Category Archives: Last days of the circus

Compiled from emails written during my last tour with Circus Oz, Sept-Dec 2007.

DISCLAIMER: Most of these stories are exaggerated for entertainment purposes and to make me look good. It’s the truth, just not the whole and nothing but.


At music school I was too old to be a young turk, but I used to hang around with them; and we used to say “Resolution is death!” – a reference to the serene uneventfulness of the tonic chord compared to the violent, interesting confusion of the (unresolved) dominant chord, or of simple dissonance itself. Continue reading

Arcata, California


Hippies, like other fundamentalists, usually believe the world is about to end, continually revising the date as it fails to occur (currently December 21st, 2012). In this part of the world, that belief is melded with right-wing libertarianism, so that one’s apocalyptic preparations should include a bunker full of guns and tinned beans. Nonetheless they are extremely friendly people, surrounded by giant redwood forests full of elk. Continue reading

Monterrey, Mexico

La Silla

Monterrey is magical: it’s surrounded by spiky volcanic mountains, with one emblematic ragged crater, “La Silla”, looming close, and colorful favelas (but they’re not called that here) clustered around the foothills. The city is about Sydney-sized, with a beautiful old part (Barrio Antiguo, “old quarter”) in the middle, which looks half-demolished during the day but comes crazy-alive at night. Lots of live music, it’s hot, and everybody and everything is beautiful to look at, to listen to, even to smell. Continue reading

New York


If you’ve got a week to kill, N.Y. is the best place to do the crime. So now I’m in Manhattan going “Where is everybody, already?” – after Hong Kong, it feels deserted.

I’m at the Harlem YMCA – tiny room, single bed, bare bulb, bathroom down the hall, no hot water, crack heads, etc.. I’m suing the Village People. Continue reading

Hong Kong


Hong Kong is a hundred years of vertical concrete architecture with smoggy tropical armpits. Every building is completely full of people.

The trams are two storeys tall, skinny with wheels very close together; they look as if the only thing stopping them from toppling on the corners is the electric wire at the top. I take a ride from one end of the island to the other. Continue reading