Tuesday; Christmas Eve — woke to hear Biggsy playing The Clash on the radio this morning and thought that all was well with the world — then heard that Joe Strummer had died the previous night. This afternoon I sat on the couch and listened to a few hours of Clash compilations.

Tonight; off to the Corner Hotel to see Mick Thomas — a Christmas Eve institution — the music between the bands was a Clash tape. Between songs, Mick observed that he’d first heard Joe Strummer here in the Corner, then launched into I Could Spot You Anywhere — a song with references to finding someone at the Big Day Out. Flashback to January 1997 — Big Day Out at Flemington showgrounds — I walked in the gate, overwhelmed and disoriented, and paused to get my bearings at the RRR stage. Joe Strummer was playing, two friends of mine walked straight up to me out of the crowd, it was the most memorable performance of the show…

…but back to today… Dinner at Silvio’s, yet another great pizza and a couple of glasses of wine. The place is an institution.

Mick Thomas on Christmas eve is another — some of the songs off the forthcoming album sounding a bit odd though — I guess they’d sound alright on a Saturday afternoon in the sun, but on Christmas Eve in the Corner, the crowd seemed to want a little more. Michael Barclay was the unexpected guest, and almost unrecognisable with his hair cut neat, and an enormous grin as he seemed to be having a ball. I half-attempted to take some photos, but my camera just isn’t up to it. The combination of a weak flash and a slow response from trigger to capture means that I get some interesting, and very dark, shots two seconds after I push the button — like Michael Barclay with a castanet and mike stand in front of his face!

A good night though — Jo was a little disappointed about the songs that weren’t played, although I pointed out that more keep getting written, and so some old ones must be left out, and that going to a gig and complaining that you only like “their old stuff” is a sure sign of impending old-age and senility.