Monthly Archives: July 2012

What memories do you get from flannelette pyjamas?

This post was inspired by a lot of comments I saw on facebook this morning about whether people should wear flannelette PJs out in public – and it got me thinking about flanno PJs.

What memories do flanno PJs bring back for you?

I grew up in  hot North Queensland (like a lot of my FBFs) so flanno PJs were a novelty – something I didn’t  really get to enjoy till I moved south.

I also associated flanno PJs with punk-ish anti-style statements – like the bass player who wore PJs in the video for The Dickies version of The Banana Splits Theme.

Then of course there was one of my keyboard-playing heroes – Johnnie Fingers from the Boomtown Rats. Remember his fantastic playing in I Don’t Like Mondays? Wearing PJs on stage was his trademark.

What really got me back into the PJs was the TV series Madmen.

Here’s a great link to a fashion piece about PJs and how a dapper English Gent even had his tailor make some double-breasted PJs for him!


These days I love when the kids are all freshly bathed and in their flanno PJs and we have our winter night ritual of hot Milo.

I hope this  ritual gives them some warm memories of the PJs.

I love my flanno PJs – but I have never worn them in public….yet!!!

Here’s that cool clip with the bass player wearing PJs.

Maybe if I’m playing bass in a future gig the flanno PJs would be a good look?

Then again, maybe the audience wouldn’t get the “statement” and just think I escaped from a hospital!

Please share what memories PJs bring back for you and – should PJs be worn in public?


Are you old enough or “pop culturally aware” enough to recognise this iconic jacket?

This post was inspired by a chat with my friend Sean about reaction to a jacket he is wearing in his Facebook profile shot. Do you recognise the iconic jacket? Some people don’t.

Some younger people asked  Sean if he was now working as a waiter!

Of course, others would recognise that jacket as the Nehru jacket – very hip in the 1960s and worn by the Beatles in their famous 1965 Shea Stadium gig.

My 8 year old son would probably say it’s a “Doctor Evil” Jacket. Of course Doctor Evil was a homage to Doctor No from the 1960s James Bond Movie.

Sean tried on the jacket in a Beatles store in Japan – and  now wishes he had bought it!

Anyway, here are some interesting links about the famous jacket.

Here is a link to a great clip from the Beatles Shea Stadium concert.

Here’s a link to a fashion piece. I love the pun – Behind the Seams!


and there’s all the extra cultural significance in this wikipedia piece.


Just looking at these groovy photos of Davy Jones from the Monkees and even Sean Connery with Nehru jackets – I gotta get me one!

What are your memories of Aussie band Mental as Anything?

What are your memories of Aussie band Mental as Anything?

Reg Mombassa’s unique guitar playing where he looked like he was wrestling with the tremolo arm of his fender?

Greedy Smith’s flamboyant jackets and karate chop keyboard-playing style?

As you may guess from the name SentiMENTAL as Anything – I’m a big fan of “the Mentals”

Of course, I also liked the aloof coolness of The Church – but I always enjoyed the “silliness” of Mental as Anything

My friend Mark from law school introduced me to the unbridled joy of Mental as Anything.  Mark (who became a serious barrister) knew all the Mental’s lyrics and would chuckle about the art school Australiana of lyrics like “Cruising in Third looking for bird”.  He lent me his Mentals LPs and I was hooked!

Any party playlist had to include the Mental’s classic “The Nips Are Getting Bigger”. Bass players loved that song because it had a great bass line.

I got to meet Martin and Reg one night after one of their gigs and I tried to “be cool” and not gush too much. They seemed like just everyday guys – not taking life, music or themselves too seriously. Greedy wasn’t with them at the time. I think he was recovering from an injury.

To bring back memories – here’s an old clip that shows Reg’s guitar-playing style and Greedy’s karate chop keyboard style.

This post got me sentimental for the Mentals and I wanted to see what they are up to these days.

Martin and Greedy are still performing in The Mentals with new members. You can catch all the latest on this link.

I follow Greedy on Twitter and I still find him amusing. Age has not constrained his quirkiness!

Also, here is a link to a youtube clip of a 2003 performance that is amusing.

Martin is very cool and aloof while Greedy hams it up playing up to the camera and even doing star jumps.

To my Brisbane FBFs – anyone want to go see The Mentals when they are playing in Brisbane again.?

Let’s live it up!

What memories do you get from the fab fabric – Terry Towelling?

Did you wear terry toweling as a kid? Do you still wear it?

I still love to wear my prized retro bright orange Yachtees Terry Towelling shirt.  It’s like wearing a towel – the warm embrace is comforting and brings back so many golden memories –   the beach, caravan holidays, bright and carefree days!

They were often called the Marlin shirt because of the marlin logo – but the official name was Yachtees!

My wife bought this vintage Bonds Yachtee shirt for me when she found it at markets at Byron Bay. The shirt gets so many comments when I wear it out.

Mums at school usually say “My dad had one of those!” or “I had a terry towelling hat!” It was such a “dad” shirt back in the late 60s and early 70s.

I had one of those TT hats too – mine had the zipper compartment on the top where you could store your hankie and your bus money. What a caring and useful piece of clothing! Plus is was bright orange and “high viz” (visability) before high viz became the norm, Definitely ahead of its time!

I always remember a girl at school wore blue terry towelling shorts on sports day (very daggy) and of course Sean Connery wore a blue TT “play suit” as James Bond.

It was the cool leisure fabric of the time.

I was so taken with the towelling that I formed a musical combo with my drummer mate Lindsay and we played “beach” and “sailing” music under the name “Terry Towelling & The Yachtees”. Of course, we would have worn the James Bond leisure suits if we could have found them 🙂 Maybe it was good that we stopped at the shirts!

Here’s a link to an amusing musing in The Guardian about memories of Terry Towelling.

You may be comforted to know that people are still selling (and buying) Terry Towelling “fashion” items. Check out this hot little number that sounds like something from Seinfeld’s House of Peterman. I love the description!

“Our popular zip-front women’s robe now combines ease of wear with the absorbency and breathability of fine baby terrycloth. The result is a beautiful, breezy way to lounge. Step into it after a dip in the pool or right out of the shower, or wear over sleepwear. With its mandarin collar, ¾ sleeves, and side-seam pockets, this terry-cloth robe will make you feel cool and fresh every day.”

So here’s to the fab Terry Towelling – may your memory burn as warm and  bright as a bright orange Yachtee shirt!

Please share your memories of Terry Towelling!

What’s your favourite board game?

What’s your favourite board game?


Do you have happy memories of board games? My two kids love them –

especially Trouble, Snakes and Ladders and Scrabble.

I recently got “re-introduced” the simple joys of these games when I was recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. I was not very mobile but I could sit and play board games – and luckily my two kids also loved playing board games.

We have a modern version of Trouble – but when I visited my mother-in-law, I found a ”retro” Trouble that my wife would have played when she was a kid.


Wasn’t the retro version cool with the funky colourful font?


These days my wife doesn’t PLAY trouble – she IS trouble! Did I actually write that or just think it? Don’t tell her or I’ll be in trouble.



I’m such a “teaching nerd” I use Scrabble to teach spelling and Snakes and Ladders to teach maths. – “you’re on 20, you got 5, 20 plus 5 equals…”


Board games always remind me of beach holidays – or rainy afternoons when mum and dad had to keep the kids amused.


What do board games remind you of?


If you haven’t played a board game for a while – I suggest you try it!


I love Trouble because (for a board game) it’s comparatively active and physical.


One thing I never got into as a kid (or ever) was jigsaw puzzles. I have friends who love the quiet challenge of a jigsaw – but I’ve never done a jigsaw puzzle in my whole life. I never had the patience – or the desire to do a jigsaw…. but that’s a topic for my next post!





What songs make you want to play air guitar or air bass or drums?

What songs make you want to play air guitar, air bass or air drums?

We all have special songs that connect us to special places and times in our lives. There are also extra special songs that can compel you to drop what ever you are doing and launch into air guitar or some other air instrument – that is miming playing the bass, or drums or even air bagpipes!

Some songs just make you want to burst into playing air bass or drums!

Please let me explain.

Do you like to listen to your favourite tunes while you do your housework?

I snatch any chance I can to listen to some of my favourite music and the other morning I was unloading the dishwasher while listening to vintage Cure. I’m working away efficiently until Primary comes on and I can’t help myself but to pump up the volume and launch into playing a frantic air bassPrimary is such a bass-driven song with so much energy.

Anyway, my two kids come into the kitchen and ask me to “turn it down” because they can’t hear the TV. They see dad having a great time playing air bass and they join in with blissful abandon.

My son grabs the mini guitar I bought him.  I’ve got a wooden spoon for my bass. My daughter grabs big plastic spoons that function as drum sticks one minute – a microphone the next.  Super daggy – but super fun!!

The family “air band jam” brings back happy memories of when I was a kid using a tennis racket as a guitar and the carpet sweeper as a mike stand.

Please share what tunes inspire you to play an “air instrument” – what tunes, what instrument?


I know some people prefer “free dance” to playing an “air instrument”. A good friend of mine (from a serious corporate background) is a mum who loves to bust some moves with her daughters to “Move Like Jagger”.

She also can’t resist busting some moves whenever she hears The Violent Femmes “Blister in the Sun”.

I know some people may shake their heads at these confessions of dagginess* – but I hope this post brings a smile to your face.

I hope this post reminds you of special songs that make you want to dance or play your favourite air instrument.


(*The Cure is by no means daggy – but maybe playing air bass when unloading the dishwasher could be considered daggy)

I intend to make a fun family ritual of these air instrumental jams with the kids. Maybe mum will join in – if we play some Madonna (Mum’s got the Madonna moves from back in the day!)

Please share what tunes inspire you to play an “air instrument” – what tunes, what instrument?


For those unfamiliar with The Cure’s Primary or who haven’t enjoyed it for a while – here is a link to it on youtube. I challenge you not to want to play air bass!