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.
What an interesting life!! Thanks, both, very much for sharing. I just have visions of hitching a ride to Perth…
Charles sounds like he has a good sense off humour too Margot
Loving these ’10 Things’ lists Carol, great stuff!
Thanks Tracey – Charles Hall is going to be a guest of our local library – I cant wait to hear him talk about his book …
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