As members of the Baby Boomer generation start to move into the “older generation” more and more are putting their reflections, memories and thus their stories down in print.
Some are simply brilliant and others are so, so!
The Last Dance by Murray Walding is well on its way to the top of the growing list of Boomer story publications.
It is a well thought out, well expressed set of self-reflections, memories and stories of the people, places and events that became important to him.
In talking about the period of the sixties, in his introduction Murray writes – ” . . . it occurred to me that the social mores of the period, the courting rituals and the unspoken rules of teen interaction had never been properly documented.
Although there were any number of rock and roll bios of the stars of the day, there was no record of what it was like out there on the dance floors of Melbourne’s swinging night clubs.”
Thus the scene is set in The Last Dance for an amusing, informative and for those whose generations came later, an insight into what it was all about in the 1960’s in Melbourne for at least a major section of the young people of the day.
From the surf, where the kids of the day were rediscovering the delights and pitfalls of the long-board, through to the fumbling of teen love and through the small but important local dance venues to the big city based clubs – Murray Walding takes us on a journey that is much more than simply nostalgia.
The title of the book – The Last Dance, and the sections it is divided into is very representative of the material it covers. However, Murray also cleverly covers the story of his family and the house and suburbs he grew up in, in a way in which it all seamlessly dovetails together.
The Last Dance has 294 pages interspersed with photos and is broken into three sections:
- Rockers, Jazzers and Surfboards
- Sharpies, Mods and parties
- Lifesavers, Hippies and Freaks
Murrays well crafted by easy to read style is indicative of a writer who understands communication and what is necessary to engage the reader and want them leaving more.
If you were fortunate enough to have been around the Melbourne scene at the time the stories cover, you will very likely associate much of what Murray writes about with your own experiences.
If you were not of that generation, then you will have a good snapshot of why baby Boomers believe they lived in such a great period.
Finally, as good as the beach and the babes were, as vital as the clubs and chicks were, as Murray reminds us both subtly and specifically, summer ruled!
Murray Walding is a Melbourne based author who has previously published a range of books
The Last Wave is his seventh book and is available from a range of bookshops and other sources:
Thesaurus Books- Brighton.
The Avenue Bookstore- Elsternwick.
The Bookgrove- Ocean Grove.
Lorne Beach Books.
Directly from the author: