My very dear friend of nearly 50 years Colin Talbot has passed away after a long illness.
I liked him instantly the first time we met at the old “Planet” magazine offices in 1971 and we remained friends, through short feuds and living in different cities, ever since.
Our common interests in various forms of hedonism, writing and music gave us lots to talk about and for most of the last twenty years, up until he was too ill to go out, we met for coffee at various cafes in Prahran and St Kilda.
He was always delightful company, always ready with a different point of view and so stimulating to talk with.
I will miss our meetings so much as there are not that many people still left in my life that know all the silly things I know and all the crazy people as well.
Colin was a very talented writer, his two early novels “Massive Road Trauma” and “Sweethearts” – which he turned into a terrific film – were classic examples of the “new writing” of the 1970’s.
He was at the famous afternoon at the old Sydney Sheraton when the song “Goodbye Tiger” was born and that song is partly about him as well.
In our endless disagreements and fallings out we were probably more like siblings – brothers – than friends and we were the despair of both our wives: “David, you and Colin!”, “Colin, you and David” – but there was always such a bond between us and irony was such a big part of our lives.
We finally did a project together in 2015, a book called “The 100 Greatest Australian Singles of the 1960’s” which again caused several disagreements – as can be imagined (!) – but gave our friendship a kind of lasting legacy.
I lived through his previous bout with cancer, which he survived with a super effort, and I had hoped to live through this one but that was not to be.
I loved his writing, his humour, his forthrightness, his passion, his orneriness – even if I was the focus of it sometimes – his belief in the goodness of people and his commitment to a Beat, artistic style of life.
I loved him dearly and I am devastated by the idea I will never see him again, never hear that voice of his so full of life and excitement.
Not being able to ring him up for a coffee somewhere will create a huge hole in my life which I will never be able to fill.
Dear Colin, this was not the plan, we were supposed to disagree and enjoy things together until we were a hundred.
I know I can live without you but I never wanted to.
I celebrate the way you lived exactly the way you wanted to, with no compromise, and am happy you got to do that even if it came at some cost to you.
That’s the Beat Life and always will be.
I stand here in tears with no way to say goodbye except Vaya Con Dios my dear compadre, Hasta La Vista till we meet again in the sweet by and by.