The story of how I fell in love with

The Paradise Motel

as told by diary snippets

August 21st 1997 -- Student Support Rally

I was very early so I went into HMV music store and looked around. On impulse I bought a CD called "Still Life" by The Paradise Motel, a band I've been interested in for some time. It was $24.95. The Paradise Motel have a soft voiced female vocalist and I think they specialize in that sad, mellow, slightly unhealthy style that Radiohead do.

February 8th 1998 -- St Kilda Festival

The Paradise Motel
was there
&U can'tDance2
Them -- xceptBadli --
& 1guy did --
        They're Slow&
melo & they sing "The Agony
WillSt U Free..."

March 12th
$8.00CD EP -- "Left Over Life To Kill"
by The Paradise Motel

April 28th -- The Day I Bought A Scanner

$165.00Flatbed Scanner
$24.95CD album -- "Flight Paths" by The Paradise Motel

June 26th 1998 -- Paradise Motel @ Revolver #1

It's a very special night at Revolver

I arrived at six pm -- sat down and read my book while the Paradise Motel checked their instruments -- no one looked at me -- I was blending in with the furniture

The lead singer's name is Merida Sussex --
You wouldn't recognise her at the sound check --
They were playing songs in high-lighting conditions --
They were playing just for me --
It was awe inspiring --
And after the performans (practice) Merida came up2me& said "Hello" --
& I replied with an echo --
& she was just a regular person --
& in that split second she looked like a cool version of Colleen the monster mental patient of 13/4/95 --
I was almost certain she was going to say "You remember me? I met you in Larundel." But she just walked away.

But now you have 2 play the waiting game --
It's too dark to read your book anymore --
As the room gets more and more crowded --
The music gets louder --
And what's that being projected onto the big screen?
It's Baraka and Microcosmos, but simultaneously this time and with 2nd rate quality --
That music --
That friggin' Revolvermusic --
You're alone --
You can't move, 'cause if you abandon your chair then you'll be standing for the rest of the night --
And you've got the GOOD seat --
Close your eyes --

KIVA was there to warm us up --
I have his CD on tape --
THE PARADISE MOTEL played at 12 midnight --
I was entranced --
I was enraptured --
I abandoned my chair and sat up near the stage, gazing at Merida Sussex above with worship --
This can't last forever --

June 27th 1998 -- Paradise Motel @ Revolver #2

I had dinner @ 2am last night --
After walking home thru dark empty streets --

It's so dark in that place --
Merida would look down upon a faceless mass --
They want to make it so different from the rehearsal --
less natural I would have got her to sign my lyric booklet yesterday but I didn't have a pen. Wasted opprortunity. How did she know I was a fan? Bcos backstage technician guys don't usually refer to the lyric booklet during the sound check

In Revolver:

THIS time it was bettr, becos I knew what to expect. Once again, occupying a chair for three hours, this time sitting through the exemplary sounds of
ENDORPHIN and also Kiva --
But when the Paradise Motel came on I got up and nudged my way to the front --
I ended up standing so close --
They're slow& melo --
&U can'tDance2 Them --
Xcept badli --
& I did --
no longer caring what da crowd thought --
during "MenWhoLovedHer" I was thrashing --
Mouthing the words: "The Agony --
WillSt U Free...
" & Merida was cool --
I even got her autograph later, while she was standing around --
I told her she was great --
I Think she heard --

June 28th 1998 -- Visit To My Family's House

The gang heard all about my adventures in Revolver land --
They no I like The Paradise Motel now --
They even listened to my autographed CD --
And if Melanie had not been late, I wouldn't have had time to write this poem:

It's a long way to Revolver,
And the lighting sure is hell
But I'd go anywhere to hear
The Paradise Motel.
They came on after Kiva and
Endorphin left the scene
I waited for the band 3 hours
Because I was so keen
In contrast to the techno they
Were rocking with guitars
In parts they sounded beautiful
And twinkly like the stars
In other parts they blasted me
With noisy walls of sound
As if to make me deaf -- the air
Vibrated all around
I felt like they were pulling
Half my brain out by the stem
I felt like shouting "You're so
cool and talented!" to them.
Unhappily the time came when
The music had to stop
The alcahol was everywhere
I hadn't touched a drop
And yet, upon my exit I was
Off my face with glee
And turning cartwheels,
Caring not if anyone could see
Despite the music's sadness, it
Had put me on a high
And I will love The
Paradise Motel until I die.

June 29th 1998
After reading and saving all the information I can find about The Paradise Motel, joining their mailing list, and emailing yesterday's poem to it, what else is there to do but go to Greville Records and --
$25.003 CDs -- "Bad Light"
by The Paradise Motel
by The Paradise Motel
& "Heavy Weather"
by The Paradise Motel

Mr Greville: Did you see them on the weekend? I did, and I was pretty impressed. There's a free autographed poster that goes with that one...

July 1st 1998 -- Visit To The Estate Agents Who Are Threatening To Evict Me

Welcome to the
Swinburne mail server --
You have 51 new messages.

But after I got a taste of the ParadiseMotel mailing list I was soon cheered up. There are hundreds of people out there just like me who worship the Motel, and now I know that they've got one gig left --
@theContinental on the 10th --
scarii new place --

It's very exciting --
I feel like I've joined a club --
it's a collection of people whose knowledge of The Paradise Motel stretches far beyond my own --
Some of them have actually had contact with Merida --
They'd consider coming down from Sydney to see the show --
They're that devoted --
It's only been two days since I joined the list and already I've learnt so much --
I've never felt so passionate about a band --
As I do about The Paradise Motel.

July 2nd 1998

2morrow: will they think I'm just being lazy, asking them for information when I could get the information just as easily by phoning the Continental? Most people feel moved and depressed when they listen 2 The Paradise Motel --
but I feel excited --
but I feel like smiling --

July 3rd 1998

Their music is more normal now, less risky I thought

$12.00Ticket to "The Paradise Motel" -- standing -- @ The Continental Friday
$7.15CD single -- "Derwent River Star" by...
The Paradise Motel
Thanks for that. *goes to the Continental, buys ticket, comes back* I bought a standing ticket -- maybe that was a bad idea -- I have a foot condition where my feet become extremely painful when standing for long periods. Are we allowed 2sit on the floor?
-- Stephen Clark

July 4th 1998 the real world you can't compete
Don't even try, then
You don't want to compete
Competition makes you want to
Curl up on the floor
With your ear next to the stereo
Wishing that the skin on your face
Was cold and lifeless
For the stillness reminds you of death
And dying is O.K.
'Cause no one's going to say
"He was quite good at dying --
But I've seen better."
Till then, get used to being second best
And don't try to aim to high
You've seen it happen
With The Paradise Motel
They try to compete in the real world,
And they just end up losing
That certain something that they had.

July 9th 1998

Phone call out to Continental Cafe -- Is there a dress code at The Continental -- No, but we do require that you wear shoes.

Today was my big opportunity 2take advantage of my ParadiseMotel list membership and go along 2 the shooting of their "Drive" video --
it was an open invitation for Xtras --
Port Melbourne Pier --
But I mist out b-cos i didn't check my e-mail yesterday --
What a bad day 2B shooting a video dzo --
Rain & hail --
Talk about "Heavy Weather" --
Just ask Andrew Listmember. He went down there and couldn't find the place wear dzei wer shooting so he went home. MAN, I would've made such a perfect Xtra --

July 10th 1998 -- Paradise Motel @ The Continental

A monologue by John Graphicdesignfoliopreparationstudent whom I last encountered on December 29, 1997:
"I saw Stephen Clark sitting alone in the Continental, where I work as a bartender, so I went over and said hello. I don't know if he recognised me -- I discussed the design course with him and he replied to my questions, but he didn't seen very interested. He seemed slightly nervous so I offered to buy him a drink. He declined. I left him there and went back to the bar. Later, when the place began getting crowded, Stephen came out of his corner and sat on the floor with his back against one of the barriers which separate the dining customers from the standing customers. He turned his head to the side and stared fixedly at the blank wall. It struck me as odd because all the people around him were standing. He looked very lonely, and at the same time very tense. When the band came out he stood up and looked at the stage. As the Paradise Motel played song after song, I was pleased to see that he was getting into it more, enjoying it, swaying to the slow beats, moving his arms, sometimes even banging his head when the music got heavy. In fact, he was showing substantially more movement than the people around him. In some parts he seemed oblivious to their presence, as if he were in his own little musical world. And I remember thinking: "This guy is a full-on fan of the Paradise Motel, & he doesn't care about much else."  "

July 11th 1998
IN KEEPING WITH TRADITION I did a cartwheel on the pavement of Chapel St on the way home from the show --
That big, empty pavement which is usually crowded with pedestrians in the daytime --
It was deserted --
It was all mine, and I was so hyped up on the Motel.
By and by I passed out of the sheltered shopping district and into the drizzle. It seemed logical that I should run, to get home as soon as possible. So I ran. And when I got tired and out of breath, I just kept on running. I passed no one on Chapel Street. It was after midnight and it was raining. The rain fell on my face. I ran and ran and ran. Forward, deeper into the darkness. It was the Paradise Motel that did this to me. It was them.

July 13th 1998

$16.95CD EP -- "Swansong"
by Seaville -- because
it's Merida Sussex's
"other" band
Seaville's Debut CD, "Swansong" -- even less mainstream than the Paradise Motel, less beautiful, designed to make you feel sick, slow nightmare, dragging darkness, anti-glamour, depression -- I want to listen2it again
n. person's last work or act before
death or

IN KEEPING WITH TRADITION I did a cartwheel on the
You sent WHAT to the Paradise Motel mailing list?

July 15th 1998

I went to bed two hours early last night --
I woke up two hours early this morning --
I went to school one hour early and the library computer-room was nicely empty --
My photography class ended one hour early but time was catching up with me and I had a sudden, burning desire to listen to ParadiseMotel's "Ashes" even though it was at home --
On entry to my building I struck my knee hard on the security screen --
I listened to "Ashes" but I ended up limping back to school and that's what made me late for Larissa's class --
After the class I was one hour late getting home at night --
And I turned off the TV one hour later than usual --
And I think the other mailing-list members are trying to kill me --

July 17th 1998
So I thought to myself --
no-one's going to hear about this great idea I have for doing a parody of The Paradise Motel on "Full Frontal" --
partly because I don't work on "Full Frontal" --
partly becos "Full Frontal"'s been axt --
& partly becos The Paradise Motel aren't famous enough 2B parodied --
But then I thought, if I want to incorporate some element of The Paradise Motel into my website, then this would be it --
And the mailing list members would be able to appreciate it, even if no-one else does. I just hope the band doesn't object to being portrayed as mental patients.

July 18th 1998

My new web-page --
Is coming 2gether on paper --
I've got the dictionary on hand --
I've got the thesaurus --
Every noun and adjective has got to count --
Every verb --
It stretches my descriptive powers to the limit --
I'm writing about the Paradise Motel --

July 19th 1998
I have created an amazing piece of music --
It's sad --
It's repetitive --
It's minimalist --
It starts off stupidly quiet --
And simple --
And ends stupidly noisy --
And complicated --
And there's no in between part --
No gradual build up --
It's a joke song --
It's the Parodyse Motel

July 20th 1998
(c) List members might think it's disrespectful

(b) Non list members might feel alienated -- I'm sending up something they've never heard of

(a) Inconsistency -- no surrealist imagery unlike the rest of the web-site

Concerns About The New Web Page:

July 21th 1998
don't ask me whether you'd get into copyright trouble putting your midi-file of "Jack Star" on the www -- I'm no lawyer

best $13.00I ever spent --
CD EP -- "Some
Deaths Take Forever"
by... The Paradise Motel

My surprise purchase at Gaslight Music --
It's brilliant --
It's Daring --
It's Wyrd --
And it's so rare --
I'll bet I bought the last copy available N.E. ware --
My love of the Paradise Motel is still growing --
For no other band would I set out to buy everything they've ever made --
And I feel like every minute spent not listening to The Paradise Motel is a minute wasted

But it's my self restraint which keeps the thrill alive -- sustained

July 24th 1998
...and this afternoon can be spent doing something worthwhile --
That is, making a midi-file of Paradise Motel's "Jack Star" --
It's the best way to spend one's life because it involves listening to "Jack Star" ovr & ovr again --
And I nevr get sick of it --
I just like it more, the deeper I go into comprehension of "Jack Star" --
It's in my head --
I like it being in my head --
It can stay embedded there --
Through the night --
And into tomorrow, when the musical tribute continues --

July 25th 1998
Hours of Jack Star sequencing -- have to be careful not to make the guitars too loud --
July 26th 1998
My midi-file is finished --
It's a finely crafted work --
Meticulously keyed in, editted --
Every note perfect --
I didn't cut any corners --
It's faithful to the original --
A lesser midi-file maker would have heard all those notes and thought,
"Naah, it's too hard --
I'll just put in something that
Sounds vaguely like it
And no one will tell the difference."
But I was exact --
And my work pays homage
To the genius of The Paradise Motel
By sounding as much like "Jack Star"
As the technology will permit.
It's just a pity no-one's going to listen to it --
'Cause no-one gives a toss --
No one except the list-members will even glance at it --
And why would they listen to an inferior
electronic copy of "Jack Star"
When they can listen to the original?
I don't know. It's just for me.

And it looks like a poster of Merida Sussex is on its way to me from a distant kindly listmember --
She had one to spare I'm not going 2install my new printer cartridge --
I'm going to sell it --
I wish the Paradise Motel were here --
I wish they'd do a Swinburne gig in the rain --

July 27th 1998
February 14th 1995 was a special day for me --
but it was even more special for The Paradise Motel who played their debut live performance on that day. If I could live my life again from that point --
I'd make it my goal in life to attend every gig that the Paradise Motel do.
Devoted Groupie #1

July 29th 1998
__________ _y_ew_aradise_otel_age_as_een
__________ _dded_o_y_ebsite._he_age_s
__________ _t:
__________ _ttp://
__________ _r_ou_an_ake_our_ay_o_t_rom_y_ome_age.
__________ -- _tephen_lark


July 30th 1998
...and now I've got this fantasy about The Carlton Moviehouse cinema where The Paradise Motel started out --
I want to go there and see where they would have played --
To imagine myself listening to them --
I'm constantly thinking about The Paradise Motel --
Now that I'm invisible to the group, it's pretty much the only thing in my life --
I'm on the edge of obsession --
All I want to do is just spend my whole life in Motel land, surrounded by the music --
And after that, I want to die of starvation --
I don't want to compete --

July 31st 1998
2D studies... so this new fold out poster you're doing is emulating The Paradise Motel's artwork style?
art designer:
Katherine Foster

I recieved a medium-sized poster of Seaville's "Merida Sussex" today --
Ros Listler sent it to me

August 1st 1998 -- "Anastasia"
Who's that man if the front row of the Carlton Moviehouse --
Watching Anastasia --
Not Anastasia the student but Anastasia the Disney film --
No, the Warner Brothers film --
It's Stephen Clark and he's curled up under the seat because there's no-one else of consequence in this one-screen cinema.
Just think -- a few feet in front of you
The Paradise Motel once stood playing

This cinema is old --
it's been running since the twenties --
& now it's running into the ground --
How do they make a buck with four people in the audiens, & no advertisements B4 hand --
the tickt-sellr's tired xpression sayz it all--

August 4th 1998

THIS is 1 view of Merida Sussex --
But she's not MERRida Sussex, we now learn --
She's mer-EYE-dah Sussex --
You know, like in that song by The Doors --
"Meridas On The Storm" --

August 6th 1998
I went to the Carlton Moviehouse last Saturday in order to...
You sent WHAT to the Paradise Motel mailing list?