Monday, November 30, 2015


I reckon there should be more Rhetts in this world. Originating from Calcutta, Rhett May is using his talents and fame to fight the deadly ICE epidemic. While there is a lot more to him than published here, along with his group 'Lucifer'  he has travelled through some of our mighty outback - and was wonderful enough to answer some questions about this. His answers follow:

In the heady 70s, along with your band, you toured parts of outback Western Australia. Which towns did you actually perform at?

We performed at Geraldton, Carnarvon, Karratha, the US base in Exmouth, Port Hedland. Also Albany, Bunbury and Kalgoorlie.

How did you enjoy travelling the outback? Were the people friendly, warm and welcoming?

We absolutely loved travelling and playing to the differing tastes of the locals in each of those towns; of course, the Americans were simply the craziest for our music too - but everywhere we went the locals were incredibly supportive and friendly. Always inviting us back to their √°fter parties'.

I am thinking you would not have visited any of the sheep and/or cattle stations?

Unfortunately we didn't get around to any sheep/cattle stations, but we did meet a couple of families in their caravans camping beside a river in the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy in 1974. They had lost their homes and all their personal belongings and simply fled Darwin.

You also visited some Indigenous communities. And have quite a story to tell about that. Would you like to tell us something about this too please?

We didn't visit communities specifically. We came across a number of Indigenous people during our travels on the road. One occasion was when we stopped off to investigate some smoke rising about 300 metres off the unmade road. We came upon a family camped beside a fire roasting a wombat on a spit. They offered to share their meal with us but we were on a tight schedule and after chatting briefly about their day, gave them some water and continued on our travels.

On another occasion we were travelling fairly slowly over an unsealed, corrugated dirt road and suddenly, out stepped a couple of guys with their spears in hand. We absolutely freaked but stopped and had a discussion with them about their lives on the move. They had been travelling for a couple of days and simply wanted to see what this great big green truck was doing in the middle of the outback.

We went back to their campsite to see this huge eagle in a cage. It must have been a pet or lucky charm for them. But they opened the cage door and let it out to fly around. It couldn't go very far as it had a rope attached to one of its legs. They couldn't understand that we found it cruel to capture and restrict such a magnificent creature. We were assured that it was not on their menu.

What were your feelings about the outback? Positives? Negatives?

I didn't really think about the outback as 'positive' or 'negative'. To me, everything we did, everywhere we travelled and performed was exciting. All our adventures were fun and new experiences. We simply enjoyed ourselves. Those were simpler days where you took what came to you and made the most of it!! Thinking back, it was all exciting - times to be able to meet and share and experience!

Did you travel by van or fly to the cities/towns and then by car? How was the transport organised?

We travelled everywhere in a convoy. We owned a huge van/truck which was painted lime green and had our name plastered right across, so everyone knew who we were as we entered the townships. Many a time we slept under the stars between towns and states.

Would you want to travel the outback again?

I'm certain I would if the opportunity permits. However, I'm not certain the experiences would be similar as times change and travel has sped up, so the languid and relaxed travel doesn't seem to fit people's agendas these days.

How long were you in each town?

Most times, overnight. But we did a number of residencies for two to four weeks at a time. It was the travelling to and from that was the adventure and the most fun.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world about this?

Just to thank you for your interest in my past and present and ask you to remind everyone that my music is still as strong, if not stronger, than ever. Please try to access my website (links are below) and my social media sites - listen to the message in each song, spread the word that Rhett May has fabulous and thought provoking songs that will also entertain!




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