I grew up in Blackburn North in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It wasn't one of those privileged suburbs like Camberwell or Hawthorn, although people from Blackburn proper would probably argue otherwise.
It was a suburb where dads went out to work and mums stayed home and looked after their children. It was a suburb where families went to church each Sunday and alcoholics lived in six out of the ten houses in my court.
It was a suburb where children were asked regularly to hop into stranger's cars, eccentrics wandered about the streets shaking their red Shirley Temple curls as they talked to someone only they could see and the occasional flasher unzipped their trousers to unsuspecting high school girls walking along Cootamundra Way on their way home.
It was a suburb where the occasional school boy murdered his father and got away with it until one of his 16 year old accomplices, who helped moved the body from the woodpile when it started to reek, turned himself into the police 15 years later.
It was a regular suburb in the mortgage belt of Melbourne inhabited by a mix of office and factory workers from all over the world living their suburban dream.
I was no different. I also had a suburban dream; to live in Carlton where students were educated enough to have grand thoughts and musicians played in hotels. A place where I too could be a "real" musician.
When I "grew up" I moved to a share house in Lygon street that was owned by the Catholic church. I shared the house with my sister and her partner, a chef and two actors from the VCA. Rent was $30.00 each a week. But we all know what happened to Carlton. The educated students got good jobs and bought the houses they used to rent and gentrified the place which pushed the house prices and rents up and pushed me over to West Brunswick.
Don't kid yourself by thinking West Brunswick was some hip inner city suburb 20 years ago. It wasn't. I was back in the suburbs again a little more west than Blackburn North but in a place where people from all over the world lived, where the neighbours were friendly and sometimes, if you were really lucky, you got to live in a street where you could make an album with your neighbours and fulfil your suburban dream.
My dream becomes a little more real for on December 5th, 6th, 7th and 8, myself and a group of very close mates, including my best friend Emily, my Viking Warrior, my Wangaratta mate Luke, my musical buddy Greg, sound engineer extraordinaire and mate Lachlan and my daughter Ella are going to record a homage to the suburbs, "West Brunswick".
The album will be launched in house concerts in around the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne including West Brunswick, Regional Victoria, ACT and NSW and maybe even QLD.
But first, I'd like to share a Suburban Dream at my house.
If you'd like to share a Suburban Dream at your house, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll come and play a West Brunswick house concert for you and your mates.