Photo: The late Harry “The Horse” Kinder (left) warned me many years ago about what a bastard Alex “The Toff” Riley (right) could be.
YOU BE THE JUDGE…
THE first story begins on a visit to the Adelaide Airport when The Toff was pulled aside and asked if he had any objection to being tested for bomb making residue on his clothing.
The Toff sarcastically replied that he was a 90 year old retired “Planner in Charge” who had lost the use of both of his hands in the Korean War and had not made any bombs that week.
The security guy went ballistic and said that he would have him frog marched out of the airport and be made to appear in front of Tony Abbott the very next day.
The Toff clamped up and offered up only one word answers from then on. Luckily the State Governor put in a good word for Alex and he walked free.
Well f**k me, then it happened again.
The very next time The Toff returned to the airport he was pulled aside and asked the very same question again.
This time the Toff replied cautiously and said he was now a 75 year old pensioner with “disabilities” and had fought in Vietnam.
The security guy apologised and said he was only doing his job. The Toff was not amused and muttered under his breath “moron” as he walked away.
Well f**k me, then this happened. Some months went past and then The Toff received a letter from a Bad Debt agency.
The letter demanded how and when was he going to pay the $2,500 fine for the shop window front in the Riverland town of Berri that he tossed a wheelie bin through on New Year’s Eve.
The Toff was shattered as once again he was being accused of something he did not do.
Really? He phoned the agency and said you have the wrong man as he the Toff was a 80 year old pensioner who could not lift an empty wheelie bin, yet alone throw it through a plate glass window.
The Toff said he could prove that he was at Seaton that night at a New Years Eve Party for geriatrics, some 150kms away. Fortunately the dumb guy agreed and no more was heard.
Well f**k me, and then this happened.
Some bloke left his business card in the Toff’s “letterbox asking the Toff to call him. This bloke David, said there was a “victims of crimes” case against the Toff regarding his assault on a woman called Elizabeth.
This time the Toff explained to the bloke that he was a 85 year old pensioner with dementia, a heart problem and had recently undergone brain surgery.
Oh! said the bloke – sorry about that but a number of people have said they think you look like a sexual predator.
Well f**k me said The Toff, how many more bastards are using my name out there.
When we worked Saturday morning Overtime John “China” Buckby would get up a Pie and Pasty list for Morning Tea.
I was given the list and money and told by Buckby, “Go and get the Pies from the Railway Station Cafeteria and the pastys from the Bank Street Deli.”
“Get f**ked” I would say. “I’m getting everything from the Railway Station Cafeteria.”
After arguing for five minutes or so, Buckby went and got Merv “Nobby” Clarke (Supervisor) to come down and tell me where to go and what to do
“Oh, for God’s sake Warren.” Merv sighed, “Just go and get everything from the Railway Station Cafeteria and tell that bloody Buckby you got the pastys from Bank Street and the pies from the Station,” Merv said.
After Morning Tea was over, Bucko gets up pats his tummy and says,
“See Warren, I told you aren’t those Pastys from the Bank Street Deli just so much better?”
Yes, 18 June 1964 was the date my two sisters and I caught the bus from Matraville to Rushcutters Bay, Sydney town, to see The Beatles – “see” being the operative word, because they were very hard to hear above the incessant screaming – mostly from the girls, of course.
The supporting acts – Johnny Devlin, Johnny Chester, The Phantoms, Alan Field and Sounds Incorporated (an instrumental band) warmed up the Sydney Stadium crowd to mixed reactions – but at least you could hear them.
That all changed when The Beatles were introduced!
My sisters were either side of me, one screaming for Paul, the other for George. The Beatles played 12 songs – their time on stage was around 35 minutes.
The Sydney Stadium (known as the Old Tin Shed) was built in 1908 and used predominantly as a boxing venue.
It had tiered wooden seats and was hot as hell. It was occasionally used for music concerts.
Reports stated Frank Sinatra hated performing there and Bob Dylan almost passed out in the oppressive heat.
It had a revolving stage, where it would move around about halfway before rotating back, giving most fans a reasonable look at the artist.
The photo below is from the 18 June concert. Part of the meagre PA system is visible next to John – a far cry from the huge PAs pumping out megawatts these days by artists.
. . . but we came away from the concert saying how fab The Beatles were, but deep down we knew we had barely heard them.
At least we can say “we were there”!
The official program is now a collector’s item and can fetch some decent money in mint condition.
Yes, I still have mine, but I wish I had also kept the tickets.
The Beatles’ music, to me, is still just as fresh today as it was back then – is still played frequently on the radio – and still recorded by many artists around the world.
I challenge anybody to name an artist of today whose music they think will still be popular and played regularly 50 years from now. Come on, name one – there is no solo artist or group to touch the talent or popularity of The Beatles – there never has been and, probably, there never will be.
One thing’s for sure – I know I won’t be around in 50 years time to hear any of today’s artists’ or groups’ music which may be played on the radio – or whatever the listening apparatus will be then!
Before we get into the Report please give some thought to the following amongst us who are unwell at this time:
Kevin Stack-Neale, Elaine Fitzsimmons, Ian Grunert, Bruce Lockier,
If you know of others who may like a Cheerio, let us know.
The Luncheon was an amazing success with Tony Harris (Bindery) making an appearance. Welcome Tony.
Tony being there made Ian Pedler happy and when the Mongrel showed up Ian was in raptures.
Peter Megyery showed up because he heard Wayne ‘Mongrel’ Brown was coming. Peter simply worships the ground Browny walks on.
Peter also thinks Alex Riley is a scholar and a gentleman. Peter is a nice chap who loves to walk everywhere but his judgement of some people is way off beam.
The delightful and handsome Mike Burnett was present. One cruel person said the reason Mike likes to keep in touch with the Old Guvvers is because it’s good for business.
Now Talking about Alex Riley he was out in the Westies car park once again trying to charge his old workmates $5 to sit inside his heap of crap Jaguar. No takers this time. What a bastard he is.
Special mention to Marianne, Jude Marks, Barbara Roberts, Judy Duthie, Margaret Pedler, Norma Rogers, Wendy Powell, Helen Flack, Eunice Wright, Wendy Walker Ann Heilmann, Marilyn Harding and late comer the beautiful Angela Brown.
I had a wonderful time talking to Wendy Powell and Dennis Duthie before realising they both have hearing problems and couldn’t hear a word I said. No wonder they looked so happy.
Thanks to Steve and the Helpful staff at Westies, Great effort people.