How it made my Christmas

for Building the Knowledge Network

Kristian Hopes is a young man I befriended in Sydney in 1987 and who for most of the intervening years has been trying to emulate his father's achievements as a drummer, living between Melbourne, Sydney, Port Macquarie and Lismore. A few months ago his current band Grinspoon had been picked up by the ABC's rock station Triple-J in their 'Unearthed' contest to identify talent in rural Australia. When we caught up by phone as we do every few months, he told me that they had signed with an indepenent producer in Brisbane and that a self titled (music) CD was about to come out. I checked a couple of record stores in early November to no avail, and didn't give it much thought until I received a Christmas card from his mother which mentioned that the CD had actually come out and that Kristian was on tour with the band.

A week before Christmas, David Fox (who you will hear at this conference) pointed me to Digital's new Internet search engine Alta Vista. Having been less than impressed by earlier search engines, I immediately applied Alta Vista to finding Indonesian sites which might be interested in pointing to this conference and was quite pleased with the results, to the point that I spent the best part of a couple of days looking for things of interest. Within a week I had doubled the length of my bookmark list and had tried a search for "Grinspoon and Australia and Music" which turned up not just the Triple-J Unearthed page, but also the current week's Melbourne Gig Guide which showed me that Grinspoon were in Melbourne and playing every night through to Christmas Eve.

I turned up and caught up with Kristian at the two most accessible of those gigs and on the afternoon of Christmas day he came out to my office to have a look at the things I had found on the Net. We managed to also find a photo from one of his Sydney gigs which had been featured on an independent gig guide which I fitted, along with their Unearthed sound sample and the applications to play them, onto a single floppy disk he could take with him. We also found via Telstra's online Yellow Pages just where they had to get to in Adelaide to play on Boxing Day, then adjourned for an enjoyable Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Lygon Street.