Celebrating the Day of the Dead and the pagan festival of Halloween

THE Day of the Dead, originally of Spanish origin, has been celebrated in Mexico now for about five hundred years. It is held over three days, beginning 31 October.

The purpose is prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died.

Two months ago when I booked the fourteenth annual Perth Blues Club Memorial Show, it never occurred to me, that I had booked our In Memoriam show on the same day as Americans, and increasingly now Australians, apply themselves to the pagan festival of Halloween.

Shock, horror I thought! Surely I must reprogram. However, after rethinking and reevaluating in the privacy of my own mind, I decided this was actually a win/win situation.

We have plenty of blues club members, who will relish the chance to dress up, paint up the faces, or whatever and dance, sing, celebrate the lives of our lost brothers and sisters.

I have always thought it somewhat remarkable that the blues genre of music, from the other side of the planet, and from such humble beginnings, would bring together fans from such diverse nationalities and occupations.

Indeed we have members and/or performers from many foreign lands and our deceased brethren reflect this.

We will remember David Green a Vietnam veteran, twice decorated, by the US for his bravery, known to us as Taipan (after the call sign of his gunship platoon). During the Tet offensive, he was shot down three times and on the third occasion in 1968 he was badly injured, flown home to Australia and discharged.

In civilian life, he drove trucks before starting a Sydney electronics company manufacturing radar detectors.

He moved to Perth in 1985 and became an owner/driver taxi driver for ten years. He was a long serving member of the WA chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Motor cycle club, and an active member of Legacy. On a motorcycle club run in NSW in 2001 he hit a kangaroo near Broken Hill and died in Adelaide Hospital a week later. RIP Taipan.

Based at the Charles Hotel, North Perth, the Perth Blues Club is celebrating its 25th year and over that period of time we have lost more than 30 people who have made significant contributions to our club and the music that belongs to everyone.

“Most people who play the blues will tell you that you have had to live it as well. It is a kind of music that energises people in their lives while reflecting on life itself,” said Bob Gordon.

“The blues is both a beautiful and ungainly beast. It is the moan of the downtrodden and the howl of the horny-at-heart.”

The show this year will be as usual; an uplifting night of rhythm and blues with a large cast. We like to feature as many performers as possible on this special night of nights, and engage the audience with a wide variety of styles.

Throw in the Halloween factor and this just maybe a night, never to forget.

PS Abstinence is a good thing, but it should always be practised in moderation.

Cheers dears.


Previous articleFree wheeling Billy, colourful character of the north west volunteer coast watch patrol
Next articleTV Talk: it’s all aboard the television express
Rick Steele was born in Auckland NZ. As a twelve-year-old, and armed with a new/old guitar self-financed, he was off to boarding school while a group from Liverpool began to alter music history. Five years and many songs later Auckland Teacher Training College beckoned, and during the two-year course a group was formed and during three years of primary school teaching, ‘The Vision’ recorded and had a minor hit. In 1971 Rick arrived in Perth and began a two-year stint teaching grade 4/5 at Eden Hill Primary School. Though songwriting beckoned and a recording contract was offered in NZ. With a new bride, the offer was too good to refuse and thus started four years of touring and performing on television and big festivals alongside groups such as Split Enz, Dragon and even Oz supergroup Little River Band. Along the way, two boys were born and in 1981 the family returned to Perth. Rick’s journalism career started in the 80s for a magazine called Girl About Town. Before moving on a short stint at Xpress Magazine where he interviewed pretend rock stars. Joining the Have a Go family in 2015 with his regular column he hasn’t stopped with his love of music and performing.