Newport peninsular Sydney was my home for three years from 1984 to 1987. After becoming engaged to a beautiful Melbourne lady Karen Smith, I purchased a timber home perched on a hill above the Royal Motor Yacht Club. The cost was $128k, and I sold it after our engagement fizzled out 4 years later for $360K. I guess it would be worth over a million dollars today.
Newport peninsular Sydney is my personal photo history not part of my travel blog.
As you can see Karen was a beautiful lady, it took me anther 10 years before I realised I was just not cut out for marriage or long term relationships. There is probably a multitude of reasons why, fear of commitment, too independent etc etc.
Dinner party at Herbert Avenue
We were very happy at Newport 80% of the time, I tried hard to settle down and enjoy life as a couple, every now and then however the “call of the wild” would interrupt our utopia.
Wolf Wottke (with the beard) had been my best friend for a number of years, I left him renting my Drummoyne apartment for a year or so until I got fed up chasing the rent. Consequently I sold it which in hindsight was probably a mistake.
Lots of birds & wildlife
These beautiful Rainbow Lorikeets would visit every day for their snack on the balcony.
Life was very good
I had all the toys, a beautiful Mercedes Sports, a cabin cruiser moored at the yacht club, a liquor store in Sydenham which I was in the process of selling and a good sales job with Canon Australia.
This great photo (excuse the quality) was taken on Lion Island in the Hawksbury River, from left to right we have Graham La Roche aka “Biff”, his girlfriend at the time Mona,Ross Ansell from Melbourne and Karen Smith & I.
Ross doing his Tarzan impersonation on Lion Island.
About 25 years later around 2012 I paid a visit to Herbert Avenue to see if things had changed. Apart from the colour scheme and far less vegetation nothing much had changed.
Here is my good friend Paul Slaughter with two gorgeous girls, on the left is a blonde who’s name I forget and on the right an old girlfriend of mine Shirley.
Big Tim Bristow, dinner at Herbert Avenue.
Tim Bristow was a friend of mine dating back from the time we met in 1971 when he was on my tail to give me a hiding, but that’s another story for later in another post. In the 70s just the name Tim Bristow struck fear into the heart of all those who knew him, an enforcer with a reputation of being one of the most brutal street fighters in Australia. Put simply he was legend, a bouncer at the Newport Arms hotel, would be contenders for his crown would travel from all over Sydney to try their luck, many came and all of them were sent packing battered and bruised.
I sold my liquor store in late 1984 which took the pressure off me. I had been working with Canon for a few months and travelling to Sydenham (a one hour drive each way) at weekends to work in the liquor store. Meanwhile I dug a wine cellar underneath my Newport home and stored a huge amount of wine that I took home from the shop.
Unwins Bridge Road
That’s Madison my beautiful 4 year old German Shepherd who used to diligently guard the store overnight.
Brian Millard on Newport peninsular Sydney
Brian was a boat broker at Newport and a regular drinker at the Newport Arms hotel. He lived just up the road at Bungan Beach before moving to Noosa where I believe he still resides.
Richard on the left and Rob Carnahan
Two very nice guys who were customers of mine when I was with Canon. Their office was opposites the Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay so more often than not we would meet in the pub. 🙂
A bunch of my nephews & nieces come to visit.
Amazing seeing these old photos, all of these cute kids now have children of their own.
Sue and John Heatherington
A lovely couple who lived in the next street from us, John also worked at Canon in the computer division.
John & Sue, Karen & I went on a Canon conference to Penang, here we are driving from Penang to Singapore via Kuala Lumpur.
Singapore Xmas 1985
Here we are in Singapore, notice the cigarette. I smoke on and off for most of my life until 2003. Usually 2 or 3 years then I would quit for a similar time before returning to the grip of the nicotine.
Phil Parkinson from Newport peninsular Sydney
Phil has lived most of his life on the Newport peninsular Sydney and I believe still does in 2016. He is the brother of my ex girlfriend Di Parkinson.
Melbourne Cup 1985
Karen & I at the cup with friends including another ex girlfriend Helen Burkewho is on the left of the photo. Helen has a vineyard at Dromana on the Mornington Peninsular, I spent a few day there in October 2014 drinking wine with her and her partner Jack.
Oscars Coolangatta 1985
I can’t remember the name of the beautiful dark haired princess, she was the girlfriend of my crazy chiropractor from North Sydney.
Stamped Urgent on Newport peninsular Sydney
Prior to buying my cabin cruiser I had this little run-about, it was a lot of fun, do you like the name? 🙂
Another guy from my rogues gallery.
Danny Rose one of Adelaide’s true characters, we had a day of the water, you can see “Stamped Urgent” in the background.
Beautiful Karen Smith
Certainly my life on the Newport peninsular Sydney revolved around lots of good friends and my beautiful fiancee Karen. My thanks to her for being the most important part of my life for those great years.
Thanks also to you for visiting my Newport peninsular Sydney photo blog.
Melbas Gold Coast Legacy is a huge part of Surfers Paradise folklore. Here is my photo record spanning over 25 years showing my friends and I having fun at this iconic nightclub and bar in Surfers Paradise. In the early 80s it was also one of the best restaurants due to the expertise of owner/manager the late great Paul Allen.
My Melba’s three L scenario, Legends were made, Lies were told, Ladies were pursued. 🙂
This is not a travel blog just a personal photo collection from Surfers Paradise Australia.
New Years Eve 1990 Melbas Gold Coast Legacy
On the left is Tony Fazio who was manager at the time, now living in Perth I believe, on the right is Steve Jones one of the legendary bouncers who sadly passed away far too young, RIP.
Adam & Eve
I think her name was Amanda but don’t hold me to it. A cocktail waitress who was a very sexy lady.
Dinner before we hit Melbas
In those days there was a Japanese restaurant next door where I regularly had dinner before hitting the club. Melbas was only on the 2nd floor then, downstairs was all shops.
Paul’s son Dave Allen part of Melbas Gold Coast Legacy
Dave is a terrific guy, in 1990 he was working behind the bar, in later years he was General manager.
Another New Years Eve around 90/91
Harley Bradstreet one of my greatest long time friends, no Melba’s blog would be complete without him. For a while in the 90s he was actually one of the chefs there, it’s still unknown how many diners were rushed to hospital after eating one of his creations, forgive me mate I’m only joking.
A mutual friend of ours Southport solicitor Larry Wilson coined a famous phrase regarding Harley, he said “anyone can have a bad decade”. That really summed it up beautifully, I often used to refer to this great little guy as my own personal disaster area, but a nicer guy than you could never meet. Narrelle with the great smile worked behind the bar and was Tony Fazzio’s main squeeze at the time, a few years later I recall introducing her to her future husband, Jack Delanty, a one eyed Collingwood supporter from Melbourne.
July 7 1992
July 7 1992 was my birthday so naturally we celebrated at Melbas. Great friend Andre Buzek on the left was dentist on Chevron Island who was always offering cut price dental work to any sexy young lady who crossed his path. Sadly Andre lost his life in a car accident in Cuba about 4 or 5 years after this photo was taken.
Greg Johnstone on the right now lives in Thailand as I do, we occasionally have a beer together. At the back are Roger Williams and Len Jones, Roger went back to Adelaide and Len now lives in Sydney, the name of the girls eludes me.
A very happy bunch of people
The young guy at the back is Justin, another one of Paul Allen’s sons.
The legend himself in 1992
Paul was larger than life and ran Melbas with an iron fist. I originally met him when he was head waiter at Eliza’s restaurant in Cavil Avenue. Two of his customers financed Paul into Melbas around 1981, they saw potential in the way Paul interacted with customers and figured he could develop the best restaurant night club on the coast, they were right.
I vividly recall my first visit on January 1st 1982, we had a huge night on Sydney harbour on New Years Eve which ended at dawn, so on the spur of the moment we flew to the Gold Coast checked into St Tropez in Orchard and wound up at Melbas that evening.
At the start Melbas was 75% restaurant and 25% night club separated by a glass wall. Even though the restaurant was top class each passing year saw it get smaller and the nightclub bigger until it disappeared altogether.
January 1982 a couple of days after we arrived the party continued on the Gold Coast. The new sexy girl in the middle was “Kitty” a totally uninhibited Dutch girl who I knew from Sydney, but that’s another story. 🙂 Helen Burke on the right was soon to become my new girlfriend, in November 2014 I visited her at her winery at Dromana in the state of Victoria, my how time flies when you are having fun. The big guy is Graham La Roche aka “the Biff”, a legend in his own lunch time.
Lets jump forward to the year 2000
One of Paul Allen’s rules was to hire the best looking girls to work behind the bar, in my book the best of them all was Aurora. She is definitely part of Melbas Gold Coast Legacy.
The usual suspects Xmas 2000.
From the left we have Jim Bell, John Sinclair, David Herd and Tony Murphy. Jim rented a room in my home for 15 years from 1995. John moved to Thailand around 2001 and Tony still lives on the Gold Coast.
Xmas 2000 and Kerry Townsend-Smith was one of the head girls, I first met her when she was a waitress at the Boardroom, a well known Southport gentlemen’s club. From memory after Melbas she moved to Koi at Broadbeach, a lovely lady with a great personality.
A definite highlight in 2000
One of the most gorgeous ladies I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, Skye Edwards from Launceston.
Skye-Jilly Edwards (born c. 1972) is an Australian beauty pageant titleholder who won the Miss Globe International 1994 in Istanbul, Turkey and represented her country in the Miss World 1994 pageant in Sun City, South Africa. She was rated in the top 50 models in Australia by Ralph Magazine.
Perfect except for one small thing
Yes, Skye was a smoker, come to think of it so was I in 2000. I finally quit for good 2 years later.
You could always guarantee the best eye candy on the coast would wind up at Melba’s on Melbourne cup day.
The Butterbean Brothers in 2005
Two legends in their own lunch time, the Butterbean brothers aka Larry Krausz & Ross Kennedy. Larry just moved to Pattaya on November 28 2015 and is now my neighbour. (Sadly our buddy Larry passed away in January 2017 after suffering a major stroke in Thailand October 28th 2016) Rossco originally from Melbourne where he sold hot dogs outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and is now a mover and shaker on the Gold Coast. He quit his holdings in Surfers Paradise strip clubs and restaurants to become the glass splash-back Kingof the Coast. We have a long & happy history together with the highlight being a legendary road tripto Sydney, Falls Creek & Melbourne in 1996. What an incredible year 1996 was, read all about it here.
December 2003 Xmas lunch.
Sadly two old friends in this photo have passed away. Second from the left Ron Collier died April 26 2012. I first met Ron in Melbourne in the 70s before he & Yvonne moved to Byron Bay, a great character who loved life to the max. Second on the left is Noel Smith a regular Melba’s customer who passed away in 2011.
Graham La Roche aka “The Biff”.
A true Aussie legend, I also met Graham in Melbourne in the 70s, as his nickname suggests he was a hell of a fighter. Fought with the famous Jimmy Sharman’s boxing troupethroughout Victoria in the 60s and was never defeated. Graham was on-board by boat in Sydney Harbour on New Years Eve 1981 when we got smashed by fireworks because I stupidly anchored in the drop zone, read about it here.
I think this beautiful lady was Maltese, I only wish I was 20 years younger and 4 times wealthier.
Melbourne Cup 2006.
Important evens were always celebrated at Melba’s, here I am with good friends David Robertson aka “Chocolates” and Phil Thomson aka “Baldrick“. Chocs was famous for the huge volume of “Forsters Light” he would consume daily while Baldrick was famous for……… nothing really. 🙂
Another terrific old friend who was a regular member of our Melba’s drinking crew. Also known as “Coupons” which he collects to swap for free stuff. 🙂
Another gorgeous staff member
Service with a smile.
2007, German and gorgeous.
Not only gorgeous but a sparkling personality as well. I can’t remember her unusual name, Zea or something like that.
Keep that red wine flowing my dear. 🙂
2007 Alan Jones
Twice world Formula 1 champion, a true living legend if ever there was one. Pictured here with myself and well known Gold Coast sycophant David Hoskit.
My birthday 2008
As I said previously all important events were celebrated at Melbas. One of the clowns, I think it was Noodles decided I was old enough for a wheelchair. I can guarantee one thing for sure, Chocs would not have paid for that bottle of red, & everybody who knows him would agree with me. 🙂
Just so cute
It was 2009 and I think her name was Linda, another one of the super cute Melba’s bar staff.
Dani Tobin, a real wild child.
Over the 25 years of drinking at Melba’s I met some wild crazy ladies, and Dani certainly makes it into my top 10. I see her occasionally on Facebook and she seems to have quietened down a little little, hopefully we may catch up again one day. This photo is from 2009.
The usual suspects in 2008
We usually met around 5pm most days and left around 7 pm to sneak home dodging the breathalyser.
When and why did Lloyd become a legend you may well ask? Well sometime around the turn of the century Lloyd relocated his office from Bundall to 50 Cavil Avenue right next door to Melbas. I am sure that no other customer has ever spent more in this bar than Lloyd, for a start most days from 11 am he would conduct his business in the south east corner of the bar surrounded by various friends and associates. He would normally pull up stumps around 6 pm and head home to Main Beach.
One memorable evening around 2007 Lloyd was enjoying himself so much he stayed on much later until the place was jumping. The crowd in the bar at that time was several hundred, so without any fanfare he ordered 600 shooters at a cost of $5,000, guaranteeing his place in Melba’s on the Park folklore for evermore. It didn’t stop there, he followed up with another 600 to consolidate his legendary status. 🙂
Only a few days before making my huge life changing move to Thailand I started having farewell drinks at my favourite bar with my favourite friends.
My last visit November 2014
After my road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road I flew to the Gold Coastto catch up with friends and family. Phil Thomson and I kept alive our tradition of drinks at Melbas on Melbourne day.
Here is a group of old friends in August 2017, still rocking on after all those years. 🙂
Nana Plaza Bangkok sex sin sleaze it’s all there. I have been a frequent visitor for 20 years & have seen the LadyBoy population rise from 10% to around 40% today. This does not suit me at all, give me the sexy young girls any day. 🙂
Was Lollipop, now Suckers
I prefer the name Lollipop but I guess they are now referring to the people who enter the premises. 🙂
Here is the name a few months ago
This post is going to show you the old and the new Nana Plaza Bangkok
Nana Plaza Bangkok
Nana Plaza Bangkok seems to be forever changing not always for the better. In fact Soi Cowboy is more spectacular and the girls seem friendlier, the downside is that it is more expensive.
December 2014 with friends
I like to stay at the Dynasty Hotel which happens to be only 40 meters from Nana Plaza so it is a very convenient drinking spot for me. In the photo above is Bow, Matt Harkness and Roland Bonnici.
The Plaza comes alive after 9 pm
The later it gets the busier it becomes.
Entrance from Soi 4 to Nana Plaza Bangkok
The plaza does not look too appealing in daylight.
Nana Plaza Bangkok is square-shaped, with a single opening on the west side, and consists of a ground floor and two additional floors. It started as a restaurant area in the late 1970s. During the early 1980s, a few go-go bars appeared and gradually replaced the restaurants. The composition of the bars has changed over the past few years; the last non-go-go bar, the Woodstock Pub, was sold in 2005 to the Rainbow Group and reopened as “Rainbow 4.” A few bars offer a more pub-like or beer bar format without dancing; as of late-2009 only the Cathouse remained. Three short-time hotels operate on the top floor. Short-time hotels rent out rooms by the hour or more to the NEP patrons to take a bargirl (or kathoey) for commercial sex. Most bar girls working at bars in Nana Plaza are willing to leave with customers upon payment of a bar fine.
Spellbound is now Bangkok Bunnies
The more things change the more they stay the same. It is a never ending cycle at Nana Plaza, one business goes bust and another steps in. Bangkok Bunnies is one of the largest clubs in the complex. The photo was taken February 20 2016 as was the following YouTube video.
My favourite Nana plaza girl
Her name in Phung but to me she will always be Cleopatra. I met her at the Plaza in 2001 and for the next 7 or 8 years each time I would visit Bangkok I would look her up. She left the Plaza 3 or 4 years ago and I believe she now lives with a guy in Europe.
Most bars in Nana Plaza do not employ kathoeys, but several do so exclusively. As of mid-2013, these venues are Obsession, Voodoo (ground floor), Casanova, Temptations (middle floor), Carnival and Cascades (top floor). With the exception of Voodoo which exclusively employs post-op kathoeys, the staff at the remainder are almost all “pre-operation”, in contrast to the kathoey bars in Patpong. A number of post-op kathoeys can be found at other bars managed by the Crown Group, namely Lollipop,Hollywood Rock, Fantasia, and G-Spot as well as the independently run Erotica.
Here is Cleo in June 2006
Hard to believe 10 years has flashed by.
Nana Plaza Bangkok with some Australian friends in 2006, from the left is Tony Murphy, David Herd (me) John Sinclair & Brian Rawnsley.
Sinclair has a black list.
There are quite a few of us on s black lit so I thought I would design a shirt in appreciation. 🙂
More friends at Nana in 2008
Good friends Nick & Sharon from the Gold Coast and Rod Perrin from the NSW central coast who lived in Pattaya. RIP
Here is a quick video from 2008
Nana Plaza 1999
Poor quality photos from the early digital cameras.