" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

October 2, 2014

The Best Years of Our Lives?

Just finished reading Richard Clapton's book,
The Best Years of Our Lives the other day and I have to say it's been a life changing experience for me in more ways than one.
I bought the book above on the Saturday of the  
Byron Bay Writer's Festival just after Richard had given a talk there.
Unfortunately I didn't get to go to Richard's talk at the festival because Malcolm Fraser was giving his talk at the same time, and Malcolm won out, I'm sorry to say.
Malcolm Fraser and Richard Clapton at the 2014 BBWF.
Fortunately the talk was recorded at this link here -
Richard Clapton: The Best Years of Our Lives
which is where I heard it first.
The Malcolm Fraser talk that I was at was also recorded at this link -
Malcolm Fraser: in conversation with Kerry O’Brien 
Now, I have to say looking at that photo above of Richard and Malcolm sitting side by side in the signing tent after they had both given a talk at the same time is rather ironic when you read this chapter in Richard's book -
Left click photo to make it bigger.
Emperor’s New Clothes
Who would have thought that both Richard and Malcolm would have books to flog and be talking at the exact same time and then meet up at the signing tent at the 
Byron Bay Writer's Festival afterwards?
I must admit that I didn't know too much about Richard Clapton before buying his book and seeing his talk later that night in Byron, even though I grew up hearing three of his songs quite often on the radio, particularly,
Girls on the Avenue, Capricorn Dancer and Deep Water .
I've never really liked Girls on the Avenue,
as I've always thought that it was a song about hookers, even though Richard claims it's me it still is.
It's a catchy song for sure, but I'm not into paying for sex, even though it's quite clear that many out there are.
Capricorn Dancer I like, 
but to me Ralf's best song is Deep Water.
I love this song and never get sick of hearing it.
I guess I can relate to the feeling of being in deep water.
Richard singing Good-bye Tiger at the BBCC Sat, 2nd August, 2014.
But there was one song Richard played at his talk at the 
Byron Bay Community Centre on the Saturday night 
that I had never heard before.
Well, not consciously anyway.
That song was Good-bye Tiger.
It didn't really grab me on the night, but this song title was about to become a big running synchronicity in the next few weeks of my life.
See this post I wrote about all of the weird tiger syncs - 
Aussie Sync Summit...Kind Of. And You Just Couldn't Make This Stuff Up If You Tried
My English friend's last day in Oz before heading home. Good-bye tiger?
Also ironic that Richard points out in his book was that he only came back to Australia early in his career because Gough Whitlam had come to power in Oz.
Malcolm Fraser at the 2014 BBWF.
Malcolm Fraser was the opposition leader who would replace Gough when his government was kicked out of office by the Queen of England.
So, I'm sure Richard would have loved this little stunt I pulled to get Malcolm to sign a book about the Whitlam government years, with a chapter featuring Malcolm, as well -
My Highlight of the Byron Bay Writer's Festival 2014
Richard singing Good-bye Tiger at the BBCC Sat, 2nd August, 2014.
Getting back to the Good-bye Tiger syncs, Richard mentions in the book playing a gig in Melbourne the day the Rich(ard?)mond Tigers lost the Aussie Rules Grand Final, and wondering why he got pelted with empty beer cans when he sang Good-bye Tiger. :-)
The funny thing was I read that passage in his book the day the Richmond Tigers were knocked out of this years AFL comp by Port Adelaide.
I found Richard's book a fascinating read and think it was worth buying for the last chapter alone, where he gets stuck into shows like American/Australian Idol, X-factor and The Voice and how they manufacturer shallow pop stars ...
shows that I can't stand, either.
If I had not run into Richard at the BBWF and decided to buy his book I may never have discovered his great back catalogue of songs.
Like I wrote a few years back about Paul Kelly -
"...And There's So Much Water So Close to Home" Paul Kelly
I guess these are the best years of our lives when I look back over my shoulder at the end of the day and open my eyes again in the morning to more.
I should also add that I had no intention of going to Richard's Saturday night talk at the Byron Bay Community Centre.
My preference was to see John Safran's talk, but all of the tickets were sold out.
Richard's weren't though to my surprise, so I bought a ticket at the last minute, before I left Brisbane.  
UPDATE: 2/10/2014
 A dark coincidence that I thought I should mention in relation to my meetings at the Byron Bay Writer's Festival this year is that both Richard Clapton's and Robyn Davidson's mothers committed suicide while Richard and Robyn were at a young age.
Maybe this could be a factor in their gypsy type lifestyle?
I wrote about seeing Robyn's talk and buying her book in this post -
Crossing Paths With the "Camel Lady" at the BBWF
Picture of Robyn from her book Tracks.
Tracks author Robyn Davidson's surprising confession
I have a post about the subject of suicide and the meeting of another author I met at the 2014 BBWF coming up soon, which is why I mention the subject of suicide here.

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