I’d never been into heroin but that’s where I was heading

“I was born in Broken Hill. My parents moved when I was only three to Adelaide. Dad used to work underground in the mines. It was a pretty dangerous occupation, so once he started having a family, he thought he’d better stop this. I was brought up in Adelaide and it was boring. I went to Perth and was there for a while. I bought a motorcycle – a Triumph, and hanged around with bikers for years. I was a hippie at first though, and I was going to come up here (Nimbin), but instead of that, like I said in 1978, I went to Perth, and I ended up with the motorcycle crew.

In 1993, I came up here. I met a beautiful woman, and we had five children together. I’m not with her anymore, because I got cancer, and she was really busy with the kids, they were young, and it was about five or six years ago now. She couldn’t look after me and the kids. Nimbin saved my life! It’s just such a beautiful place. (I’ve only ever been to New Zealand for a few weeks). It’s relaxed, and you can chill, and grow a bit of pot if you can, and find a bit of land.

The most beautiful moment of my life was every time my wife had a baby. Every time you get the same feeling, the same rush. It’s the best feeling. You come out of the hospital. Woohoo… On top of the world! Another beautiful baby. A baby drug would be the best selling drug in the world, if you could sell it. It’s such a buzz. It’s hard work for them, but I was there for the birth. The attitude had changed, not like the old way, when dads had to wait outside, and they didn’t get to take the baby. It’s all different now.

I used to help in the Nimbin museum, but it burned down a few years ago in a fire. I did that for 22 years. At the rainbow café, which was owned by the hippies, you can see the colours of the rainbow serpent. It used to go right through the museum. You just follow the rainbow serpent. It was pretty big in the Aboriginal dream time of creation of things. It created all the rivers and mountains. The original Aquarius was in 1973. I got here just in time for the 20th anniversary of it, and it was a really good time to get here, because there were all these people in the hall talking about their experiences and that. I didn’t hear that much about Nimbin, a few people had filled me in a bit, but if you just go, and sit in the hall for a couple of hours over the couple of weeks of celebration, and it just taught me about Nimbin.

I was going to come up here, and I was going to bring speed up here from Melbourne. I was going to get it brought up, but when I got up here, I thought, I’m not going to bring speed into this town. This is so chilled out and beautiful, you know. Somehow, I ended up with the museum crew. Otherwise, I would probably have ended up on the other side of the road with all these junkies. They’re used to be all over that side. Like, I’d never been into heroin but that’s where I was heading. But I was gambling and stuff on horses, horse-racing at the TAB. I lost a lot of money. The most important thing I learned? That’s a big question. I don’t know. Treat people how you want to be treated or expect to be treated. Just mellow out, just relax. It’s all going to happen anyway. Don’t stress. Chill out man. Have another joint. That’s the only drug now. That’s the only drug I take now. Marijuana. That’s it. Nothing else. No alcohol, no tobacco. I don’t smoke marijuana anymore, I use a vapouriser.

My lung are stuffed from many years of smoking cigarettes and joints. They said you’ve gotta give up smoking. ‘Your lungs are fucked!’ I said, ‘But I have stopped!’ He goes, ‘No, you’ve got to stop smoking marijuana too. That’s just as bad.  That’s got all these tars in it too.’ So then I went onto a vapouriser. It doesn’t actually burn the pot. It heats it up to a temperature where you can get stoned, but you don’t burn it, so you don’t get the tar.

My lungs have cleared in the last three years, but because of my cancer I’ve got to get yearly X-rays. There’s been a visible improvement in my lungs since I stopped smoking. There’s a chance the cancer will come back, so I’ve started on medicine again but no chemo this time.”