Metallica; a Thrash Metal band formed in Los Angeles circa 1981, they were amongst the Glam & Hair bands that were largely present at the time in the LA music scene. They some how managed to stay above the ocean of hair spray, spandex, leather, high heels & make up with their heavy, gritty, fast paced, mean sounding music.

They’re one of four big bands that came from the United States are are governed as The Big Four of Thrash Metal, the others being; Slayer, Megadeth & Anthrax. Metallica being the largest of the four followed by Slayer then Megadeth and in last place sadly Anthrax, who I think as a live band are the best of the four, especially when fronted by the all amazing & talented Joey Belladonna on vocals.

Back to Metallica, by 1983 Metallica had already been through two band members bassist Ron McGoveney had come and gone & lead guitarist Dave Mustaine has been booted out for his alcoholism and general attitude to the band. Which was the best thing to ever have happened to Dave because it gave him the fuel needed to start Megadeth, which in itself is a rather respectable band, even if Dave is not when he opens his mouth and it is not on stage during a song.

By then Metallica consisted of James Hetfield on lead vocals & guitar, Lars Ulrich on drums, Cliff Burton on bass & Kirk Hammet on lead guitar. This line up formed the band for their first three releases, Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning & my personal favourite Master of Puppets. Then rolled around the European Master of Puppets tour in 1986 where a tragic accident in Sweden left Cliff Burton dead at the age of 24. Metallica was now with out a bass player and had to abandon their European fans mid tour. It wasn’t looking good for them, but they weren’t going to throw in the towel there. They held extensive auditions for a new bass player and finally they settled on Jason Newstead, who was a huge Metallica fan also, so he went from looking up from the crowd in his home town on year at a Metallica show to looking down on the crowd all within the space of a year.

The band released an EP with Jason, then a full studio album, their fourth effort titled “…And Justice For All” it was Metallica’s first album to debut in the top 10 and it was proving things were only going to get better and bigger for them from here on in. That proved so with them being nominated for a Grammy and most likely to win, although they did not, they lost out to Jetro Tull.

The 90’s rolled around and Metallica teamed up with the famous music producer Bob Rock, who was known for working with bands like Motley Crue, Aerosmith & Bon Jovi. He was brought in after James Hetfield loved his production work on Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood album. Whilst still hating Motley Crue, because they were seen as rivals. Metallica being the bad boys of Metal & Motley Crue the bad boys of Sunset Strip & Rock N’ Roll in general.

Bob came in to help the band for their new album simply titled ‘Metallica’ or ‘The Black Album’ as it is more commonly called due to it’s black album with nothing more than Metallica in the top left and the bands snake logo bottom right in a dark grey. The Black Album is considered to be where Metallica sold out. This is where I beg to differ that Metallica never sold out. They simply expanded their horizons musically, they brought in someone who knew what he was doing and how to help the band define their sound on each song and get them to try different things. Bob Rock also made James take singing lessons which James believes saved his voice.

I see why some say Metallica sold out because they changed but, to me it’s the total opposite, they gambled by changing their musical direction, it gave them the chance to reach a wider audience. It would make more sense to say a band like Slayer, AC/DC or Motorhead are sell outs because they make the same sounding album every cycle. It’s a safe bet for sales and fan retention, I get that also, they want to stay relevant in their genre with their fans, not gamble and potentially lose their fan base & their status. But this change worked for Metallica, they became bigger than ever, possibly the largest in their entire career today.

The Black Album flew off shelves and recently it was titled in the USA as the best selling album of the Soundscan era (1991 to present day), surpassing Shania Twains 1997 album. It sold in excess of 20 million albums in the USA, and continues to sell about another million units per year world wide, and world wide it has sold over 30 million units.

Bob Rock worked wonders with Metallica so much so they kept him around until 2003. Between 1990 & 2003 the band released Load & ReLoad, Garage, Inc., which was all covers from various influences to Metallica over the years, especially Motorhead, 3 of their songs feature on the double album. They also recorded a live album the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, which was Jason Newsteads last recorded work with the band. Then in 2003 Metallica released their most controversial album to date titled “St. Anger”

St. Anger, it was the last Metallica album to be produced by Bob Rock it also took the band 2 years to record the album. It’s most known for it’s lack of guitar solo’s (there is not a single one on the album) and Lars Ulrichs infamous tin can snare, which he has received all kinds of backlash, but he simply just laughs at it these days and pokes fun at it. Whilst the album debuted at number 1, it was not a fan favourite. Though it is a favourite of mine. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s a good thrash metal album!

Critics gave it a negative view, but some also said if it wasn’t Metallica it would’ve made for a great debut garage thrash metal album. They’re right, if Metallica had not put it out, it would’ve been seen as a master piece. But it was Metallica and they were seen as a bunch of sellouts by 2003.

By then the band was on their third bass player who was ex bassist for Ozzy Osbournes band & Suicidal Tendencies, Robert Trujillo. An exceptional bass player, who has more style and sound like that of later Cliff Burton. Robert is a true fit for Metallica, not that Jason wasn’t a bad pick either.

in 2008 the band released Death Magnetic, with producer Rick Rubin who is known for working with Slayer, Slipknot, Beastie Boys, ZZ Top Aerosmith & The Red Hot Chilli Peppers! The band returned to long 9 minute songs, with guitar solo’s and regained some of their thrash credibility.

Over all I do not think Metallica sold out, they did what they had to, to either survive, adapt or to fuck with people because they’re Metallica, the biggest band in Metal.

Happy New Year people.

Not much is new with me so far, though I did get my new phone! Nothing fancy, tis only an iPhone 4, though, it’s quite awesome I must say. It does everything my old iPhone 3G couldn’t do, which was pretty much everything. Especially Twitter, it now launches Twitter instantly without crashing ten times in a row! I am happy with that, i’m more than happy because I love using Twitter.

Happy New Year

Speaking of Twitter I’ve just passed 19,000 tweets. In the last year i’ve gone from around 6,000 tweets to 19,000 which is amazing. A few times I hit the tweet limit for the day, oops. I just decided to see who my 19,000th tweet went to the girl I met at The Living End in Melbourne, Viola. Ha! At least it wasn’t wasted on some bullshit tweet!

What else… What else… New years resolution? Nah don’t have one, just goals I always have lying about that never seem to get met. Y’know find a job, for some reason the Gold Coast has plenty to spare yet no one wishes to hire you unless you have experience, well smartass how am I meant to get experience if I don’t have a job, answer me that! Other than that, live life to the fullest, etc etc.. Probably get in better shape somewhere along the way too.

I’d like to make more friends this year, especially those who will stick by me and not turn around and tell me to fuck off for no reason and leave me puzzled as to what just happened.

So far i’ve just spent the first week of 2013 playing games I bought in the Steam sales, hanging out with mates and watching Metalocalypse in my spare time. I went to Billy Hyde the other day with my mate Rhett, i’ve now seen what a 16,000 dollar guitar looks like. It wasn’t a Jimmy Page signature, no, it was something better than that, it was a signature guitar by a guitarist who could play, Ace Frehley. Former lead guitarist of KISS. Who was replaced by Tommy Thayer. I bet i’m going to make a lot of friends with that Jimmy Page remake, don’t believe me, go watch any live Led Zeppelin video from back in the day or even Celebration Day, Page butchered songs so often it wasn’t funny.

This year I also want to get back to playing my bass, I think I might purchase Rocksmith when I have the money to get me interested again. But before then I need to get new strings and the neck realigned, and there’s a problem, i’m not sure what strings I even want. I currently have Ernie Ball Hyper Slinky’s on it, but they aren’t exactly ideal for what I play… I’ve been thinking about a set of Steve Harris signatures, but again not sure if they’re ideal for what I play and how I play. I use a pick where Steve uses his fingers in a galloping motion.

Though i’ve been thinking about a set of Dave Ellefson (Megadeth bassist) signature strings.. He plays through the same brand of amp I own, and they sound pretty punchy coming from his Jackson basses. So I think they might be what I am after.

Not really much else to report on for the year so far. Though Duke Nukem Forever is an awesome game I must say, also i’m replaying Grand Theft Auto IV for about the 4th or 5th time. I’ve clocked something stupid 170+ hours according to Steam.

Oh well, that’s all from me. Time to watch more Metalocalypse!

2012 was a great year for music, especially for the bands that defined the genres of music they helped shape. So here’s my top 10 albums of 2012!

10. ¡Uno! – Green Day.
¡Uno! Now most of my friends know I use to be a massive Green Day fan, I eventually grew out of them in a sense, especially when 21st Century Breakdown was released, I did not like that album one little. I learnt not too long before the release of ¡Uno! that Green Day was doing a 3 album release this year, so I thought I’d check it out, thinking it might bring me back as a fan. For their modern sound it’s pretty good, it’s definitely my choice out of the three releases from them. It’s earned it’s place at number 10 on my list.

 

9. Music From Another Dimension! – Aerosmith
Music From Another Dimension Aerosmith, they have been a staple band to Rock N’ Roll since 1970, they have released some classic songs like Walk This Way, Dream On & Sweet Emotion. They’re back with their 15th album, which is mile ahead of their previous releases. In my opinion, their best since Permanent Vacation. I was cautious with this release given they were once again working with outside writers. I was quite impressed with what they released, especially after hearing the first single Legendary Child. It’s a solid release from a band who should never had a crap release in the first place.

 
8. A Different Kind Of Truth – Van Halen
A Different Kind Of Truth Van Halen’s first studio effort in close to 15 years and their first in over 20 with David Lee Roth! It was great to see DLR back at the front of Van Halen, after all it’s what made Van Halen, Van Halen apart from Eddie’s guitar playing, was Dave’s voice & showmanship. I was glad they released this album, since it has possibly one of my favourite rock songs of all times on it, Blood and Fire. It proved even without Michael Anthony on backing vocals & bass the band could still power on. I also think that Wolfgang Van Halen, is quite an acceptable replacement, that kid can play bass like no one’s business!

 
7. House Of Gold & Bones Part 1 – Stone Sour
House of Gold & Bones Part 1Stone Sour, i’ve loved this band since their self titled release in 2003. What wasn’t to love from that release, it was heavy & angry. It appealed to the teenager in me! Also it had swearing, I liked swearing. This is Stone Sours 4th studio release and is part of a 2 album release. It’s a concept album, no doubt about that, it tells a story. I’m pretty impressed with it, I’ve listened to it a lot of often than I did with Audio Secrecy, which is weird considering I loved Audio Secrecy. As much as the band changes from release to release, they still seem to keep some of that original charm that made me love them.

 
6. Last Of A Dyin’ Breed – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Last Of A Dyin' BreedLynyrd Skynyrd, one of the few bands to lose a lead singer and manage to carry on and keep building a fan base. I’ve not been the biggest Skynyrd fan, I do like their staple songs, Tuesday’s Gone, Freebird, Sweet Home Alabama etc.. But this album really struck a note with me. From hearing the title track of the album I was hooked. I didn’t think Skynyrd would be a band I would ever get into properly, but weirder things have happened with me & my taste in music. As I said up there, 2012 is for sure the year for those who helped define & shaped Rock N’ Roll & their respective genres.

 
5. La Futura – ZZ Top
La FuturaThe little band from Texas as they’re sometimes referred to. Billy & Dusty both look like they could be part of an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang with those beards. I was really impressed with this album, it was more of the ZZ Top I know than what they have put out in the past, spanning from new wave to dance rock (KISS anyone?) but this time it’s more the blues/rock groove of where they started. It’s definitely one of my more favourite releases from ZZ Top and of bands this year.

 
 
4. Clockwork Angels – RUSH
Clockwork AngelsThey were a band I only started listening to in the last few years, it’s something I sorely regret, since this trio can not put out a dud album. With Geddy Lee’s vocals & amazing bass skills, Neil Pearts drumming & song writing & Alex Lifeson’s guitar playing it’s a recipe for success. Clockwork Angels is the bands 19th release.. As usual they nail the whole concept album and telling a story. It also features in a few songs a full string section, which compliments the songs rather nicely. I would never have thought at the start of the year I would be placing this album so high up, but I have.

 
3. spook & Destroy EP – Wednesday 13
Spook & Destroy EPI know, I know it’s an EP (extended play) but I had to mention it, it’s a great 8 track EP by Wednesday, even if 3 are old songs redone and 3 are remixes with 2 brand new songs! It’s Wednesday 13, I don’t care i’ve supported his solo career where ever possible. I own all his solo releases, I don’t pirate his work, I attend his shows where I can, I also buy his merch! The two new songs remind of Wednesday 13 (yes I am still sour about Skeletons because it was too personal) Halloween 13-13 has a great tune to it, for some reason I just really like it.

 
 
2. All I Was – Tremonti
TremontiMark Tremonti of Alter Bridge and sadly of Creed fame more so. He’s a phenomenal guitarist and to a lesser degree song writer, though he’s still pretty good at that. I wasn’t sure what to make of this project of his, but I thought i’d check it out anyway and for a debut album it’s solid. I hope he puts out more badass metal tunes like this. Also he has a pretty damn good singing voice. It wasn’t until recently I noticed he shared vocal duties on “Words Darker Than Their Wings” with Myles on ABIII.5. Over all it’s a great album and well worthy of my #2 spot. But I kind of have a soft spot for Mark and his work especially with Alter Bridge.
 
1. Apocalyptic Love – Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators
Apocalyptic LoveTo anyone that knows me this should not be a surprise, given my love I have for this album, Slash & Myles Kennedy. It’s just the greatest rock album of the last 15 years or there abouts, maybe longer. I know a lot of people hate this album and call Slash a sell out for it, I don’t understand why. It’s a Rock N’ Roll album, it’s Slash, one of the more dedicated and better guitar players out there still doing what he loves. Slash has already stated he’s working on his next release with his current line up. I can’t wait for it, if it’s half as good as Apocalyptic Love then it will be awesome. it has also some great songs like Bad Rain, Apocalyptic Love, One Last Thrill & Anastasia (a real personal favourite)

Looking back whilst there were not many releases I got this year, there were still some amazing releases! Notably those I mentioned here. Even if most were from bands & artists before my time, it goes to show they haven’t gone out of style/lost it with old age.

This is my last post for 2012, see you all in the new year or something to that effect!

Video Games of 2012

Posted: December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

Max Payne 32012 was a pretty good year for games, and being a gamer myself I played a fair few titles. Most of them had a pretty damn good story that tugged at those strings making you feel bad for the characters or the decisions you made. I also played some titles from 2011 and some dating back to the turn of the century.

Between playing WoW and getting bored of it I decided to replay Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, why? Because I could that’s why! Also because it has one of the best soundtracks EVER in gaming history. It’s the motherfucking 80’s! What’s not to love about Vice City, it’s set in Miami, the story is mostly based off Scarface & Miami Vice, a soundtrack with Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, David Lee Roth, Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Jackson, The Buggles and many more! Also some of the fashion is quite fine, like those suits!

I got my PC fixed (read I bought new internals and put it together, cause i’m smart as fuck like that!) which meant I was able to play more than World of Warcraft! I was happy, very happy actually! The first game I played on my new PC was L.A. Noire by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar. Let me just say, it’s an amazing game, the atmosphere, the characters, the storylines etc.. I also liked that there were actors from Mad Men playing characters in it.

After L.A. Noire I pushed on to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which was amazing. I was sad that I missed out on these quality titles in 2011, but not much I could do with no console and no real gaming computer. I sunk something like 24 hours into the campaign, I was proud with myself for that! The only problem I had with the damn game like everyone else was the boss fights. Like come on the game is all stealthy then it comes to the boss then it’s all give it your all with these massive fucking weapons! Otherwise it’s a great game, with an interesting story.

Following Deus Ex: I played The Ballad of Gay Tony, the last time I played most of it was on my old PC, which died in the middle of my play through, so I thought I had to finish it, given I had finished GTA IV & The Lost & The Damned a year earlier. It was probably the best out of GTA IV series, even if there was more helicopter missions in it, they’re the worst things to control on PC… I also enjoyed the more badass weapons like the AA-12 shotgun, that thign is pure awesomeness!

Spec Ops: The Line

Then around rolled the Steam winter sales, I picked up a few games, Arkham City for 7 bucks being one of them, so that was next on my list! I enjoyed it, but I found Arkham Asylum to be much more intricate and involved game, I think it was just due to the size of Arkham City mostly. Though it was fun playing at Catwoman! I liked it, but I don’t think i’ll replay it anytime soon.

Then my mate bought me Minecraft and he got a server running the mod Tekkit. I was playing that for hours on end every day to build random crap, though I was fixated on replicating the Vercetti mansion from Vice City or if you wish Tony Montanna’s mansion from Scarface. I got there in the end, there I started building other random stuff with my mates, we built nuclear reactors a small town a farm etc..

By now I had resubbed to World of Warcraft awaiting the release of their new expansion Mists of Pandaria.. By the time it rolled around I had been back playing for a month, and let me tell you when my WoW sub is active I ignore all other games. Which is probably a bad thing, since I usually just sit around with it open chatting to friends. The new expansion came out I played it for 2 months until my sub ran out then I got Need for Speed Most Wanted & Far Cry 3, both I have no finished but intend to sometime soon!

I then went to Melbourne for a week so no gaming for me! But when I came back the Steam sales started.. Oh dear, my poor wallet!

My mate first bought me Farming Simulator 2013 (don’t judge it’s fun okay!) I then acquired; Max Payne 3, Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD, Spec Ops: The Line, CS:GO & Dead Rising 2.

I’ve finished Max Payne 3, amazing game. Working on finishing Spec Ops: The Line, and almost finished Tony Hawk, which reminds me of the days of having a PS1 and playing the shit out of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2!

and that in a nutshell was my gaming for the year.

Bonus round! Ha, I bet you all thought I was only going to do six blogs revolving around my Melbourne trip, but you’re mistaken! I always had plans to document my seventh day in Melbourne, even if it was very short and uneventful, I still had a good time! I’m currently lying here in bed on Christmas morning 2012 at 00:16am with a Rum & Coke, whilst listening to my iPod!

I never got a chance to speak about the cool merch and the ticket from the shows! I bought one of the tour shirts with the Melbourne dates on the back & I also got a signed tour poster which I shall be framing with the ticket, since it meant so much to me to be there it’s worth framing! Here’s a picture of my loot!

The Living End Merch

So the day started around 8.30 for me, I woke up jumped on the laptop, checked emails, browsed Kotaku, Twitter, Facebook etc.. Chatted to the friends that were awake, then rang dad around 9.30 to get the number of my great aunt & uncle who live only about 90 minutes down the freeway from Point Cook in Maryborough, at this point dad also informs we have the new little pup and I was to come up with a name ha, fat chance dad, fat chance! So we chat for a little bit he informs me he had a very interesting meeting the day before with his mate/business partner and had more to inform me when I returned home later that day.

After hanging up with dad I ring my great aunt & uncle, my great uncle Doug answers, I inform him it is I calling, and funnily enough he says I sound just like my father, I get this a lot on the phone from those who have known my father a long time. We had a good chat, it had been years since I had spoken to either of them and even longer since I had seen them. I then got to speak to my great aunt, Di! She loves me, every year I get a birthday card with money from her, she is awesome! We had a little chat, she wasn’t sure if I was 21 or 22, I informed her I was only 21, but it didn’t matter haha. It was great to catch up, since she is the only one the grandmothers side of dad’s family left that we have communication with.

After that I decided I should pack up and get ready for my flight home that afternoon, I soon after made my way down stairs where Christine was already just chilling. She only had just woken up, she was surprised I had been up since 8.30 or there abouts. We discussed our movements for the day, leave her place about 2pm, since I had checked in the night before I only had to be at the airport an hour early which was awesome!

We had some lunch, Christine’s mum made spag bol for us, which was damn tasty and filling oh god x.x haha. Soon after we had to head off to the airport, I honestly didn’t want to leave this lovely place I had called home the past 6 days, but I had to go home to mum & dad and sadly the humid heat oh how I didn’t want to.. The humidity is terrible, just terrible. I don’t mind the heat though, beats the cold! I say that as I am chilling out in air conditioning ha. At this moment in time I was also browsing my Twitter feed and saw that Orianthi, the lead guitarist for Alice Coopers band posted that she was at Melbourne airport bound for Adelaide, I was all “Nooo, why couldn’t she be there at 2pm when I was!” I would’ve loved to have met her, she’s a killer guitarist and also a very attractive young lady.

Christine & IAt 2 Christine & I set off to the airport, which was Tullamarine, not Avalon. Christine almost got lost since she said she was never sure where to go when in the general area, which was fair enough the place was fucking massive! Christine could only see me to security which was okay, I was upset that I was leaving someone who has been close to me for now 7 years, time flies.. We hugged several times, it seemed Christine didn’t want me to leave either, we then said our goodbyes and promised each other it wouldn’t be almost a year before we saw each other again!

I hopped over to security got my laptop and aerosol cans out and popped them in the tray along with my phone & iPod, cleared security fine, no issues. Unlike Gold Coast where they confiscated my deodorant >=[ which I had just bought the day before haha. I was then subjected to a random explosives check, ha! The bloke asked me if I had any explosive devices, I replied with “I sure hope I don’t” he seemed to get a laugh out of that, thank god. I didn’t want to be whisked off to a room and searched D= I passed with flying colours he thanked me for my full co-operation and all that.

I was then on my way to my boarding gate, I decided to check Facebook and would I believe it my best mate from high school that moved down to Melbourne last year was coming back on the same flight as me, this was amazing news! I really wanted to see him whilst I was down but never got to due to poor management on my behalf, I felt bad because I never got to see my other mate Jack. I literally walked into Jesse when going to the boarding gate!

We sat around chatting and catching up, our plane got delayed twice, which kind of sucked, but I was okay with it since I got more time to chat with Jesse, it was great to see him. I last saw him back in March but we didn’t get much time to hang out, which sucked. But ah well! It was kind of funny though, we both ended up on the same flight, though sadly his reasons for coming back to Tweed were for his grandfathers funeral which was sad. Especially at this time of the year, but it can’t be helped.

The plane ride home was pretty smooth, the promised us turbulence because of the weather, we had no such thing! Though I almost fell asleep several times, something about the flight that did it to me, was weird. When we touched down at Coolangatta I knew I was going to hate stepping off the plane, and I sure as hell did. It felt like I walked into a giant invisible wall. Dad informed me this is what Port Morseby, in Papua New Guinea felt like when he lived there back in the 60’s.. I didn’t feel relieved, considering we’re something like 3,000km south of that..

I was soon home, and got to meet the new pup, catch up with mum & dad and then learnt that the washing machine was dead, god damn it. I needed to do washing! But it’s okay 2 days later I had it fixed (I could’ve let dad but I wanted to) and running like new, because i’m awesome like that. All it was, was a burnt out pump that needed replacing, thankfully. 70 bucks beats 700 bucks for a new washing machine.

and this now concludes my SEVEN part mini series on my trip to Melbourne to see Australia’s hardest working Rock band over six nights performing all six of their albums. I would like to thank everyone who made my time in Melbourne the best thing possible, especially Christine & Daniel, also The Living End, for giving back to us the fans for supporting them all these years. There are only a few bands as dedicated as they are and I am glad I had the opportunity to be there in their home town for those shows.

It was a pleasure writing these blogs, I hope you all enjoyed them, leave a comment if you wish!

It was the final concert and my final full day in the lovely city of Melbourne, a Monday, it was the day mum & dad were picking up our new Kelpie cross Border Collie pup, who we have now named Chilli, here’s a picture for everyone to go “awww” at. Today was Christine’s first day off since I got there, so we planned to go into the city! I was excited cause I just wanted to hang out with her all day since I got there, so we hopped in the car around whatever it was midday and set off to the train station in some town I cannot recall the name of and board the train to Flinders Street.

As per usual our train was delayed (sigh) so we had to wait another 15 minutes or something. Oh well, I could tell Christine wasn’t impressed but sadly it was out of our control =( But soon enough our train arrive and we were on our way to the city! I like the scenery on the way to the city, it’s all industry which I love, a few refineries for natural gas, petrol & diesel, then other relating to farming, milk etc.. There’s also a power station, something I had never seen before. I live relatively close to Brisbane and go there/past/through often, but Brisbane doesn’t have such as much industry, its strange being a capital city and all.

The Living End

We arrive at Flinders Street and Christine wanted to know what I wanted for lunch, me being me responded with “What ever you feel like i’m easy” so Maccas it was she said, I was okay with this. Until I ordered a tasteless burger, oh well never order the crispy chicken & bacon fillet burger, they’re shit! Daniel later informed me of this, wish I had remembered my last encounter with that burger, I was appalled then, still am heh.

After we had lunch we headed on down to Minotaur which Christine wanted to show me! It’s a shop dedicated to comics, gaming and such related merchandise, as I enter I saw Sons of Anarchy merch so I automatically headed towards it hoping I could pick up another shirt, I found a design I liked but alas nothing in my size. I was upset. But I went on looking at other shirts, I soon came across a bunch of music shirts, one being a Motley Crue, Girls, Girls, Girls album cover shirt, again not in my size.. I was most unimpressed. Every shirt I came across was way too small, it sucked! I wanted to buy one =( I looked on their website later that night, turns out they had Metallica Monopoly in store, was lucky I didn’t see that, I would’ve bought it otherwise..

We soon left Minotaur empty-handed, which was a little disappointing, we then headed off to Melbourne Central, where we had a look around, we went to a Typo, where Christine got chatting to the girl at the door who she use to work with out at St Kilda, she seemed like a nice girl. After that we headed towards the station located underneath central, but first we stopped at a bookshop since Christine mentioned she wanted to look in one, I had a browse for some booked I wanted, sadly they didn’t have what I was after, they only had what I already owned =(

So we headed off to the platform for our train, we were apparently meeting Daniel at Newport station so we had to change trains for that, and just our luck the train we want pulls up at the same time as our train was pulling up and they both leave at the same time, was quite frustrating. So that was another 20 minute wait for the train. It finally came and it was another 15 minute journey to Newport where Daniel was waiting for us to take us back to where Christine parked so she could move her car from the four-hour parking.

After that was done we went to this cafe around the corner, where we got some food and just chilled and chatted, it was nice to just sit back and relax in a relatively alright place. Not long before we left dad rang to check in with me and wanted to give me my great aunts number but I told him i’d call back the next morning to get it off him, since I said I would ring her & the great-uncle whilst I was down in Victoria where they live.

So after we had sat around doing nothing for about 2 hours we decided to head off, we were off to a birthday party at a friend of Daniels, they call him Betty for some odd reason, but his normal name was Anthony. All the others I met the previous two nights I had been out with Daniel & Christine were there, they were all happy to see me. I got a hug from Louise and that’s when I realised how tall she actually is. For reference i’m about 5’10″/5’1″1 she would have to be about 6’1″ it was daunting man! haha.

I felt very welcomed at his place, his mum & dad were lovely people and the food was awesome (they’re an Italian family so we had heeeeaps of food) we hung around until a little after 8.30 when we had to jet off before we were late for the show! We got there and scored THE BEST PARK of the week, 20 metres from the entrance of the club, it was amazing. We were so happy!

At this point I had been tweeting with the awesome Miss Viola most of the day, she is young lady I had befriended on Twitter, i’m sure you guys remember her from my previous blogs? Well she was insisting I come meet her at tonight’s show, and I was not going to miss out on this opportunity! So I said she could count on it and she said let her know when I arrived!

The Living EndWe made it early this time! We caught the end of the support act Area 7 and we then played the waiting game, tonight was the last show of the Retrospective Tour for me sadly. It was the album The Living End, the album where it all started for this band, their most known album to date, with songs like Second Solution, Prisoner of Society, West End Riot & All Torn Down. I was extremely excited to hear this album live, about as excited I was for State of Emergency.

I let Viola know I was there and she came over to the bar where I was and we chatted for a good 5-10 minutes, I was amazed we could hear each other over the music the DJ was playing, she looked glad I made the effort to come say hi! I was also happy I got to meet her! I also got several hugs which are always welcomed and awesome (she totally gives awesome hugs by the way) we soon had to part ways to get back to our respective spots in the pit. It was depressing I didn’t get to meet her before the last day but I was also glad I got the chance!

The last song of the night played from the DJ which was Bohemian Rhapsody, after that ended on came the nightly recap video of the albums year, this time it featured the tragedy at Thredbo in 1997 and other things that happened that year, it also featured a very young Living End being interviewed at what looked like Big Day Out on The Gold Coast, since it looked like the Gold Coast show grounds.

The band came out to Prisoner of Society which the crowd went nuts for! But after West End Riot they all seemed to die down and not be as energetic which sucked because a) it was The Living End & b) it was the last show many there would be attending on this tour! I was having a blast, like wise was the guy next to me who some how managed to get a killer spot a head of me, but he was a legend he let me have his spot later when he was getting out, so if you’re reading this thanks for that awesome spot dude with the tribal tat & southern cross tat, I won’t judge because of your generosity!

The night closed on Closing In, an excellent song live I must say. Upon leaving the venue I tossed up buying another shirt but decided against it due to the length of the line! I also passed Viola leaving, but she was busy chatting to someone so I didn’t get to say bye, but oh well!

We decided to pop back to Anthony’s and give Daniel a lift home even if he only lived around the corner, Christine just wanted an excuse to see him, adorable, right? So we hung out there for a bit whilst they were watching the NFL, Brian and I discussed how shit it was and didn’t get what was so amazing about it and would rather watch the women play NFL in lingerie.. Cause y’know that is actually decent to watch.

We left a little before 1am or so, it was a great night. It was also a great week. I quite upset I would be leaving the next day, I had made some awesome friends and felt right at home in a foreign state 2,000km’s away from the state & house I spent my entire life in. Before this trip the furthest I had been from home over night was out to Leyburn and that was only 300km’s from home. It was nothing in comparison!

Tomorrow I will be doing one final blog on my last day in Melbourne, even though it has nothing to do with The Living End, I feel like I should blog about it! These last 6 blogs have been a great time for me to reflect on my time away and just how lucky I am to have such a friend like Christine, she is worthy of so much. I can’t thank her, Daniel & her parents Ray & Ann enough for their amazing hospitality whilst I was down there.

It was day five of my stay in Melbourne, a Sunday, relatively nice out today, cool but not cold, I thought it was great! Others thought it was cold, I had no idea what they were talking about. After all i’m the one who should’ve felt cold since i’m use to high 20’s low 30’s with a fuck ton of relative humidity in summer on the Gold Coast, but nope, I felt comfortable. So today I was hanging out with Daniel for the day since Christine had work yet again, we decided we would see the new 007 film, Skyfall, and do some Christmas shopping so it was over and done with so we didn’t have to deal with it later.

The Living End

We decided to get Grill’d for lunch, oh man I have not had a take away burger from a chain place taste THAT good. A little price 18 bucks with chips & a drink, but well worth it in the end, I have paid more for less & flavourless burgers. I would happily go back there for another burger some time in the future! So after having lunch we wandered over to buy movie tickets for the 1.30 showing of Skyfall, at this point I felt stuffed. Which was a shame cause I wanted an over priced frozen coke from the candy bar D= Oh how I was suffering first world problems. I’ll be honest I was rather sceptical about Skyfall, I wasn’t sure what to make of it since I had not seen Casino Royale or Quantum of Solace, and I also wasn’t sure what Daniel Craig was like as an actor. I was also sceptical because I wasn’t a huge fan of Pierce Brosnan’s 007 movies. Alright I am only a lot bias to Sean Connery & Roger Moore, I loved their movies as a kid.

Anyway, I fucking loved the hell out of that movie! It was great, there were a few parts where it was just dialogue and nothing important where I almost fell asleep, but that was because I was really tired! Since I went to bed at 2.30am that morning, not my fault I was on a high from the night befores events! Not like it was a boring or dull movie or something, because it wasn’t! I won’t give away any plot details, but there were a few things I noticed that 007 was doing to prepare a stronghold that I saw in Burn Notice about 5 years ago. Was it a coincidence or was it borrowed from Burn Notice? We will never know..

So after the movie finished we went back to Daniel’s I ended up helping him speed up his computer and such, and he had some presents for people to wrap. Also did something else but I forget what that was.. Around 6 or so we headed back to Christine’s since she was due home from work about then, it was fish & chips for dinner, woo! I hadn’t had fish & chips in ages. I decided to order crumbed barra, whilst everyone else got flake, I should’ve gone with the flake, since the barra wasn’t that amazing. I was disappointed, but oh well. It was still tasty though! Also potato scallops & dim sims were consumed, along with beer. I also noticed how exhausted Christine was and told her we didn’t have to go tonight if she didn’t want to, but no she said we were going. I just felt bad for her dragging herself to it feeling that exhausted. I think she knew this but didn’t want to disappoint me.

Roll OnAround rolled 8.30 or so and Christine & I had to head off since the band was on at 10 tonight! We ended up leaving around 9.15 though because that’s just like us heh. Tonight’s album was Roll On! My least known album by The Living End, but that’s okay I was determined to have a good time anyway! I only knew Roll On & Dirty Harry, but it’s still a great album. Tonight we managed to score the exact same park as we did the night before, but sadly this was about 5 or 10 minute walk from The Corner Hotel, but that was okay it was a lovely night out, nice & crisp! I thought it was beautiful! Christine seemed a bit cold though.

It was another quiet and not so crowded night there which was odd given it was the band’s second album and I thought more would be there but oh well, I was alright with that just meant less dickheads to cause trouble, or so I thought. I think it was that night I watched security drag 2 idiots out of the pit and some bloke went for someone outside the venue which ended up involving the cops and all. Eugh people are idiots!

But it was a damned good night, even if I wasn’t that aware of the material on the album, I still enjoyed it. After that we went home and literally just passed out, I was tired as all and Christine was beyond that, the poor girl working all day and then staying up until close to 1am.

Join me tomorrow for the final day, day six of my Melbourne adventure to see The Living End live over six nights!