A DIFFERENT NATIVITY

Manda at Christines Nice shot

                                                                     Amanda Robinson

‘Twas not the night before  the Christmas, in fact not even close, 57 nights before to be precise, but don’t let that get in the way of a good Christmas story. It was 30th October 2004 and on this day crowds had come from near and far to celebrate the wedding of Kylie (not Minogue) and Dean (not James) but despite the absence of Hollywood royalty, it was as grand an occasion as Dee Why had witnessed for at least two and a half weeks.

An English born finance broker / band manager (let’s call him “David”) had been secured by the groom to perform a dual role at the wedding. Dean thought that he would engage David as chauffeur on this day as, for one crazy year of his life, David drove a Jaguar. Dean also asked David if he could get some of his friends to create some melodic (sometimes) noises on musical instruments at the wedding feast because, if nothing else they were very cheap.

Now David shared one character trait with the infamous hussy, Fanny Hill. He could not say “no” and although his vocabulary could be voluminous, the one word that was missing was “no”. David accepted the chauffeur and musician role, only telling Dean the night before the wedding that he did in fact no longer drive a burgundy Jaguar but a 1994 blue Ford Fairmont with no air conditioning.

Back to the Christmas story.  The ceremony in the Dee Why church was considered a necessary evil before the dutiful guests could toddle off to the Grand (exaggerated for effect) Cromer Gold Club for beers and champagne. This was to be their reward for enduring the church ceremony.

St. Johns Church Dee Why

                                                      St. John’s Church Dee Why

Just when the guests in the back row of the church were nodding off and those in the front row wished they were in the back row so they could nod off too, a fair young lady stood up amongst the crowd like the bright star rising in the east (Christmas reference). Without having to contend with the traditional discordant sound of a church organ, the fair young lady sang out in a manner so melodic, so clear, so beautiful that even those in the back row stumbled to attention.

David, the footballer / finance broker / chauffeur / entrepreneur was enraptured by the beauty of this voice and thought that he could possibly use this fair young lady in one of his enterprises and it wouldn’t be as chauffeur’s assistant !

Cromer Golf Club Function Room

                            Cromer Golf Club – site of the birth of another union

After the nuptials were confirmed, the fair young lady and her mother joined the motorcade in a ticker tape parade, through elated crowds on the streets of Dee Why, eventually arriving at the Grand Cromer Golf Club. But for many an hour, David sat on the dock of a bay called Long Reef waiting for the ecstatic Kylie and Dean to have 100 gigabytes of pictures taken on the seashore. This place is called Long Reef because if you go there with bridal parties to have pictures taken, you don’t leave the reef for a Long (Long) time.

David eventually arrived late at the Grand Cromer Golf Club, setting a poor example for his fellow musicians who have honourably mimicked his tardiness to this very day.

The evening passed without incident until Dean, a garrulous Kiwi and sad to say, a relation of mine, decided on that day that they would each break the Guinness World Record for the longest and most mind numbing speeches in the history of wedding receptions. The speeches only ceased when paramedics arrived to treat a number of guests for extreme dehydration (no drinks had been served for 3 hours) and utter boredom.

manda & guitar

                          Amanda with guitar, feeling quite at home

Normal alcohol service eventually resumed and the band played songs that would remain popular (with them at least ) to the present day.

David then cast his mind back to the church and the beautiful voice of the fair young lady. Being from a Catholic upbringing and having been starved of female companionship at school for nine long years, David approached the young lady cautiously. David discovered that the lady with the beautiful voice was called Amanda. At first David wondered whether Amanda’s parents were an unimaginative couple because in 1970’s, the first name in the Book of Girl Baby Names was always “Amanda” but upon meeting them some time later, it became clear that in fact they were both quite intuitive.

But I digress. David asked Amanda (not, if she would marry him because he had already used that line with another Amanda) but if she would like to sing a song or two with the band. Amanda’s mother encouraged her daughter to accept the offer or at least turn the water into wine as they were still suffering from dehydration, but Amanda calmly said to her mum, “my time has not yet come” (biblical reference). When David asked the question, Amanda’s first thought was “yes, if you give me $1,000” but she relented and said “yes” to the man who couldn’t say “no”

BackBeat In Full Flight Compressed

                                                             BackBeat in full flight some time later

That evening at the Cromer Golf Club, Amanda sang in that self same melodic, clear and beautiful voice that she had exhibited in the Dee Why church. Even today, I can still visualise Amanda singing in the church, calm and composed, that very bright star in the east (final Christmas reference). The 30th October 2004 was a day on which a precious union of music and friendship was born. It was indeed a special day, not just for Dean & Kylie Miller but for me.

“For you, ( I hope) there’ll be no more crying,
For you, (I hope ) the sun will (always) be shining,”

                                                                   Christine McVie

December 24th 2013    

© David Jack 2013 


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