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  1. Just came back from Wollongong. It has been a long day for me after last night concert as it is now 10:00 pm at night!!

    The months of planning paid off well and with Bob help it was indeed almost access to ALL areas which I took quite a few photos to keep a photolog of the event. Give me some time to sort this out – I think I became an unoffcial photographer of the event with a camera hanging on my neck.

    I arrived in Sydney on Wednesday morning. It has been a long time since I travelled alone. Met up with Bob the next day in the afternoon and we chat as he drove.
    Bob was using his car navigation system to direct him to the venue. This work well until he accidentally changed something and it kept buzzing him to make a U-turn to go back from where we came. We did not. Great stuff came out in our conversation.

    When we arrived we could see DM helping in unloading stuff from the white car. He was really down to earth and dressed very casually in jeans. A brief hello and he was out to do the sound check. We sat quite a distance away and when Bob had his camera out I could not longer resist -I took 2 still shots and pulled out my video camera and had it rolling on low-light shots. Great stuff taken as DM had a playful time with the band. Video taping is rather unobtrusive since no flash is used. I remember asking Bob if photos were allowed in the actual concert. It was +ve (he did not know I was a well known paparazzi and the first to release hundreds of photos into the internet when HK 1/2 million people too to the streets).

    Bob had other business to do and I had to checked into my B&B room. Three hours before the concert starts. I used this to survey the place and to take pictures of the stage setup, etc – and to get to know the people there. I was free to move in and out but avoided the “backstage”

    DM and the band had a early dinner. As they ate the audience were tickling into the venue. Some noticed DM in the buffet dinner and excitement was building up. Bob and I ate in the front tables facing the stage and I started to share with him an idea I had in mind – could he get DM to write a Chinese character and sign on DVD/CDs cover I bought with me.
    He agreed to try and that was the last I saw of him until he joined me 2 hours later when the concert started.

    I waited alone patiently and making sure my cameras was in order and enjoyed the food and dessert. Everybody chatted and had their own guest. I was disppointed that my guests could not come because of an illness.

    DM came to the stage at around 9:10pm and started to play a few numbers to get the mood in. I went into “paparazzi” mode but had to hehave since I came for a show and not pictures!! Nevertheless I took as many I could of DM, band members, etc as various were played with the intention of having a photolog.

    Bob was in serious mood enjoying the music. In front of us we had a few trilled audiences. They were tapping table so hard that I had to avoid the extra new rhythm introduced. I was amazed by how well kept DM’s guitar was and how he really put his soul into singing the various pieces. DM asked for BEER in the middle to cool down. I can see the audience were getting into very high mood and I tried to take pictures of the audience to “proof”.

    I was told by Bob that DM usually sing and end – he does not need an encore to continue. He was wrong this time as DM came out with more songs after the crowd
    yelled for more….

    Everybody had a great time and when it ended there was a long que buying the DVD/CDs and having it signed. I took whatever good pictures of DM interacting with the audience. Some asked for kisses, some asked for photos. I notice a fan on wheelchair who was trilled to have her photo taken with DM. On one ocassion I took a post picture faster then another photograher who was covering for his friend when DM said “Move on you have taken the pictures”. That was pretty embarassing …. (we swapped e-mail so I could sent him a copy)

    I retired to the night after scouting for more photos. When everybody left there was sense of loneliness in me …after waving Bob goodbye… I went taking the big “Don McLean” advert characters in front of the venue to end my night. I promised I will visit the Wollongong buddhist temple the next day for such a “Karma” I had and be thankful.

    I did.

  2. Another sold out show – another show without a ticket. Ive learned if you carry a brief case you can bypass most security – and also sqeeze supplies for later in the night.
    Arriving for the Sound Check at about 4.30 – the same time as Don was a mighty thrill for Kang from HK – I swear his heart almost jumped out of his chest when he saw Don get out of the van – it took all of my power to restrain him. Now one thing Ive learned is that Asian people like to take lots of photos. Kang was no exception.
    This was a great venue – its a shed in the real terms of the name and the crowd is all but sitting on the stage !800 patrons eating and drinking for 3 hours before the show.
    The sound check was a quicky and was over in just 20 minutes . Fools paradise was the feature.Don was off the stage by 5.20 pm.
    Now I left Kang to book his room and went into the dressing room (a room with 4 lounge chairs straight from Steptoe and sons). Don was relaxed and looking forward to the show. He was mighty upset at the review in the Herald and read out his response – made for a good listening. We had 3 and a half hours till Don was due on stage. We talked about lots of stuff – the boys sang a little – Don is amazing in finding songs from within his head – he sang an amazing Christmas song – and then decided they would open with the theme from Peter Gun.
    Arrangements were made to go into the studio in October!
    We talked about what the fans would like to hear him record – about the new album – then the dinner call came – would you like us to set up for you to eat in here Mr McLean – nah I’ll eat outside with everyone else!
    Almost unnoticed Don joined the line up at the buffett and served himself dinner. He sat down with crew mostly unnoticed by the audience – the occassion diner missing their mouth when they realised who was eating opposite – not one person bothered Don!
    The Show opened with Peter Gun!And then Don sang Deep in the Heart of Texas – and kept rocking for a full 30 minutes. Again don’t ask for a set list – I can give exceptions songs Ive heard for the first time live – we were treated to a lovely If You could read my mind – with dobro – thunderous applause – the dobro featured on 4 songs – again my memory is struggling .
    We heard Promise to Remember with Dobro
    Love Hurts , my favorite song More Pretty Girls than one – and a newy for me a song about the rivers of Texas!
    WE got Love Hurts , Crying and Since I dont have You. WE heard Castles in the Air , but no And I love you so , no If We Try and no Crossroads. We did get a rocking Little Sister , an encor of Vincent this was Dons shortest show at just on 1 hour 40 minutes – he loves the venue because he is in the crowd – after 4 shows in just over 7 days i still get excited – Don sang wonderfully , the band played well all in all a wonderful show. Im sad its ended – I’ll see Don once more in Sydney on Sunday night no concert but who knows when When Don’s around a song is always close by ,

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