For those of you who weren’t there, in the midst of the sturm and the drang, the rain coming down in sheets while Amanda Palmer jammed with Mr Fibby, it’s something you should regret the rest of your life.
It all started with a simple enough idea. “I wonder if Amanda Palmer would like to go riding with Rat Patrol?” I mused to myself a few weeks ago.
It was late at night, someone had just facebook invited me to the paying show, and well, I thought she probably would.
I’ll never forget up at Corinbank a couple of years ago listening to Darren Hanlon asking if anyone had seen the movie on TV the night before which he’d watched in his hotel room.
“Of course not you fool, we were here having fun, why on earth were you watching crap TV in a hotel room?” was the thought which went through my mind, and most other people there.
There’s a very long and involved story about how my invitation ended up with Ms Palmer.
But the answer came back “Yes, Amanda Palmer would like to go on a ride with Rat Patrol.”
At that point I turned the idea over to other rats and last night’s insanity was born.
Knowing that Ms Palmer likes to play what in Canberra we call guerilla gigs (but she calls ninja gigs) we set about finding a piano she could play on (and in the process I now know a lot more about moving pianos than I ever wanted to).
A plan was hatched to ride out from my house, meet fans in Garema Place, and ride to the Carillon.
But things got a bit confused and to some dismay on my part my home address, with a map, was tweeted to half a million people.
500,000 people invited to party at my house. I’m really too old to be the next Corey Worthington.
Yesterday afternoon was a flurry of piano moving, bicycle maintenance and movements, and this being rat patrol, beer.
At one point an older woman pulled up in her car with her daughter to ask if it was the right house. She wasn’t coming on the ride, just to know she’d identified the house a famous person would be at in a few hours time.
Half an hour early the first Palmer fans started to arrive.
And soon my front yard was full of people and bicycles.
At a quarter past six Amanda Palmer was in my yard and being introduced to Mr Fibby (no need to thank me Fibbyites, a pint in the Phoenix will suffice).
The rain was in many ways a relief, scaring off the fair weather fans, and by ride time the lull before the big storm had arrived.
At 6.30 we were off and rolling smoothly. Remarkably smoothly now that I think about it.
Rat patrol rides are normally characterised by long periods drinking beer watching people repair punctures or mysterious chain failures.
Garema Place and the group photo above were fun and then to the Carillon where a fair crowd had gathered.
Mr Fibby did their thing, and then the bells started up as Ms Palmer gave us a Carillon recital.
And then, with a piano parked out of cover, I looked at the weather radar on my phone and realised all hell was moments away from breaking out.
Strong men with stout backs were quickly mustered and we got the piano under the bell tower just as what seemed a lot like the end of the world got started.
150 people crowded into limited shelter with amazing performers? Let me tell you it’s a lot of fun.
The video gives a bit of a feel for it, but only a bit.
(Fans of Hadley will enjoy the footage of him fondling Amanda Palmer)
It really was up there with Nirvana playing ANU. In years to come a lot more people will reckon they were there on the night than can actually fit under there.
And then we ran out of beer. So it was time to get moving. Some craziness might have occured at a still secret rat location.
But she seems to have enjoyed her Canberra stay if this Twitter post is anything to go by:
No need to thank me ACT Tourism.
Many thanks to everyone who came, I think you all had a good time.
And to those who missed it? Well. Better luck next time.
A gallery of video and images is available.
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