Thursday, May 13, 2010

#181: Dust My Broom

I love The Bodgies. Clearly one of the most under-rated bands that this city has ever produced, nobody who has seen them can slight them. Full of charisma, they’re the perfect party band for those who like their blues to have a lot of rhythm.

I first encountered The Bodgies back in the early 1990s. In my previous life as a fork I was tapped to interview Don Morrison, Head Bodgie, for an anniversary of a radio station where I was trapped at. Don came in with some Golliwogs tunes to play and was highly impressed when I mentioned that not only did I know who the Golliwogs were (Creedence Clearwater Revival before they were CCR) but I was familiar with the songs, having heard them at a young, and impressionable, age. Don liked me and I liked him, and Bodgies Bassist, Frank Lang and the interview went well – at times it was like we were the Three Stooges, such was the interplay between us all, and somewhere between the laughter and Woo Woo Woo came a decent interview. I began to play them on a regular basis on the squawk box, much to Don’s amusement. But it got better.

A day before New Years Even Don phoned up the station and invited me to attend a Bodgies reunion gig at a pub in Semaphore. Naturally I said yes and dragged the other half, my brother (who was always up for a good live band, beer and hopefully a fight) and his soon to be wife. All was good.

We walked in and found Frank holding the largest bowl of guacamole dip I’ve ever seen. I asked Frank what was the hell was that all about. “I like guacamole dip Jesus,” Frank replied, “and we always cater our own gigs.” I couldn’t argue that. Don wandered in with his brothers Geoff and Brian and we had a chuckle as we introduced our respective brothers. I liked both Geoff and Brian as both were slightly less funny than Don, and less outgoing, but still damned good people indeed. Much the same as Frank they all brought various items of food and spread them out, along with posters and tapes. Then the shoe dropped.

I’d told my brother, no matter what Don asks, don’t answer. Let me do all the talking. Normally that’d have been enough, but my brother had already hit the piss when Don wandered over. “Jesus,” he started, “you don’t know how to work a bar, do you?” I knew what was coming and was ready to say no when my brother, already half pissed, sprouted, “Of course we do!” Yep, we were now the bar staff. Geoff wandered over so I asked, “Where the hell is the bar staff?” “Fucked if we know, “replied Geoff, “but they didn’t turn up and if we don’t sell any piss then we don’t make any money. Good of you to help though.” I began to wonder if they’d just taken the pub over and opened it even though it might have been shut for the evening. Not to worry.
The Bodgies took to the stage and let loose and all was good. We sold a fair bit of booze, and drank a fair bit too, and sold food. I was stunned at the amount of guacamole dip that went from the bar and also disgusted when I noticed that people were dipping everything into the dip, including one guy who was knocking himself out dipping Iced Vo-Vos into the guacamole. All was good with the world. At the stroke of midnight we declared the bar closed for a few minutes, grabbed some bottles of champagne and cracked them open. Fizz went everywhere and Don whooped it up.

By this stage Don whipped out the posters and asked me to buy one. “Sure thing,” I said, “but only if you all sign it.” After all this was the classic Bodgies line-up and I wanted that poster done. Don grabbed a black marker pen and began to write, signing his name 'Don Bodgie', setting off a chain reaction. Everyone wanted a signed poster, so Don really went to work. “What’s your name?” he’d ask people. When they replied he’d write things like, “Hey, Joe, Get Fucked!” or “Fred, I fucked your missus!” People LOVED it and began to egg him on. Geoff, Brian and Frank looked very amused and just signed their names. I still have my poster and keep thinking, I should frame it at some point.

The night finished at around 2am, so my brother and myself dumped our respective spouses off at his place and wandered back to the radio station to drink some more and play good music until the sun came up on a new year.

Frankly it was one of the best New Years Eves I’ve ever had. Thanks Don, you’re still a bloody champion in my eyes and I'd happily design and maintain a web-site for you anytime.  Just get in touch man.

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