Kris Kristofferson album… The Silver tongued Devil and I. I discovered this record when I was about twelve years old. This album by Kris taught me how important music was and how music was about every aspect of life including love, growing up, fucking up and celebrating.
My first real girlfriend, Michelle. Michelle showed me that a girl can be funny, smart, beautiful, sexy, decent and fallible.
Tom Robbins novel… Jitterbug Perfume. This book captivated me the first time I read it and now that I have read it three or four times it still thrills me. Tom always was a clever and witty word merchant but this book showed me that great writing was not just about being a smart arse… great writers can transport you spiritually, historically, ethically and emotionally as well.
Both my parents. I didn’t always agree with my mum and dad and sometimes they drove me nuts but, by gum, I appreciated their kindness, generosity and self-sacrifice and I appreciated the values that they imprinted upon me.
Surfing. There is an old cliché about surfing that goes something like this… “It is a rare day indeed when one goes for a surf and comes out of the water thinking that they had wished they had done something else.” I am a terrible surfer. I always will be. That being said surfing has changed my life in a thousand ways and makes the worst of days seem bearable.
The film, Fargo. Fargo is probably not the best film ever made but I was thrilled by its ethic that great people, great lives and great events don’t have to be centred around the rich and famous. A hard grafting small town cop can be as great an achiever as anybody despite their lack of glitz and hype.
Socrates. Okay… as far as philosophers go I guess old Socrates is a bit of a cliché but two of his most basic principles that mean an enormous amount to me are firstly… think it through (don’t be a boof-head and just accept the conventional wisdom) and secondly… just because everyone else says something is right that does not necessarily mean that it must be so.
Guitar player, Kirk Lorange. Hours listening to Kirk play in little taverns and restaurants over the years showed me that many of the true greats are just down the street. You don’t have to pay huge dollars and travel thousands of miles to see the great. They are all over the place.
Flame Trees… the song by Don Walker. Every time I hear this song it reminds me of my own small town background and how even small unimportant things and places hold important and great memories.
Mike Jordan. Despite his mesmerizing talent and natural athleticism the things that stand out to me most about Mike are his self-belief, his belief in his team mates and his conviction that hard work begets greatness.