Bland On Bland – Ball

The theme this week for Jon’s JVG Radio Method on 3RRR is “BALL” (keep it nice folks), Back to poems this week, Ed Bates is in his usual spot on the backing slide guitar.

Click to hear today’s poem… [audio:JVG_Poem20081019.mp3]


There’s a scene in “Goodfellas”, where Tommy DeVito thinks he’s about to be “made”
The moment he twigs he’s a deadman walking , it’s too late to be alarmed or afraid

The Dennis Hotel on the Highway in Frankston, circa 1972
A bit of a trek but I followed the music – what else was a poor boy to do?

The venue was named “King Neptunes” a fitting title in more than one way
The patrons mostly swam at the bottom of the Gene pool and it belonged at the bottom of the bay

I arrived nice and early to stake a spot by the stage between the PA and walls
I’d been looking forward to this gig all week, “Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls”

Last time the audience was full of pub rockers, a few hippies – the stoned and deranged
When “The Balls” hit the stage with cropped hair and mullets I twigged the demographic had changed

The opening chords of “Hey what’s your name?” and the stage lights lit up the room
For the first time the crowd could see one another, no longer concealed in the gloom

Every Sharpie, every Stylist, every Skinhead in Melbourne filling every square inch of the floor
By my calculation around two thousand Sharps stood between me and the door

Careful to avoid eye contact, I knew I could be seriously hurt
But it’s a hard to blend in to a room full of sharps in flares and a pink paisley shirt

A sea of T-Shirts with gang names emblazoned, jeans, too small and pulled high
With a culture of violence that screamed with us or agin us, I began preparing to die

Conte cardigans and pinstripe pants, Cuban heels on their all leather shoes
While I contemplated life after death “The Balls” played “Mess of the Blues”

Assuming I managed to sneak out the exit there’d be a thousand more out on the street
They’d be even more agro cause they couldn’t get in – and me? I’d be dead meat

Lobby led the band into “Human Being” sent the crowd into a hypnotic trance
They stood in tribes, Neanderthal nodding, we’d nicknamed the Coat Hanger dance

Bands come and go, and fashions the same and for fifteen minutes you’re a star
But no other sound in this world or the next came close to Lobby’s guitar

A half empty pot struck the bridge of my nose, it felt like I’d been hit with a bat
A voice through the haze screamed out “Hey poofter, what you gonna do about that?”

In the time I had left I farewelled my teeth, there was no where to run or take cover
But I was saved by the fact, while they couldn’t stand me, they passionately hated each other

A South Blackburn Sharp hooked a Westside Skin, the room erupted in rage
In the midst of the brawl a hand grabbed my collar and I was dragged back behind stage

The arm belonged to a Coloured Balls roadie, besides me, the only one with long hair
“You stupid prick” he exclaimed dumfounded “What the hell were you doing in there?”

Indebted, I thanked him on behalf of my face and escaped out the rear loading dock
“The Balls” seemed to follow me down Kananook Creek as they roared into “Liberate Rock”

Even now I get shivers when I hear that song and I don’t mean that negatively
I’m not sure it helped to liberate rock but it sure helped to liberate me

© Copyright 2008 Ian Bland

One Reply to “Bland On Bland – Ball”

  1. G’day Ian, thanks again to you & Nic for a luvverly arvo Cup day! I was touched by your graciousness & ready acceptance of this oldish fool into your close circle.

    This ‘Balls’ story reminds me of a gig I went to at the showgrounds around the same time. My mate (I think it was Mali’s soon-to-be boyfriend Colin (before he met her)) & I, had to run to the nearby train station, chased by a phalanx of 200+ skins spread across the entire road! The station attendant (they had them once!) locked us in the mail room until the mob dispersed after losing interest. They obviously hadn’t evolved highly enough to figger out how to pick up rocks AND throw them… We caught the next train home, safe too. Dread to think what I would look like now if they’d caught us. Lovely website mate! See youse all again soon, cheers Wal.

    ps. re: reintarnation – go to for over 1500 more of the same! I cried ’til I laughed.

    pps. ‘similard’ – identical fat twins… (my own original)

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