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Entries in adam richard (2)


Saying Goodbye To A Friend

Richard was about 9 feet tall. Kind. So kind. Generous, funny, passionate. He was just a man you really wanted to be around and he had a laugh which could rock your world. 

And boy. Outrageously handsome. I can't stress that enough. He was ri-dic-ulously beautiful. Inside and out. I'm mostly talking about the outside here. Wow. I mean, just LOOK at that face! >

We said goodbye for now, to our friend yesterday. Our hearts aching and angry denial bubbling as waves of thankful joy to know that he was ever even in our lives in the first place. I say this as someone so utterly on his periphery I can't even fathom how his family, his beloved Lee, and his close lifelong friends are even able to stand upright and go on. Such was the measure of this man that knowing him even just a little bit was enough to feel the punch to the chest when I heard the news.

Handsome, tall, impossibly perfect Richard was struck by Guillain-Barrè syndrome. This rare illness strikes between two and eight people in every 100,000, regardless of gender or age. Richard was 41.

Estimates vary, but around nine out of 10 people with Guillain-Barrè syndrome survive and approximately 75 to 90 per cent recover completely. Around 10 to 15 per cent will be troubled by some form of permanent disability. It can take anywhere from six months to two years or more to fully recover. 9 in 10 recover. 9 in 10. It's so wretchedly, shittingly unfair. 

I met Richard at Joe's Garage in Brunswick St, Fitzroy. Adam [Richard] and I went in for a coffee one day. We saw Richard at the bar and went back almost every single day for the next 3 years, straight. Actually, now that I think about it. Adam probably already knew there was something very pretty inside Joe's when he took me there. Yes. That's a much more reliable memory. :-)  Joe's was our place. It's where we met. Any excuse to meet. Much of Melbourne's late 90's comedy genesis happened in that bar, staring at that pretty man.  Wil Anderson. Justin Hamilton, Geraldine Quinn. Corinne Grant. Adam and I. It's where we wrote.  It's where we drowned our sorrows and celebrated our successes. It's where we went to flirt with Richard and eat food which wasn't always great and drink coffee which was often burnt. The constant at Joe's, our waiter was ALWAYS a handsome beacon of joy. I never saw him unhappy. 

We became friends with Richard. He encouraged our outrageous behaviour. He enabled our drinking and he supplemented our [at the time] meager incomes with "Oh this is left over" and "I accidentally poured this" and "I thought you ordered this?!"

For a while there Joe's did 'free bread'. Bread they baked on premises. It was heavenly delish. Richard would see us coming and bring extra bread and extra butter to our table. (Remind me again, how did we get fat?) We'd regularly sit there from our 11am breakfast til Richard came over, "So, I'm guessing you'll want to know the dinner specials?" Some nights we'd drunkenly leave, get on a tram and head down to the other end of Brunswick Street to the Italian joint for their "lemon meringue pie- without the meringue please." (it was very, very, very good) then we'd get back on the tram and sneak back in to Joe's for lock up. Someone would crank the music, Richard would dance around like... well... nope, there's nothing to compare it to. He'd dance around like a total Richard. Glorious! Or he'd sing, that massive baritone voice belting out of his perfect pie hole. And we'd drink! The next day? Repeat. The next day? Repeat. Next? Repeat. Repeat. Repeat! 

One particularly busy night in Joe's - it was ALWAYS busy in Joe's - Adam and I were at our table, we'd been there for hours and were not showing signs of going home any time soon. We were very possibly being loud and hilarious. Richard came over to our table with a baby's highchair "Ohmygod! is he trying to kick us out!?" He returned with a beautiful loaf of bread wrapped in a checked tea-towel and he stuck it in the highchair. "There's your bread baby." he poked two marshmallows in it for eyes and walked away. We squealed with delight, caved a hole in it's face for a mouth and we berated and yelled at our baby (as we slowly ate him) for the rest of the night. 

I still can't look at a loaf of bread in a highchair without thinking of you Ricky. I'm 9 out of 10 furious you're not here to play with any more and 10 out of 10 thankful you ever were in the first place. Rest easy. Dance stupidly and laugh always.  You are SO loved. 

Thank you. 



Real Life

Hey, do you guys remember Andy Silva? How 'bout, John Cass or Lisa Standing?

Hmm, never mind. But you do remember these guys, right? Amber Brkich? Vecepia Towery? Really? Um, how about, Robert Dickson?  

Okay, well, this is slightly embarrassing. Mark Spano? Kate Cook? Bobby Flynn?

You're right. Who gives a shit?

Well, sadly, according to the Nielsen Ratings, YOU GUYS DO! Big Brother. Survivor. Australian Idol. Can you match the names now? Probably not. 

MasterChef. The Voice. The Biggest Loser. The Block. The Hot House, The Chopping Block, Celebrity Circus, The Mole. The X Factor, Four Weddings, American Idol, Britain's Got Talent, Secret Millionaire, Top Design, Fear Factor, The Apprentice, INXS Rockstar, Ladette to Lady, Pimp My Ride, So You Think You Can Dance? The Real World, School of Rock, Marry My Boy. Beauty & The Geek. Farmer Wants A New Milking Machine and Dance Your Dacks Off for Jesus. Urgh!

I get WHY these shows are on. Comparatively to a one hour period drama or narrative comedy it costs, nothing to produce and put to air. They get to sell merch hand over fist and hey, there's no agents fees or demands, just an industry minimum stipend. They get to re-run episodes ad nauseum, insert product placement to offset production costs even further and did I mention how it costs the networks fucketh all, Cynthia?

I'm not the Art Police. I'm not one of those mung bean chomping nutjobs who loudly and proudly exclaims at a dinner party, "Oh, we don't even have a TV."

Yes, I write. Yes, I'd LOVE to earn a full time living [here in Australia] writing all kinds of televisual treats. So, I get that you think perhaps my view is slanted. Tarnished, if you will. Sullied. All I can say to that is, How Very Dare You! A show about dares and verys... It's not totally fleshed out yet... perhaps if the ghost of Evie Hayes narrated it? SOLD!

It's obvious WHY we watch. An evolutionary quirk compels our curiosity about how others live. It's why we peek into others medicine cabinets and why we turn down the TV when the neighbours are having a barny. "Shhhh!  I can't hear them!"  We can't help it; we're naturally voyeuristic.

But need I remind you, there's a reason not everyone is on TV. There's a reason not everyone is in movies. That same relative that you avoid like the plague at X-mas time is the same spanner-crab of loserdom that's applying online for, "your chance to be Australia's Next Top Stuper Model!" Can you Live In a Box for 24 Days with a bar of soap and a bad-dub copy of the Bee Gee's Staying Alive on loop, for your chance to win $2,000 and an erotic print of Donald Trump? Hosted by, Stephanie Zimbalist.

"But it's a harmless slice of life." 

Yeah. Right. That's what you get. You get real life. Nothing manipulated or forced to fit a narrative. No way!

When we were last in LA, B worked for a production company whose sole purpose was to churn out reality show after reality show. He came home from "work" one day and said, "Well, this new show is about kids who reeeeally need operations and Doctors who reeeeally want to be on TV." He'd spent the afternoon watching hours of raw footage of a child, fresh from open heart surgery being cajoled [unsuccessfully] by the director to "Just look up and smile at the Doctor, Sweety. No, smile. No, just look up and smile. Look up and smile. Can you smile? Smile at the doctor. No, just look up and smile. No. Smile. Up here. Look up and smile. Can you get her to smile, Mom? That's... no, up here. Look at the doctor. Smile. No. Big smile. No. No, look at me first, can you? No. Ok, no. Smile, just here. Smile. No. Almost. Up here's the doctor. No. And smile. Look AND smile. Can you smile? No. No. Up here. No. Smile..."  When it went to air they went with a cut away. The doctor smiled. Reality TV awww...

It's telling that you don't remember the people listed above. I bet for 86 days back in 2001 you knew who Andy John and Lisa were. I bet you had formed opinions about them and had decided who you liked and who was very possible a closet kitten puncher in real life. But then Big Brother was over. They were all evicted from the house and that little corner of your brain, so ashamed with itself, imploded, taking your ability to count by 9's and the name of your 4th grade primary school teacher with it. As it should have. Why WOULD you give a shit about these people? There's no reason.

But you know what I bet you DO remember?  The kick in thg guts feeling you felt when you heard Grace Sullivan had been killed during The Blitz in London. The way Brendan and Chloe were flying a kite when Molly died on A Country Practice. And all I need to say is, "Vinegar Tits, Queen Bea and Lizzie Birdsworth" - and now you are all singing the theme song to, Prisoner.

"He used to give me roooooses,
I wish he could againnnnn;
But that was on the ooooutside,
And things were different thennnn."

Beautifully, scripted, cast and excuted television or lukewarm, manufactured tension-filling hour upon hour of tepid, base scraping TV? The latter causes your brain cells to kill themselves and the Brain Cell Police write if off as an Act of Compassion.

Switch over! Have you seen Louie? Why haven't you seen Louie? Go find Louie and watch it, now. There's a great new HBO show called, Girls. It's gritty and gusty and bloody fun to watch. Something from Oz - Outland. A fantastic, genuinely unique, scripted 1/2 hour of comedy. Breaking Bad - there's a bit of light enterntainment for ya!  I hear Game of Thrones is another good one. Not my cuppa tea but I can appreciate the art of it. How about a doco? Or bugger me gently, how's this for an idea? When was the last time you went outside, ON PURPOSE?


Fuck reality TV and all it stands for.

Now, if you'll excuse me. I still have early episodes of The Anna Nicole Show I can't quite recite by heart. Seriously? Don't judge me! You don't KNOW me!

fahey x