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Rockin’ on with memories


Rockin’ on with memories

Ashley Robinson is still dining out on a story that gave him just two degrees of separation from the late great music artist Joe Cocker.

My dear wife (or ‘Old Mate’, as many people know her) has discovered that her TV is a smart TV: that is, a lot smarter than the two people, the kelpie- cross dog, the turtle and the squadron of birds that live at our place.

At any given time when I come home, she will be watching Queen, Eagles and Live Aid concerts on YouTube, marvelling at how old they look now compared to way back when. Then of course there are the music stars who have passed away, which is plenty when you get to our age.

One thing she is grateful for is that the late great Freddy Mercury, who bravely fought Aids to the end, will always remain “forever young” to her.

Ageing rock artists are aplenty. An exception, though, is the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards who is about to turn 80. He did his ageing early as he looked 80 when he was 40. Now, he looks pretty good for his age, which is a phenomenon as he has hammered himself for decades.

Another favourite of hers is the late Joe Cocker, who didn’t age very well at all, but was an awesome artist. Joe and I had something in common: back in the early ’90s, I was heavily involved in the touring band business and Old Mate and I got invited to see Joe Cocker at the Gold Coast’s Fisherman’s Wharf by a booking agent. I was told it was a VIP area, so we were excited until we got there and found out there were about 400 other VIPs.

So Joe comes on in his black T-shirt and we could hear him but couldn’t really see him. So I had a whinge, which I am an expert at. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, we ended up in a room right near the stage with the roadies and Joe’s family.

We had been firmly told not to talk to anyone. About four songs in, Joe’s family members, who were next to us, all got up and left. Shortly after that, seafood, beer and wine all came out to our table. That was puzzling, but we were happy recipients. One waiter said to me, ‘You must be so proud’. I asked, ‘Of what?’, as I inhaled a lobster. ‘Your brother Joe’ came the reply. Then the penny dropped.

I didn’t see any reason to correct him.

Yes, I was proud of Joe, and She Came In Through the Bathroom Window has a whole other meaning to me and Old Mate.


Ashley Robinson is the manager of Alex Surf Club and the chairman of the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

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