The online home for Fergus Maximus (both the band and the bloke)
The online home for Fergus Maximus (both the band and the bloke)



The first real gig I ever played, I got paid in pasta. I played clarinet in a pick-up “jazz” band at Crawleys Restaurant halfway between the little towns of Watervale and Auburn in mid-north South Australia (Google Maps tells me the area is called Leasingham these days). The piano was half a semi-tone flat which made it hard to tune our instruments but it was exhilarating and exhausting and wonderful.

I was about 15 years old and it was the first time I ate fettucini. Creamy white sauce, soft silky pasta.

It’s never tasted quite the same.

Old Friends

I saw a friend in a car park, struggling to get something out of the boot. Wandering over, I asked if she needed a hand. She said, “No,” so I reached in for a hello hug, realising just in time that I had never met this woman in my life. Up close she didn’t really look like my friend at all. Older. Different hairstyle. Completely different expression of horror on her face. I recoiled rapidly and, mumbling a hasty apology, hurried off to wherever I was headed.

It was a few years ago now. I just remembered the situation last night and am surprised at how vividly I can recall that awful moment of discovery.

I think I can feel a new song coming on.


She wants me to throw out my favourite T-shirt
‘How many favourite T-shirts can one man have?’
I said, ‘That’s like asking me to lose my memory’
She just looks at me like I’m an alien


That’s the first bit of the song T-Shirt that I wrote with Grant Shillabeer back when we were performing as Sideways Glance. It’s one of the first songs we wrote together and one of the few from that era I still really like. I recently dusted it off and wrote out a chart in a (lower) key so Kym could have a bash and it remains a great, 3-minute pop tune*.  This originated in 2000 when — much to the surprise of a few people who had stocked up on baked beans and ammunition — the world hadn’t ended.

Rumours that the second line is a direct quote from Andrea, my wonderful, long-suffering wife, have some basis in truth. Rather a lot of basis, actually, since it is completely true. And the answer to her question, of course, is ‘Lots’. Surely I am not alone in understanding this?

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The Shallow End

Hi folks,

Welcome to the shallow end of The Word Puddle. I can’t promise it will, in fact, get any deeper but I’m certainly hoping it will at least spread a bit.

I figure a few word drops will eventually become a word puddle and that’s what I’m planning to create (I have no illusions that it will one day become a word lake but who can say?).

See you back here soon!


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