Size Matters

Funny how we talk about bands being a certain size in relation to their popularity. "A small local band", or "a big overseas band".

When my friend Danny Johnson and I left Adelaide in 1978 and moved to Melbourne to form the power pop punk band 'The Aliens', we saw a band at the 'Paradiso Cafe' in Lygon St. Carlton. They were called "The High Rise Bombers". They were excellent. Paul Kelly was the main singer songwriter. I can still picture him up on stage singing a song called "I See Red". I saw him later that night at a party in St. Kilda.

I was new in town and felt I really should extend myself, meet some new people and make myself known. I saw Paul there and decided I to introduce myself. Not being particularly gregarious by nature, I kind of worked myself up to it. I figured, how hard could it be. He was from Adelaide; I'm from Adelaide. He's a songwriter; I'm a songwriter. We would probably really hit it off. We might even become good friends and write some songs together. I could break the ice maybe by letting him know how impressed I was by his performance that afternoon and then we could work our way round to topics like what I was up to etc. Finally we would probably exchange phone numbers and the like, then take it from there.

Still feeling some trepidation but fortified with a couple of beers, I respectfully approached him and complemented him with some gravitus,
"I saw you play at the Paradiso today, and I think your band could be really big."
"How big do we need to be", was the dry retort, "there's ten people in it already"(or how ever many it was.)
Through my frozen grin I said, "Yea right", and slunk off.