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Feeling So Much Older

Ten years ago this week Crowded House had their Farewell To The World concert on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. Last night I watched the new 10th Anniversary DVD and it's still bloody magnificent. I was so devastated the day after that concert, back in Bathurst and getting ready for my shift at the fish and chip shop. I couldn't bear to listen to the Crowdies for about six months; I was just so overcome by the loss. Woe! But somehow I managed to struggle on. A decade later I peered at our spot on the stairs, surprised I couldn't pick us out in the massive crowd. I thought I'd be visible even in the moonlight, either from the violently sunburned face or the enormous angst-ridden frown because I'd just finished my first year of university and was worried I wouldn't pass all my subjects. Don't fret petal, I'd say to 1996 Shauna, You end up becoming a secretary so you won't even need that degree! I wonder if a concert of that scale could happen today? Can you imagine allowing over 100,000 random bodies to just wander on down to the Opera House for free entertainment? A massive public gathering at a major landmark? Holy security alert, Batman. I remember marvelling at how generally well-behaved and civilised the punters were back then, but I don't know if we'd be trusted these days. There'd have to be metal detectors and cavity searches and riot police. I remember a guy climbed up one of the sails of the Opera House and the cops asked him sternly but nicely to please come down. Today they'd have a vicious Alsatian posted on the point of each sail. An Alsatian, brandishing a semi-automatic weapon.

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Photo nicked from The Age (Rick Stevens)
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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


19 thoughts on “Feeling So Much Older

  1. Shauna – I watched the concert live on television and I cried during their last song (which if memory serves me right was Don’t Dream Its Over)….so sad… I still remember it like it was yesterday. They have given me many years of happiness with their music which I can be grateful for.

  2. I made a stupid decision not to blow off my final thermodynamics exam and catch the train to Sydney to see the concert.

    Have I ever used that knowledge of rankin cycle engines and superheated steam?
    No.

    Do I wish I’d been there?
    Yes.

  3. I was fortunate to spend several years living in Athens, Georgia, USA while working on a graduate degree. The spontaneous 100,000 strong crowd that Shauna describes reminds me of a CD release party by Widespread Panic in Athens. From Wikipedia:

    To celebrate the release of their first live album, Light Fuse, Get Away, Widespread Panic offered a free “CD release party” concert in the streets of hometown Athens. An estimated 100,000 fans descended on the town, transforming it into the largest CD release party in history.

    What makes this remarkable is that Athens is a city of maybe 90,000 when the university is in session. So cramming 100,000 semi-sober souls into the streets of “downtown” Athens is quite an accomplishment. Nobody should doubt the power of music to inspire and entertain.

  4. I still wish I’d been there… I was devastated that I couldn’t go, cos we were in the UK at the time. I’ve seen members of the Crowdies/Enz play about 6 times in total, and every single time, I am overwhelmed with emotion… and then the thought that “I should have been at their farewell show!”

    (In my wallet, I carry a guitar pick that Neil Finn signed… yup, I’m that kind of crazy fan!)

  5. Wish I’d been there.

    then agan I wish Hessy (Paul Hester the drummer) had got some help.

    I used to bump into him quite regularly in the hard ware shop on Barkly St in St Kilda., and he had a real easy charisma. Which is not something you usually think of drummers.

    Still makes me a bit sad that he did himself in.

    there is a Hessie walk down by the canal in Elwood now.

    What a nice fella.

    Pol x

  6. Hey now, hey now, don’t dream it’s over….

    I just checked in here before heading off to bed, and you know I’ll never be able to get that song of my head now. Darn you Shauna!

    *sigh* I loved those guys.

  7. You got the DVD? *Green glow*. I’ve asked for it for XMas. It’s hard to imagine it’s 10 years ago. And talk about a semi-reunion on the cards too – a month ago I sat in a cellar in Bath, with my feet on a rudimentary stage, a foot away from Neil, with Nick’s bass guitar whacking my friend in the head – from the 100,000 to the 100-attendee gig – from the sublime to the even more amazingly surreal! I really, REALLY was gutted I couldn’t go to the Farewell gig, but I look forward to living vicariously through the DVD 😉

  8. Wish I’d been there.

    then agan I wish Hessy (Paul Hester the drummer) had got some help.

    I used to bump into him quite regularly in the hard ware shop on Barkly St in St Kilda., and he had a real easy charisma. Which is not something you usually think of drummers.

    Still makes me a bit sad that he did himself in.

    there is a Hessie walk down by the canal in Elwood now.

    What a nice fella.

    Pol x

    Would of been great if he had, he will be missed in any possible reunion

  9. I wish i could speak to Dani circa 1996 as well; don’t fret about the silly Aussie boy who wont return your phone calls, you’ll end up drunk in a dodgy English pub in 2 years and meet a wee scottish man who you will bring home as “the best souvenier ever!”

    Oh and i would also tell her to finish the last subject of the degree she deferred, much easier in the long run as you will be paying the HECS forever!

    What a fabulous topic for a blog!

  10. Well, we all know that Crowded House listeners are known for rioting and destruction 😉

    I always get all musically homesick when I visit the NZ Shop down here in London.

    Bic Runga – never before has a lisp sounded so lovely…hmmm.

    “….don’t dream it’s over…”

    Scott F 🙂

  11. I was there too! Caught the train down from Brisbane, concert postponed due to shit weather, ended up homeless after the concert cos we didn’t plan on staying that long. Slept in Hyde Park.
    Got there 6am, had prime spots right at the front of stage. Bought the shirt for memories.
    Then my dog ripped it in half 6 years ago, and I can’t bring myself to throw it away…
    Got the DVD on day of release.
    Aahhh, the reminiscing…

  12. no 9, if you’re going to try and put a Questionable URL in your comment in the space where it says URL, it won’t show up unless you leave a name too. so unfortunately noone got to see your English Teens site except me…

    and i am enjoying the crowdies memories. jen, i got the green glow from that wee gig you went to! ooh er…

  13. It was worth the five hours we waited in the hot, hot sun to have such a fantastic spot to watch such an unforgettable concert. Un-freakin’ -believable!

  14. What a fabulous blog you create.
    Your secret writhings have been found from an article written in SMH in 2003 on The World’s Best Blogs by David Stonehouse. Now, that is fame with a capital f and obviously for more than fifteen minutes.
    Crowded House are soo talented. Where are the corresponding Oz writers? All overseas, prob’ly.
    Keep up the magic, poothy tat.

  15. Shauna — “An Alsatian, brandishing a semi-automatic weapon.” As former GSD breeder, I loved the image that line invoked.

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