ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

An ageing rock dog from our town’s French Quarter is sitting tight right now in a petrol station this side of Byron Bay while the governments and powers at be figure out whether Bluesfest will go ahead.

Damien Hess spoke to The Advocate via telephone today while he played with his pork pie hat. Something he says has been a festival staple of his since he saw Led Zeppelin at Sydney’s White City as a teen.

“Like a samurai’s katana, I only put my pork pie hat on when I’m ready to draw blood. And by draw blood, I mean green out in the middle of the John Butler Set,” laughed the 71-year-old dawg.

“But this blood plague, it’s come up again and it’s going to fuck everything like it did last year. In fact, I was standing in the same servo last year when they called it. It wasn’t all bad, though,”

He cleared his throat and lowered his voice.

“There were a few other folks going to Bluesfest at that servo so we just decided to make camp in our caravans just down the road. One of the guys had this small vaporiser filled with this stuff called ‘changa’ or something? I don’t know. It was a DMT and PCP blend or whatever but I thought it was just your simple cannabis pipe. Anyway, I’ve had three good goes at it, next thing I’ve slumped in my seat inside the caravan and just crumpled down on the floor. The edge of the table ran up my sternum like an in-line skate, you’d never seen such a bruise. Bit the tip off my tongue and bumped my head on the floor,”

“The others assumed I’d had an aneurysm and in their changa panic, they just threw a picnic blanket on me. Shit, I’d never been so cooked. I felt like I was on Jupiter and it wasn’t the nice Jupiter. But I rode it out and got to the other side, it was dark and everyone was out the front talking to the petrol station owner, who had a garbage bag full of cold traveller pies. When they saw I was there, they freaked out. They thought I was dead,”

“Anyway, might do that again.”

More to come.


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