Sun rising a new day dawns
Dead I was, but now reborn
Once was god was on my tail
Now I know without any fail
I am forever, the Devil’s pawn
Devil’s Pawn M.S. 1996
As it turned out I didn’t need the six months work I was offered by Brad, or more so Daphne the owner of the business, but I’ll get to that later because there was more important things to happen before I reached the six month mark.
Like I said previously Steve invited me to stay at his house, he even told me early on that it was an open offer for as long as I wanted it and staying didn’t require me to remain working for Power Touring Company.
I don’t know what I expected of Steve’s house before arriving there. But in all fairness I didn’t have a lot to compare it too because I’d lived for fifteen years in the same house and I lived in an area where all the houses were nearly identical, almost as if they were all built from the same plans. So when I say that Steve’s house wasn’t what I expected, yet at the same time everything I expected maybe it becomes a little easier to understand what I mean.
I wont divulge Steve’s exact address because he may still live there but like the warehouse it was in a suburb of Adelaide I didn’t know great and was very close to the suburb of Gawler. He didn’t quite have an open door policy where everyone was welcome but over the time I lived there is was fair to say many people came and went through the doors that I neither knew or saw a second time.
The house appeared to be occupied twenty four hours a day even when Steve wasn’t home. There was mattresses in several of the rooms as well as four lounge suites scattered in different rooms and both were often used as beds for whoever crashed in them. Steve had his own room and no one disrespected that or they were removed from the house and within a week I also had my own room upon which Steve placed the same rule.
The only person ever to enter our rooms while we weren’t there was Magnum. His real name was Colin Blackwood but everyone called him Magnum because his party trick was to scull a magnum sized bottle of champagne, any brand, through a hookah pipe and a funnel. Magnum was the protector of the house, he rarely seemed to go anywhere, I never saw him get paid, but he protected whatever it was Steve asked of him and anyone who disobeyed Magnum met with his fists, which to me looked like they were the size of basket balls and hit with the force of sledge hammers. Magnum was like Steve’s twenty four hour security guard and as such if Magnum wanted to sleep on any bed in any room he did, but no one else did.
I remember one guy, it happened about a week after I moved in there, who pushed his luck a bit too far and made an arse of himself by getting stoned on a stash of weed he’d found in Steve’s room while Magnum was off having a piss. When Magnum found out where the weed had come from the guy’s stoned arse was matched to the front door, Magnum’s big hand holding him around the neck, then once on the front step he was told to leave and not return. He was then encouraged to leave with a size thirteen steel toed boot up his arse. I swear to this day that guy didn’t touch the ground until he hit the front fence.
But in all honesty that sort of thing paints a picture of Steve’s house that is somewhat tainted and misleading. Sure there was a constant stream of drugs, alcohol, music and more than a few antics that put Seth Marshal’s video to shame, but there was almost no trouble. The cops were never called to quieten things down and unlike many of the houses further south where motor cycle gangs and street gangs hung out the neighbours never got jack of what was going on. Like I have said previously it was almost like the 60’s free love period that I’d read about in books and if any of the neighbours, those who weren’t along for the ride complained, they complained to Magnum and the issue was resolved.
For the first few days I had no money, which sucked big time especially given that it took me less than twelve hours to develop a nicotine habit, but not once did Steve bat an eye lid when it came to offering me food, drinks, which included alcohol, or cigarettes. But my money situation changed on day three when Steve informed me that Power Touring company had a gig. It was a pub gig not unlike I had been at when I met Steve and Brad but the band was lesser known and not as wild as Cold Chisel.
I, of course, jumped at the chance to work with Steve, not just because he and Magnum were really the only ones I had connected with at the house and it felt strange not being there while Steve was working, but because I felt something calling me to the job. The fact that Daphne had employed me on the weight of what Steve had said, and Brad supported, to me meant I had an obligation to work for them and do the job as best I could but I didn’t think that was the only reason I felt some magnetic like pull to the job that I hadn’t really had a taste of up to that point.
The one thing I did know was that it was going to be good to have my own money. I was fifteen, out on my own, away from the hatred of my father, finding friends, developing habits, earning a wage and people actually looked at me, not through me. What more could I want?