We’ll Keep On Going – Remembering Tony Cohen

Back in the dim, dark reaches of the last millennium, I was making music with a great bunch of folks here in Hobart. Together with Michael Turner, Dan Tuffy and Mel Fazackerley we made up Wild Pumpkins at Midnight.

Through Michael and Jo Volta (Stevens back then), we managed to get in Tony Cohen’s ear and he agreed to work with us on our first recording. It was a frantic, funny, at times frustrating but overall, an incredibly rewarding experience. Tony was insane, shambolic, intense – but literally amazing to work with. And for a new band, we knew how lucky we were to have him for the project. Working with him also led to meeting Chris Thompson, his great friend and the other very prominent engineer/producer in my time with WPAM.

These first sessions with Tony though, became the self-titled, bright yellow EP, with the little dancing figures in the bottom corner. People still talk to me about that first recording and even after 30 or so years, I’m proud of it. Looking (and listening) back, I can see how good Tony made us sound, and for that fact alone I will always be grateful.

We worked with Tony again over the years, hung out, made some questionable choices but always ended up falling about laughing courtesy of that razor-sharp Cohen wit. But, like so many people from those days, I lost touch with Tone over the years as other relationships, kids, physical distance and different lives got in the way. Occasionally Jo Volta would let me know what he was up to and I was always thinking I must catch up next time I’m in Melbourne.

And of course, now it’s too late and that makes me very sad.

It was only a brief moment in Tony’s stellar career, but I’ll leave you with my favourite track from that first EP.


Vale Tony, and thank you ❤

World Record Store Day 2015

Record Store Day 2015

Hi everyone,

Just a reminder wherever you are on this beautiful planet, go out this Saturday and support your local record store – it’s World Record Store Day! It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a turntable or even a CD player. The reality of running a bricks and mortar business in the 21st century means that you can buy not only CDs and vinyl at stores but also t-shirts, posters, books about musicians and other music related things.

I’m heading to one of Hobart’s hidden treasures, R & R’s Retro Music and Clothing Shoppe in the Imperial Arcade, off Collins Street in the city (shop 8/138 Collins Street, Hobart TAS 7000). The owners, Ross and Rhonda are much more than just business people. They’re truly passionate about music and in particular, supporting local Tasmanian artists. They have things in their shop that hark back to my misspent youth and my earliest times exploring the Tasmanian music scene as well as new work by emerging and established musicians. If you live outside Tasmania, call them to ask about their extensive catalogue (03) 6224 4891 or 61+3+6224 4891 if you’re overseas.

Anyway, Ross and Rhonda have kindly agreed to not only open their store this Saturday, but also host a showcase of very talented local musos – including me 🙂 If you’re in Hobart, I recommend you call in. It’s around the corner from my favourite book shop, Cracked and Spineless New and Used Books, who will also be open – just watch out for Mike and Richard dancing along with the rest of us 😉

For locals, if you’ve got any Wild Pumpkins at Midnight recordings, posters or memorabilia, please bring it along and I’m happy to sign it, coo over it and generally reminisce. Hopefully, see you there!

Debra ❤