"I went to the fortune teller, had my fortune read. I didn't know what to tell her. Had a dizzy feeling in my head."
'Turn off those long-haired pooftas!' My father screamed as he twisted the Astor television's protruding black knob to 'Off'! My favorite music show, ‘Kommotion’ was on the living-room TV and now in there was commotion in the living-room itself. The longest-haired Australian group of 1966, The Throb, had just been shut-down, cut-off in mid-verse. My brother, sister and I were not shocked by Dad's outburst, just a little jarred. Dad's moods were erratic. More so these days. His income was mostly derived from the race-track. As a bookmaker, his fortunes would roller-coaster, like his moods. He was repulsed by unkempt look of the new breed of pop stars. He was fine with Johnny O'Keefe and all those up to the emergence of The Beatles. It was the long hair and the ever crazier, clothes that he couldn't cope with.
As kids, Dad got us all interested in popular music and culture. He loved it more than most of the other kids' parents we knew. He bought home the latest records, wore the best suits, often tailor-made. He loved dancing, dinner parties and entertaining. He bought home a television set as soon as they were available in Adelaide (1959).
From the age of six or seven, I remember hearing him playing records; The Everly Brothers, 'Bird Dog', Nat King Cole, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, a big collection of 45's, as well as many exotic looking LPs.
Although I loved Elvis as a kid, attending most of his movies, my fascination for pop and rock music fully ignited when The Beatles changed the whole game. I was ten. I had been keenly appreciative of music and entertainers up to that time, but it was this new period from early 1964, that really delivered something magical and something possible to imagine myself getting involved in. There was only one Elvis. He was perfect and unreachable. Now there was the possibility of making music as a gang. Sharing the weight in a small, self-sufficient unit. The Rolling Stones were a gang with Jagger as the front man. The Beatles were a four-guy gang who supported each other, (no real front man). I started buying records for the first time in 1964, firstly singles, 'I Saw Her Standing There', then the EPs, 'Five by Five'. Next were the albums 'Please Please Me' and '12 x 5'.
Living in Adelaide seemed no impediment to experiencing this unprecedented surge of teen-orientated pop. Adelaide learned quickly and embraced the tidal wave rapturously. Adelaide seemed surprisingly hip in 1964/65. It had its own live, television variety Tonight Show on NWS Channel 9 four nights a week, compared by Lionel Williams, and later Ernie Sigley. Featured often were brilliant Adelaide music acts including, The Twilights, The Vibrants and Bev Harrell. Johnny Mac had a nation-wide hit with his single 'Pink Champagne', which, although it wasn't groovy, proved that an Adelaide act could cut a record and have it burst out of our little city, onto the national stage. Anything was possible! Adelaide also had a keen fashion sense. It helped having the satellite city of Elizabeth only sixteen miles away. Elizabeth had about 4,000 residents, the great majority being newly-imported English migrants. Their first-hand knowledge of British fashion and music contributed greatly to Adelaide's advantage. It’s well documented that Adelaide had the largest turn-out, in the world, to welcome the biggest music sensation, The Beatles to town, on June 12th 1964. My brother's birthday coincided with the excitement. He was turning 15 and he got two tickets that my parents managed to buy from the Adelaide Advertiser classifieds. At school that day The Beatles were the only topic of conversation, including from our teachers. School attendance was way down on June 12th 1964.
A few short months later I began to attend my first live pop concerts. I was dropped off by either my mother, or my father. The Centennial Hall and The Thebarton Theatre were the two big venues for concerts. Australian and English acts were bundled together and rolled out to perform stunning twenty-minute sets. Normie Rowe, Tony Worsley, The Easybeats, Manfred Mann, The Honeycombs, The Kinks. We were in heaven seeing five, or more fabulous acts all in one Big Show! I attended these events with various school friends. In 1966, Don Dunstan (future Premier of South Australia) dropped his son, Andrew (a friend from school) and me off to see The Easybeats perform a spectacular concert. Stevie Wright had the energy and optimism of a pack of school kids on Show Day. He leap-frogged over guitarists, George and Harry, in between singing and dancing with other-worldly confidence like no other front-man in Australia.
The shows were simple, personal, with few effects. They were incredibly exciting. On the broad, high, wooden stage, sat a few amps, a PA system and the pop sensation of the moment. Screams, mostly from the girls, and streamers elevated the excitement to an unforgettable intensity. Over the next couple of years, I witnessed amazing concerts in those intimate old halls: The Who causing havoc onstage in 1968, The Small Faces with a nasty Steve Marriott up front and local boys, The Masters Apprentices with the ever enthusiastic, ever charismatic, Jim Keays. He was a world-standard star.
It started to occur to me, that perhaps I could get on the inside of all this excitement? I asked mum and dad for a set of drums and to my surprise, received them on my thirteenth birthday. I banged and bashed on a set of red Tempo drums (not Ludwig, like Ringo's). I played along to The Easybeats 'Volume 3' LP and was even sent to drum lessons, thanks to mum. My teacher was John Reynolds, who taught from his drum shop on Waymouth Street, Adelaide. Unfortunately, I didn't learn much. John was always breaking-off my lesson to answer the phone and do more business. Written drum music didn't make much sense to me anyway. I was hopeless at reading it. Eventually I stopped the lessons, but kept on drumming, teaching myself. I admired some of the boys at my school who occasionally performed at assemblies and special events. One of my friends was a prominent performer, far more advanced than me, John James Hackett. He was a natural, belting out a tight 60s instrumental, with a guitarist and bass player, on the Memorial Hall stage, at St. Peter's College. The hall was full of students for assembly. I was thoroughly impressed and envious. I could never be that good! Still, I kept practicing and occasionally jamming with any school friends who shared my enthusiasm. In 1968, 'Jumping Jack Flash' burst through the radio, reviving the Stones' slightly sagging career. A school-friend, Guy Cundell brought his little amp and cheap guitar to my house. It felt fabulous to actually have another person playing an instrument in the same room as me! This was the first time I'd played with anything other than a record player. Guy Cundell and JJ Hackett teamed up once school finished, establishing themselves in Mount Gambier for a short period before the next phase of their careers. JJ quickly progressed musically and career-wise. He soon joined local Adelaide musicians, The Fabulaires, then moved onto national fame with Ross Wilson and the very successful, Mondo Rock.
Apart from the drums, I attempted to learn the flute. I began lessons at school around the age of fourteen. The problem again for me was reading music. It was like learning Latin. It simply didn't come easily. I tried, but stumbled so much that my teacher 'fired' me. She simply gave up in frustration. ‘Goodbye hopeless boy’, she must have thought. Like the drums though, I continued playing the flute on my own, playing mostly by ear, as I still do.
My next experience of 'creating' music with another person was with Scott Hicks, (film director of ‘Shine’, ‘The Boys Are Back’ and ‘No Reservations’). In 1969 Scott lived in a modest home with his South African parents in the beachside suburb of Henley Beach. Scott had purchased a small art-work of mine that I managed to consign to a shop near our school. The art-work was an image of John Lennon which I copied from the 'White Album's' 8” x 10” photo of him. I colored a small part of it in with Texta pens, making one of Lennon's glasses lenses a psychedelic spiral. That art-work was my very first art sale. Scott was in the year above me. He was very scholarly and I never understood why he would be interested in befriending me. He had noticed a poem I'd written which was printed in the school magazine. It was written in French, a subject I was hopeless at, and eventually failed. The poem was about a dog, (Chien). We did however, share a love of pop music and Scott loved photography. Several weekends were devoted to playing songs like 'Hey Jude' and Donovan’s ‘Atlantis,' in his parents' living room. Scott sung and played piano while I bashed away on the drums. We were never much good but it was fun. In a few months Scott went to Flinders University to study film, leaving behind his piano, our musical aspirations and our friendship.
As soon as I turned sixteen, I sat for and easily got my Learner's, driver’s license. There was no intermediary P-plate system then. It didn't take much longer to gain my full license. Having the use of a car opened up possibilities that were previously out of reach. I could drive myself to see bands on the weekends, venturing sometimes as far as The Octagon, in Elizabeth, to see Billy Thorpe blast away. I borrowed the parent's white Holden one Saturday night to see Fraternity play at a Youth Centre dance on Payneham Road. Fraternity was the hot Adelaide band of 1971, having moved from Sydney, to a farm in Aldgate, in The Adelaide Hills. They were set to take Australia and the world, by storm. Their manager, Hamish Henry, was a visionary who handled them like a special product. They all lived and rehearsed in one big house, modeled on The Band’s base called The Big Pink, in Woodstock, New York. Their sound was some-what like The Band too. Most importantly, they were fabulous and their lead singer was the incredible (later to join ACDC) Bon Scott. Bon had moved across from the teenybopper, Perth band, The Valentines, to peruse this new venture. He changed his pop style and image, to blend into the earthy, hippy Fraternity style. The band rolled along like and old country truck.
Most venues at that time, were unlicensed, no alcohol. The crowd was often as young as 14, ranging up to 18. This night, at the youth center, Fraternity’s seven members swelled onto the stage. Bon took control and was utterly charismatic. The swirling music was supreme and irresistible.
I found it easier and more productive to go out by myself. I didn't like getting caught up in negotiating plans with several friends, compromising on a Friday or Saturday night. I didn't like being bogged down by a group of guys who were indecisive, even dopey. I liked to slip into a place by myself, to observe and plot how I might one day get to speak to a girl. I was very inexperienced with girls. My schools, after third grade, were all single-sex, boys-only schools. I went firstly to East Adelaide Primary School, then Kings College (now Pembroke) for one year, then finally, St. Peter's College. My mother drove this trajectory of ever upward educational opportunities. She was good like that, and I am grateful. Thanks Mum.
My exposure to girls was limited to my sister and her friends, then later to school dances where the boys were paired off with girls from suitable private schools. My partners were mostly taller, more developed, and not at all interested in me. I wasn't sure how to approach girls. I made a couple of meek efforts but they were not even picked-up on by my targets. I needed an approach that would really work! I had recently watched 'The Nutty Professor' starring Jerry Lewis and it made a huge impact on me. Jerry, as Buddy Love, was the coolest guy around. When he transformed himself from an invisible nerd into the groovy, swinging ladies' man, Buddy Love, he was unstoppable and irresistible to females. I figured I might be capable of this also? One Saturday night I took myself to The Scene Club in the city. It was an unlicensed venue where the latest ‘super-group’ Axiom, were playing. Axiom formed from the embers of two big Australian groups, The Twilights and The Groop. Glen Shorrock (later to front Little River Band) took lead vocals backed up by Brian Cadd on vocals and keyboards. As I entered, I told myself that I too could be like Buddy Love. I conjured up his spirit and let him take over. It took a few moments to locate a girl who looked sassy and sexy, then I told myself,
'This is it! That's your girl. You can do this Buddy!' I strolled over to her, then said,
' Hi, I thought I'd do you a favor and talk to you. I want to share some of my 'incredibleness' with you.'
She was clearly taken aback and took a moment. The girl was a little stunned and momentarily impressed, I thought I was onto something! The only problem was staying in character. I bought her a Coke and held her attention for a few minutes more, but gradually, I became my real self again, losing Buddy’s spirit. As this happened, just like in the movie, she looked at me quizzically, then made an excuse to go. It was an interesting experiment though and with more effort and practice, I figured it might actually get my first girlfriend.
Back to Fraternity, on stage at the Youth Centre: They were cooking up a wonderful storm onstage and I really wanted to dance, but definitely not by myself. That wasn't done, unless you were an oddball. It was simply too embarrassing, besides, I wanted to meet a girl. Looking around I saw a beautiful girl by the side of the stage. She had long dark hair and clear, smooth, olive skin. She oozed a naughty, confidence. Without letting it go on too long (in case I backed out) I walked straight over to her and asked her to dance. I couldn't allow myself any time to think about the consequences. To my amazement she agreed. Dancing with this gorgeous stranger, to the incredible Fraternity, with Bon Scott just a few feet away, was exhilarating. I was in the happiest place imaginable.
Even more astounding, when the song finished, she didn't walk away as I fully expected. She stayed with me. Perhaps, I was dreaming? Never before had this happened. Her name was MaryAnne. My hand touched her arm, then I held her a little. She felt heavenly. Time disappeared once I knew she was happy to keep dancing with me. Before I knew it, I was holding her closely to a slow song, then my mouth touched her mouth. This was to be my first real kiss. Once my lips touched hers, MaryAnne took over. She was in charge and was clearly experienced. The kiss was an out-of-this-world experience that I had never known before. From the amazing kiss, to Maryanne’s tongue gently touching mine, then moving in circles. It was a wildly stimulating experience I'd never known, like an alien drilling into my mind. I was seventeen and she was fourteen. In the middle of this newly found bliss, and totally on another planet by now, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Breaking off the kiss, I turned to the direction of the tapping hand. At once, my face was pounded by a solid fist that launched me backwards, then straight down to the floor. Pleasure and pain; my first taste and personal experience with teen lust.
MaryAnne had to leave soon after I’d recovered from the punch. Her dad was picking her up. All was not lost however, we exchanged phone numbers. Gold! The twerp who hit me disappeared. I pulled myself together and left once Fraternity had exited the stage. Outside, in the carpark, the attacker reanimated. I jumped in my parent's Holden and he began to kick it. I cranked the motor and turned the car towards him. That did it. He ran off. I never saw him again. I later found he had a giant crush on MaryAnne but she didn't feel the same about him. That began an almost, four-year, boyfriend-girlfriend relationship between MaryAnne and me.
We made phone contact a couple of days after that first night. MaryAnne lived in a suburb called Paradise. It was an aspirational name. In reality it was a new, mostly lower-income suburb. Her parents were Austrian/German, recent migrants. Her dad was a builder. She had an older brother, Alfie. The weekend after we'd first met, MaryAnne caught the bus, a twenty-minute ride, down Payneham Road, to my suburb, Royston Park, to visit me. I was very expectant and excited. She knocked at our back door looking as fresh and beautiful as I'd remembered. My heart beat noticeably faster. Dad was home. He said a quick 'hello', unable to hide the admiring look in his eye. This was the first time my dad had seen me with a girl.
I had an easy connection with MaryAnne. I didn't have to put on a different personality, or depend on false bravado. We were simply drawn to each other, even though we didn't have a lot in common. MaryAnne was sharp, but she wasn't academic. She did the bare minimum at high school, beyond merely showing up. She wasn't a reader, nor musical, or artistic. She had style, sass and she did love pop music. We didn't discuss poetry, or books, we just spent time together and that was enough. In my bedroom we would lay close, fully-dressed, cuddling and listening to LP's, (often Free's 'Highway' album). I never thought of trying to go any further than that. What could be better than the euphoria I felt at that time? Anything else would surely spoil it? Occasionally, we would be surprised, then interrupted by my mother, who would push open my bedroom door and say,
'Keep this door open.'
I didn't quite understand her angst; besides, my awareness had gone all gooey. I was only focused on this gorgeous girl who came to me and gave me lovely cuddles and kisses.
It was 1971. I had taken the year off my studies at The Art School of South Australia, to get a little more life experience. In 1970, I had gone straight from forth-year high school (Leaving Certificate) to art school at sixteen. I was too young and too green to go straight into a tertiary institution. 1971 was to be a rocky year of extreme experiences.
MaryAnne and I continued seeing each other regularly, at least once a week. Sometimes I'd go to her house to meet her after she got out of school, and her parents weren't home. She such a dream in her school dress which was well above her smooth knees. Again, we merely cuddled on her couch before I had to return home.
I found out that her brother, Alfie wasn't home because he was in jail, locked up for heroin possession. There was a prevalence of drugs in Adelaide in the early 70s, especially heroin.
As 1971 progressed, I couldn't justify staying at home and not working. I had deferred my studies at art school for a year. I had to get a job. Jobs were very easily found in the seventies. Unfortunately, the pay often wasn't much to get excited about. I was employed by Hoadley’s Chocolate factory for fifty cents an hour. This equated to a grand total of $20 a week, terrible by any standards! I hated working in a factory with grumpy, ground-down co-workers. I never enjoyed a single day, nor made a single friend. It got me so down in fact that I became very sick after a few weeks, with tonsillitis. With swollen tonsils and a high fever, I had to remain in bed for a couple of weeks, receiving shots from the family doctor to fight the infection. During this period MaryAnne decided to quit school. She had turned 15 and felt she had had enough. She found herself a job in a city sandwich shop. When I was back at the chocolate factory, I visited her at work. Our life had changed direction but we were still bound to each other. On weekends we would see a live band if we could. Snoopy Hollow was the big unlicensed venue in Flinders Street for teens. It was at the YMCA where I'd learnt judo, as a twelve-year-old and gymnastics, as a ten-year-old. Now at seventeen I was taking my beautiful girlfriend to see Zoot, or Russell Morris perform their hits wonderfully, while I danced with and kissed beautiful MaryAnne.
As the year moved on and winter established itself, I decided to move out of home. My relationship with Mum had been on the rocky side since MaryAnne had been in my world. I found a spare room in a house for rent, in Prospect. Two girls were renting the house. I paid them a week's rent, not feeling like this would be anything long-term. MaryAnne came to visit after a day or two. She decided, as the afternoon began to fade, to stay the night. Here we were, in an independent place, that was not our parents. MaryAnne climbed into bed with me and it was unspoken, but clear, that we were, after more than six months of seeing each other, going to have sex. It proved too much for me however. I was scared and overwhelmed. I couldn't do it. Nothing happened. We went to sleep.
Up until that point I had been under the typical pressures and hormonal changes that descend upon almost all boys as they move from dinosaur obsession to mammary obsession. I fantasized daily about being with a girl, mostly a beautiful, swim-suit clad model from People, or Post magazines. I'd cut-out my favorites, pasting them in a scrap book, so I could access them anytime. My gazing culminated in orgasmic explosions at least a couple of times a day. I'd wager with my crazy school friend, Michael Clark, as to who would be the first to actually have sex with a girl. Now that I finally had a girlfriend and was in the position to have sex, I'd been quite happy to delay the experience, preferring the elation of cuddles and kisses.
When we woke up in the morning, I was ready, without having to think, or try at all. The necessary hydraulics were in place. This was it!
'I can do it! I'm ready!' I said to MaryAnne, excitedly.
We spent the day doing what I'd never done before but had thought about so much before over the past few years. That marked another new beginning. I somehow felt too, a loss of innocence, even though I'd experienced an incredible new sensation. I felt that I'd experienced something that could almost never be fully satisfied. It was a bit drug-like in that way. Now that I'd had my first conquest, I already had a sense that this would be an ongoing, life-long quest, to prove something, to find something. I wasn't sure? The cuddles and kisses were really good, now I've got to handle this new level, this new beast?
Later that second day, there was a knock at the front door, a police officer. One of the girls answered it.
'Is there a MaryAnne Murher here?' the officer asked.
The girl lied, saying, 'No.'
We were in our room out back. The officer went away.
MaryAnne's parents were looking for her. She had taken off, not telling them where she had gone. Like two, unwise and crazy teenagers we decided to exasperate the situation and simply take off. MaryAnne stayed with me a second night then, with no belongings and very little money, we decided to hitchhike from Adelaide to Sydney. We would get to my cousin Carl's place in Sydney. He was older, married and established, a commercial artist. MaryAnne and I would get jobs in Sydney and make a stand.
It was a truly stupid idea. We set out hitchhike from Adelaide's foothills onto Highway 1, a nine-hour journey to Melbourne, this young-looking, almost eighteen-year-old guy and a petite, beautiful fifteen-year-old girl. Our first ride was with a semi-trailer trucker. We climbed into the large cabin, told the driver where we were headed, then made small talk for a while. The driver didn't query our young age, or our free-floating plans. MaryAnne sat by the passenger door, I was in the middle, next to the driver. He was a basic, decent chap. Mostly, he was worried about falling asleep while driving. He asked me to pull the chord that blasted the horn if it looked like he was drifting off. Somehow, we made it through the evening and to Melbourne the next morning. That day we headed to the Melbourne University. We firstly joined the line of students getting served for lunch and had a free meal. Next, we went to the dorm area and asked some students if there were any unoccupied rooms. Incredibly, we were directed to one that was open and made ourselves comfortable for the night. We managed to get two more meals before finding our way to the road leading to Sydney and hitchhiking once more. Before long we were in a vehicle headed east, then another and by afternoon we were dropped off in Albury, NSW, five and a half hours from Sydney. This is where things unraveled.
A police car cruised past us as we were looking for our next ride on the main road out of Albury. MaryAnne and I nervously looked at each other both thinking the same thing. We had to get a lift. Instead, the police car rounded the block, then, pulled over beside us.
'Get in the car please. We want to ask you a few questions.' one of the officers said.
We had no choice but to comply. We were taken to the Albury Police Station where we were sat down and the questions began.
'Where are you going? Why are you hitchhiking? Where do you live? Where are your parents? What's in this bag? How old are you? What are your names?'
We both made up some inept and obvious falsehoods, foolishly hoping they would let us go. It wasn't long before we tripped over our own bull and we had to start giving real answers. The truth was that we only had twenty cents between us and no other means of support. MaryAnne was fifteen and I was just shy of eighteen. We were to be locked-up while this was straightened out.
I was facing two charges; vagrancy and carnal knowledge. We were put in the police lock-up attached to the police station. There were about six or seven cells that faced a small courtyard. I was put at one end and MaryAnne at the opposite end. She was the only female. There were three others locked up at that time; petty car thieves, or petrol stealers, in their twenties and thirties. It was a nightmare to have my liberty taken away from me so completely. It was worse still to hear MaryAnne's miserable cries coming from her cell.
'Stewart! Sob. Stewart!'
There was nothing I could do. I was totally powerless.
We were locked up for almost a week. Tests were done at the local hospital, on MaryAnne, to find any evidence of semen, so I could be charged with carnal knowledge. Fortunately, we had been on the road without much chance of intercourse since Adelaide so nothing was found.
The cells consisted of a narrow, hard bed with inadequate blankets and a toilet in the corner. There was a light that stayed on till nine o'clock then went off as the Town Hall clock counted off nine bells. The door had a space about 18 inches by 18 inches that had bars in it, allowing the cold to come through the open bars at night. We were allowed out of our cell for an hour each day to walk around the courtyard. It was a chance to talk to the other inmates or perhaps borrow a book. MaryAnne was not let out at the same time as the males.
I'd heard that our parents had been contacted. My mother would be coming to Albury to be present when we appeared before the judge. MaryAnne's parents would not be coming.
On the day when we were to appear before the judge I was brought to a room where my mother waited. I was ashamed. I cried. I was so pleased to see her, to have her comfort and familiarity. I was also frightened of what might happen when we faced the judge. The hearing went quickly however, the judge was an understanding and compassionate man. He looked at MaryAnne and me then pronounced.
'This is a case of Romeo and Juliet. No conviction. You are free to go.'
Enormous relief and gratitude flooded through me. I also realized then the power of the police and the respect that needed to be shown to them if I was to get through the next stages of my life without trouble. MaryAnne and I flew back to Adelaide with my mother and attempted to settle back in to normality. I returned to my family house and MaryAnne to hers.
MaryAnne and I continued seeing each other. I suppose we were in love. We were very close. The trouble was that we were not great for each other. She was really sweet and quite independent, partly rebellious. In 1972 I returned to art school to finish up three more years of my art studies. MaryAnne was still not doing much except various menial jobs. She also started taking pills, such as speed and other things I didn't know much about at the time. She smoked cigarettes too, something I always hated. Up until I turned 18, I never took any drugs, nor smoked or drank. It was something that just occurred to me as a good idea; stay clear and clean for a while. I saw how idiotic so many other guys were who were sculling beer and vomiting at sixteen-year old’s' parties. It looked ridiculous to me. It wasn't until I was 18 that I decided to break the prohibition.
MaryAnne moved to Melbourne for a few months in 1973. She worked in a factory. I'm not sure why. We wrote letters and I missed her very much. I drove across to see her one-time. She was sharing a flat with a girlfriend. It was all a bit bleak. The girlfriend seemed to be out of it on something like Valium, probably the drug of that time, Mandrax. I stayed for the night. We made love quietly as she shared a bed with her sedated flat-mate, then I returned to Adelaide feeling quite sad. The next time I saw Maryanne she was visiting me in Adelaide. I was staying in the house of a mature-aged student at art school. The woman was about thirty. Her name was Jenny. She had a cottage in the city and she rented me the front room. She had been married to a prominent Brisbane artist, John Aland, but they were now divorced. Jenny was resuming her studies at art school. Often, in the evenings, Jenny would share a flagon of white wine with me, after a long day in the studio. We had drinks were called, Hock, Lime and Lemon, part white wine, part lime juice cordial and part lemonade. These went down too easily.
Due to this habit, I would bring to my studio, the following day, an aching hangover. Jenny was the first to introduce me to marihuana. The first time I tried it I vomited after just a few puffs.
MaryAnne found me at Jenny's house. She was still beautiful, but changed, somehow dulled. As she spent time with me it was obvious, she had a bad heroin habit. She'd brought this back from Melbourne. It was devastating to see her nonchalantly shoot-up two, or even three times a day.
I knew there was nothing that I could conjure up, or do, to fix this. I wanted to lock her in a room until she was free from the evil crap, but that wasn't going to happen. I saw MaryAnne a couple more times over the next months, then, never again. Communication wasn't as it is now. I left Adelaide at the end of 1974. It's been decades and I don't know if she's dead or alive, but I often think of her. She was my first love.