Of the many albums I’ve worked on, co-producing Gary Shearston’s Aussie Blue stands out. Writing cabaret songs with Kathy Lette was engagingly wacky. And some of the TV ads I scored for Ian Watson were a good warm-up for film work.

In the rock god department, touring as piano player with The Saints has been one of the loudest moments, while backing up Bob Geldof on accordion in a shopping centre filled with Easter eggs would be one of the more bizarre.

I’ve been lucky to work with talented people and long may it continue. Travel-wise, I haven’t been everywhere [man], but I’m working on it.

In a kind of roller-coaster ride, I performed all the live parts  in 46 minutes one afternoon as a rallying call for the Friends of Luna Park. Click on the arrow to listen.

It was the first of a range of projects with Martin, including recording and performing with Tiny Tim and flying to the UK with Nathan Waks to stage Tiny’s marathon concert at the  1988 Brighton Arts Festival.

Other memorable moments in musical direction include a fairly amusing Australian tour with Rowan Atkinson.

Slim’s daughter Anne Kirkpatrick was the first to record one of my songs, Anecdotes of You, in 1978. I was playing garage rock with Wasted Daze at the time. In 1987, Anne did a fine version of Take Me Home. Mary Jo Starr and Monica McMahon have also recorded my songs.

I released the Luna Park Song under my own name in 1980, with lyrics co-written by Mic Conway, plus a line or two from Martin Sharp, who provided the artwork.

Readers of The Australian may know my travel writing and book reviews, but I came to words via music. Snatches of themes from some of the dozen or so films I’ve scored, along with notes about the musical choices, can be accessed via the Film page.

For the Aboriginal-content films, it’s likely I was chosen as composer because of my association with Slim Dusty, a great friend of blackfellas.

By the time of his death in 2003, Slim had recorded 10 of my songs and I’d played keyboards on about 20 of his albums, as well as touring the country with his stage band a number of times.

Alistair Jones

Writer, composer, producer