It was the moment I knew the relationship was in trouble. It was April, 1993 at Le Rox in Adelaide. Ed Kuepper was headlining, but it was support act Kim Salmon - in solo mode - who was holding our attention.
Just as Salmon strummed the opening chords to “Words From a Woman To Her Man’”– still, when push comes to shove, one of my two favourite Salmon tunes (the other being its companion piece, “Something to Lean On”), a punter in front of us turned and rebuked my girlfriend for disturbing the aural ambience with her loud commentary.
I knew the relationship was in trouble because I wanted to side with the anonymous interlocutor from the crowd.
For many years now I’ve been damn glad I don’t live in Melbourne. There’s more quality musicians there per square metre than almost anywhere you can name. The worst of it is, see, I don’t like to go see a brilliant band just the once. No, that’s not how you’re called to music.
Here in Adelaide, I would relentlessly follow - and record - my favourite local bands. The Lizard Train, Bloodloss, I couldn’t get enough of. There were others I liked, but not like this. If I lived in Melbourne, I’d have to have myself cloned.
Kim Salmon, expat Perthian (we think they’ve stopped worshipping Baal, we know they no longer eat their young at Easter but the inbreeding remains a problem) and one of a handful of musicians with the strongest and most extraordinary creative imperative in the country, plays here tonight with a pickup band (the only way the gig would work).
Kim Salmon’s creative productivity knows no bounds. While he occasionally looks backwards, re-visiting his Scientists and Beasts of Bourbon history in the live sense, for example, the overwhelming sense with Salmon is one of overwhelming momentum.
That’s the case with “True West”, his latest project which pairs him with late period Scientists drummer Leanne Cowie (nee Chock) to be his most vital sounding record since “Sin Factory”.
Brian Hooper at last week's Melbourne gig. Carbie Warbie photo.
Much-loved Beasts of Bourbon bassist Brian Henry Hooper has passed away peachefully in a Melbourne hospital.
Brian’s wife Ninevah Hooper made an announcement on his Facebook page earlier today:
Brian’s ship peacefully sailed this morning. I was with him during that departure. It’s the hardest thing a partner could ever do but to say good bye.
I told my three year old twins that mummy and doctors could no longer bring daddy home. Daddy was flying away like s free bird in the blue sky.
Ava, Charlize, Matthew, Nina and Lana are all grieving the loss of their beautiful father. The Haddad and Hooper family are also experiencing their pain.
Cinzia Cozzolino and Michelle Rowe also cherish their memories of Brian.
Thank you for the support.
Hooper had been fighting lung cancer. Just a week ago, he appeared at his own benefit concert in Melbourne, playing with a reformed Beasts of Bourbon. Brian was accompanied by a team of nurses and breathing through an oxygen mask.
What Would I Know? - Brian Henry Hooper (Bang! Records)
Brian Henry Hooper was a remarkable man. I first encountered him when he was part of Kim Salmon's band, The Surrealists. I had no idea what to expect, and the huge shattering sound, the big horror-show songs, and Kim's howls backed by two droogies from an abbattoir... my mouth was flat on the floor. Magnificent.
It was many years later that I met Brian for the first time, more or less by accident at a different gig, when I used a rather unpleasant local term which Brian immediately picked up on - "That's a real Adelaide term, isn't it?" Brian was always interested in the world around him - I recall him also relating how beautiful Adelaide was as the aircraft came in to land... come in the right way to land, I suppose, and even...no, that's not right. I knew what he meant, the place can be damned pretty.