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Talking Heads -

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do it any more", you say "I don't want to consciously, but subconsciously so I worked out early on, not if it's too much trouble after that that I'll do it and I don't want to do it anymore. So it's a weird sort of bravery. But it's interesting, to be a broadcaster, you don't walk into a persona you are who you are - very much. people finally meet me Yeah - it always amuses me when if I let them meet me, they say, as you are on-air." "You're the same off-air on the people who are on-air, Which is actually a comment everyone has got an act. that everyone thinks And I don't know why that is, Vaudevillian manner in the '50s, perhaps it started off with the I don't know. when we were all terribly strident, as you are on-air. You're the same off-air And I'm so grateful for that, Peter. Robertson days. Let's have a look at early Clive Let's go way back.

Hospital in Katoomba in 1945 I was born in the Blue Mountains during the war. which means I was conceived I was the youngest. learned anything. I don't think my parents necessarily

gets the benefit Always say that the youngest of the parental experience. I'm not sure that was the case. to my brother and sister. I don't know how close I was terribly chummy as kids. I don't know that we were really I don't think we needed to be. like me, I don't know. Perhaps they're more or less didn't want to be a father I think Dad after the event. but I think he found out like if he wanted to punish us, He'd do weird things, creep up on us and hit us. he'd wait two hours and then We were sort of borderline poor but wouldn't give it to us, because dad had the money, which is a strange thing.

If that's going to make me stronger, weaker and have a bit more money. I'd rather have been a little bit sandshoes with holes in them, I used to go to school with no socks, no pocket money. give me the tuppence He was too mean to from Katoomba to get the bus home in the Blue Mountains. down to where we lived at Leura I had to walk and it was freezing. In the middle of winter where they say school days You know the old thing what a load of rubbish that is. are the best days of your life, and so I did very badly. It was awful, and I retreated I didn't work, was very nervous. It was an awful, awful time.

someone who already is in himself, I just went into myself, which, for it's even more internal.

on the TSMV 'Duntroon' I went to Perth in 1958

the worst trip of my life. and I was sick for 10 days, when I was 16. So I left school in '62 I worked on the farm, to be part of the cycle of things. which was great then I became an electrical fitter, I left that after a while and

and then I worked for the PMG and an electrical apprentice precursor to Telecom. which is the Then I left that. a few occasions. I worked with my father on with mortgage broking, I worked in dealing conveyancing. worked with my father, wanted to work on steam locomotives. Then the railways came up and I marvellous things in the world They were the most and time was running out. wrong there is... Unfortunately I did do something ..for the...medical for it, out of the room, while the doctor was of the eye chart. I memorised the last four lines you see... So I had the spectacles off,

(Murmurs) "Yeah right, where are you again?" He said, "You're very good." I said, known as a training engine man So I got the railways and I was of motion, which meant cleaning the rods the lovely sides of locomotives, drive locomotives and I was good. but I befriended a guy who let me starting off There's nothing quite like

with a steam locomotive. with a full train like that. There's nothing in the world allowed to fantasise, I suppose we're all

and if I could - life and could change it, IF I could make a fantasy about my which is 10 years earlier, I'd like to be born in 1935, which is not what you think it is, and then become a call boy, a trainee engineman then become

and then shovel coal and steam locomotives until I die. and be driving of my life. That is, if I had been in control All I can do now is just wonder. a bit of explaining to do I think you've got steam train obsession. because not everyone understands locomotives especially I find with steam and indeed diesel locomotives,

are the same. that the fantasy and the reality that are like that, are there? Now, there's not many things in life You understand that? You're married, aren't you? the fantasy. So you're happy to hold onto What are you doing by holding onto an engine driver? the fantasy about being it's not a human being. Well, for a start, which human beings have created, It's actually a thing magical devices, one of the most and it's just me and it, you see? "Gee, this is grimy," I just... No-one can say to me, want anyone else around. In fact, I don't and a locomotive and no-one else. So bliss for me would be me because you remember - do you... Let's talk about smell, when you were 18 months of age. You do remember smells going back to What do you remember smelling? the pruning. I remember mum was doing she tried to kill me, Now, she denies that but she says I was... one day and she said, I wondered why my ear was bleeding

you were, and you crept up on me." "Well, there Me, crept up on her! secateurs went through my ear. And I turned around and the The police have left this case open. I was in a pusher. Likewise in Katoomba Street one day age of nine months, I should mention, Peter, that at the being a bright little kid, I started to walk and fell over, it's not for me - it was painful. so I thought obviously So I waited another nine months. Mum was about to send me to the specialist, but in the meantime, here is this large kid in a pusher, the largest kid in town. And she says the brakes failed, you see, at the top of Katoomba Street, which is very... It's a long run down the mountains. Yes. I went down there, I thought "Gee, Mum's fit today." And I went roaring down the hill here. There's no Mum behind me. And I survived as much as I... But she denies that she tried to kill me. I don't know. She's gone now. But you do have this sense of smell. And memory going back to what? At the age of 18 months I realised I couldn't cope with human beings. Now, this is the irony. Mum never used baby talk.

She'd say things like, "Wash your hands, we're going to eat now." I understood that. Unfortunately, I went out into a world where people, adults, spoke baby talk. And I didn't understand them,

and I used to turn my little nose up like that. I'd say, "What's wrong with her?" And she'd say, "Oh, that's her way."

This is not psychoanalysis, but I do feel like on the one hand you've got a figure who was frightening you,

as you relate it - your father - and on the other hand a figure whom you love - your mother. Yeah, I loved dad too, but when he was frightening, he was frightening. Mum was a lost soul but she was the closest person I know to be like me. We got on well. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to be a mother. I thought that was a strange thing to do. And I felt sorry for her, a woman with no confidence.

She really should have married someone else. She admitted that, perhaps she admitted it to dad, I don't know. Never really had an occupation. She came from an era

where home duties was meant to be fulfilling. Well, what if it wasn't? What did you do then? Were you happy, were you happy as an adolescent? No! Is anyone? Some are. No! No! I mean, the silliest thing they ever say is "school is the happiest time of your life".

Well, the logic of that is, if you have a rotten time at school, you may as well go and top yourself, you know, when you leave school. I had an awful time in the teenage years. You had this succession of jobs - did you enjoy any of them? PMG linesman, you used to smell... Oh, I was good at that. Oh, I've got to tell you about that. In the old days of bimotional switches, they used to get... They'd get caught up and catch on fire. So the bloke who was looking after the exchange, every morning at 8.30 would grab me because I had the best smell he'd ever come across and I'd walk up and down the aisle saying... (Sniffs) .."That one there, that one there." No-one else could do it. I enjoyed that. We all want to be unique in one thing and I was unique in that. And you were, it's fair to say, you were unique in broadcasting. Why did you fall into that? Why did that become... Oh, in the old days I'd go to bed with the radio on. I just thought it was terrific that someone would be there,

they'd announce a record, it would come on and they could say what they like. And I thought, "Gee, that's nice power." I didn't intellectualise it much more than that. I just thought I'd like to do it. And then I applied, you know, we always apply for the city. We don't understand how these things work. And then one day someone accepted me, which I was quite amazed at. Well, further down the track, of course, you joined the ABC, which is where you really came to public attention. Let's have a look at that.

Now, this building you're looking at here is all that remains of what was the ABC. ABC Upper Forbes Street in Sydney. The fabulous ABC of the '70s in which I enjoyed myself. This is one of the Triple J studios, and I seem to remember once a woman who couldn't cope threw a typewriter out the window

and the ABC thought about it and thought, "What can we do for this woman? We'll put bars on the window." And I thought, "Gee, that's the government at work, the government at work. So there I was up in the studios up there. And each morning I had the privilege, which everyone reminds me, of talking to two ladies over different years. One was Caroline Jones and the other was Margaret Throsby. I wonder where they are now. Anyway, I was up there, they weren't there. They were over here. MARGARET THROSBY: We have the gripe session today at 8:30. I didn't understand that. Didn't you? No. Thousands did. You're being dirty again. No, I'm not. You know men like it when you talk dirty. They get quite excited. One morning, a bloke came down and said, "Look, the bloke who does the 2BL breakfast, a contract guy, "is not in yet." "Would you come and fill in?" And as I walked down the passageway, he said, "Just do your own thing." I thought, I'll do my own thing. If they don't like it, they can say he's only filling in. If they do like it, it's good. Came off air and the boss said, "We got a wonderfully good response for you this morning. "Jolly well done." I thought, "Oh, good." He said "Did you enjoy it?"

I said, "Not really." I mean, I'd done all this sort of stuff in the commercial world.

I mean, it wasn't as though I had never...I was a complete novice. I'd been around for a few years. And during that time, I did other things. I did ABC Television news. Good afternoon, Clive Robertson in Sydney with the 1:00 national news from the ABC. I can do it straight, anyone can do it straight. ..today warned the six state premiers that Commonwealth funds for government schools would be cut by next year. I can't blame taxi drivers for driving taxis but I think the aspect of personal freshness has to come into it a bit. Clive never stops working. Clive... People say to me, "What's he like?" I say "Clive off the air is exactly the same as Clive on the air."

The brain is going all the time. He's being funny. He's in fact saying "Welcome to my cab." And if you want to welcome someone to your house,

would you have it smelling like the dog has lived in it all year and never been let outside? It always puzzles me when people say that Clive is difficult. Clive is not difficult. Clive is just clever. You know what I think it is? I think some people are frightened by clever. I'm not suggesting they should wash more often, I'm just suggesting, regardless of their cultural background, they should do something to make their little mobile home presentable to us, the paying person. You can only take so much of the ABC. Anyone who's been at the ABC for more than about, oh, five or six years does need some form of repatriation. Anyway, so I left on good terms of course and went and worked for Channel 7 doing 'NewsWorld', a late night straight news bulletin. Sydney's Royal Botanic... No, which are we on now?

MAN: Body art. Body art. See, they know what they're doing and I don't. Thank goodness the contract's not due this month. We do not live alone in this world. There are people we should care about even if they are a little bit of a worry. Canberra has its share of problems, and there's one in particular. In an art gallery is a restaurant. In the restaurant is a man.

I've made a few errors in my life, Pete, I think this might be one of them. But I was doing '11am', which I enjoyed, which was on at 11:00am in the morning. Except in Perth when it was 1:00 in the afternoon. But still called '11am'. Anyway. Perth has to get used to those sort of adjustments. Yeah. Anyway, Phil Davis who was in charge of Terry Willesee's and all that stuff,

an old newspaper journalist from way back when, kept saying,

"We want you to do 'NewsWorld'" And I'd say, "I don't want to do it."

And they said, "I want you to do it." "I don't want to." This went on for a few weeks, so finally I said yes. So about 1985 I did it and I thought, I'll muck around and then they'll take me off it, you see. And it didn't work that way. They kept you on it.

And the ratings just went up, amazingly. What are you interested in? Did you say want to say something through all of this?

I'd have to say the order of things,

especially at Channel 9, the order of news items. And if I said, "Look, this is really important." I'd look at the camera and say, "This is a really important story," and set it up. And if it was important then the audience think, "Oh, this guy's a good filter." If you said, "This is silly, I don't know why we're running it," and you run it and it is a silly item, you've got them. And it's not a con. What that program did that's different from most news programs

is gave things what they really were worth.

But you were also, by playing this role, undercutting the artifice that is a lot of television. Oh, yeah, and did that go down well with the journalists? Have a guess, Peter. "He's ruining our station" and all that rubbish. I mean, we get a new item in at, say, 10:30pm and I'd say, "By the way, "you'll see this at 6:00 tomorrow night "and they'll say it's the latest - you know better." "You can't say things like that." Well, you know, come on. So journalists are a bit thick, as you know, Peter - you've worked with a few, they really are thick. They really should be sterilised. Relationships?

Two marriages? Yeah. One to Jillian which was pretty short. And then to Penny Cook for five years. Yes. Quite a long time. More or less from go to woe. Yeah, I shouldn't have married. I really shouldn't have, but you can't not have had a relationship at my age - you end up weird. But I really fancy women.

My problem was I probably shouldn't have wanted to keep them at home. You know, I'm disqualified from relationships with women. And I've got to say, every woman I've been involved with, I really question your taste in men - and I'm serious. I really wouldn't recommend me to anyone. But in relationships, there's the usual give and take. Oh, is there? To make a relationship viable. I mean, are you too uncompromising? Why...

No, no, no. You've reflected on... Actually, no. Actually, I'm very easy to run. I didn't want to divorce either of the ladies. Very committed. Whether I triggered things in them they didn't want triggered in them, I don't know. So do you idealise women? Oh, yes. Wouldn't you? I know we're at the ABC but we still recognise women are attractive, don't we, Peter? There's the separation between woman as ideal... No. No.

And woman in reality. It's like steam locomotives. No, I can't. I look at these amazing creatures with all the bits and pieces and my IQ drops. I have interviewed women as close as you, gorgeous women, and my brain says we're going to just forget about this and my IQ drops. It's like a graph. I mean, seriously. I mean, not only is the packaging utterly amazing, they put... ..wear perfume, they look their best and they look at you and smile

and you go, "Uh-uh" - and that's true. A real difficulty. Any man who's not mesmerised by women is not straight, Peter. So does that mean you go without?

Oh, yes, you can go without. I do observe them. I have noticed when they walk by, especially in summer, Peter. I haven't exactly died yet. Let's go to your latest incarnation as a broadcaster as a presenter on 'Classic FM' Breakfast.

Yes. Now, it's suggested that you polarised the audience. You've probably always polarised audiences. Very hard not to notice you, some love you, some hate you, can't stand you, you're disruptive. But that's life. What's the alternative - grey, a graph with no movement, like a dead person? You are what you are. I mean, polarising the audience, it's their fault, it's not my fault. I am what I am and we did a good program. I've worked out when you broadcast, you broadcast to somebody who's on the same wavelength, you've got to assume that. And someone who is having a slightly crappy day. Can I use the word 'day' on this program, can I? Slightly crappy day ,and you're just going to jolly them along.

I mean, after all, it's just radio. So why do you think ABC let you go? The contract was expired, there was a year to go, and they have every right legally to say, "We don't want you anymore."

They said, "Would you like to know why?"

I said, "No, it doesn't matter," and we're friends as far as I know.

So do you feel reconciled to leaving it? Kind of came as a shock, didn't it? Yeah, I mean, I really...

Every job I do I put my heart and soul into. It takes a lot out of me.

I don't miss that aspect, but I miss the classical records. But I can always put them on at home. Let's see how things are going right now. PIANO TRANSCRIPTION OF BACH TOCCATA AND FUGUE Well, for everything there is a season. There's a time to stay, there's a time to move. And thanks to the ABC and their impolite behaviour in dispensing with me, I've decided to downsize from this gorgeous place to something somewhat smaller. Well, I spent, you know, 50 or 60 years of my life in this place. The paint scheme was really a bit approximate. Once again, thanks to the generous ABC,

the fact is I have to move on because they told me to move on. C'est la vie. Well, I suppose I do have some regrets. I had, past tense, thanks to the ABC, downstairs, the best darkroom Australia has ever seen. But like me and the ABC, it is no longer.

With regards music, I like what I like. I know that sounds like a real out. Except for country music. I think that probably pushes my patience just a bit. But I like what I like, for example, Machine Head. RIFF FROM 'SMOKE ON THE WATER' I should mention that most people clean up their house before they set the hi-fi up. Their priorities are completely wrong. As well as listening to music, I like Peter Sellers in 'Being There'. I like to watch. I do like a good 'fillum' and a good 'fillum' is actually hard to find.

Well, my primary passion is God and I have a relationship with God and I would be lost without God, absolutely lost. ..the beloved Son in whose kingdom we now live. The Jensen brothers at the cathedral all go by what the bible is.

They say the bible is sufficient, you don't need to add or take away.

And I relate so well to that, so I'm absorbed. I'm meant to be obsessed with God and I am. So my number one passion is God. Oh, you're still here. Well, could I now show you some of the things I do when I know I'm absolutely alone? Of course, these passions of mine do require equipment which I carry. And I carry two lots of equipment - photographic, if the weather's fine and the wind is up too high, and recording gear for when the wind isn't too high and I can record things. What you do is you start off with headphones, so you actually can tell what's going on, right? The headphones are plugged into the DAT machine, the DAT records the best quality. However, what are you going to record with? Might I introduce this rare creature you will not see again in your lifetime. It has human-like ears,

the microphones are built in and it hears as though we had microphones in our head - it hears the same way. And you hear back on the headphones and you hear wonderful, wonderful music. For example, to my left is a whip bird. It's a male whip bird. It goes... (Makes whipping sound) The females go... (Makes sound again)

And if she doesn't do it quickly, the male bird does it instead of her. But they have fights sometimes because he does it very quickly and she says, "Wait for me."

This is bliss. This is wonderful. There it is. Hear that? Oh, she's left. Oh. There are no sounds in nature like those whip birds in the morning. Oh, they're gorgeous, just magic, just magic. Now, God and nature seem to be the two things that sustain you most. Yeah, Broken Hill, brings up Broken Hill. Broken Hill, one of my favourite places in the world. What's your vision of Broken Hill? What do you see when you go there? I see me. It's funny, it's a place that's alone, probably no real reason for existence. All these wonderful little miners' huts. You can buy a house for 10 grand. And you go three kilometres out of town and you just...suddenly it's But it's not really nothing. It's just you and it, which is like the relationship with God. And at night the sky is so clear.

I defy anyone to go to Broken Hill, on a clear night go out at 10:00 at night and say there isn't a God. It is just amazing.

the whole heaven and hell bit. Your belief in God, it involves The whole thing, yes, yes. Where does it come from? Well, my father was a lay preacher

to preach in an Anglican church which means he was allowed but not just Anglican church. And so I was brought up that way. I don't know when it happened. I just grew up with it is the best relationship I've got and now my relationship with God

is with God. and I'm glad my best relationship between on the one hand There's an interesting tension here Clive... a certain cynicism about you, Yeah. ..though leavened with humour. there's sort of faith in God. On the other hand, Yeah, it is. Curious, isn't it?

for lame people, doesn't it? It just goes to show that God cares What was his plan for you? you should say that. Funnily enough, Peter, what God's plan is for us. It's not our business

don't you? You want to find out, though, No, no. about it, it's not about you." He says, "Just deny yourself, forget in my room this very last few days - In fact, I've put a sign up "It's not about me". Because we keep coming back... God, why am I doing this?" "I feel bad. It's not about you. It's about? Him and other people, right? And the people of this earth. It's not how I feel. how you feel. It's got nothing to do with is bad on Tuesday, Like I might feel my faith changed, you're feeling off today, God says, "I haven't "you're human, you're frail." It's not about me. in Christianity to learn. That's the hardest bit as some people go on about It's not about personal success and all that business. and hands in the air Nothing to do with yourself. And that's the hardest thing. employed for some months, Peter, And certainly, not having been sandwich in a bin and to eat grass. I'm learning how to find a

this conversation, One thing's really struck me during and that is...something you said much earlier which is, you've never really applied yourself.

Yeah, I don't why, either. I find that intriguing. It's bad, isn't it? Why did you say that? It's true, I just haven't. towards, what, being an accountant... What might you have applied yourself but I live on the edge. When I'm on-air I apply myself,

you've not applied your intelligence? Do you really think Oh no, no. I'm actually very bright. when I was seven, When I did an IQ test you got it all right." they said, "We can't judge you, out when it's less than 100. They can only ever work something ability of a 17-year-old, When I was five, I had the reading that ability when I was an embryo. not a 17-year old journalist - I had applied myself, Peter. I just - I have never You're a wise man. Perhaps you can help me here. apply yourself to? Well, what would you I don't know. as Methuselah did - 967 years. I'd like to live perhaps as long I'd play the violin. I'd be a carpenter.

I'd become a surgeon. I'd play the piano. you could do it, couldn't you? If you live 500, 600 years, we just screw it up. Whereas if we try it now, few hundred years to drive trains? And that would have allowed a Oh, yes. so you should put your name down. The railways can't get enough drivers Oh, yes, look at me now. let me drive your locomotive? Would you - would you I am a good driver, by the way. and television too. You're a good driver on radio No-one wants me, Peter. Yeah, I don't know about that. See you. See you, Clive.

Tricia Caswell. Next week on Talking Heads, My life is pretty much my work. TRICIA CASWELL: at 4:00am. Sometimes I'm in my office that I can contribute, But I do it because I really feel strange idea of sustainability. especially around this kind of on Second Opinion. JUDY TIERNEY: Tomorrow night ease chronic fatigue? How can Chinese medicine

We look at Feldenkrais Therapy. to the nervous system. WOMAN: I give messages And introduce Dawn Therapy.