Today I welcome expatriate Perth author Charles Hall to my blog. Thanks for sharing with us and good luck on the launch of your book Summer’s Gone. Over to you Charles 🙂
I decided to try my hand at writing quite late in life: before that I had always been a musician, of sorts, and a songwriter. I first met my wife, who started out as a jazz singer in Melbourne, at a quite strange arts/music/poetry venue in Perth in 1967. After a spell in Melbourne we returned to Perth in ’69 and started a band, Gemini, and later that year we put out a record that was a big hit throughout WA. The song was called Sunshine River, written by Will Taylor, a folkie friend of ours, and for a short time we were pop royalty in Perth. It didn’t last; our next record stiffed and we went back to being pop commoners. We spent the next few decades in London, Perth and Melbourne, and have ended up in a peaceful and remote part of East Gippsland in Victoria. We don’t play gigs very often these days, the amps get heavier as you get older, and some years ago I decided to write a novel instead. ‘Write about what you know,’ they say, so I did. The result is my first novel, Summer’s Gone, set in the Australian music scene of the sixties.
Ten other things you’ve always wanted to know. Or not:
- I hitch-hiked from Perth to Melbourne in 1967 when I was 19. With a girl.
- My first car was a very old Austen A40 wagon, purchased in Melbourne for $29 in 1968. Its name was Roger.
- My wife and I tried to drive back to Perth in Roger in 1969. With our little’un. We got as far as Port Pirie.
- The owner of the Port Pirie caravan park gave us $20 for Roger. He planned to paint it up like a Noddy car for the kiddies’ playground. We finally got to Perth by train (them) and hitching lifts (me).
- Two DJs from a Perth radio station heard us play Sunshine River at a restaurant in Araluen. They said, ‘We want you to record that song. It’s going to be a hit.’
- We were going to call our band Genesis. (Pretentious nitwits? Us?) But Clarion Records boss Martin Clarke called to say a new band in Britain had that name, and they were going to be huge. (He was right.) So we became Gemini, for no very good reason.
- I didn’t go to uni until I was 32.
- I didn’t become a high school teacher until I was 59. (But I did a lot of other stuff in between.)
- Summer’s Gone was launched in February 2015, three days after I turned 67.
- I’m a late starter. (Except when it comes to getting married. I did that at 19.)
Your life so far sounds like it has been an adventure! Thanks for sharing Charles and good luck with your new writing career.