BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 9)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The problem with marriage is getting married. The love might be there, but, somehow, the romance leaves. There’s also almost a need to act “married” for everyone else, which can cause many seasons of discontent between a couple that are sometimes never resolved. They’re left hanging until those grapes of wrath sour forever and open warfare begins.

Though Trina and I were very much in love and enjoying being parents to Taryn, things were changing. Call it a shift in priorities, but these changes signalled moving in different directions without us even realising it and never trying to heal those wounds that were surfacing. Internal wounds are the most difficult to heal as they’re the enemy within. But we seldom address this problem. We wait until it’s too late and think counselling with some stranger will help. It never does. It just puts a band aid on a problem that continues to fester, or if dismissing this as psychobabble, one plays the game to keep everyone happy with pat answers. This should not be allowed to happen. But we stupidly let it. Of course, everyone’s different…

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A NEW DAY IS ON THE HORIZON? REALLY?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The Boomtown Rats once sang how they don’t like Mondays. This past Monday, one kinda understood why.

In cricket, Australia won The Ashes and, quite rightly, Australian pride needed to be released and quieten the wonderful Barmy Army. Though rooting for neither team, I felt for England captain Joe Roots. Ashes to Ashes and all that.

In Hong Kong, Kei Chiong, the city’s only female jockey, announced her retirement. On Instagram. A surprise? Not really. It’s competitive enough for brilliant sportsmen to succeed in the pressure cooker world of horse racing. For a young Chinese girl to compete, especially against world class international riders, the odds were always stacked against her.

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BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 8)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It’s very tough going writing this, but there seems to be an invisible force pushing me to finish it as if it’s my last will and testament. Maybe it is. Nothing matters more to me than saying what I have to say. Perhaps it’s about living on borrowed time where I have to be totally honest with myself and try the best I can not to hurt anyone in the process. But I will because the truth hurts. We try to escape it, but it always catches up with you no matter how hard you try to mask it.

Bottom line: You come into this world alone and you leave this world alone. The filling in the rest of the sandwich is just stuff that, in the end, was given way too much oxygen until it suffocated you.

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SIR BARRY GIBB: MUCH MORE THAN A KNIGHTHOOD

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It was when in my first school band that my best friend and band mate Steve had us learn a song called “New York Mining Disaster 1941.” Steve was always one step ahead of anyone else around us when it came to discovering new bands. And at a time when when it was considered “cool” to write songs with somewhat pretentious song titles, there we were learning this song about a mining disaster that wasn’t exactly your straight forward pop song which started with a minor chord and needed some Everley Brothers type harmonies. This, for the rest of us in the band, was our introduction to the Bee Gees- actually brothers Barry and the strangest looking twins in Robin and Maurice backed by two musicians who really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

The song was fine, but at a very image conscious time, the Bee Gees didn’t look cool enough. Too much teeth and really bad hair. One was even losing his hair.

The album cover to their first record was drab, and they weren’t from Swinging London. They were from Australia. And though a few hits by Australian bands passed the test- the Easybeats being one of them- their origins didn’t really help them being accepted by the cool kids.

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THE BEATLES: CREATIVE, SELECTIVE, PRODUCTIVE AND THEIR LAND OF OZ

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The question is, How did they do it, and, maybe even more importantly, what drove them to that space in time and particular place where it really didn’t matter what anyone else thought and whether it would be popular or accepted just as long as they produced what was in their hearts and minds? It really was that simple.

Call it evolution, colour it revolution, but to go from the rudiments of pop to turning what we know as music on its head when deciding that the recording studio was this wonderful musical land of Oz where lived a wise old Wizard who could see where they wanted to go and guide them down that yellow brick road that led to Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and where Tomorrow Never Knows is something that’s been explored and theorised for over four decades, but there really are no answers.

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BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 7)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Married life with Trina was more than good. It was everything and more. As a young couple, our combined salaries were around HK$5,000, and this was fine. We were still in our little Japanese style apartment in Park Road and were even able to save money. Living together there was like a Graham Nash song: Perfect.

This was a very different Hong Kong to what we have today where people talk in millions and billions while those who can’t live detached lives on social media where fantasy and reality often come together to create emotional clutter.

As for Trina and myself, she was busy working for an arts magazine called Orientations whereas apart from working as Creative Director with the same local ad agency, I was making a little extra money writing an entertainment column for the SCMP and reviewing records for the TV and E Times.

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WHOA! THAT’S TOO MUCH INFORMATION AND CLUTTER, FACEBOOK!

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Everyone around is singing “Last Christmas” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” I look around and see what I have seen for the last three three years: those who have paid to attend some “festive gathering” insisting to themselves that they’re going to have a good time. Maybe some are. Me, I’m weighing out the pros and cons of leaving Facebook. If I jump ship, this would be the fifth time though an ex live-in who thought she had figured out a successful escape plan quickly realised that like that line in Hotel California, you can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave. You might have bolted, but you’re still there like the ghost of Christmas past.

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BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 6)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The accidental drug overdose death of my best friend since school Steve (Tebbutt), below right, had me reeling down inside and it was only now having Trina (Dingler) in my life that gave me the emotional support needed. We weren’t living together, but spent as much time together as possible.

I was still sharing an apartment with local radio disc jockey Mike Souza in Arts Mansion, below, which was like some big crash pad and waterbed for many in Hong Kong just starting out adult life or trying to figure out where we belonged and what was in store next. Kitty, my much-loved cat was as always there for company.

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CANTO POP AND WHY HONG KONG NEEDS THE NEXT SAM HUI

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Believe me, we’re trying to change things around. The question is whether we’ve left it all a little too late and are happy to just coast, because it pays the rent. And as no one’s getting any younger, to many, that’s life’s main priority. Maybe we don’t want to change the world. That’s not our job. Maybe we just want to survive in our own little corner of the world and put on that happy face everyday and try to kid ourselves and everyone else that all is cool.

I might be writing about Hong Kong, but I could be writing about anywhere. I might be writing about music, but I could be writing about any of the arts or any business or even life itself. And music is entertainment and much about life, but it’s also a business. Those days of playing for free for “exposure” should have ended when playing with one’s first school band and performing at tea parties.

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