30/04/1985 Harold’s Posh Maccas


Another theatre-free day was Tuesday April 30 1985. La Boite still had Off the Top showing, but my day and evening were spent with Pip. I slipped out of work and met her for lunch at Harold’s Posh Cafe in Boundary St at Spring Hill. – interesting side note – it turns out that Harold Fleming used to run Harold’s Posh Cafe and it was Harold Fleming I was watching this very morning, flipping pork buns at Brisbane’s first pop-up restaurant, The Bun Mobile, which was moored near the Loading Dock Cafe in West End while I was breakfasting – I’ve not come that far in 27 years!


Anyway, lunch with Pip it was then back to work and out to meet Pip again – this time at McDonalds in George St where she collected me to go to the Triple Zed studios at UQ to produce another Off the Top spot for the radio. My diary tells me I also had an invitation to a wine tasting that IH Baker (purveyors of Henschke Wines at the time) were holding at Rags Restaurant in Paddington. But there’s an ‘X’ beside that so ZZZ must have had more pulling power than Hill of Grace. Ol’ diary also tells me I had to call David Aberdeen but does not tell me why. David was the Triple Zed technical guru as I recall.

After the production stuff at Triple Z, it seems like more TV and even more coffee till 12:30am on another school night!



29/04/1985 Stock Control Blues

Monday 29 April 1985 must have been extremely mundane – even for me. I reported in my diary that this day was the first day of a new ‘Stock control regime’ in my cellar at work. I then reported that the new system had been mastered by 9:05am and I was bored again. There’s no pleasing me somedays.


This day does appear notable in hindsight by the mere fact that it’s a day that I didn’t go to the theatre – for any reason at all. Amazing!

The evening was spent at home with the television, Anne Jones, our house guest Anni and a veritable feast of Pythony comedy. Watched Yellowbeard, Monty Python & the Holy Grail and Fawlty Towers

1985 Technology and 1985 “The Look” below.

27/04/1985 Mental as UQ Union

Whoops! I forgot a day… Whatever happened to Saturday April 27th 1985 – I know I’m curious. This must be read in the context of occurring prior to the day I wrote about yesterday, and I’ll mix things up even more by attempting to change the date of this post. Keep you wits about you reader.


Again, this being a Saturday and back in the day, I worked at the gentleman-officer’s club until 12 noon. That was how Saturday morning shopping rolled and I’m not sure if we had what we called ‘late night shopping’ yet. That meant Thursday nights till 9pm in the suburbs and Friday night till 9pm in the City (and New Farm). Crazy stuff! There was much talk in the media and on the buses and in the taxis about the morality and the necessity of shopping so late into the night or even after noon on Saturdays. So, it was home after work then back to La Boite for Raw Roar rehearsals where we re-did the lights and ran through the show. (Still no recollection of this show….).

Rehearsals over and I drove with Peter Williamson (who recall as a Triple Zed person, rather than a theatre one?) to get a BBQ from UQ Activities for the Sunday night BBQ show. Now my diary says, and I quote, “…usual UQ Union hassles meant we couldn’t get it.” C’est la Vie, apparemment.

I left the theatre and went to Pip’s to watch Peter O’Toole and Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million


 and Oz – A Rock’n’Roll Road Movie. We ended the evening on the verandah listening to Mental as Anything who were playing at the University.


28/04/1985 – Raw Roar BBQ

Sunday – 28 April 1985. I wonder how many times I went to La Boite that day? Looks like only two – I must be backing off! The day started with a brunch at the New Farm Park Kiosk with Pip, Gerry Cleary and John Kelly. The kiosk still had 15 years to go before it would burn to the ground and be replaced with a shipping container. Here’s a pic from 1985 I found in the National Archive (Image no. :A6135, K16/12/85/48)


Naturally, half way through brunch I needed to go to the theatre and meet Buffy Lavery for a quick trip to Springwood to borrow a BBQ from a school principal known to her. That BBQ was the centrepiece of the Sunday night Off the Top – BBQ Show. Bit of a short show apparently, being Sunday night and all – Funny Stories followed by something called Raw Roar that I did the lights and sound for (apparently?).

Anyway, I digress, after BBQ procurement duties I returned to New Farm Park to eat more food, this time with Buffy, then home to wash my clothes before returning to the theatre and the aforementioned BBQ to cook sausages. 

This is what it was like in Brisbane in 1985… Click here

and here’s a 1985 Bris-band – Lovers in Bunkers (circa 1985)


26/04/1985 Coles New World Magician

April 26th 1985 – après ANZAC and back to work. My diary records very little of work – in fact none really, except on the rare occassion I get to leave early or miss a day or get someone to work for me. Like most of the days in this book, today starts after work at 6:30pm when Anne Jones collected me to go shopping – enormous, expensive shopping at Coles New World in New Farm I expect. $80 with an exclamation mark is how much we spent – outrageous for three, maybe four people for a week or so. 

As usual, the evening began at home and about 9:30pm moved to La Boite Theatre, where Off the Top was still running. The diary says we didn’t leave New Farm till 9:30pm, which means we missed the Street Arts Juggling Troupe and we missed Adam Couper 


and Michael Golledge and we missed Sezel People’s Big Band and we missed Funny Stories. I remember Adam and Michael – famous in La Bamba circles for their physical comedy and particularly their Samurai Breakfast skit. We would have made it in time for Stephen Bishop and Richard Scholes – Stephen the original dentist-by-day; clown and mime by night and Richard the magician. I know Stephen made the clowny big time in Cirque du Soleil and I now know, thanks to the electronic interweb, that Richard is still magician-ing. They were followed by the Clifford Holden Radio Hour, which I noted was really good, but, in all modesty, that could have been because I did the sound. I also noted that the original, ‘two Caskey boys’, John and Rick (as opposed to those Caskeys-come-lately, Sean and Lachlan) did well and that Michael Whelan’s rendition of Minnie the Moocher was great. Here’s a slight ‘Minnie the Moocher diversion…

Peeking ahead into the mouldy ol’ diary reveals a couple more days of very similar activity ahead. Maybe it was repetition I needed. Maybe it explains why I haven’t beento the theatre since about 1990.

25/4/1985 Off the Top with Mr E

ANZAC Day 1985 and my diary tells me I’d forgotten about it. Come on – who forgets a day off? Especially a day with it’s own motto about not forgetting. I’ll take it as read, but I’m reading carefully now. I reckon the amount of time I spent at La Boite in 1985 was a little excessive. 10am rehearsals for a show called, Raw Roar about which I know nussingk. Nussink at all. But I attended reharsals prior to visiting my grandfather to borrow his mower and attack our Merthyr Rd grass.

Mower back and over to Pip’s for some afternoon videos – seemed I was a fan of crap videos back then – and now. Watched Firefox and, for some reason I cannot understand or explain, Beauty and the Beast. We watched the videos with John Caskey and Eugene Carchesio, so I will blame them for them, no just Eugene, for the video choices. I blame Eugene because he’s so arty.

Still the Off the Top Caberet festival rolled on. Tonight’s opened with a local magician, Dave Lord and his Magical Mr E. I believe that I recall this particular performance because I was magician’s assistant. I recall a lycra jumpsuit and and being placed into a sack inside a trunk behind a curtain, whereupon following the traditional flourish and magical intonations, I emerged dressed in the magician’s black suit and he was released from the trunk and the bag wearing the lycra. Sworn to secrecy for 27 years, I can now reveal that the… nope. I cannot reveal this secret now Google has shown me Dave’s still going. Dave was followed the Sezel People’s BigBand, Funny Stories, No Standing Allowed, a film and finally, after 11pm, Gerry Connolly.


That’s a big night of theatre in anyone’s books – specially after mowing a large yard and watching Beauty and the Beast.

24/4/2012 Funny Stories and Fun Times


La Boite Theatre was still in full cabaret flight on April 24, 1985. Off the Top opened a show called Pumping Blood 2: The Musical by a group from Sydney called, Funny Stories. Now I’ve searched Google and Bing and any other damn search engine I can think of for information about this show or group and there’s a dearth of information on them and onthis era – the recently pre-internet years. So for Funny Stories, all I have is the review of a younger me – “The ‘Funnies’ do an absolutely disgusting show for about an hour and 15, but they’re disgusting (totally) without being sexist or racist.” 

Off the Top also provided a late show that Wednesday night – I guess the public holiday the next day enabled that – a show called Fun Times Inc which appears to have been a Chris Maver extravaganza. Wow! Chris Maver is a name I haven’t uttered for a good 25 years or more and clever Mr Google advises me that he’s still producing ’em. (See pic below from Fruit Tingle Cabaret at Judith Wright Centre)


Even back then, Chris Maver shows commanded a niche audience and Pip and I chose to miss the late show and return to Dorchester St.