Thoughts on the death of John Prine by Rick Kane

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I’m devastated. John Prine’s death has hit me hard. It’s funny how we relate to musical artists, follow their lives vicariously through their songs, concerts and in this time, our connection to them through social media. So, when a favourite passes it feels like a family member has died. Prince hit me hard. Maybe it was his age. David Bowie too. Joe Strummer, Johnny Cash (huge sigh as I type) and Slim Dusty. Continue reading

Sheeds’ most outstanding Bendigo district team by Richard Jones

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• John Nicholls: the captain.

To say that legendary AFL coach Kevin Sheedy had multiple player selection worries during his coaching stints with Essendon and the GWS Giants would be putting it mildly.

Over the past few weeks he has released – line by line – his best 24 footballers to have hailed from the Bendigo district and in particular from the Bendigo Football League post-World War 2. He was to have named the complete team at a special function at the end-of-March’s Bendigo Jockey Club’s $1 million Golden Mile raceday, but with the coronavirus restrictions in place spectators, punters and BJC committee guests were banned from turning up to the track. Continue reading

Life cycle, for Bruce Dawe and Paul Kelly by Vin Maskell

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You could call it an illusion, a trick of the stage lighting. Or maybe it was just tiredness that created the moment.

Hamer Hall. October 2001. Paul Kelly is onstage. His grey hair, what little there seems to be of it, is close-cropped. His face appears gaunt, his eyes in shadow. He has looked like this for some years now but it is only at this moment, late in the concert, that for some reason, perhaps merely a blink of my eyes, I think the songwriter bears a passing resemblance to one of Australia’s most popular writers. Continue reading