Prince William…Cheeky? Wednesday, 2nd September, 1987

We awoke to a sunny, clear breezy morning and turned on the radio to listen to the news via radio station, 2WS. Bill Woods presented the sport. At half past six it is four degrees Celsius in Sydney’s western suburbs and nine on the coast.

There has been another fire at a school in New South Wales, this time affecting Picnic Point High, near Revesby, in Sydney’s western suburbs. Overnight, a state politician, Michael Yabsley, claimed that he was robbed at the point of a knife as he walked from his office to his car, in Paddington, Sydney.

Gary Hoffman read the news at seven o’clock, on 2KY. A child has been burnt to death in a fire within a house, at Minto, in Sydney’s west. The Shop Workers’ Union is outraged at Premier, Barrie Unsworth’s decision to allow shops in the Pitt Street Mall to stay open until midnight on the day of its opening.

“Good Morning Australia” is on Channel Ten between seven and nine o’clock. Ron Wilson reads the news bulletins: there has been a day of escalation in the Gulf War; a seven days’ siege by prisoners, on the Italian island of Elba, has finally ended. Ann Fulwood reads the bulletins on sport, ahead of Tony Murphy’s presentations of the weather. An Australian woman collapsed about fifty metres short of the finishing line in an event for walkers, during the World Athletics Championships, in Rome. The Dow Jones, Wall Street’s index, has closed down by 51.98 points to 2,610.97; B.H.P., in London, closed at $10.16 which means that its price has fallen by four cents, while gold, also in London, rose slightly to close at $US453.25 per ounce.

“Good Morning Australia”, co-presented by Tim Webster and Kerri-Anne Kennerley, is conducting a poll by telephone involving the question: “Do you support the introduction of an Australia I.D. card?” Out of nearly 8,000 respondents seventeen per cent are in favour, while eighty-three per cent are not. The co-presenters showed their ignorance of Brunei describing it as a lush little island when it is, in fact, located on the island of Borneo, one of the world’s largest islands. Whilst watching television I saw the advertisement for the new Black and Decker ‘Powerfile’ for the first time.

Support for the Federal Labor Government of Prime Minister, Mr. Robert (‘Bob’) Hawke, fell by three per cent during the past month, according to the latest Morgan Gallup Poll, published in today’s “Bulletin” magazine. The drop in popularity coincides with an increase in debate on privatisation and the desire to introduce the controversial Australia Card. Mr. Hawke’s personal popularity declined by four per cent to fifty-eight, while that of the leader of the Opposition, John Howard, fell by one to forty-six per cent. Meanwhile, a study conducted by the University of Melbourne’s Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research has declared that more than one in ten Australians are living in poverty.

Many imported foodstuffs are not being tested for poisons. This has led a doctor to claim that many Australians are in danger of consuming foods which are, indeed, contaminated.

Customs has confiscated eight ‘stun-guns’, which possess the potential to kill as they can each impart a shock of fifty thousand volts. The devices, which were manufactured in Taiwan, are believed to be in demand as people believe they require personal protection, but could just as easily be used as offensive weaponry.

This afternoon, I paid forty cents to buy a copy of “The Sun” newspaper. Under the carport I used a razor blade to scrape off the outdated 1986-’87 registration sticker from the inside of the windscreen of our Chrysler ‘Sigma’ sedan. It was dark green in colour and bore an image of the Queen Victoria Building, which stands in Sydney’s C.B.D. The sticker’s replacement is a yellowish orange and depicts this country’s bicentenary, which falls due next year on the 26th of January.

When I turned on the television at five o’clock, Richard Wilkins, a New Zealander by birth, was hosting “MTV”, on Channel Nine. He opened the show by introducing the video to Bob Segers’ “Old Time Rock And Roll” and followed it, between advertisements, with Australian James Reyne’s latest, “Fall Of Rome”; “Living On A Prayer”, a recent hit by Bon Jovi; before the programme closed with “I Heard A Rumour”, the current release from the British girls, Bananarama.

With “Benson” on Channel Nine, between half past five and six o’clock, I turned to Channel Ten and this evening’s edition of “Perfect Match”, compered by Cameron Daddo and Kerrie Friend.

From six o’clock, the news on Channel Seven is red by the slim and extremely tall Ross Symonds; from 6.45, “Sport Today”, is presented by Garry Wilkinson, and shortly before seven, Susan Stenmark presents the weather. Jim Waley presents Channel Nine’s news from six,with Alan Wilkie delivering its weather report, from twenty-six minutes past the hour. Between 7.00 and 7.30, “ABC News”, on Channel Two, is read by Richard Morecroft. This includes its coverage of sport, presented by Jim Maxwell and the weather report, with Mike Bailey. Sydney’s temperatures ranged from a minimum of eight degrees Celsius to a maximum of eighteen, which is two below the seasonally adjusted average. Katoomba, an hour or two, by road, to the west of the city, in the Blue Mountains, experienced a range from nought to seven. The state’s highest maxima was twenty-one, at Kempsey, on the mid-north coast and the lowest minima, minus eight at Thredbo, in the Snowy Mountains.

It is alleged that a man from Narrabeen, on Sydney’s northern beaches, jumped one hundred metres to his death today, in what is being viewed as a bizarre attempt at committing a murder-suicide. It is believed that before jumping, the man attacked his wife and infant daughter with a hammer, which was found, bloodied, at the scene. The pair is in a critical condition with severe wounds to the head. The event was watched, at North Head, by a group of horrified sightseers, who took photographs in the hope that they will assist the police in its investigations.

The disgraced former Minister for Corrective Services, in New South Wales, Rex Jackson, 59, is sentenced to seven and a half years’ gaol, with a minimum of three years and nine months to be served. He is to spend his first night in Berrima Gaol, from this evening. The Leader of the State Opposition, Mr. Nick Greiner who, from memory, was born in Hungary, shocks some stalwarts of the Liberal Party by candidly admitting that the last Coalition Government, in New South Wales, was permeated by corruption. He suggests that the reputation of the then Government, led by Premier, Sir Robert Askin, should make the party all the more mindful of this, should it regain office.

The film, “Crocodile Dundee”, appears set to break the American record, set by “Top Gun”, for the number of copies sold on video cassette. The latter’s sales stand at 2.8 million.

“Travelling North”, a play written by the Australian playwright, David Williamson, is set to open a season of international drama on BBC Radio and the World Service Link. It is believed that twenty-five million listeners from around the world will tune in. “Travelling North” will become the first Australian play to be broadcast by the BBC.

Workers within the British military are to begin dismantling West Berlin’s Spandau Prison, two weeks after the death of its last inmate, Rudolf Hess. Adolf Hitler’s former deputy, Hess, ninety-three, was held in the prison for forty-one years, until he hanged himself on the 17th of August.

Iraq and Iran trade attacks in an unprecedented escalation of the Gulf War. Iraq launches renewed attacks on Iranian targets in the Persian Gulf. This follows a lull in military activity, which had lasted for forty-five days. The largest mass of American naval power since the Vietnamese War looks on.

Bon Jovi flew into Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport this morning, from Manchester, England, for the start of its Australian tour. All tickets to the venues at which the rock group will appear, have already been sold. Bon Jovi hails from the American state of New Jersey.

This week’s Top 20 singles, in Sydney, according to the radio station, 2SM, is headed by Australian debutant, Kylie Minogue, whose revival of Little Eva’s No.1 hit, “The Loco-Motion”, from 1962, signals a meteoric rise to her career as a singer. Other revivals within the list are Paul Carrack’s “When You Walk In The Room” ( The Searchers; 1964), Los Lobos’s “La Bamba” (Ritchie Valens; 1958) and “He’s Gonna Step On You Again” (John Kongos; 1971) by the Australian outfit, The Party Boys.

The list of the Top 20 albums is headed by the Australian group, Midnight Oil, with “Diesel And Dust”, closely followed by Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet”, which I predict is shortly going to surge with the group now in the country. Other albums in the list include: “F.L.M.” by the British female duo, Mel and Kim; “Whispering Jack” by the Australian John Farnham, who, as with Olivia Newton-John, was actually born in England; “Whitney” by Whitney Houston; Elvis Presley’s “Words & Music”, which was released last month to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death; “MenĀ  And Women” (Simply Red); “The Joshua Tree” ( U2); “Tango In The Night” (Fleetwood Mac); “So” (Peter Gabriel) and “Solitude Standing” by Suzanne Vega. The soundtracks to the films, “The Big Chill” and “La Bamba”, are also there.

In the paper, Robert Prechter, a commentator on the sharemarket, has reportedly stated that he believes that the bull market in American stocks is still intact, in spite of the downward move in recent trading sessions. Mr. Prechter, who writes a newsletter, “Elliott Wave Theorist”, on the financial market, has told an investors’ conference, in New York, that he believes that stocks on Wall Street have the potential to reach between 3,600 and 3,700 on the Dow Jones’s industrial average, in spite of the downward movement in recent sessions of trade.

Brian “Poppa” Clay who played two hundred and forty-six games of rugby league, in first grade, which included two hundred for the St. George “Dragons”, passed away last night in St. Vincent’s Hospital whilst he was undergoing surgery to have a heart transplanted. Brian, 52, played in eight of the teams which were a part of St. George winning eleven successive premierships from 1956. The almost bald five-eighth, renowned for his robust defence, also toured England and France, with Australia’s national side, the “Kangaroos”, in 1959.

From tomorrow, “The Untouchables” will be screened in Sydney. It is presumably based on the television series of the late 1950s, which bore the same title and starred Robert Stack as Eliot Ness. Anyway, the film’s cast includes Kevin Costner, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia, Robert De Niro (as Al Capone) and Sean Connery (as Malone). “Roxanne”, with Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah, also opens tomorrow, at the Hoyts Centre. Films that are already being screened include: “The Witches Of Eastwick” (Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer), “Lethal Weapon” (Mel Gibson and Danny Glover), “Hell Camp” (Tom Skerritt, Lisa Eichhorn and Richard Rowntree), “Les Fugitifs” (Gerard Depardieu and Pierre Richard), “Angel Hart” ( Robert De Niro, Mickey Rourke and Lisa Bonnet), “Wraith” (Charlie Sheen, Sherilyn Fenn and Randy Quaid), “Outrageous Fortune” (Bette Midler and Shelley Long), “Predator” (Arnold Schwarzenegger), “A Nightmare On Elm Street 3” (Robert Englund), “Beverly Hills Cop 2” (Eddie Murphy), Woody Allen’s “Radio Days”, “From The Hip” (Judd Nelson), “River’s Edge” (Dennis Hopper) and the Australian films, “Travelling North” and “Crocodile Dundee”.

The Royal Highland Fusiliers are reportedly furious at being ordered to salute Prince William. The troops, who guard the Queen at Balmoral, believe that the Prince, who is five years of age, did not deserve such an honour as he had allegedly been bossing them about since they had been there.

This evening on Channel Seven: from seven o’clock, the current affairs series, “Terry Willesee Tonight”; 7.30, a repetition from “Family Ties”, starring Michael J. Fox and Meredith Baxter Birney; 8.00, the Australian comedy series, “Hey Dad”; then from 8.30-10.15, the movie, “Porky’s”, from 1982 — this repetition is rated for viewing by adults only and, even then, modifications to its content have been made. “Newsworld”, which contains the latest news and weather reports and is presented by the somewhat cynical Clive Robertson, cannot be viewed until half past eleven.

Meanwhile, on Channel 9: 6.30, “Willesee”; 7.00, “Sale Of The Century” — one of the game shows devised by the Australian Reg Grundy — 7.30, “Matlock”, a dramatic series, starring Andy Griffith; 8.30, the movie, “Runaway”, which bears the copyright of 1985 and features Tom Selleck, Kirstie Alley and Cynthia Rhodes.

“Neighbours”, the Australian serial which propelled actress, Kylie Minogue, to fame in Britain, is on Channel Ten from seven. This evening, it features Briony Behets, Guy Pearce and Annie Jones; 7.30-8.30, “You’ve Got To Be Joking!”, gives the viewer a comical look at unsuspecting Australians. It is presented by Don Lane, who was actually born in the United States and who is affectionately known in Australia as the “Lanky Yank”. This evening’s guest is actress and model Lynda Stoner, who is also a passionate activist for the rights of animals. The dramatic film, “Six Against The Rock”, released only this year, is based on a true story. Six desperate prisoners wage war against their captors and the rock they refer to as “Hellcatraz”. It stars David Carradine, Jan Michael Vincent and David Morse, and may be viewed from twenty past eight.

ABC-TV’s Channel Two screens the British serial, “EastEnders”, between 6.30 and 7.00, and following the news and the “7.30 Report”, “Quantum” may be viewed. It is an Australian scientific series, which, this evening, investigates the progress of research into a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. “Lytton’s Diary” follows between 8.30 and 9.20. It is a British series which has Peter “To The Manor Born”/”The Bounder” Bowles cast in the principal role, that of Neville Lytton. For ten minutes from 9.20 there is “Andrew Saw’s Film Review”; 9.30-10.00, “Countrywide”, which provides weekly analysis of rural affairs, is presented by Lucy Broad. It is followed between ten and half past the hour by “The Walsh Report”.

In other news with regard to television, the British actor, Edward “Callan” Woodward, has recovered so well from his recent heart attack that he hopes to be back at work on the set of the series, “The Equalizer”, from the 17th of September. Meanwhile, bad weather and a strike by stagehands at the ABC have served to delay the production of the fourth series of the Australian comedy, “Mother And Son”. It stars Ruth Cracknell, Garry “Norman Gunston” McDonald, as her long-suffering, live-in son, and Henri Szeps as his brother, an affluent dentist, who receives all of the favours and adulation from his aged mother. Superstar, Tom Selleck, has reportedly vehemently denied any connection between his extremely popular television series, “Magnum”, and a rash of violent deaths among motorists in Los Angeles. Ira Reiner, the City Coroner, has allegedly contributed the deaths to people taking to the streets in the belief that they can behave like Magnum P.I.

Australians have had a mixed day at the United States Open Tennis Championship. Veteran Paul McNamee was defeated, 6-3 6-7 6-4 6-4, by Californian Michael Chang. Michael, who at just fifteen years of age, is the youngest player to take part in the championship. Brod Dyke advanced to the second round by defeating American Mel Purcell 6-4 6-3 2-6 6-2. Peter Doohan was eliminated in straight sets, 6-1 6-2 6-2, by the thirteenth seed, Brad Gilbert. Wally Masur also exited from the tournament, at the hands of Spaniard Emilio Sanchez, 1-6 6-4 7-6 6-3. The first Australian woman to advance to the second round, Nicole Provis, 18, defeated Claudia Porwik of West Germany, 4-6 7-5 6-1. The defending champion and second seed Martina Navratilova easily accounted for her American opponent, Kate Gompert, 6-1 6-1, while the fourth seed, Hana Mandlikova, of Czechoslovakia, defeated Nathalie Herreman, of France, 6-1 6-3.

The tournament, which is being played at the National Tennis Center, in New York, has also resulted in the defending champion, Ivan Lendl, becoming only the second player in men’s singles, in a U.S. Open, to prevent his opponent from winning a game. The Czechoslovakian, who has already won the title twice, took just an hour and eleven minutes to overwhelm South African Barry Moir, whom is ranked one hundred and twenty second in the world, 6-0 6-0 6-0. The first male player, at the Open, to do so was Romanian Ile Nastase, who defeated Frew McMillan 6-0 6-0, in 1977, on clay at Forest Hills, when matches were decided over three sets. John McEnroe, in his opening match, experienced little difficulty in disposing of his fellow American, Matt Anger, 6-3 6-2 6-2.

Veteran political journalist, Alan Reid, has died in Sydney after a long illness. Many fires are ravaging forests along America’s west coast. A couple of hundred fans greeted Bon Jovi in Melbourne and the media is trying to compare it to that amazing visit by The Beatles, in 1964, when in Adelaide, for example, an estimated 300,000 people — about half of that city’s population at the time — massed to see the ‘Fab Four’ wave from a balcony.

Enzedder (New Zealander) Michael Fay’s action in court, to stop the San Diego Yacht Club from revealing where the defence of the next America’s Cup will be held, has been successful.

On “Terry Willesee Tonight”, the first segment has Terry interviewing Terry Bertwhistle whose son has been gaoled in Greece for taking a packet containing fifteen codeine tablets into the country, without a prescription, in contravention of a law that has only been in place for a month. In another segment Queensland’s highly controversial Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, who was born in New Zealand, has come under verbal attack for ordering the removal of vending machines that distribute condoms from that state’s treasury institutions. Some experts believe that his actions may result in death(s). Desalee Maitland, 55, who lives in a house in Maryborough, in Queensland, and who, at the age of twelve months was diagnosed with diseased bones, that have caused her to receive more than two hundred fractures in her life, gets about her house on a skateboard. She has had a special lift installed to convey her to and from the level of the street.

This evening’s “Go Lotto” draw on Channel Nine is hosted by Johnny Tapp, who broadcasts horseracing, and former centrefold, Karen Pini, who is originally from Perth, in Western Australia (as opposed to Perth, in Scotland). Johnny, tried his hand at singing and in the middle of 1974 had a minor hit with the single, “Little Hondo”, which peaked at No.34 on the Australian charts. It lauds the feats of a champion pacer of that time, “Hondo Grattan”, which had earned the nickname of ‘The Bathurst Bulldog’, for its exploits.



The Dell-Vikings

The Dell-Vikings’ period of success on the charts was as short as it was spectacular. This doo-wop group was formed, in 1955, by members of the United States Air Force.

Stationed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the composition of the quintet was open to change, as members were relocated to serve on other military bases. The Dell-Vikings originally recorded for Dot Records, a small local label. However, once the group had had significant success with its release, “Come Go With Me”, in 1957, it was decided that it should record for the much larger Mercury Records.

The group’s next sizeable hit, “Whispering Bells”, had already been recorded before it had departed from Dot and before 1957 had ended, “Cool Shake”, too, was imposing its popularity on the charts. Unfortunately, for The Dell-Vikings these three hits were to remain its claim to fame and while the group, under numerous changes in personnel, continued to re-form, as the decades past, the transient, heady days of success in the recording studio did not re-emerge.

The Dell-Vikings also remains noteworthy for it was one of the few racially integrated musical groups to achieve notable success, at a time, in America, that was marked by segregation. Furthermore, its hits have been used in films that depict its era. ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘Stand By Me’ are two such films.

“Come Go With Me” is included in the list of my favourite recordings. This can be located in the suggested playlists. I shall be adding to this list from time to time and have attempted to make it as diverse, and as entertaining, as possible.

Liverpool’s Hottest!: Tuesday, 1st February, 1977

Today was Sydney’s hottest day, forty-one degrees Celsius (one hundred and six degrees Fahrenheit), for sixteen years. Meanwhile, in the south-western suburb of Liverpool the mercury reached forty-six degrees Celsius (one hundred and fifteen Fahrenheit) that area’s hottest day since records began, and today’s highest reading in the state of New South Wales.

Job Taken: Wednesday, 2nd February, 1977

It was twenty degrees and overcast at 7.00 a.m., however, this seemed cool when compared to yesterday’s heat. I paid sixty-nine cents for a pair of rubber thongs.

Tiki asked me to assist her to get a plastic bag, filled with rubbish, into a slightly larger bag. In reference to the latter bag, she instructed me to: “Hold on tightly while I stuff this in.”

“That’s normally my job!” I quipped.

‘Medical Center’: Thursday, 3rd February, 1977

At noon, Channel Nine screens a film from 1969, “Seven In Darkness”. It centres upon the crash of a DC3 airliner, which contains seven people who are blind. Milton Berle and Dina Merrill are inclusions in its cast. Another programme in the series, “Medical Center”, which stars Chad Everett, is shown between two and three o’clock. Today’s edition deals with a girl of just eighteen years, who learns that she has to have a mastectomy, and a doctor of seventy-three whom, in spite of having become the recipient of a new heart, refuses to retire from active surgery.

Barry Ryan

As Barry Sapherson, Barry Ryan was born in Leeds, England, in October of 1948. His career as a singer began in partnership with his twin brother, Paul, at the age of sixteen.

In 1965, the pair was signed to record on Decca Records as the duo, Paul & Barry Ryan. Paul learned that he could not cope with the stress associated with this and, consequently, it was decided that he would write compositions for Barry to record. One such composition was the brilliantly arranged “Eloise”, released in 1968.

“Eloise”, deservedly, sold more than a million copies. However, subsequent singles could not replicate anything like its success. That is, until “Love Is Love”, released in 1969, became warmly accepted in certain European nations. This meant that it , too, sold similarly to “Eloise”.

Due to his popularity in Europe, Barry decided to record songs in German. He ceased to record in the early 1970s but made a comeback in the late 1990s, when compact discs were released of he and his brother’s original recordings.

Whether “Eloise” appeals to one or not, I believe it is yet a further example of just how the standard of popular music has sunk, to find itself wallowing in the mire of mediocrity that it is in today. I was sitting in my new dentist’s waiting room just the other day having to endure what was being fed to me by the radio station that was playing. In the end I felt compelled to exclaim to the similarly aged gentleman seated opposite, “I don’t believe the dentistry that we are about to receive could be as excruciating as listening to this!” He laughed and concurred.

Embarrassing Protrusion: Saturday, 5th February, 1977

This morning is still and humid. We paid two dollars and forty cents for a pound of king prawns. A fresh lettuce cost us thirty-nine cents.

We were still in bed at 8.00 a.m., when Tiki’s parents — they asked me to call them “Mum” and “Dad”, once we were married — arrived unexpectedly. We leaped out of bed and met them at the front door. “Mum” appeared as though she didn’t know where to look and it wasn’t until I looked down, that I realised why. There, protruding from the fly of my pyjamas, was a tissue.

New Zealand Day: Sunday, 6th February, 1977

It was sprinkling a little at Caringbah, at 7.15 a.m., but it did not come to anything. This evening, at half past seven, “This Is Your Life”, looks at that of Ken Rosewall, a champion at tennis. An edition of the so-called comedy series, “The Practice”, with Danny Thomas cast in the principal role, followed from eight o’clock.

We stayed up for a further two and a half hours from half past eight to watch Channel Nine and the drawn-out motion picture, “Airport”, from 1970, which lists Dean Martin, Van Heflin, Burt Lancaster and Jacqueline Bisset among its stars.

Future Champion: Monday, 7th February, 1977

Sydney has experienced heavy rain for much of the day. On television, at 4.30 p.m., there is a programme from the series, “To Rome With Love”, which stars John “Bachelor Father” Forsythe, and has as a guest star, Diane “Surfside 6” McBain. John Forsythe also provides the voice of ‘Charlie’ in the series, “Charlie’s Angels”.

Rod Stewart is being interviewed by presenter, Mike Willesee, on “Willesee”; whilst over on Channel Nine’s “A Current Affair” sprinter, Paul Narracott, is being hailed as a champion of the future.

“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”, which stars Ellen Burstyn and Kris Kristofferson, and “Dog Day Afternoon”, starring Al Pacino, are screening at the Caringbah Drive-in.