Broddie's Gazette No. 16
I recently read “The Dingoes' Lament” by John Bois which is a fun book to
say the least, but, like most folks who write autobiographies, John has
somehow masked his real self and emerged as a hero surrounded by fools. A
handsome hero who women find irresistible.
John, although a handsome young chap in those days, was not particularly
attractive to women. He could in fact within a few moments of meeting them
actually scare women, especially when you are in the depths of Texas in a
small town and he would regale a Farrah Fawcett wannabe with tales of
dressing up as a ballerina and dancing to Swan Lake on the Victrola. He
also occasionally wore a tattered beer, dirt and vomit stained “Munich
Octoberfest “ T-shirt that a friend of his had brought back from Germany
the year that Australians got banned from the Munich fest. And yes. It did
So, I will, at different times, correct certain incidents in the book.
The Juarez fruit market incident happened like this:
We did ,indeed, enter a Juarez fruit market in the poorer section of the
town to have some photos taken, which I immediately, as a western suburbs
boy, sensed was not a good idea as we were gringo looking and had no money
to bribe folks. In his book John says that I went around in army shorts
all the time which is not true although I did wear them for the hotter
weather as they were handy. On this particular day however, I was wearing
a pair of blue jeans, a jean shirt, a red neckerchief, a pale flat brimmed
Gary Cooper type hat and fancy Spanish boots with gold bands on them. I
was also deeply tanned and my hair was long. Like the Dingoes’ “ Five
Times the Sun” cover. As we entered the market I was instantly on-guard as
I detected I was walking with a group of people who were asking for
trouble but drunkenly oblivious to the problem. I watched them from a
distance being photographed and felt a slight murmur going up among the
local folk as Boisy in a rumpled Hawaiian shirt and John Lee, the drummer,
in his usual Andy Capp impersonator outfit were making fools of themselves
around a fruit stall. Chris Stockley was giggling behind them and Kerryn
was joining in to preserve the camaraderie.
The pic below is pretty much the way we were dressed. It’s shadowed but
you get the idea.
Now, being a Westie I became very
apprehensive about the mood of the crowd and found it was better for me if
I just walked into the crowd backwards thereby becoming one of them. So,
I'm now basically a Mexican. The crowd at this point started yelling at
them, telling the guys in the band to piss off. They didn't want the
gringos in the market. So I'm standing among them and I think well it's
time for me to really become a Mexican. Boisy is being rather loud and
acting stupid to try and ease the tension but the Mexicans took him for an
arrogant gringa and he was in fact stirring them up to a mild frenzy. The
crowd gathered and move towards them now, throwing fruit. At this point I
thought to myself I will speak Mexican. I also threw fruit at the band and
was yelling out, “Gringa bastardo” . The Mexicans accepted me as one of
them and we all moved towards the band in a menacing manner.
A young boy appeared at the side of me with a cattle prod connected to a
battery and looked at me and I grinned. I’d spent my early years on a farm
so I knew the cattle prod wouldn't do any harm. I recall the boy going up
to Kerryn and moving him along by jabbing him in the bottom with the
cattle prod and still holding the battery under his other arm.
So, a Mexican crowd, of which I was a part of, chased the band out of the
market . As the crowd surged after the band I slowly backed off. Then I
went down a side alley into the next street knowing the band would be
running around there in fear of their lives. I sauntered round the corner
and by now the crowd had left the band alone and they were standing by
themselves. I was leaning against a wall as they appeared and joined up
with them again with the whole band in shock and not particularly happy
with me as I’d deserted their ranks instantly and become a Mexican. In
fact I liked the Mexicans a lot. They reminded me of the Maltese who I’d
grown up with.
That's how I remember it.
Gracias amigos & loco Australianos
a copy of the album