Hugh Jones has been part of several of Stereo Stories’ pivotal moments.
He was in the audience at our first gig. 2014. Sixty people in the old council chambers at Williamstown Town Hall. Photos of former mayors looking down upon us. Rock’n’roll comes to the Williamstown Literary Festival!
Twelve months later Hugh was on stage with us with a story about journalism via an obscure cover of the song (Every Time That You) Walk In The Room. We had graduated from the council chambers to the ballroom, and doubled our audience numbers.
Another twelve months on, and Hugh was putting his journalism skills to work for us, asking the questions for our vox-pop promo at our 2016 ballroom concert.
Hugh took up the invitation when we put out a call for house concerts in early 2019, and he headed 350 kilometres up the highway in September of that year to be part of our fourth annual show at Write Around The Murray in Albury. There, he entertained the full-house with two different, but very entertaining stories: a delightful story about his three daughters’ enthusiasm for contemporary band The Killers, and a recollection of an embarrassing press conference with Don McLean in Hobart many, many years ago.
…The questions we asked Don McLean in 1982 still make me blush. First question (from crack, young ABC reporter): “Do you ever get sick of singing American Pie?”
The most personal of Hugh’s stories are about his wife Judith (via Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight), his father (Split Enz’s Poor Boy ) and his late neighbour, Stephan Fidock, drummer with The Reels.
…We didn’t always talk about music as I sensed a history there he was keen to let rest, but it was fun when we did. He told me Burt Bacharach himself had congratulated The Reels for their version of This Guy’s in Love, but only many years later did I discover Steph had sung La Mer on that same album, Beautiful.
Hugh’s most recent story, a month ago, looked back at the the last days of the Melbourne afternoon newspaper, The Herald.
…Teamwork wrote the best headlines, words bouncing around the table like ping-pong balls. Always we sought a phrase to catch the reader’s eye yet would still fit an unforgiving space on the page….
Who knows what will be Stereo Stories’ next pivotal moment, but it’s a fair bet Hugh Jones won’t be far away.
Thank you, Hugh.