Sunday, August 28, 2005

sydney scene

While we were staying at Annabel's I kept looking out the window into the yard next to the one next door to hers (which you can see more easily than the one next to hers) and there was a small white dog in it just doing nothing. Just sitting and looking off to the right, or whatever. On Sunday morning it was joined by a green parrot. The parrot was a deliberate introduction because its cage was also there, for a while. The other strange thing was a guy pasting some kind of solution all over a big board. Anyway, I tried to take a picture of this scenario but this is the best I could do with the mobile phone. The small white item to the left of the white square is the dog. The bottom third of the image is Annabel's bathroom window ledge.


David Denmark said...

The day The Beatles disappeared in Sydney
The Beatles 1964 tour was something I will never forget. I had come to Australia from England at the age of 16 in 1955 on the SS Otranto with the Big Brother Movement. Having spent two weeks at their farm near Cabramatta I went off to become a jackaroo in Ned Kelly Country between Deniliquin and Jerilderie. Within days I was milking cows and within weeks, castrating and tailing lambs, dehorning rams, plowing, harvesting, felling trees, fencing, shearing and rounding up sheep and cattle on my horse Darkie. I loved it from day one. From here at 18 I applied for and joined the Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm in the (Naval Air Cadets) NAC 19 entry. Another fantastic experience but short lived, as after an injury in UK and sojourn in Balmoral Naval Hospital I was discharged and started my commercial career with Gillette. From here I progressed to other companies and in 1964 I was sales promotion manager for Gallaher International, a tobacco company that had just entered the Australian market and here is where we get to The Beatles.

I was having an exciting time living in Sydney in the 60’s; loving the music and dancing at parties and restaurants, many of whom then had small dance floors and groups. I’d also got to meet some of the big groups and performers in Australia at the time such as Johnny O’Keefe, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Kevin Todd and Laurel Lea, the Dave Clark Five. I recall after a gig at Young, driving the last four groups through floods from Young to Cowra for their next gig, sitting inside and on the roofs of our company station wagons, unknown of course to the company!

It was at this time in my life when The Beatles were due to arrive in Sydney.

I remember thinking 'what a marketing coup if I can get them smoking Edinburgh cigarettes', Gallaher’s first (and only) brand launched by them in Australia. Somehow, and I may have to thank Bob for this, I got to meet them on their arrival at their hotel in Macleay St Potts Point.

While sitting on the floor enjoying a few whisky and cokes with Ringo I mentioned that a friend with whom I sailed had a yacht on Pittwater and would they like to escape the crowds and journalists for a while.

They jumped at the idea and so I rang my friend and planned how we could all escape from the hotel and disappear for the day. The group enthusiastically agreed with the plan.

It was like a commando raid. I pulled into the hotel. The Beatles and Brian Epstein leaped in and I roared out of the hotel and up to Pittwater.
I had picked up bread, ham, cheese, vegetable soup and some wine and beer. Anton was ready with the boat and we sailed out onto Pittwater from Clairville on one of those magical Sydney days with sun shining, blue skies and gentle breeze.

Once under way I heated up the soup, made sandwiches and we just relaxed, talked, ate and drank while we sailed gently through a sapphire and sunlit sea. All, including Brian, said how great and peaceful it was and that they just wanted the day to go on and on.

Eventually I said we have to get back so you can get to your big event tonight.

Everyone said No! No! No! But we sailed back and I drove them to their hotel, to the relief of everyone when they arrived, who had no idea where they were and the show went ahead with their ecstatic fans bringing the house down.

Bob probably well remembers that time when The Beatles disappeared for a large part of the day with a concert due that night!! No one knew then and very few until now knew just what happened on that day!

I spent more time with the group at the hotel and John Lennon gave me a copy of his book 'In His Own Write' signed personally by the Fab 4. This irreplaceable memento was stolen from my home and was the only record I had, as carelessly, with hindsight, I took no photographs.

There was one surprising follow up to this very special experience. Some 20 years later I had gone back to England to take my mother out for her birthday and went to a restaurant in Knightsbridge. As we were seated I heard a familiar voice and at a neighbouring table was Ringo. I went over and said you probably don’t remember me, and he didn’t, but then I mentioned the cruise on Pittwater and he said that wonderful day. That I do remember! It was a special day for all of us!

annabel said...


Anonymous said...

Sorry, I know you'll tell me I haven't been paying attention... who is Bob?

alanon said...

the sydney organiser of the Beatles tour, bob guccione.

Anonymous said...

C'mon guys.........Bob Rogers......