiful Human (teef8ckinghee!).
I'm told I'll be on at 9:50am.
I have a couple of hours now to chill.
We're staying at an airport hotel so there is nowhere to go and nothing to do unless I want to do some 'plane spotting'.
I don't.
What an interchangeably boring/interesting life. ~

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 #9 
APRIL 24 - THE JUNIORS, SYDNEY

What a long weird day!
The 4 days of mostly sitting in this room finally caught up to me and could not sleep at all last night.
I don't mean a little, I mean AT ALL!
So that meant that when we left for the Channel 7 TV studios this morning I had already been awake for 24 hours.
I had about 2 and a half hours of on and off fitful dozing this afternoon, but not enough to make much of a difference.
Between that and not really having time to eat I absolutely shattered right now.
Just ordered a vegetarian pizza from the all night room service menu but I'm wondering if I should have just left it alone.
I don't recall being as apprehensive about a first show as I was tonight.
Wanted to give the nice folks who waited for a decade and a half for me to come back what they wanted but also had a bit of an agenda of my own and that was to play some of my solo stuff and a few old Hook classics that weren't necessarily hits but were favorites once upon a time.
As I've said in a few interviews recently a career can easily get distilled down into a 'greatest hits' package rendering many great songs to the 'forgotten' category.
I like to think I'm sticking to my guns rather than just simply being stubborn.
Long story short, I I got a very nice reception and overall response from the audience with not one 'How come you didn't play...?'
The folks seemed genuinely pleased to know I'd lived long enough to make it back to their sunny shores.
Speaking of 'sunny', the weather in Sydney has been wonderful.
Well, what I've seen of it anyway.
They said it gets cooler at night but compared to what the UK has been like they must be joking.
I gather that it wasn't folly to bring a jacket or two with me as Melbourne can be rainy and chilly.
Anyway, getting back to the show, the audience seemed pretty surprised that I talked to them as much as I did.
Stunned, actually.
I'm sure no one is sure what to expect from me after so long away.
It's great to get the first show under my belt.
It can only get better from here.
All in all, a lovely way to start the tour.
Thanks to all who attended.
Let me say here, in response to several email I've recv'd, that I'm sorry if I'm not coming to your part of
the country.
It's a big continent and I am going all across it.
If you're disappointed, please contact the promoters and tell them to include your area on the next visit.
Lots of artists come here, do a handful of gigs in the major cities and piss off home.
I'm doing it a little more like Hook did, trying to get as many places as is possible in one trip.
Sorry to come up short as far as some are concerned but twenty six shows is not exactly nothing.
Well, the pizza is here and I'm gonna eat it before I'm too exhausted.
Day off tomorrow and I'm hoping to get into the city and wander around.
It's Anzac Day and many establishments will be closed (like the sushi bar that I discovered is within walking distance of the hotel but closed until the day we leave for Brisbane)?
I hope some of the bookstores are functioning as normal.
Hey, the Late Show with David Letterman is on here.
His show is one of the things I miss most about the states.
Nice to be able to watch it.
Not bad for practically being on another planet, huh?
Later, friends. ~




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 #10 
APRIL 25 - SYDNEY HOTEL

Crazy bastard that I am I finally turned out the lights about 4am, making it the better part of two days I'd been awake.
Had about 6 hours sleep and reckoned I should get up and see what's going on outside this room.
Looks like a grey day out there. Sigh.
I'll connect with Simon and Adrian at some point tho I would guess they'd been up for hours by the time I even considered putting my feet on the floor.
We were told that there would be parades and other Anzac Day events going on in Sydney that would make traffic hard to deal with but Adrian mentioned going to Manly Beach for a stroll around.
He and Simon have already been there on Wednesday.
Might be nice even in the rain.
So cool and quite a relief for me to have Adrian and Simon here with me.
First time in Australia for either of them.
Bet they both manage to see more than I have in all my times here.
If anything goes on worth telling you about I'll be back.
Or maybe I'll just decide to bore everyone with the contents of my brain again. ~

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 #11 
APRIL 25 - HOTEL

Well, as fate would have it the wonderfully sunny weather seems to have gone away and it's pissing down today.
We will most likely still go out for a bit but they sure ain't walking around conditions out there.
Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggghhhhhhhhh... ~

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 #12 
APRIL 25 - HOTEL

Today turned out OK.
We drove into Sydney in defiance of the rain and the weather cleared up on the way.
Wasn't quite as warm as it has been but the sun returned.
Whoever said everything would be closed for Anzac Day was dead wrong.
Only banks as far as I could see.
Never found a bookstore but I believe that's because online shopping has done away with many of them.
I walked for a couple of miles but there wasn't a one.
I was told there used to be a really good one called Ariel, but it had shut down awhile ago.
Technological convenience has it's drawbacks.
Adrian and Simon walked halfway across the harbour bridge and I wandered around by myself, only child that I am.
It's the surest way to recharge my batteries.
Finally had a cup of tea at an outdoor cafe and read a book.
David Sedaris's Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls.
If you're not familiar with him, you should be.
His stuff is laugh out loud funny.
I'm certain I have mentioned him before.
Saw him in 'concert' a few times; once years ago in Nashville and a few weeks before we left, in Brighton.
He stands at a podium and reads from his books, of which there are many, then talks and takes questions.
A brilliant guy.
Observational pieces, based on his life experiences.
I'd recommend you begin with Naked, but anywhere you start will make you want to read the rest of them.
I was sitting, drinking tea and audibly enjoying myself when Adrian rang and said they were heading back to the car.
On the way tommeet them I spotted a takeaway sushi place and got myself the first food I've actually wanted to eat since I arrived.
I've only sampled a bit of it so far - grilled salmon - and if it's all that good then YUM!
So, it turned into a really upbeat day and, to make things even sweeter, I think my brain and body have now both synchronized with the time zone.
All systems GO from here.
Ah, The Simpsons are on.
More in a bit, perhaps. ~

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 #13 
APRIL 26 - HOTEL, BUT NOT FOR LONG

Leaving in less than an hour for tonight's show.
There are only very few of these venues I've played before and, even at that, it would have been a decade and a half ago, so I don't recall much about them.
The other night it was set up with long tables where people could chat and wander around with drinks in their hands.
Not my environment of choice.
Tonight we're at an art centre and should be a bit more appropriate for the type show I'm doing.
Not that the first gig was bad.
Quite the opposite.
Just not the kind of place where I'm confident I'll have everyone's immediate attention.
We were pretty close to the gig that night but have a 90 minute, maybe 2 hour trip, depending on traffic, etc.
It's an earlier one tonight.
7:30.
So we'll be done earlier but it will take longer to get back to the hotel.
I guess it all averages out.
As always, I'll check back in after the concert with my impressions and comments.
Another rainy day so far, but yesterday surprised me in the end.
Won't matter as much today about the weather.
I'm not gonna have time to be outdoors.
Later, folks. ~

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 #14 
APRIL 27 - ILLAWARRA PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE, WOLLONGONG

Ah, yes.
Places with exotic names.
Well, not to the natives, of course.
To them, some of the Welsh gigs, in towns where there are no vowels where you think there certainly should be, would seem odd.
Last night's show was in a lovely theatre, full of equally lovely people.
I think it takes them a few songs to realize that I'm actually there with them after so long away.
Can't say I blame them when I'm still finding it amazing myself.
By the second set we're all sure it's not a dream and you can feel it build to the end.
It's difficult to know what to play for folksnthat haven't heard me do a damned thing in fifteen years.
Not like the UK where each tour is a direct descendant of the last one.
Like chapters in a book.
I'm happy to say that my solo albums are selling well and that might be a big help to me the next time I come back.
The set has changed from the first night to the second.
Sometimes on paper, but, mostly, on the spot.
Hard to know what should come next until you get a pace going.
At that point, it might feel right to abandon my planned setlist and take it on the fly.
Hook didn't get to Australia until the late 70s and some of the earlier songs are unknown to the audience.
They may know a particular song from a certain album but not another from that same album.
That tells me they probably heard it on a compilation or greatest hits package.
Of course my point of reference is the original albums.
I've put a few of the 'hits' in the show that I may have jettisoned in favor of classic album tracks back home.
There's almost too many choices and possibilities here.
Only 16, Sharing The Night Together and Beautiful Woman are there, as well as Dance On Daddy's Feet, Shine Son, This Guitar and Ask Her (and getting the response I hoped for, by the way!).
I've kept Things I Didn't Say and Sweetest Of All and I'm opening with Guess Again, as I did on the UK Point Zero tour.
Still finding the 'request' section at the end quite valuable.
Helps me touch on specifics.
Mrs Avery has been in demand, bless her, and I expect she will do the entire tour with me,
Hope the old dear can stand the pace.
Years From Now still remains the song everyone played at their wedding.
A nice couple showed me a video on their phone of them dancing to it seventeen years ago.
It's astounding how it has fulfilled that role all over the planet.
There's one I wish I'd written.
I'm learning as I go and finding out that, in many cases, I knew it already.
It can only get better as I do.
Time to go and iron tonight's apparel.
Doing it at the hotel rather than having to carry around an iron and board.
We already have tons of stuff to cart around and fly with.
Leaving here in less than three hours so I'd better my ass in gear as they so poetically put it in my original home state of New Jersey.
Early leave for Brisbane tomorrow. Night off, but up early for radio and a full day of PR on Tuesday, followed by five consecutive show nights beginning on Wednesday.
I'm taking deep breaths.
Everytime I have to keep that kind of schedule I wonder if my 'advanced' age will support it.
Hoping if I just ignore the years and go for it I'll last longer.
So far, so good.
Talk to me again on June 1st. ~





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 #15 
APRIL 27 - PENRITH PANTHERS CLUB

What a nice night we all had last night!
A sold out house of lovely folks who came to have a good time and, by the comments at the meet and greet afterwards, it appeared I gave them just that.
I met the legendary Frank Ifield at the show last night.
Frank is a very nice man with an illustrious past and hundreds of stories to tell about the performers he's met and worked with (including The Beatles!) and things he's done in his long, colourful life.
Also at the show was another legend in his own right, Australian rock journalist, Glenn A Baker.
Glenn has written some of my favorite music bios and hundreds of liner notes for prestigious albums.
Spent an interesting couple of hours chatting with the both of them as well as Nicki Gillis, a Aussie country singer, who recorded a nice version of Lucy Jordan, and her tour manager, Tracy Dann before the show.

I think I'm beginning to work out what I should be doing on that stage, on this continent, at this particular time in my life.
I'm not about to pretend that it's still the 70s and we're all the same people we used to be.
It's 2014 and we should all be glad we can still manage to conjure happy times now.
The inclusion of The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan in my first set turned out to be a good call and the 'requests' spot at the end rounds it all out.
Also gets me off the hook (pun intended) for anything I may not have played.
And, let's face it, I can't do ' em all.

The coming week will be a bit of a monster.
Up at 5:15am tomorrow to travel an hour plus to a radio station where I will be on air a little after 8 to chat and sing.
Then it's back to the hotel for a few phoners and off to another station, equally as far away, to chat and sing again.
From Wednesday thru Sunday comes five nightly shows.
I haven't even looked at the schedule after that for fear it will make me tremble.
Having said that, I'm gonna jump off here and pray I can fall asleep early enough to help me thru tomorrow.
I have more I could say but I'm gonna be sensible.
So, more at another time, folks. ~

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 #16 
APRIL 29 - BRISBANE HOTEL

I am absolute crap at going to bed/sleep when I'm supposed to.
It was at least 3am before I dozed off and even then I woke up about every 15-20 minutes and was awake when my alarm went off at 5:15.
Left the hotel by 6:30 and traveled to the first radio interview at 4KQ where I was tripled teamed by Mark, Garry and Laurel.
I must say the three of them worked very well together and it was a fast paced 30 minutes, including a song, which ended up being Cover Of Rolling Stone.
A good, upbeat choice, if I do say so myself, for the kind of show they do and not quite as vocally challenging for that time of day.
When it finished thru we traveled an hour back to the hotel.
I was mistaken when I said there would be phoners from my room.
That's another day entirely.
So I had breakfast with Adrian and Simon.
I ordered a nice mushroom and spinach omelette that was yummy.
This place we're staying is more of an apartment complex rather than a hotel, so I have a big two room suite with an ocean view.
There's a kitchen with a fridge, oven, microwave.
Even a dishwasher.
There is also a CD and DVD player but I have no use for them because I don't have any of either with me.
I like staying somewhere where the TV is in a different room than the bed.
One of the worse things about a standard hotel room is that the bed is really the only place to relax, so you end up in the same position no matter what you're doing.
Whether you're reading, writing, relaxing or sleeping it's all on that f8cking bed.
By the time it's bedtime you're already totally sick of it.
Probably doesn't help the brain realize it's sleep time.
Of course there always a chair or two in a regular hotel room but they're usually fairly gratuitous as far as furniture goes.
Uncomfortable and not exactly where you'd want to spend much time.
In this place there's a living room so when you're ready to sleep (or, in my case, at least ready to give it a go) you turn off the television and go into the bedroom.
I bought some food I like to eat at the supermarket across the road and enjoyed it at a proper table instead of on my lap or from a small table shaped object that doesn't offer much space to put your plate, etc.
We won't have this type of accomodation everywhere so it's best to make the most of it while we do.
Much more civilized and less transient feeling.
There wasn't much time when we got back here at 10am as we were leaving again about 12:45 for the next station, ABC Radio Brisbane.
Talked to a sharp presenter named Kelly and sang another two songs - If Not You and Rolling Stone again, both in keeping with the conversation we were having.
In the car on the way back I was called by 2NUR in Newcastle and did a prerecorded chat with Dave
Cochran, to be aired on Monday.
I've been back at the hotel since about 5pm and here I will be for the rest of the night.
I'm tired, as you might imagine, but not shattered, which pleases me no end.
I have dinner in the refrigerator and have already sussed when David Letterman is on tonight, as well as two back to back episodes of Seinfeld and the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
So it will be an American evening as far as my viewing goes.
We don't leave here until 3 pm tomorrow so there is no urgency to fall asleep.
I'm gonna go and just 'be' for a bit and will probably return with more words a little later.
No promises, but highly likely. ~

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 #17 
APRIL 30 - REDLANDS PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE

Adrian told me last night that where we are staying, in Redcliffe, is the place The Bee Gees were originally from.
He said a little way down the beach there is a memorial of sorts to them.
I'm ashamed to say that, while I have a lovely ocean view from my balcony, I have not actually wandered down to the beach.
The gig is minutes from here tonight so I may get a chance to do that today.
I'm doing this blog from the balcony.
There is a wicker sofa and coffee table, as well as a breakfast table and chairs.
'Brekkie' today is a large cup of Irish Breakfast tea and and a couple of glasses of pineapple juice.
I can't always handle food first thing out of bed.
The sky is a bit overcast but the air is warm and balmy.
Speaking of balmy, as used in the English sense, I have been having some pretty crazy dreams since I've been here.
Chalk it up to the time adjustment, because I never usually dream.
Well, let me qualify that by saying I'm sure we all dream every night.
It's just that I never remember mine.
As soon as my eyes open my head goes straight to the day ahead.
Unfortunately that's true even if I wake up in the middle of the night.
I immediately start thinking of what's coming up, not what went before.
I can recall, as a child, lying in bed in the morning, thinking over the dreams I had all night.
I seem to be doing that here.
Maybe not exactly while I'm still in bed but soon after I awake.
It would be difficult to describe them to you because they are so weird and surreal, but there have been a couple starring the dearly departed members of Dr Hook.
The reason for those are not hard to figure out, with all the PR I did for Timeless and now being in a country where I spent a lot of time with those guys.
Another was about flying saucers over Worthing.
Big rotating discs, just like in the movies, hovering low over the street where I live.
That's probably an equally obvious, if not more abstract, subconscious image, given the distance I feel from home.
There have been a few fairly upsetting dreams where I am at odds with people from my past, but mostly just strange, cinematic things.
The brain, huh?
OK, on to last night's show.
The RPAC is another nice venue.
Very conducive to the kind of show I'm presenting.
The audience was responsive, verbal and up for anything.
Just my cup of meat.
The first half has consistently been a little more, let's say, reserved.
I put this down to my extended absence.
Perhaps it takes them that long to suss who the hell I am these days.
But, by the second half, they seem to relax and go with me a lot more.
And, by the end, the reaction is everything I hoped for.
Ask Her seems to be a winner down here.
I remember writing that song in my flat in Nashville, soon after the breakup of my second marriage, and thinking 'If I ever have an audience again, they're gonna love this song!'
I had no plans to get back into this business at that point.
Why the hell I was writing I'll never know, but those down days produced This Guitar, I Don't Seem Right, Ask Her, Call Me and a few other songs that ended up in concert and eventually on Post Cool years later and some that haven't been done yet.
One of those is Mostly Lonely Here, which I performed on a UK tour and was going to put on PC, but didn't, mostly due to space.
Maybe it and the others will service one day.
The meet and greet queue after last night's show was long and friendly.
Signed lots of CDs, DVDs (Alone With... is on sale here, as is Retrospection and Post Cool) and a few old LPs and ticket stubs from past concerts.
It's hard to believe I've only done four shows so far.
It seems like I've been here for quite a while already.
I guess that's because I had so many days of radio, TV and press before the actual gigs commenced.
There's still 22 shows and a bunch of PR to do on off days.
Which I suppose makes them 'on' days, doesn't it?
More deep breaths.
We're just down the road from tonight's venue, but I have dry cleaning to collect from reception and ironing, showering and gargling to do before we leave.
What did I say about walking down the beach?
I'm here to be seen and not see.
At last I can see the sea from here.
Also have to pack as we change hotels tomorrow and again on Saturday.
The road.
It's not for pussies.
Later, folks. ~


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 #18 
MAY 1 - REDCLIFFE CULTURAL CENTRE

I think I finally found my footing tonight.
The show felt like I hadn't been away at all, nevermind for fifteen years.
The audience sang, laughed and talked to me like old friends.
Comfortable, friendly, warm.
The meet and greet queue afterwards was soooooooo long and just about everyone had copies of Retrospection, Post Cool or both for me to sign.
That bodes well for the setlist next time.
There also seemed to be a lot of copies of the Alone With... DVD leaving the building.
I could not have asked for a better sign that all things between me and Australia are just fine.
We're checking out of this place at 11am tomorrow and heading to Tweed Heads for my gig at Twin Towns.
I remember this being more of a club environment, but I'm looking forward to bringing them the current show.
Forgive me for making this a brief entry, folks, but I have to be packed and ready to go in the morning and then again on Saturday.
If you were worried about me you can relax.
Things are looking up. ~

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 #19 
MAY 2 - TWIN TOWNS CLUB, TWEED HEADS

This part of Australia is known for it's beaches and sunny climate.
There's even an area called Surfer's Paradise and they ain't talking about the internet.
As luck would have it it was raining most of the time we were there, except for this morning when we were leaving.
Bright and dripping with el sol.
Siiiiiiggghhh.

Another good show last night.
Great crowd.
All but one assh*le who rudely interrupted me while I was talking at the beginning of set two to strongly suggest that I 'just sing'.
The rest of the people bristled and let him know that it was he that should shut the hell up and not me.
I asked him if he was in a hurry and he said 'Play some Dr Hook songs!', which, of course, I had already done in the first half.
I reminded the, uh, gentleman that I knew who I was and where I'd come from.
I didn't even bother making a funny comment.
I let the audience deal with him.
He remained quiet for the remainder of the show.
Or maybe he left.
Don't know.
Don't care.
At the meet and greet everyone was apologizing for the guy but it really wasn't necessary after the lovely response they'd given me at the end and the size of the queue.
I think it's nice that a lot of folks have one of the many Hook' greatest hits albums available, but that doesn't mean I want my repertoire to be distilled down to sixteen songs.
That's what disc two of Timeless was all about.
If they don't know the tracks from the actual albums, maybe they should listen and learn.
Even Universal Records agreed with me there and they have a vested interested.
Things I Didn't Say, Sweetest Of All, Couple More Years, Ballad Of Lucy Jordan, Everybody Loves Me.
These are good songs that any 'real' Hook fan are pleasantly surprised to hear.
I'm doing plenty of material that should satisfy a 'greatest hits' fan, but there is no pleasing some people.
With any luck that one disgruntled fella left before I'd had a chance to sing some of his faves.
With 'a little bit more' luck he'll never never come back.
Anyway, the evening's festivities were certainly not spoiled by his crass behavior and everyone had a splendid time.

I'm backstage at tonight's venue.
The show is sold out and the staff seems happy I'm here but it's another services club where the people sit at long tables like in a beerhall, facing each other rather than the stage.
I'll never get the point of this kind of setup.
It doesn't give anyone a chance to settle in and concentrate on the activities on the stage.
It practically begs the audience members to talk to one another and, even if the chatter is about me or the last time they saw me or Hook, it's still chatter.
I'm expecting some of them to be walking in front of the stage carrying pitchers of beer.
You simply cannot play Australia without ending up in a few of these places.
They absolutely love them.
Herman's Hermits are playing here soon.
Well, the original drummer and three strangers anyway.
How the hell can you not have Peter "Herman" Noone up there???
Or Queen without Freddie Mercury, Creedence Clearwater Revival without John Fogerty, The Doors without Jim Morrison, The Hollies without Alan Clarke and Graham Nash, The Animals without Eric Burdon?
Shall I go on?
Probably not.
I guess it's all tickety boo as long as 'someone' sings Mrs Brown, You Have A Lovely Daughter and I'm Henry The 8th, huh?
Hmmmmmmmm.
Perhaps they have the crowd facing each other and encourage them to talk so they don't readily notice who's missing.
Just a thought, albeit a snide one.

We have a show tonight, one tomorrow night and a 7:30am leave on Monday because there is only one flight a day to where we're going.
Port Macquarie.
Thank goodness there is no gig that night.
I'm going to go get my clothes together and do my nightly pre-show routine.
More later or tomorrow, depending on how must rest I think I need.
I can already tell I won't be seeing much of this lovely country.
Again.
It's a shame but, truth is, I'm not a spectator.
I'm a spectacle.
And a moving one at that. ~


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 #20 
MAY 3 - KEDRON SERVICES CLUB

Australia is such a big country that we can play a few places that all fall under a certain territory even tho they're technically in different towns.
Last night's show was in Kedron, but the itinerary says Brisbane.
Same with all the last four gigs in a row and the one tonight.
The audience last night was awfully attentive and responsive for a venue that could have easily been problematic.
Yeah, there was a bar at the back of the room that stayed open during the show and some folks wandered between there and their seats, but not many and not often.
They did love to sing along, especially the guy at the table in front, right below my microphone who, quite frankly, could not hold a tune but had a good set of lungs on him and used them every opportunity he had.
The problem was at the very end of the meet and greet queue, when everyone else had gotten their CDs, DVDs, albums and tickets signed, and a group of drunken women converged on me.
Most of them were nice, if a bit loud and pushy, with a few exceptions.
One short, pissed redhead showed me a list of songs she'd made before the show and there were a number of them crossed out because I'd played them all.
There was one, however, that I hadn't done - Storms Never Last - and she belligerently said 'What about this one then???' to which I replied 'Well, it looks like I got all the others'.
She said 'So, sing it now!'.
I laughed and said 'Can't do that, but I'll get it next time.'
Her response was 'There won't be a next time, mate!', spat out nastily.
All I could think to say was 'Then I hope you remember tonight.'
I'd bet money she doesn't.
All in all, a nice show and great crowd.
It was the alcohol friendly environment in which it all took place that allowed that person to get as off her face as she had, but 98% of the folks were happy and really very kind and flattering.
Tonight is another services club tho it's set up like a theatre, with chairs facing the stage.
Yippee!
Oh, forgot to mention that i had accidentally locked myself out of my dressing room in the interval and no one seemed to have a key.
One of the crew, Nick, thought to screw off the vent slats at the bottom of the door and squeeze himself in there enough to reach up and open it from the inside.
By that time I only had a few minutes before the show started again.
My damned fault tho.

Had a good walk around Brisbane today.
City boy that I am, I love a good wander around in an urban setting.
Had a proper meal of grilled barramundi, a delicious fish found only in this country, and some vegetables.
I have been able to get sushi quite a few times, but the selection has been extremely limited and usually always wrapped in seaweed and rice.
Don't need all the starch in my diet so I've been tossing most of each rice roll away, leaving me with not much more than strips of fish and maybe some avocado.
I managed to find sashimi today, which is just slices of fish and the choices were better.
So, I have some salmon, tuna, white fish, squid and octopus waiting back in the hotel room fridge for after the show.
Yes, all raw!!!
Get over it, you squeamish, unadventurous people out there.
Later, folks! ~




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 #21 
MAY 4 - CALOUNDRA RSL

This was the 8th show of the tour and it's hard to believe.
I've been thinking that it feels like we've been here a long time and haven't really done anything, but eight gigs is hardly nothing.
Dr Hook's tour manager, John Draper, is still a good friend of mine and when I him emailed the other day and told him I was 'only seven shows' into a twenty-six concert tour, his response was 'Wow! You've already done that many shows??? It seems to be going quick.'
All a matter of perspective, I suppose.
That first week of mostly PR and a show or two made it seem like time was dragging.
And the jet lag didn't help
But I'm hoping now that the pace has picked up it will help the days roll by.
Last night's audience was fun.
They were into it from the second I said 'hello''.
When I was still greeting them and telling them what the show would I hoped the show would be like one woman shouted 'We already love you, Dennis!'
I laughingly said 'Oh, no! Why did you tell me that? You've put so much pressure on me now and things can only go downhill from here'.
Of course I was actually very flattered and thrilled to hear it.
The people who attended obviously came to have a good time.
There was lots of crowd singing, whether I invited them to or not, both absolutely fine with me, as well as some good give and take, between the stage and seats and back again.
It's mindblowing to know that folks on the other side of the world know who I am, even tho I've been here and have done this for soooooooooo long now.
Judging by the response to my asking who had seen me before many of them hadn't.
The number of younger people in the queue after the show explained that.
Old fans brought their grown kids who grew up listening to the music but were too young to come to the Hook shows or maybe weren't even born when we toured here.
Pretty damned cool!
The Retrospection and Post Cool CDs are still flying off the merchandise table and finding their way under my Sharpie markers to be signed.
Never too late to educate everyone to what I've been doing since those first Aussie tours.
If I come back - and why the hell wouldn't I after this kind of reaction? - the setlist can loosen up even more.
Also pretty cool!
It was a bit of a drive back to the hotel after the show and, by the time I packed to be ready to fly, I got to sleep about 4am.
When my alarm went off at 6:15, I muttered out loud 'Oh, you're f*cking kidding me!'.
Not so much because I'd only slept a couple of hours but also due to a strange and exhausting nightmare I had for what seemed like the entire time my head was on the pillow.
I won't go into it except to say it involved one of my former spouses who could be a nightmare when I was awake and, near the end of our marriage, made it a point to be.
It was quite a relief to open my eyes and know the divorce was still in affect.
I realize that not being specific about which of the two ex Mrs Locorrieres I mean may possibly piss them both off.
But, if they read my blog after all this time, maybe they deserve to toss and turn a little too.
And, if neither of them can work out who my dream was about then what does that tell you?
Oooooooooo, I'm getting bitchy in my advancing years, aren't I?
Teef*ckinghee.

The airline broke the wheel off the biggest of my two new suitcases today.
Typical.
It made it all the way from England via Dubai, only to be damaged on a one hour flight from Brisbane.
The maintenance man at this Port Macquarie hotel tried to superglue it back together but it wasn't holding.
Before I went for a walk he said to leave it with him and I did.
Never been here before.
I scouted out the town a little this afternoon and found another Japanese restaurant that was closed on Mondays but will be open tomorrow.
So there will be more raw fish purchased before and ingested after the show and all I can say is YUM!
And when I got back here, the hotel handyman, Peter, had found a way to screw some metal studs into my suitcase and secure the wheel.
Thank you, sir.
Glad there is no show tonight.
I'm gonna just chill.
We play tomorrow night, check out on Wednesday, drive three hours, and play that night.
That's how it's gonna go for the rest of the week.
I must say I feel remarkably friggin' good for having done five consecutive nights and gotten up at 0-dark-30 this morning.
I heard that expression long before the film of the same name.
Hook guitarist and co-producer of Out Of The Dark and One Of The Lucky Ones, the late Rod Smarr, who was a former Marine and had served his time in Viet Nam used it all the time.
OK, I'm about brain fried about now.
If I forgot to tell you anything I will amend this entry when I can think.
Right now...duuuuuh! ~





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 #22 
MAY 6 - PORT MACQUARIE HOTEL

I'm in the lobby.
No internet for iPads in the rooms, but free Wifi down here.
Not ideal, but it works.

Took another walk around town today, after sleeping like a dead person for 8 hours.
Finally turned out the lights about 2:30am.
Had been awake for 20 hours at that point.
Lovely place, this.
The weather is great.
Sunny, but with a slight cool breeze.
Found a nice little lunch place, nestled in a green, tropical sort of garden and had some grilled barramundi on baby spinach, with asparagus and a glass of mango iced tea.
It's not often I get to take advantage of the places I see, so this was cool.
Had some delectable frozen yougurt - black chocolate and salted caramel, a scoop of each and walked around eating it.
Didn't 'need' it, but wanted it.
I'll work it off tonight.
I have my sashimi in the fridge for after the show.
Tuna, salmon and kingfish, sliced, and three bits of tobiko (flying fish roe) sushi.
The venue is about a two minute walk from the hotel.
The Glasshouse, called that for obvious reasons.
Looks like a nice gig.
Petula Clark seems to be playing everywhere I am, a day or so after me.
She has to be in her 70s now, because, if I recall, she was almost in her 30s when she had her big hits.
Certainly older than all the other British acts that invaded America in the 60s.
She looks great and I hear she sounds that way too.
Good for her.
Someone at a radio station was telling me a week or so ago that Sir Cliff toured here recently and his voice was shot.
Hey, things get rougher as you get older, but if I start to slide too badly I'll pack it the hell in.
Don't need the pity points and don't want to become a touring museum piece.
"Oh, it was lovely to see him and he still stands up for most of the show!"
No f*cking thanks.
The money would never keep me in this business if I thought I was wasting anyone's time and my own.
The Aussies want to know why I look and sound the same.
i known they're being kind and flattering but, after so much time away, if I had deteriorated too badly they would certainly see and hear it.
I tell them it's too far to travel to suck!
I have about and hour and a quarter before I walk over to the venue.
Probably come back to the hotel for a bit after the soundcheck.
But I hate to get into relax mode when it's gig mode I need to be in, so I'll head back over at least an hour before jump time.
Probably do a little packing because we have a three hour drive tomorrow and a show at night.
They had dry cleaning here at the hotel so I've replenished the wardrobe for the gigs ahead.
I think we play for the next four nights.
Later, my friends. ~

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 #23 
MAY 7 - BELMONT HOTEL, NSW

Had a three hour drive to where we are now.
Stopped once, mostly to use the facilities.
It was a place called The Rock and, damn, if it wasn't shaped like a big rock.
Ayres Rock, was my first thought, whch is a very popular natural site in this part of Australia.
I believe that's where the woman and her family were camping some years back when the dingo allegedly ate her baby.
There was a huge, internationally watched trial and a movie produced, starring Meryl Streep, based on the event and it's aftermath.
As we walked into the large rock shaped building I saw a sign that said something about them serving the ' best pies'.
They're very big on their pies here.
I suddenly wondered if the building wasn't actually shaped like a gigantic meatpie rather than the attraction I'd possibly mistaken it for.
There was no clarification anywhere inside so I still don't know.
I'm going with the pie theory because it makes me chuckle.
The door to the restrooms was decorated with hand painted images of various shaped feces, each naming the animal that they'd come out of the back of.
There was wombat, wallaby, kangaroo and a host of others.
I should have looked a little closer to see if it in fact said ' human' anywhere, but I didn't.
Probably just as well, huh?
I have to leave for the venue now but I want to give you the address of a website that should be self explanatory.
It has absolutely nothing to do with rocks, pies or animal waste, by the way.
I'll tell you more about it later.
http://www.vinyldialogues.com
More soon. ~

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 #24 
MAY 7 - BELMONT 16'S, NSW

Australia has some unusual music venues.
This place was a yachting club.
Lots of artists have played here in the time they've been open, which appears, from their 'wall of fame', to be over thirty years.
It was set up with long tables, which usually means trouble, but it was different with this particular audience.
The crowd was rowdy when they had to be but attentive when the song or what I was saying warranted it.
A great response at the end and a lonnnnnnnnnnng queue after the show.
I have recv'd some outstanding email about the shows as we've moved along.
The Aussies don't seem to post on the guestbook much but they sure do send their reviews straight to the fanmail address.
Comments about the song selection, my guitar singing and guitar playing and my rapport with the people have all been very, very positive and flattering.
I've been doing a few more 'hits' on this tour.
Only 16, Sharing The Night Together and Beautiful Woman are in the set and the big requests during the encore have been Years From Now and Sylvia.
It blows me away that YFN has been used as a wedding song everywhere in the world I've ever toured.
Talk about universal.
The writers, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, should be very pleased to have written such an across the board declaration of everlasting love.

We're back in the Sydney area.
A suburb or however they refer to their surrounding towns called Liverpool, actually.
Adrian, Simon and I drove into the town and bought a few things to stick in the mini-fridge.
I put everything that was already in there in my bathtub.
I'll only use the shower anyway and it's a separate thing.
I hate taking baths.
Don't understand the concept of lying there in your own juices.
You have to shower afterwards anyway.
There was a whirlpool bath in the hotel the other night and I filled it and got in, just because it was there, but I was out and in the shower in less than ten minutes.
Much be considered a way to relax but it's not my thing at all.
Anyway, if the people are anything like in 'my' Liddypool the show here should be lots of fun.
We're in a hotel which is in a good place to get to the next three venues but not very conducive to getting out and walking.
It's out on a highway with nothing much around it.
There is a gym here and I may try the treadmill so I can walk a bit when I'm not playing, altho it's not the same as walking to see or get somewhere.
Have to sign up to be able to use it.
They'll probably take a look at my age and consider me 'high risk'.
Maybe they should come to one of the shows, eh?

Oh, sorry the website address I gave you in the last entry says 'Coming soon!'.
Wasn't aware it wasn't up yet.
There is a book titled The Vinyl Dialogues that is full of interviews with various artists about albums from the 70s.
The spoke to Hall and Oates, Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys, Pat Simmons of The Doobie Bros, Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills and..., Al Stewart, members of Springsteen's band, The Faces, The Flying Burrito Brothers, the Rascals and lots more.
I did an interview about Hook's second album, Sloppy Seconds, one of Michael Morsch, the author's favorites, apparently.
If you're interested you can Google the title or wait until the link I included becomes active.
I think the book is released next week sometime.
Ok, friends.
Night off tonight and shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Later. ~

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 #25 
MAY 9 - HOTEL

I realized this morning that I never wrote a blog entry for the Port Macquarie show at The Glasshouse.
It wasn't intentional but it very well may have been subconcious.
Everything about Port Macquarie was wonderful.
Except the gig itself.
The town was nice, the weather was great, the venue was lovely, the staff could not have been nicer and more helpful.
The audience, what there were of them, were very nice.
Probably the worse turnout of the tour so far and hopefully will remain as such.
The meet and greet after the show took about ten, maybe fifteen minutes.
There were very few people in the queue.
All happy about the show and pleased to see me.
Just not very many of them.
No one really knows why that was the case.
The most troubling part of the whole affair were the five drunken women who chose to sit in the front row no more than 10 feet from me.
From the second I walked out onto the stage they did nothing but talk loudly, make up words to songs they couldn't possibly know, shout to me while I was engaging the already uneasy crowd and generally disrupt the whole first set.
I could see the people around them getting more and more upset, but not wanting to confront them.
I tried to make light of it, but found it very difficult and, to be honest, pointless.
They were raucous and rude, talked even louder after I cordially asked them to be quiet.
I think the final straw for me was when they elected to sing Walk Right In at the top of their lungs while I was performing The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan!!!
I have no idea what they were thinking or why they even came to the show.
It was an early start that night compared to all the other shows I've done, so by 7:30 on a Tuesday night they were absolutely pissed and roaring.
I'm talking about stumbling, slurry, falling down drunk.
I was not about to do another set and put myself, or more importantly, the rest of the nice folks who bothered to attend, thru their disgusting antics, so I asked that they be made to leave the premises.
Anyone who is familiar with me will know that this was a painful decision but, in this case, an easy one to make.
The hall manager, Adam, first had a word with them and said they'd all promised, somewhat unintelligibly, that they would behave for the rest of the show.
After talking to Adrian we reckoned that if they didn't keep their word - and trust me when I say they would not have - they management would have had to forcibly eject them during the show and they would have made a scene and ruined what then would have been the entire evening.
So, out they went!!!
Believe me, it bothered me to have to do that, but I swear it was the only way forward.
After the show I met a very nice lady who had had a triple bypass operation only three weeks before the concert but came anyway.
She was sitting right next to those assh*les and was quite relieved they were gone in the second half.
Her presence alone helped me to know I'd made the correct call.
The lousiest thing is when the audience feel they should apologize to me for the conduct of a handful of jerks.
It confirms that it was upsetting to them and on my behalf.
So, lovely, quaint Port Macquarie turned out to be a pretty big disappointment in the end, I'm sorry to report.
Is it any wonder I completely forgot to make an entry?
I guess I just needed to roll forward and block that incident from my mind, at least for awhile.
But there you have the missing gig if you were wondering why it was ignored.

We leave in a little over an hour for tonight's show.
The first of three in a row.
This hotel is fine but, as I said, it's only convenience is it's proximity to the three dates.
We're here until Tuesday and I'm already f*cking stir crazy.
Nowhere to walk to and nothing in the restaurant worth eating, unless you want a $22 pizza, $21 battered fish and chips, neither of which I care to have even for free or, on the healthier side, there is, as just an example, a starter of a dozen raw oysters for $35 and a piece of roasted cod for $51 and that's before any side dishes or a drink.
The perfect environment for a businessman with a car and a company expense account.
I didn't make it over to the health center today to try their treadmills but I'm more sure than ever I will tomorrow.
Hard to be motivating and inspiring, both of which I strive to be, when I'm not motivated or inspired.
I always try tho, friends.
I really am. ~

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 #26 
MAY 10 - REVESBY WORKERS CLUB

As I've said before, the Aussies love their clubs.
If you wanna tour in this country they are unavoidable.
The venue last night was set up in a theatre style, with chairs and not tables, but only, as we were told, because we specifically asked for it to be.
Every other artist plays in an Oktoberfest beer hall kind of environment.
Bonnie Raitt played there a couple of years ago.
Tables.
And the latest Australian Voice winner is doing a matinee show and one tonight.
Tables.
I can't recall his name, but if his future is anything like most of the 'game show' winners in the UK and US it might hardly be worth memorizing.
Tho I'm told the Australian winners seem to last a bit longer.
Last year's champion - Jennifer something? - is doing the next Eurovision contest representing her country.
O...K.
Enough about the seating arrangement and on to the audience.
I could not get a feel for how much they were enjoying my show until the very end and then again at the meet and greet afterwards.
I don't think they're used to being spoken to as much as I tend to.
Before Ask Her I enquired as to how many folks out there were married.
No response.
Then I asked how many used to be married.
Again, silence.
I was perplexed.
The song got a great reaction at the end, which confused me even more.
Simon later told me that rather than audibly respond to my questions everyone had raised their hands, which, of course, I couldn't see.
How very strange.
It all takes some getting used to.
And the confidence to know I'm going down well even if I have no concrete evidence while I'm up there.
The audiences here are not as verbal as they are in the UK and I have come to rely on that feedback.
Just goes to show me that I shouldn't expect anything or get too comfortable and just do what I do.
Heard wonderful comments after the show.
People were really pleased with the show and actually nervously excited to meet me.
One nice woman said 'I promised myself I wouldn't cry!', but did anyway.
Wow.
Still selling a lot of Retrospections, Post Cools and Alone With DVDs.
Most folks are buying all three, which leads me to believe they're enjoying the solo material I'm playing.
Taking a guess I'd bet that Ask Her and Shine Son are the winning factors there.
So, on to another club tonight and we'll see what happens.
Let's just say I will find out before the night is over.
And I will report back to you all.

This hotel is owned by the Liverpool Catholic Club, believe it or not.
I had to sign up for a $7 year's membership by filling in a form and having them take my photo.
Fortunately, I didn't have to recite the Lord's Prayer, tho being raised a good Catholic lad, I probably still could and there were no questions about my religious beliefs, thank, uhhhh, goodness.
Anyway, there is a whole other building connected to the hotel itself where they have a bistro and cafeteria, so I can actually get out of my room to have a bite to eat and it's reasonably priced.
Can't be dealing with the rockstar expense account prices here in the hotel.
Not if I want to go home with any money, that is.
So first I will shower and possibly check out the health club.
I have to admit that the prospect of treadmilling always sounds better to me at night.
Might be the walking my ass off and getting nowhere thing.
But when I wake up in the morning, having turned out the lights about 3am, I'm not as sporty.
We'll see.
Later, folks. ~

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 #27 
MAY 10 - HOTEL

OK, so I had lunch and guilted myself into going over to the gym.
Walked rather quickly, as I do anyway, on the treadmill for about 30 minutes with a 5 minute cool down.
Might have done longer if (A) I would had something to read while walking and (B) I was sure it wouldn't wear me out before the show.
Now that I know I can at least bring a magazine and prop it against the screen and that I feel absolutely fine I will go again tomorrow.
Probably will walk before lunch. I believe that is the correct order of things.
There are TV screens on these friggin' things now but you need headphones or earpins of some sort and I hate using those..
Now I have to shower again and you know how that can play havoc with a girl's hair.
The things we divas have to concern ourselves with, eh?
Later, friends. ~

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 #28 
MAY 10 - AT TONIGHT'S VENUE

We noticed as we drove into this place that the scrolling marquee outside said DR HOOK HERE SAT NIGHT!
This pisses me off immensely.
I/ we have gone to great lengths to make sure that everyone knows it's a Dennis Locorriere show, solo, with no band, titled Dr Hook And Beyond.
All this can do is cause me a f*cking problem if people think they've bought or are buying tickets to a Dr Hook show.
First of all, it gives them justified license to bitch about what they expected to see (and didn't) rather than being happy with the quality performance I will do everything in my power to give them.
Secondly, I don't want a single person thinking this is the Hook band that Mr Sawyer has toured with for so many years.
His reputation, being whatever it is, should precede him, not me.
I'm betting the venue's excuse will be that they couldn't fit my name and the title of my show on their scroll.
In that case, just my name would do just fine,thank you.
I get so sick of lazy marketing and lazy journalism.
I don't think I've ever seen an article written about me that didn't say Hooked On Dennis or some other lame, unimaginative bullshit.
I work very hard to to be individual and creative and to have it pissed away by a few lackadaisical words makes me crazy.
So I guess we'll see what the tables (uuuuh huuuuuh) full of folks thought they piled in here tonight to witness.
The billing everywhere has been precise and correct and, even at that, we had a couple of complaints very early on about there being no band.
Only a couple, but still grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Tonight's show is at 8pm.
A bit earlier than most.
Soundcheck is done and I have an hour and forty five minutes until downbeat.
Back later. ~



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 #29 
MAY 10 - MOUNTIES, MT PRITCHARD, NSW

Well, no one complained that they'd come to see DRbloodyHOOK tonight and everyone seemed pretty damned pleased with what they had come to see.
But just because the lazy billing didn't cause a problem doesn't mean it wasn't the wrong thing to do.
It was a potential nightmare and that's enough for me.
The audience was pretty up for it I'm happy to say and the queue afterwards was long and friendly.
There was one guy who was filming whole songs during the first set and was told by the management to stop.
He told them he wasn't going to, so Adrian had a word with him.
The fella got shitty and said he didn't have to stop filming because it didn't say it wasn't allowed anywhere on the ticket.
Such nonsense.
He asked Adrian what he was gonna do if he didn't stop and Adrian said he wasn't going to talk about this with him any longer, that the show was my copyright and recording had to cease.
Once again the guy got belliegerent and said ' There's nothing you can do about it!' and Adrian politely said 'Well, actually there is. We can have you removed from the premises'.
In all my years of touring I don't recall having to threaten to have someone chucked out of a show and now it's happened twice in a week.
Once for real and once presented as a worse case scenario.
And you know what we can attribute both these incidents to?
ALCOHOL!!!
Plain and simple.
By the way, there was no filming in the second half.
Maybe the jerk removed himself from the premises.
I'm tired tonight and we have one more show tomorrow night.
Monday is a day off according to our tour book, but I have five phone interviews to do between 10am and 3:30pm.
We're twelve shows in with fourteen to go.
One away from the halfway mark.
Leaving at 3pm tomorrow.
That's about twelve hours from now.
Won't be setting an alarm.
So...eat or treadmill?
I'll let you know. ~

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 #30 
MAY 11 - HOTEL

I realize I've sounded a bit grisly over the last few days.
I suppose I could have painted a rosier picture for public consumption, but, just like anybody's life, some of it fabulous and some of it sucks.
Let me make it clear that the vast majority of people I have played for and talked to after the shows have been no less than absolutely lovely to me.
I've been made to feel welcomed and appreciated and, as I said, my solo work has been flying off the merch table.
It's that small percentage of folks who can't seem to control themselves in a setting where they're meant to have fun that upsets me.
Maybe I should have learned to accept it by now.
When I was growing up I was surrounded by adults.
My grandmother was kind and loving.
I remember being tiny enough to pull at her skirt and ask her 'Nanny, do you love me?'
She would always reply 'You know I do.'
And she was right; I did know.
But I still needed to hear it once in awhile.
My aunts were all very sweet, especially Vivian.
She would take me to New York City to Radio City Music Hall to see the big holiday productions.
Easter, Christmas.
They would show whatever big film had been released for the season, like The Ten Commandments or The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and there would always be a stage show before the movie began.
Singers, comedians.
The Rockettes were the main feature of those shows.
They were a line of female dancers that would lock arms and do high kicks.
The audiences adored those girls.
I'd always heard it was a big career opportunity for a young woman to be accepted into The Rockettes.
A simpler time, indeed.
My Aunt Gilda would take me to work with her once in awhile.
Don't ask me what she actually did.
All I know was she had her own desk at the Jefferson Insurance Company, also in NYC.
Her office mates would be pleased see me and let me sit at a vacant desk banging on the typewrite keys and drawing on pieces of white typing paper.
I loved it.
Did I say it was a simpler time?
My uncle Bob, as surly as he could be, used to take me fishing sometimes on the weekend.
We'd go to Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey.
Probably just an hour or two journey but it felt like a trip to a foreign land to me.
I was never totally comfortable around him because he was impatient and tense, but I did like going out on his boat.
My mother was in and out of the picture, but she loved music and helped me develop the same kind of feeling for it.
She was the free spirit of the bunch.
My grandfather was a funny old guy.
I say that but he was probably younger than I am now.
At family gatherings he would drink his chianti and sing and just be silly, making us all laugh.
For awhile.
Then it would start to sour.
Sooner or later his mood would turn to something darker and whatever demons he kept inside would come out.
There would be arguments.
Shouting, cursing in Italian.
A lot of it was directed at my mother.
This, I summized, was the reason she wasn't always around.
She was the child who had gotten pregnant out of wedlock.
The black sheep of the family.
And I always knew that I was the result of her indiscretion.
It never left my mind that I wasn't supposed to be there.
I was a mistake that everyone made the best of.
And my grandfather was the one who would bring it up.
When he was drunk.
A nice time would become a f*cking nightmare.
Because of alcohol.
That stayed with me.
I never really developed a taste for the stuff.
The times I did drink, to be social or cool, it would eventually bring me down.
I would laugh for awhile.
Then I would cry.
Like a baby.
I can recall having several too many scotches at a hotel bar in Sweden in the early Hook days.
People were coming up, asking for autographs.
I would sign them.
But I was uncontrollably bawling my eyes out and couldn't stop.
How strange that must have looked to fans of the band.
I'm not saying I never touch the stuff these days.
I will have a couple of tequila bloody marys, every now and them, given the setting.
And I do enjoy a little sake once in awhile.
But I wouldn't class myself a drinking man.
There's a stigma there.
A sense memory.
It can turn a sunny day cloudy
A nice time into a nightmare.

Leaving for tonight's gig in three hours.
No real time to go to the gym and we've been advised that, it being Mother's Day here today, the crowds in the restaurants and queues in the cafeteria will be a joke.
So my mind has been made up as to whether I eat or exercise.
Neither. ~




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 #31 
MAY 11 - HOTEL

Changed my mind and did a brisk 40 minutes on the treadmill.
The gym was empty and I was a bit too full of anxious energy to pass it up.
Read half of a long article in the Australian Rolling Stone about the band, KISS.
I say band, but they are actually an industry.
Their merchandise includes everything from dolls to bowling balls, slot machines to caskets.
Yep.
You can go to your final reward in a KISS coffin.
And people do.
They've also sold a hundred million albums.
It's a weird world, folks, and getting more so all the time.
And I'm still trying to entertain a small part of it with my little 'dog and pony show'.
But am I the dog or the pony?
Leave for the gig in an hour and fifteen minutes.
Cheerio for a while. ~

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 #32 
MAY 11 - THE CONCOURSE, CHATSWOOD, NSW

Sorry it took me a day or so to make this entry.
After being in the same hotel since last week I had a bit of repacking to do and we're gonna start flying again tomorrow so it had to be tight, concise, everything in it's proper place packing.
Travelled for three plus hours yesterday and, to be honest, once we arrived and checked in, I didn't want ro sit staring at and typing on my iPad screen for too long.
The show on Sunday night was a lot of fun.
A proper sitdown theatre affair with a bunch of people who wanted to listen and be entertained.
It was maybe the first show where I could actually tell how I was doing as it happened.
The Concourse is a lovely looking and sounding venue.
Reminded me of a smaller version of the Phil in Liverpool.
A big stage for one man to negotiate but I'm used to that and did my best to fill it with songs and stories.
There was a bit of singalong here and there, but the people in attendance seemed to want to listen tomthe words rather than sing them.
I never mind that.
The meet and greet afterwards revealed quite a few younger audience members.
Not children, persay, but folks in their 20s and 30s.
Great comments there and after the fact in email.
I have been working to encourage the people who email to sign up to the guestbook and post their 'reviews' of the show there, telling them that I thought others would like to see how I'm doing down here.
I hope you start to see that happening soon.

So, here we are in the capitol city of Australia, Canberra.
It's another club tonight, so anything can be on the cards.
Tomorrow we all fly to Hobart, Tasmania, with a stop in Melbourne, for a Friday night show.
The next morning we fly back to Melbourne for a show that night and another on Sunday, which we will drive several hours to.
So the schedule will start to get a bit tougher from here to the end.
Being in a new territory means that the days off will be used for PR, including a couple of radio visits with my guitar.
After those PR days we will have five consecutive nights of shows, again with lots of hours spent driving to the venues and back to the hotel at night.
Very little downtime or rest coming up but we'll be in the homestretch then, so bring it on.
The very last show in Albany, Western Australia, will entail an early flight to get there and a 6am leave from the hotel the next morning to get to Perth for our flights back to the UK.
I suppose it's designed to make sure that Adrian, Simon and I are totally wiped out and ready to sleep on the plane(s).
Let me say once again how wonderful it has been to have our tight little team here on this tour.
It made all the difference in the world.
I simply could not and, to be clear, would not have done it without them.
I'd also like to mention Brad Thompson, the promoter's designated tour manager, who is a lovely, positive fella and has been nothing but a huge help all around.
My last visit to this continent was a hellish slog, made even worse by the band's disagreeable, unprofessional attitudes, except for the late, great Rod Smarr, who was a good mate and a sheer joy and relief to see every day) and the fact that my then wife and I were hardly speaking, altho she managed to remain friendly with the band members.
Try living - and working with - with that dynamic!
The promoter of that tour was a fat, sweaty, mean-spirited bastard who travelled everywhere with us, wearing the same two shirts the entire time, and took every opportunity to divide the band members and me...and, in 3 out of 4 cases, succeeded.
I have to wonder if he's still in this business and can only wish whoever is working with him all the best.
They have my empathy.
Try to keep the faith and hold your noses, folks!

Ok, that's it for now.
More later, of course. ~

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 #33 
MAY 14 - AT TONIGHT'S VENUE

Took a walk to what passed as the town centre, but was actually a big mall today.
Had a turkey sandwich and a Pepsi Max for lunch and went to the post office to buy some stamps.
Been carrying around a few cards and postcards for so long I was in danger of having to just hand them to people when I got home or posting them from the UK.
Even tho this gig is called The Southern Cross Club there is actually a theatre here, with seats and a very nice polished hardwood stage and a lovely dark blue, velvety looking backdrop behind me.
Promising to say the least.
Just about time to do the soundcheck but I figured I would register my pleasant surprise when I walked in here so no one would be wondering if my heart sank at the sight of more long tables.
So far, so good, friends.
More in due course. ~

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 #34 
MAY 14 - THE SOUTHERN CROSS CLUB

If anything was going to prove that I should just wait and see what every day brings before getting wound up about what might happen it was last night's venue.
The room was very cool and the audience was absolutely briliiant.
It was a proper concert cowd.
Silent when I was talking, except for when they laughed or answered something I asked them, and loud and appreciative after songs and at the end.
I don't mean to denigrate the other audiences I've played for on the tour because every one of them has been very cool and into it, but there were times I had to wait until the end to really tell how much they'd enjoyed themselves.
Most of that was down to the environment tho.
I won't go into it again.
I'm sure everyone is sick to death of hearing me whinge.
It's just that I think of what I do as more of a theatre experience than a straight forward 'rock concert' and it's always best when I can play somewhere conducive to that kind of presentation.
There was one guy in rhe crowd who shouted for Sylvia's Mother rather agressively, angrily even, only three songs into the show.
I asked if he had a cab outside with the meter running and the audience laughed, diffusing his brashness.
A few songs later he yelled 'Where's yer band???', as nastily as his first outburst.
I told him I didn't have one and some else shouted 'And he doesn't need one!!!'
The tour has been advertised heavily and pointedly as a one-man show.
The stage is setup with three acoustic guitars and one microphone.
If there was going to be a band it would surely have been evident.
I could only guess that he was purposely trying to be a disruptive dickhead.
He seemed to quiet down after that and we didn't hear a peep from him for the rest of the night.
I was told after the show that when he first got loud the security guards moved closer to him and the next time he yelled out they chucked him out.
This kind of surprised me until a lovely family said they'd been sitting in front of him and he was actually 'pretty scary'
I guess security made up their own minds about what was acceptable behavior.
By the way, in that family was a very cool young lad named Aaron who told me that he was about to turn ten years old 'in a couple of minutes'.
He was sweet and chatty, confident and outspoken.
I liked his personality.
A cool kid all around.
Near the end of the show a woman started getting loud and excitable, shouting for Sylvia and making other unintelligible sounds.
Not knowing the disruptive guy had been made to leave I cheekily asked if she was him using a fake voice.
Found out later she was that joker's mother!!!
Apparently she opted not to leave when he did.
I was almost right on the money.
All in all, it was a very good night.

We flew to Hobart, Tasmania today, playing at Wrest Point Casino on Friday night.
I won't let the word 'casino' bother me.
I worked here the last time I was down here but don't remember much, except that most of the band was refusing to speak to me.
I do recall making damned sure that every single show was brilliant on that tour.
I'd decided that there was no sense in suffering them, my ex and the smelly bag of waste promoter for no reason.
It was the only recourse and control I had.
F8ck 'em!

Adrian, Simon, Brad and I wandered out in Hobart tonight in search of a decent restaurant and just happened upon a wonderful Chinese place called Mee Wah.
We were first told that they were fully booked but then the man in charge said he could slip us in.
The food was unbelievably sensational.
Amazingly delicious.
And that's no exaggeration at all.
I'm back in my huge suite at Wrestpoint now.
The kind of accommodation one is given to lull them into a false sense of celebrity.
They're obviously not all like this so I intend to enjoy it.

OK, that's it for now, peoples.
More later. ~

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 #35 
MAY 16 - HOTEL AT THE WREST POINT CASINO

My plan for today was to take the 20 minute walk back into town and go to a Japanese restaurant we'd walked past last night.
I didn't turn out the lights until 4am last night so I decided to sleep a bit longer and go down the hotel health club.
It wasn't as nice as the one in Sydney but they had treadmills and a sauna which was all I really needed.
Walked about 40 fast minutes at 7.3 kph, which is just under jogging speed and covered 4.3 kilometers and sat in the sauna for maybe 12 minutes.
I ordered lunch from room service when I got back up here.
Grilled chicken burger, no cheese and asked if there was something I could get besides fries.
The girl on the phone said 'Wedges?'
Hmmmmmmm.
I asked if there was possibly another option.
She said 'Steamed vegetables?'
There you go!
No sense dragging my sorry ass down to the gym only to undo what good I might have done, eh?
Of course, they send the fries anyway and i had to cover them up and push them away.
OK, so I ate about five of them.
But the pile I passed on was quite substantial.
Good boy, Den!
That's what my mom called me.
Den.
So does my best friend, McCloskey.
As long as I'm not called Denny.
I am definitely NOT a Denny.
Early show tonight as this tour goes.
7:30.
The venue is a two minute walk across the lobby so I'll go down about 5:15, do a soundcheck and stay there.
I have the option of coming back to the room for awhile but it takes me out of gig mode if I do that.
It's all about the show.
Or why am I even here?
Y'know?
I still have almost three hours, so a shower, a bit of zen ironing - after years of doing it it's become part of the gig ritual - I'll chill, maybe read for a while.
It has the potential to be an OK life.
When it doesn't absolutely suck!
Just like yours. ~

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 #36 
MAY 16 - HOTEL

Looking at our tour schedule I see that we leave the hotel at 8:30 tomorrow morning for a 10:30 flight back to Melbourne, where we have a show tomorrow night and a long drive on Sunday with a show that evening as well.
Given all that, I may not have the time to post an entry for the next day or so.
Bear with me and know I will check in as soon as I have a few minutes to take a breath.
Monday and Tuesday are OFF days, but will involve some travel and a bit of radio and telephone PR.
I should be able to catch up with the blog somewhere in there.
Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!! ~

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 #37 
MAY 16 - WREST POINT, HOBART, TASMANIA

You know, I realized after my last post that things are not gonna get easier in a few days.
We leave here at 8:30am tomorrow for a flight to Melbourne, two more shows over the weekend entailing lots of driving, two days off on Monday and Tuesday (sort of), and, starting Wednesday, there are five days in a row where we check out of one hotel and into another with a show every night.
So I figured I should tell you about tonight's show tonight rather than let them pile up.
I'm gonna make it brief tho so I can pack and try and get some sleep.
The room was set up like a theatre and was full of people who seemed over the moon to see me I'm happy to say.
They sang, laughed, talked to me, applauded loudly and queued up for a mile afterwards.
Everything I could possibly want from a show.
Thanks, Hobart.
I'm pretty tired right now so I'm gonna get my ass in gear and get my luggage together so it's flight ready.
Forgive the brevity of this post, folks.
I'm doing the best I can to be communicative, if not colourfully descriptive.
More from the next place, perhaps. ~

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 #38 
MAY 17 - THE PALMS AT CROWN, MELBOUNE, VICTORIA

This is gonna be another quick one, folks, as we're leaving in an hour to drive three hours to the next gig (and back again to this hotel tonight)'.
What a great night we all had last night!
A full house full of wonderful people.
The venue had some seats and some raised table seating in the rear, but it made no difference to the atmosphere at all.
The audience could not have been more welcoming.
The queue afterwards took almost an hour to get thru, but everyone was really cool.
There was one sweet, little girl named Harriet, who had the biggest smile and sparkly eyes, who was there with her mother.
I'm guessing she was maybe seven or eight years old.
I asked her if she'd had a good time and she said Yes.
Then I asked if she stayed awake for the whole show and she said No.
I told her it was OK because I'd fallen asleep for awhile in the middle too.
I signed her CD but then I noticed she was just looking at me with her left arm lying on the table, her sleeve rolled up, but she wasn't saying anything.
I said 'You don't want me to sign your arm, do you???' and she just nodded her head.
I did a little cartoon of my goofy face and signed it.
I swear if I ever see her again and she has that tattooed on her arm I will hate myself!!!
Lots of photos taken.
I was seeing flashing dots in the end.
Can't help but wonder where they will all wind up.
Shudder to think.
Well, there's my brief view of last night's show.
Gotta run.
Literally. ~

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 #39 
MAY 18 - WANGARATTA PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE

Just got back to the hotel.
Well, actually we're staying at an apartment complex where I have a kitchen area, with a fridge, stove/oven, microwave, even a dishwasher.
There's also a living room, bedroom and a bathroom with a nice shower closet.
There's a television but there might as well not be because there's absolutely nothing on after a certain time but infomercials.
They seem to love them here, but as I'm not in the market for a steam cleaner, Bowflex exercise equipment, a new mega kitchen system, the NutraBullet juicer or Dr Ho's Pain Therapy they're all pretty useless to me.
I did manage to find a 1935 black and white film version of The Three Musketeers.
That will have to do, I guess.

Tonight's show was a bit of a trek away.
It was in a nice arts centre that sounded good and looked comfortable.
The audience was in a very upbeat mood I'm happy to report.
There were two little girls, Ailish, 8 and Erin, 5, that talked to me and made requests for most of the show.
They told me afterwards that they had both stayed awake for the whole thing and were going to be good and go to school tomorrow even tho it was a late night for them.
I think that remains to be seen.
Lots of friendly folks in the meet and greet queue.
We left as soon as I'd seen everyone because it was almost three hours back here.
As it turns out I have an entire day off tomorrow because a few PR things got moved around.
Yip-f*cking-eee!!!
I can use it and it's the last one of the tour.
I'm gonna try and get into Melbourne town centre and find a book store.
I'm reading one that, while it's very well written, is a bit too slow going for me right now.
It's a about a man's family recollections and there are detailed descriptions of every room in his childhood home, for instance.
I'll get back to it when I'm home but I want something entertaining at the moment.
I've been wanting to read Mike Tyson's autobiography so I'll try to find that.
I've seen it everywhere but it's one of those big paperbacks and I haven't wanted to carry it.
We'll be in the car a lot for the next week so it won't matter.
Also gonna go to the gym tomorrow.
Feeling a bit dough-y from having to eat late at night and not being able to get out and walk very much this tour.
I think I'm gonna give up trying to be the fifth musketeer and pack it in.
More soon, but hopefully not much will happen in the next 24 hours.
I'll let you know if I find the book.
Later, friends. ~

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 #40 
MAY 19 - APARTMENT

I didn't turn out the lights until almost 5am this morning.
An episode of Frasier came on about 3am, soon after I signed off the blog, and,given the crap viewing choices I had, it was nice to see it pop up.
When that ended I tried to read my book for a bit but couldn't get into it.
I have several issues of Rolling Stone with me that I hadn't read before we left the UK, so I thumbed thru a few of them, opting to read a bunch of small articles rather than one of the long pieces.
Some bits about The Eagles (the documentary that came out at the end of last year), John Lennon (a book containg unpublished interviews with the man done by Jonathan Cott), Vampire Weekend (the recording of their latest album. Really like that band!) and a few album reviews.
I finally got sleepy so I packed it in.
Slept for about 4 hours or so and got back up around 10:30.
I didn't want to spend my day off in bed.
Made tea, checked my email, sent a few, took a shower and headed outside to hail a taxi into Melbourne.
As it turned out we're only 10-15 minutes from the central business district.
I got to town a little after 1pm and started my search for the Mike Tyson book.
The biggest bookstore, Dymock's, didn't have it, which was a shock, as they seemed to have every book ever published.
They did, in fact, have one copy they were holding for someone.
Sigh.
The young man at the counter was nice enough to get on the store PC ("I shouldn't really do this" he whispered) and found out they had a copy at the book shop in the lobby of the State Library which was three blocks away, on Swanston Street.
So, yes, I now have the book and I'm happy I do.
While I was in the city I had some lunch at a Japanese restaurant, walked around a little and grabbed another cab back to the apartment around half 4, before the traffic got crazy.
I went down to the gym about 6pm and did the treadmill for 40 minutes, as well as about 200 hundred stomach crunches.
I needed it and it helped me feel less stale and stodgy.
I'd gone to a store in Wangaratta before the last show, and knowing I had an oven in this place, bought a cooked chicken that I could reheat, and some pumpkin and sweet potato that was packaged in a little roasting pan.
So that was dinner, followed by some raspberry frozen yoghurt for dessert.
Very homey and civilized for being on the road, I must say.
I guess the rest of the evening will include reading and trying to catch David Letterman around midnight.
Dave's retiring next year and I'll never get to see his show again after this tour.
They cancelled him in the UK, saying the programme contained too much American content for British viewers.
Really???
Have the 'powers that f*cked up' watched British TV lately?
So, all in all a pretty relaxing day off for a change.
I ended up with only one phone interview tomorrow.
It's at 12:30.
That gives me another whole day to myself.
Except for repacking (again!) I intend to do more of almost nothing.
Starting Wednesday the schedule gets pretty relentless until the end of the tour.

Man, the infomercials have already taken over the airwaves tonight.
They must work or there wouldn't be so very many if them.
Thank goodness I have distractions away from Dr Ho's Pain Therapy.
Also thank goodness I don't need whatever he's selling.
Later, peoples. ~

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 #41 
MAY 21 - HOTEL IN BAIRNSDALE, EAST GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA

So, here we are in Bairnsdale.
Quaint little place about 3 and a half hours from where we were this morning.
The hotel was just along the road as we came into town.
The room is OK, with a rather large bed and all the other things you'd expect in a normal hotel accommodation.
Wanted to grab something to eat before we leave for the venue, because I didn't have anything this morning, so I ran across the road to a small Vietnamese restaurant and got some steamed dim sum and an order of 'chicken and seasonal vegetables'.
Was sort of hoping for some spinach or other leafy green stuff, but, apparently it's green pepper season in this part of the country because there was tons of the stuff in my food.
Green pepper is tolerable on it's own but when you cook with it it makes everything taste like green pepper.
Kind of like olives.
Bllleeeccchhh!
Anyway, I ate what I could of what I had and that will have to do me for today.
The dim sum was nice tho.
It's on to the gig in about 45 minutes where we will stay until the 7:30 show time.
Not sure what to expect from charming l'il Bairndale on a Wedneday night.
Guess I'll find out.
And, in turn, so will you.
Eight shows coming up in the final 10 days of the tour, with the other two being travel days.
The schedule will get tougher as we go now.
But, as I've said, it's all forward motion now and it all leads towards home.
I'll let you know more when there is more to tell. ~

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 #42 
MAY 21 - FORGE THEATRE, BAIRNSDALE

Tonight's audience was a bit of a surprise.
When I asked them how many had never seen me before at least three quarters of them responded.
I wasn't sure if that was good news or not, but, as it turned out, it probably was.
The people in attendance had no preconceived notions about what they were going to see.
They were very vocal, but didn't sing out unless I asked them to.
They were easy to laugh, which always does my heart good.
Many of them thanked me afterwards for coming to their 'little country town', as they referred to it.
As far back as Hook I got used to visiting some of the off the beaten track places.
People are people everywhere you go.
If you give them a good time they appreciate it and respond.
It's actually the cities that see everything that get spoiled and jaded.
Like I said, tonight was unexpected, for me and them.
I think we all walked away happy.
Not a lot of channels on the hotel TV.
Mostly infomercials and football matches.
My faves.
Looks like it's me and Iron Mike Tyson tonight.
Another drive to another hotel in another town tomorrow.
I'll let you know where we end up.
'Night. ~

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 #43 
MAY 22 - WARRAGUL, UHHHH, HOTEL

You know, folks, sometimes a sense of humor is the most important thing you can carry with you.
We got to tonight's accommodations to find a flat little purpose built couple of buildings with what looks to be a building site around it, but we actually couldn't tell whether it was still being put up or in the throes of being torn down.
There were a bunch of guys walking around wearing work helmets and those big bulky ear protectors which was really no clue at all.
Reception was a separate tiny building with a check-in desk and few tables and chairs crowded in there that we assumed was the 'restaurant'.
Simon Googled the other hotels in the area while Brad tried to locate anyone who might admit to being the proprietor and found that this place was actually the first recommendation of four on Trip Advisor.
The best case scenario, as it stands.
We asked for rooms as far from the construction/demolition as possible and ventured on to our respective plights.
Here's what I found when I opened the door and stepped into room 10:
A decent sized bed in a pretty small space, where it's unlikely I can fit all my luggage.
A toilet with only a shower closet which is never troubling to me because I hate to take baths anyway.
Water pressure still unknown.
One wooden cushioned chair that looks like it may have once been part of a set of four.
A desk and another unmatching, uncushioned chair.
A rather large TV mounted to the wall that, surprisingly, has more channels on it than last night's digs.
I might even catch Letterman - a cool after show bonus on this tour.
A sliding glass door that leads to sort of a charming back patio which, except for the din of workmen, might be a nice area in which to sit for while.
I won't.
I laughed out loud for at least ten minutes at the discovery of a little plastic bag with two chocolate hearts in it that read 'Mmmmmmmm, truffles!', which might just as well have said 'Hey, we gave you f*cking truffles. What the hell else do you want???'
Other amenities were a kettle, a couple of cups, a mini-fridge full of overpriced stuff I won't want three packets containing three dry crackers each that would be OK with cheese.
Cheese not included.
I assume these crackers are complimentary or at least I hope so because I ate two packets after finding out there was no food available until after 6pm.
I asked if someone could make me a sandwich of any kind and was told 'Sorry, we haven't gotten there yet'.
Ah, the first indication that the place is, in fact, a work in progress.
So, accommodations have ranged from a luxury apartment with a full kitchen where I could make my own dinner to a room that is merely a place to crash after work.
Speaking of that, I'm gonna put my head down (no, not in despair!) for some of the next couple of hours before we leave for the venue.
Did I say a sense of humor is imperative?
Well, it is.
You have to laugh to keep from hanging yourself in the shower.
An option only if the shower pipe will support your weight, of course.
I don't intend to find out.
Oh, and there's a slow moving version of wi-fi too or you wouldn't know any of this.
I'll tell you all about the gig later.
I expect good things.
Chuckle, snort. ~


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 #44 
MAY 23 - MORE LIKE AN ESCAPE THAN A CHECKOUT

Well, the Basil Fawlty of Warragul is making us leave at 10am rather than give us a late checkout, even tho this dump is empty and I'm pretty sure there isn't going to be a rush of unsuspecting folks arriving any minute.
Some of the biggest hotels in the world will grant you another hour or two but not this assh*ole.
It was funny yesterday but as time went on and the walls got covered in tiny flies trying to escape the pouring rain that sounded like gunfire on the tin roof all night and the room got colder but the heater only blew cool air.
I have taxed my sense of humor enough for one 24 hour period.
We're heading out in a few minutes and I will tell you about last night's show when we get to the next place.
Just so you know, the show and audience made this trip to Warragul worth it.
This sleazeball motel, not so much.
More soon.
Can't help but wonder where we'll be staying in Bendigo.
If you're ever in Warragul avoid the Best Western on Princess Highway like the plague...or you may end up with one of flies.
Later. ~.

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 #45 
MAY 22 - WARRAGUL ARTS CENTRE

The venue was cool, the audience were pretty switched on.
This was the kind of a night that confirmed that all my pre-tour agonising over the setlist was not in vain.
I've always been of the mind that if I'm convinced I'm right I can translate that conviction to an audience.
Last night it seemed that I was right on the money.
The crowd listened to every word I said or sang, responded to everything enthusiastically and spoke to me where it was appropriate and a few times when it wasn't but that's what makes each show different.
There are always things I want to do and points I'd like to touch on but I am not above or beyond deviating from my plan and going with the flow.
There was plenty to play off last night, like the fella who said he thought I probably kept a little bourbon backstage.
He wasn't insinuating that I was intoxicated, but more commenting on the reputation he reckons I had from the old Hook days.
I took the opportunity to set him straight and it ended up being a funny, spirited exchange.
He shouted a few more times during the show, each time giving me a springboard to go waaaaaaay off script, as it were, and the rest of the people loved the results, as did I.
So, what we suffered at the lousy hovel we stayed at was worth it for the evening that it afforded me.
Today's place in Bendigo - a town with a very biblical name, no? - took us once again from the ridiculous to the sublime.
It's another apartment type accommodation with all the comforts of home, including a washer/dryer that is being used to as I type to replenish some sock, t-shirts
and a pair of blue jeans.
Very civilized, indeed.
We will buy some food while we're out later and I will be assured a real meal after the show, as opposed to the 'whatever I can find' eating scenario that is so common to touring, especially for a guy ho never eats before he goes on.
I have an hour and a half before we go so it's time to put my washing into the dryer and chill a bit.
You can never tell what you'll find from city to city and town to town.
Case in point, the restaurant we found on the way here that served excellent all day breakfasts.
Poached eggs, beans, spinach, mushrooms and smoked salmon with crispy, unbuttered toast was my order.
The only consistency out here must come from within.
The rest is a crap shoot at best.
Today we are winning.
Of course we leave at 10am tomorrow and the rolling of the dice begins again.
But today was and is a streak of luck to be relished.
More after tonight's show. ~

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 #46 
MAY 23 - THE CAPITAL, BENDIGO

Another very cool and fun audience.
We've had a run of theatre crowds and, I have to say, if you treat me like theatre I am theatre.
I pride myself on my shows having different layers and emotional content from song to song.
The one I'm doing on this tour was planned while I was still at home in the UK and, except for one change made after the first or second performance, is the show I'm doing every night.
Not an easy task after so many years away, so it's great to know I can read my audience from a distance of miles and time.
Once again, it's a matter of 'If I'm convinced I can convince someone else'.
My heart is just not in it to guess these days.
There were a few strange and puzzling exchanges at the after show meet and greet.
One guy decided he needed to tell me how much fatter I was the last time he saw me, but didn't say when that was.
Yeah...AND???
A woman asked me to autograph a Dr Hook tour t-shirt that I had designed back in 1984 with cartoons of all the band members as the logo.
It was the one we did after Ray Sawyer quit and was called Dr Hook With Dennis Locorriere.
I named it that to highlight who was left rather than who was gone.
She said "I was at that show and, even tho Ray was onstage, he's not on the shirt."
I said "That's because he wasn't in the band anymore and wasn't onstage."
She actually argued the point with me, saying "But he was there! I know what I saw!"
I suggested that she must have seen another earlier tour as well as DH With DL but even Adrian agreed that she didn't appear to think I knew what I was talking about as she walked away.
As if I would have left Sawyer's caricature off the shirt if he was there.
Not to mention why the band would been called anything other than Dr Hook if we were all present and accounted for.
Some people, huh?
Six more shows to go. ~








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 #47 
MAY 24TH - THE LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE, WARRNAMBOOL

After almost a five hour drive with one quick stop to grab a bite to eat we arrived in Warrnambool.
It's on the coast, tho I never had a second to go and see the ocean.
A larger town than most we've been in this past week with a decent motel accommodation, especially on this length of the tour.
The Lighthouse is a modern facility with a helpful, friendly staff and crew.
The audience was a bit confusing to me at first.
They seemed like they were afraid to react for fear of appearing too, uh, I don't know, outward.
They were polite and were definitely listening and enjoying themselves, but very reserved.
Some large groups of folks are a bit too self conscious of the fact that they all arrived individually or in couples.
It' s my job to make them feel like they all came on the same coach, for the same purpose.
By set two it had loosened up and the atmosphere was noticeably different to us all.
They laughed, cheered, sang and all was well.
At the meet and greet later I recv'd some glowing comments, which are always terrifically rewarding to hear.
I do wish, however, that some people would consider that I literally 5 minutes after a 2 hour plus show to get myself ready to see everyone and be photographed dozens of times.
Most folks are lovely and say how much they appreciate me spending the time, which I really enjoy doing, but every once in a while I'll get the person who thinks we can take the photo over and over until they like the way they look in it.
Even a department store Santa Claus gives you only one shot at it.
I'm always kind and friendly and so are they but it does boggle the mind when certain people think they can take up not only my time but those waiting in the queue in back of them.
Like I said, folks are mostly wonderful.
But a few...eh!
Sorry, but I have to make this a quick entry, friends.
We have another drive, an earlier show, a phone interview straight after the signing and a flight to Adelaide on Monday morning.
I'll be back when I have a few minutes to myself. ~

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 #48 
MAY 25TH - GEELONG PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE

Tonight completed our run of shows in Victoria and it was a great way to end with a nice, friendly crowd in a cool venue.
They seemed pleased to see me from the very beginning and were wildly responsive all the way thru the show.
The highlights for me were Lucy Jordan, Wild Colonial Boy, Ask Her and Shine Son tho everything was received with great enthusiasm.
It's always nice to feel folks listening intently when I'm talking to them too.
Took loads of photos with people And signed lots of Retrospections, Post Cools and Live In Liverpool DVDs.
Had a live midnight interview with 5AA Adelaide Talk Back radio and tried to wind down.
Finally did about 2:30am, but had some weird dreams that kept waking me up.
Was awake from about 5 until 6am and fell back to sleep.
Thirty five minutes before my alarm went off I heard a loud knock at the door either next to or across from mine and an even louder, but cheery "Goooood morrrrning, rooooom serrrrrvice!"
The housekeeping staffs have been pretty demure on this whole tour, I must say, but not this morning.
Why they think the cardboard Do Not Disturb sign also serves as a sound shield is beyond my comprehension.
So not a great night for sleeping overall, but there's no show this evening so I can make up for it.
We leave for the airport an hour away at 9:15 and fly to Adelaide.
Have a bit of packing to do - always tighter when we fly - so I'll leave it here and check back in later in the day or tonight perhaps.
Four shows and two travel days left.
Will be in mid air on the way home this time next week. ~





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 #49 
MAY 27TH - ADELAIDE HOTEL

Our flight arrived in Adelaide yesterday about 1:30 and by the time we collected our luggage, guitars and mixing desk, rented a vehicle and drove to the hotel it was close to half 3.
I had the good intention of visiting the 24 hour gym facility, but instead went out and found some sashimi to put in the fridge for dinner and never left the room again.
I was tired enough after five days of traveling with a show each night to know I should just stay put and relax.
I tried to make myself stay awake until midnight so I wouldn't wake up in the middle of the night, but did doze off about 11 and had the weirdest dream that I was about to go onstage but none of my clothes were ready and the backstage iron was crap, with black sticky stuff all over the bottom of it that kept getting all over what I was trying to press.
Adrian was telling me I had 10 minutes, then five, but I was getting nowhere and panic set in.
Then my phone rang and I knew this was gonna be my "Let's go!!!" call, but it was my actual mobile phone ringing with a call from home.
Pheeeeeeewwww!
I was soooooooooo happy when I realized it was all just a dream.
Talk about a nightmare.
I finally fell asleep about 1:45am and slept thru to this morning.
Well, I say that but I did wake up a few times during the course of the night with my mind racing about something or other.
Just typical for me.
At about 10:15am Adrian rang and said an interview with Perth radio that we had been told nothing about until just then was coming thru in five minutes.
Fortunately, I had had a few sips of tea and was fiine to do it.
I've woken up to the hotel phone ringing in the past and there has been a DJ on the other and saying "OK, Dennis, right after this song finishes we'll have our chat!"
Uh, what chat??? was what I thought.
Of course I didn't bother to say that and just went on to talk to whoever had called me.
Try waking up on ON THE AIR sometime.
So, today's surprise interview was a piece of cake with me having at least 4 minutes warning.
Leaving for tonight's show in 30 minutes so I need to put a few bits together.
I'll be back later, folks.
Pant, pant, pant... ~

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 #50 
MAY 27TH - DUNSTAN PLAYHOUSE, ADELAIDE

Well, this tour is certainly not limping to a close.
Last night was a brilliant one with lots and lots of enthusiastic folks who came specifically to have a great time.
I knew I had a lively audience from the second I set foot on that stage.
The Dunstan is part of the Festival Theatre complex and a nice venue to play for all concerned.
The interaction between me and the crowd was spontaneous and spirited, but they listened quietly when I talked, unless of course I made them laugh or asked them a question.
I really could not have expected or wanted a better bunch of people to perform to or with.
The queue afterwards was long and full of happy folks with glowing things to say about my past and present which bodes well for my future.
We are already completely sold out of Retrospection CDs.
We wondered if we'd brought too many.
Post Cools are almost gone too.
I'm happy they've sold so well but disappointed that I can't leave the people of WA with my albums.
Brad is directing them from the merch table to Amazon but, of course, I can't sign the copies they buy there.
Lovely surprise that they were so popular tho.
We leave at 11 this morning for the airport and trip to Western Australia.
I hear it's about a three and a half hour flight, but when we get there we're two hours closer to home.
The time difference to the UK changes from nine hours to seven.
We're down to the last three shows.
Thinking back on the first ones it all seems so long ago and it's hard to believe we're almost done.
Have to get my ass moving and do some last bits of packing.
Man, am I tired of that part of this tour, but on Saturday night I will pack one more time to go home.
It's been great fun (mostly), but it's definitely going to be a relief to be back.
Ok, friends.
More from the other side of the continent. ~

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