Brisbane - October 2014… When the G20 and The Sugarman came to town

Sunrise over Brizvegas

Merethe and Emma always bring Norway's Aurora Borealis with them
Brisbane, October 2014 could be remembered in history for many different things. 

For one, it is the month before the G20 World Summit which will take place at the Brisbane Convention Centre in South Brisbane on the 15-16th November. At a cost of 400 million dollars to Australian taxpayers, 4000 delegates and 2,500 media will gather to solve the problems of the world.

These delegates will be mobilised on the ground by sixteen bomb proof Mercedes Benz, except for Vladimir Putin, who will be flying in his own BTR-80 armoured vehicle, and Barack Obama has arranged to bring a missile proof Tesla in the hold of Air Force One to flex his green muscle to the host country and coming up at the rear will be Australia's own Tony Abbott, on his brand new Malvern Star twenty one speed, road bike with puncture proof tyres.

The girls and I spotted two of Tony Abbott's undercover
security agents blending into the Queen Street mall

Thanks to some quick and intelligent thinking by the Captain of Team Australia and Gina Rinehart, the major sponsor for the summit, the agenda of the conference has been somewhat 'uncluttered' by the removal of any item that sniffed of climate change or renewable energy. That this clever move by King Tony totally miffed nineteen of the twenty countries attending failed to impress his highness but the opportunity was not wasted on his nemesis, Professor Clive Palmer.

Merethe decided to join Tony's undercover men
Clive, Australia's answer to the USA's Al Gore, leapt through this window of opportunity like an agile Garfield and announced that he would provide motorised golf buggies and free beer for all delegates who would like to attend an alternate world summit, that included climate change and renewable energy, to be held at The Palmer Coolum Resort following the first summit in Brisbane.

My Clive Palmer email newsletters tell me that delegates from all countries will be attending except Tony Abbott, who will be doing a fashion launch for his new signature Speedo 'budgie smugglers' in Hobart and Mal Brough, Member for Fisher, who has a prior engagement attending a sausage sizzle for the Dicky Beach sceptics at Bunnings Caloundra.

And this guy with the fake VW split screen Kombi dressed up as a Coffee Shop( looked pretty suss
A definite highlight of the first conference is sure to be the much publicised, ten round, shirt collaring event between Abbott and Putin, to put to rest once and all who is the toughest and smartest politician in the Universe.

My prediction is that while Abbott is ruffling Putin's shirt collar, Vladimir will deliver one swift, black belt, karate kick to Big Tony's well documented 'budgie smuggler' zone and it will be game over.

Emma and Merethe, the Norwegian International students staying with us for the next year, could not work out why Norway has not been invited to attend the summit.

I told them that the problem was that Norway has been keeping Australia in the No.2 spot on the United Nations 'Most liveable country in the world' list for the last ten years and there was a fair bit of Aurora Borealis envy evident in Norway not getting in the starting line-up.

Emma and Merethe waiting for me to come back from checking out this dodgy new coffee shop off the mall
Then almost like a chorus of budgerigars, in their cute Austwegian accents, Emma and Merethe both piped up and said, 'But we have one of the greenest cultures in the world and besides we are only beaten in the number of Tesla sales per month by the USA!'

My roadie's eye view of The Bon Scotts in action
I assured them most Australians would agree that Norway should have been invited to the G20, but our Prime Minister was not too big on getting beaten OR Teslas and probably had Norway crossed off the guest country list.
JJJ Unearthed discoveries, The Bon Scotts, ( warming up the locals in the Queen Street Mall compliments of the Brisbane City Council Arts program

But the highlight for me in Brisbane in October 2014 had nothing to do with the G20 but began with an event that took place some forty years prior.

But for me the Brisbane highlight for October 2014 will be going to the Brisbane Convention Centre for something completely unrelated to the G20.

Free entertainment for the local punters during the G20 that will cost the same people $400 million dollars. What's to culturally celebrate about that?
In 1974 I bought a vinyl album called Cold Fact by an American Singer I knew nothing about who went by the name of Rodrigez. This album is still in my collection and regularly sits on the turntable because every song on it is a classic track in its own way. Forty years after I bought the album, Jo and I went to listen to the Sugar Man live last Sunday night. At 72 years of age, singing stuff from the only two albums that he ever recorded, he re-lit the fires for six thousand young and old, but dedicated fans and set the bench mark for a lot of digital pretenders that stake a claim to musicianship. With many songs to sing and only a few words to say he did put one proposal to the G20 delegates that I felt worthy of an answer.

Rodrigez said, "I still wonder why in this advanced age men are still killing each other with weapons?"

With 4,000 of the world's greatest political minds attending the G20 summit, I wonder if they could come up with an answer?

                                                               The Sugar Man live


  1. I love the album "Cold Fact", so many classic songs. Did you see the documentary on him, Searching for Sugar Man?
    Did Rodrigez remember all his lyrics?? I saw him at the Bluesfest in 2007 and he only sang about half of his set before walking off. He wouldn't finish songs and had to be prompted quite abit to remeber the words. Still great to see him live.

  2. He didn't miss a beat Ben. It was the Sugar Man documentary that prompted us to go. He had a great band behind him and his voice sounded pretty good for a 72 y.o.

  3. Hey Rob! Stirling from The Bon Scotts here. Thanks for posting the photo of our show! We just wanted to let you know that our gig had nothing to do with the G20 entertainment; the Brisbane City Council arranges live music in the Mall all year round. As you may realise, we aren't super keen to be associated with the G20 nonsense!
    Cheers, Stirling/The Bon Scotts


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