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Published: August 10th 2007
The Happy Couple
Wedding photo at the hotel in Bali.
For several years I'd been focusing on my Sydney rock and roll band with all the puritanical zeal of the Blues Brothers, to the extent that Mind's Eye was the focus of my existence. The idea of gallivanting around the world to visit exotic locations never even crossed my mind during these band years, that is until my lead guitarist and bass player informed me they planned to cement their relationship through the sacrament of marriage. They asked me to be the best man at their wedding to be held in Bali and I felt honoured. The news, however, hit me like a thunderbolt after spending several years as a struggling musician, totally engrossed in the fortunes of our band. But who could miss this opportunity to celebrate their upcoming wedding, while rekindling my long dormant passion for overseas travel.
My friend is from a christian background, dear reader, and his wife to be from a muslim background. So they decided on an intimate family trip to Bali for a non-denominational wedding; which served as a perfect compromise to keep both families happy, while also providing us with the chance to travel to this beautiful island paradise. This was my
Mind's Eye gig, Sydney
My lead guitarist and bass player are getting married in Bali, and I'm to be the best man!
first trip to Bali, and the first overseas trip embarked on for five years. It was such a thrill to be overseas again when I hadn't planned for or thought about life away from home for such a long period of time. Inexplicably I suffered from some unwarranted nerves going through customs, but quickly learnt that Bali is the easiest destination for an Australian traveller. The Balinese are truly wonderful hosts; kind, friendly, and so familiar with Australians and our way of life. The wedding couple checked into a five star hotel, and the rest of us had accommodation organised in a lovely Kuta hotel nearby.
We quickly settled into island life with the brilliant Balinese, who never let you pass by without trying to hawk everything under the sun. But it's all done with such good grace that every day is a great laugh from the moment you step outside the hotel. One of my first orders of business was to organise a fitting of formal attire in preparation for my role as best man at the wedding. The workmanship was superb, the service was top notch and the price had to be seen to be believed. We
Cutting the cake
My band friends tie the knot.
spent a few nights going out in Kuta and enjoying fine dining and then the wedding day was quickly upon us. The special day featured a beautiful ceremony organised with grace and style by the hotel of the wedding couple. The ceremony took place by the beach under an awning beautifully decorated with fresh flowers, and the celebrant did a great job in ensuring we enjoyed the wedding day of my band friends.
We then kicked on to the reception, which featured superb seafood and lovely speeches in a low key environment. Following on from the wedding we just relaxed and soaked up the atmosphere of wonderful Bali, which is an irresistible travel destination. I was lucky to have another Sydney friend who was working in nearby Nusa Dua as a pastry chef in a five star hotel, and we had the opportunity to catch up after work when he came into town. There are heaps of pubs and discos around Kuta which makes for a great nightlife. We often ended up on stage playing music with the locals who love nothing more than jamming out with musos from around the world, and these impromptu sessions were a real
Rock and roll couple
Happy days touring on the Sydney pub circuit.
highlight of our wedding trip.
At a venue one night we climbed up on stage to jam out, and before long there was a Rolling Stones moment between my guitarist and myself. There was only one rhythm guitar at the venue so my mate strapped it on and we launched into one of our standard covers with the local musos. It was only later that my friend said he relied on me exclusively to play the chords, and he filled the music out by playing licks and riffs in the right key without even knowing what chords I was playing. However, with a few beers under my belt I took offence that he wasn't playing the chords of this rock standard, which I thought left me exposed in front of the audience. I started to curse him into the mike, and called out for him to play again and again. My friend, being ever the showman, decided to play on my frustration and wound up the crowd. Then he grabbed a drumstick from the Balinese drummer and started to whack me over the head with it, not with any real malice mind you! I'll never forget coming off stage
After the ceremony
We are all happy at the conclusion of a gorgeous wedding.
still feeling a bit hot under the collar, and walking over to my other friend who introduced us to the venue. The look on his face was priceless, he was wide eyed and his jaw was almost on the ground. In spite of this moment of tension between us my guitarist and I were fine once we got offstage as it's all part of the creative process, particularly if you play alongside an unpredictable but often brilliant lead guitarist.
My recently married friend was so funny in Bali, and I swear he ordered lobster mornay every night for two weeks solid. We all had a great time; the married couple had a beautiful wedding arranged by a top class hotel, both families had an enjoyable time, and I enjoyed hanging with my band friends while doing guest stints at a few live band venues in Kuta. Of course I also took the opportunity to visit other tourist sights with my other friend who was living and working on the island. Bali serves as an amazing reintroduction to the joys of foreign travel, after spending five years without going on an overseas trip. It proved to be a double success both as an opportunity to share in my friends' marriage celebration, and also reminding me that foreign travel is one of the great joys in life which I still enjoy immensely. As a matter of fact you simply can't beat Bali as a travel destination, basically all of you should be here now!
Lord Finchley tried to mend the Electric Light. Himself. It struck him dead. And serve him right! It is the business of the wealthy man To give employment to the artisan." Hilaire Beloc
It's home time so until next time, I'm signing off for now
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