Sunday, July 5, 2009

TIM HEMENSLEY ARCHIVE, Additions posted July, 2009


There's an apparent seamlessness to Tim's concerns & style, from his commentaries in PUNK PURGE : TEDDY BOY TALES, in the early '80s, to the late diaries & stand-alone pieces of his last few years (late '90s to 2003). A couple of ways of looking at that : he found his style very early and maintained it for twenty years, or he didnt develop much beyond what the precocious writings reveal. Certainly he was ready for a new stage at the time of his death. In conversations over several years he never disagreed that he had some serious fiction in him as well as music & cultural commentary; obvious, too, that so long as he was playing music he'd be writing lyrics which would have had to transcend the narratives of teenage angst at some time. But who knows? Young deaths suspend everything; one's left with questions forever.

Yet it's clear from the start that he's a cultural commentator & a memoirist (which, coincidentally, recalls a recent conversation with Stella Glorie, about the difference between essay & memoir, especially how autobiography is or may be written). I'm addressing Tim but may as well be explicating myself; my way of recording the history which includes oneself, implicating oneself within the historical, feeling this history course one's own corpuscles... It's clear to me also that at least in the writing there's an affinity which begs the question of authorial distinction, though this might well be what any reader feels of a powerfully resonant text : that one's reading accords with the writing to the extent that it occurs within the pulse of the writing, as though two edges of the same perception. In addition, my son Tim is who I am in his skin & on his scene... The gift for me of this period of transcription is in recognizing another manifestation of the Hemensley writer-chronicler. I feel we are "the Elder" & "the Younger" --name-sakes & inscribers of the very same nuance.

--Kris Hemensley
March 16-18,'09--




i thought i'd use this last page [of Punk Purge, #5, ed] to remember a club called The Killayoni Club, one of the best non-pub venues for new music (new wave or rock, not strictly commercial) in the last 3 years. when i was interviewed on the "Behind the Shelter Sheds" (a programme for kids on Radio 3CR, what else could it be!), i named the club as one of 2 places kids (under 15s) could get to see live new wave or punk. a few months alter The Killayoni Club was gone, and the bands scattered to other places far and wide. The Killayoni Club was located in Flinders Lane [Melbourne], and bands such as The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies, Plays With Marionettes, 3 Toed Sloths, Daughters of Charity, and Voix would be the night's entertainment. the first time i went there was new year's eve, 1981. meeting Kathy Buck (manageress) at the door was a surprise (as i thought it was a Polish night-club)! and later on actually meting the performers was something rare, and something which probably hasn't happened since the demise of the 1st wave of punk in this country in 1980. let me point out that the club was NOT strictly a punk club. this 'zine isn't strictly just a punk 'zine. i am a punk, punk is the music i love and therefore i give considerable coverage to punk. but the music and bands who perform at The Killayoni Club hardly ever get any mention in the rock press, & most of the gigs they do are publicised by word of mouth, so there should be some 'zine or magazine that talks about them. one of the bands who (to me, anyway) represents the true KILLAYONI sound was 2D. they played very sixtiesish garage band post-punk rock, very heavy, very psychedelic (ie, garage psychedelia like late Pretty Things, Masters Apprentices, Shadows of Night, Kingsmen etc), very good. even though 2D are gone now and Ifs, Buts & Maybes have taken their place, the energy etc still remains. THE band of the club was The Incredibly Strange Creatures... who were thoroughly improvisational and seemed to alienate most of their audience rather than attract them. Kathy Buck lying on the stage screaming and Jim Buck monotonously saying "she says / she says / she says" while other 'musicians' have arguments through saxophones, was hardly 'fun' or a 'good night out'! punk was supposed to be anti-music-music but the person who said that would probably be choking on their words when they saw The Incredibly Strange Creatures! another band who sometimes appeared there was Three Toed Sloths, consisting of Jim Buck on heavily distorted guitar, and Terry Shannon on bass. with "songs" (ihn th' greyest C'n'W tradischon!) such as 'i'm gonna bust yer ass, you son of a bitch!", Johnny Cash's "angel from vegas" and "i wanna be a worm". of course, no history of The Killayoni Club would be complete without mentioning Royal Flush (plug!!!), who played the club on the "FINAL FLING KILLAYONI THING", final night. oh, i don't know what to say now!! alas, poor Killayoni, i knew it well! P.S. : watch out for the album, "Killayoni Rag", with Royal Flush, The Three Toed Sloth, Ania Walwicz, et al!

(Xmas Eve, 1982)

[NOTE: Melbourne's Missing Link record shop also published a transcription from Punk Purge of the same review in their newsletter, August issue, 2003. Their memorial for Tim Hemensley can be read at ________________________________________________________________


i walk tall. i walk proud. i create the footprints that the stars walk in. i've seen it all, i've seen the aura of many a holy and disturbed man shatter under the strain of a broken ego. i sit on the left hand of god. i share martinis with the living buddha. the virgin mary cooks my meals and moses does my laundry. i never sleep. i'm awake 35 hours a day, 365 days a week. let's get serious : it's 4 a.m. in fitzroy st. and i'm hanging out with the famous and sleazy. the degenerates, the scuz, the scum, i love 'em all. y'see, i'm a high flyer -- live fast. the fast lane is the only lane there is. 200 m.p.h., adrenalin fling thru' my body, running on empty, my head in full throttle. i'll never die. so, 4 a.m., my t-shirt covered in pizza stains, blood, sweat and beer, and i feel good. yeah. GOOD. i'm out of my mind, out of my head, completely whacked, i wanna die, but i wanna live. YEAH. i'm a full blown crazy, a real live one. the undercover cops know me and stay out of my way. the hell's angels guard my front door. the mafia sends me free siccilian lasagna samples. i look down on everything, the world looks up at me. i need nothing, i want everything. i'm on a natural high, helped along by vast quantities of drugs. i'm a loaded, explosive, armed and dangerous mass of manhood.

[Note : "Creative Writing Semester 1, 1988. Well oh wondrous one, let me bask in your aura. Great stuff -- very funny -- excellent use of words -- great juxtaposition of ideas -- great use of cliche as a means of self-deprecating humour, you 'armed and dangerous mass of manhood'! --Graeme Smith, teacher at Ardoch College, Melbourne.]



Dear Keith,

what's happenin' man? You don't know me, but i'm in a band called GOD, we've got some records comin' out on Au Go Go Records. (You've heard of us?) We're doin' a lot of gigs at the moment, 'cept we keep gettin' banned or barred or kicked out of a lotta places, but that's life when you're a young, exciting rock'n'roll band. Anyway, the purpose of this letter is : i'm getting a band together with some of my favourite players, it'll be called SLIM KILLERS, it's nothing serious, just a few gigs here and there, doing lots of my fave songs of all time, maybe write some stuff for the thing? It'll just be good sweaty fun. Mind you, we'll be playing smaller venues than what yr used to, but we'll try for some open-air gigs if the crowds are TOO big!! Anyay, pass the word around, 'cos i want the BEST!! Ask Ronnie Wood. Hey : it'd be coool if youse could both come on down?!
Alright. Anyway, get yrself a copy of "My Pal", the GOD single, and look out for our 12" "PHALLICA" 8 track e.p. Hey, i'll even put your name on the door next time yr in Melbourne, O.K.?
O.K. Take care,
Tim Hemensley

(ca, '87-88)



The first dream occurred in late 1983 or early 1984. Unable to sleep or relax throughout the nite, breaking into a nervous, shaking sweat around dawn.
A gradual feeling of powerlessness, lifelessness, blood being drained from arteries and organs, a sickening buzz in the ears becoming progressively louder, a sense of suffocation and impending doom. Then a voice, talking not in words but images and feelings
awakening with a scream as bodily sensation and brain blood flow was returned.
First dream / first death,
First blood / first fuck,
from now on, all would be tainted with the stench of premonition.


December 1983. The knife was green after being used to stir up paint.
It hurt as i slid it across my left wrist.
Unable to slice through flesh, grinding my veins into a mangled pulp, the blood sprayed as the result of friction.
Blood and skin clung to the paint. Tears ran down my face and the knife turned orange. A small scar the size of a freckle stains my wrist to remind me forever.


In June 1982 i stepped onstage with my school friends Roman and Simon at an inner city rock'n'roll venue and played Punk Rock for one hour without ever having held a bass guitar in my life. Two girls with short skirts and long blonde hair danced in front of the stage and yelled for more when we finished the set.
After the gig i met Jack Bloom (Feedback Jack) who told me it was the best thing he'd seen in 5 years. He took my number and booked us for two gigs, neither of which we played.
Most of the assorted parents and relatives who had gathered to see us were utterly disgusted by the band, the club, the scene. I felt ecstatic, excited, moved. The serpent gave me the apple and i consumed the whole tree.
I am lustful and greedy. My appetite has never been satiated.


The end of another drunken weekend -- bruised, battered and bloodshot.
Xmas Eve '89.
They took our only lord and murdered him so society could breathe easy.
In his name we take up the gun / the guitar -- the weapons of god.

The streets of every city will run with blood --
the sky over Bermuda will glow purple.

(Xmas Eve, 1989)




It's a cold, dark nite in early '70s Rome. As David Hemmings walks home from a rehearsal of his Jazz combo, the heavens open & it begins to rain with a vengeance. Just as suddenly, the tense semi-silence is shattered by the sound of a Woman's screaming; Hemmings looks up in time to witness her murder... Through the window of an apartment on the second story of the building opposite him, a figure can be sen staggering, clutching at the deep knife wounds in her chest & side, then collapsing to the floor. Dropping his clarinet case, Hemmings runs into the building, up the stairs & through the open door of the apartment. The flat appears to be empty, except for the blood-soaked woman, & she is dead. A state of uncomprehending shock grips Hemmings as he crouches over the corpse, & he decides to run to the nearby Police Station to seek help. But as he leaves the apartment, Hemmings focusses on one detail : a framed Photograph of a composed yet fearsome looking Male face on the adjacent wall to the dead woman. Returning to the crime scene with the Police, Hemmings is unsettled by the sensation that SOMETHING has been altered here in his absence. While the bloodied form of the woman & the flat's general disarray is as it was, SOMETHING is missing... While describing the events of the murder (as he saw it) to the Police, Hemmings remembers the framed Photograph. He searches around in vain, but it is no longer there. An investigating officer suggests that the killer may've hidden from Hemmings, then removed the Photo (& himself) when Hemmings left the room. Furthermore, that this suggests the picture holds some clue to the crime. Later, Hemmings returns to the apartment alone & while snooping around for 'clues', he's jarred by a terrifying discovery: on the adjacent wall to where he'd stood over the dead woman, hangs a framed glass MIRROR. What he'd taken, at first glance, to be a Photograph was in fact a reflection of the killer himself, staring cooly back at Hemmings from the wall...


The above description of a scene from "Profundo Rosso", Dario Argento's most masterfully-realised early film, perfectly embodies the quality of the "Giallo" movie: essentially an Italian "Who-dunnit", with all the trade-marks of that genre (cops, killers, red-herrings & a gradually unfolding murder mystery). The wound is 'salted', if you will, by the uniquely European double-whammy of the "Giallo"; the intended 'effect' is Terror, achieved by utilising plot-premisses & action most commonly found in the conventions of Horror cinema. "Giallo" movies are Who-dunnits occurring in a Horror-movie context, yet "Giallo" is more than a 'genre'. It's more accurately represented as an ATMOSPHERE, an attitude & aesthetic approach to Film-making, achieved by photographic technique, lighting, music & plot-line perversity. Unlike the colour suggested by the word, "Giallo" movies are dark, brooding & cold-blooded. Far from sunny, gay Yellow, the rightful colours of these films are dark blue, black & the Deep Red of their more unfortunate characters' blood & grue. Put simply, "Giallo" is Italian for Murder.

(ca late '90s)


Transcription from hand- & type-written manuscript follows Tim's syntax, capitalization, & grammar except for typos & mistakes that would ordinarily have been picked up editorially.
--Kris Hemensley,
July 5th, 2009]

1 comment:

Norman said...

I had my first and only conversation with Tim, about movies or music or both, a week before he died. He recommended Profondo Rosso to me. I got my first chance to see it at this year's MIFF and it was great. I went straight out and bought the Goblin soundtrack on CD the next day.