“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





21 December 2016


Dr Robert de Bellevue is one of the most fastidious and knowing collectors of Penfolds Grange in the USA. He loves coming to Adelaide to find new wineries and buy wine. He chose Sunday to celebrate his 70th birthday here in the Old Lion hotel with some of his mates.

All these photos©Milton Wordley

Bob lives like a proud mother fish guarding a sea of musicians ... he knows em all ... He'd met the Riverland winemaker Kelly Menhennett in his beloved hometown New Orleans, where he works as a dermatologist and lives on music, crawfish and guinea fowl.

Kelly had just recorded a delicious album in Nashville when they met. 

She sang two neat little sets at our happy table and breezed through something real tricky: singing Allen Toussaint songs to solo guitar. They're piano songs. She made me cry. It was very cool.

Dr Bob was a real close mate of Allen, who's favourite wine was Grange. He died just over a year ago after performing in Spain.

With unquestioning Louisiana generosity, Dr Bob bought everybody dinner and gave us all a copy of Kelly's real lovely grunty-sweet Nashville CD, Small Dreams. Like the dude comes here from there and then introduces us to a stunning local performer few of us knew. 

Bob had some very heavy winemaker mates there too. Just as Kelly ripped and teased our musical emotions, these alchemists helped ease us through the liquid division, bless them. 

Between them, Peter Gago, John Duval and Peter Fraser can put some very impressive bottles on a table. I bow.

George Grainger Aldridge had delivered a guitar-playing emu portrait for Bob, who's a keen ornithologist. He's been to Australia many times to observe rare birds in remote places. He loves it. He's off in the edges of Kangaroo Island today. 

He also makes a habit of visiting the magpie that sits warbling on the chairs on the patio at the house of of Ann Marie Shin and Milton Worldley on the edge of the Aldinga Scrub.

At which point I should perhaps insert one of my Kangaroo Island snaps as a cheerio card from Down Under, in thanks:

It's one of deepest pleasures in life to find friends like Dr Bob, who's a constant enthusiast for the astonishing music of his hometown. Bob knows everybody.

The de Bellevues moved to New Orleans from the heat of revolutionary France in 1789, well before the scientific French expedition of Baudin set off to eventually share a cognac with the staunch British navyman Captain Matthew Flinders here on Encounter Bay in 1802.

They were supposed to be at war. Other than that cognac, no shots were fired.

all photos©Milton Wordley ... read his interview with Dr Bob here. Go to Jazzfest here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Must be al communiss.