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Amongst the many projects I've been contending with over recent years has been an autobiography. It isn't that I'm egocentric, or think my life has been particularly fulfilling. But it has contained certain achievements which, either in isolation or combination, I don't find in the lives of people around me.

Without wanting to indulge in therapy, hypnotic regression or delusions of grandeur, I still find it useful to contemplate my life, in order to view it as having some sort of continuity or direction. Maybe, either now or in years to come, someone will be able to input all this data into a computer - in order to get some idea of the character that I am subjectively oblivious of. In the meantime, I have my desires, experiences, memories, dreams and reflections - which I intend to leave to posterity, one way or another.

My autobiography is currently far from being a going concern - I'm still too young, and have so much more to do (in every sense of the term). I have, however, sketched out the bare details of my life up to the age of eighteen. As always, the childhood material is the most interesting, illuminating and enjoyable to recollect. My adulthood, in comparison, almost seems to be that of another person - in terms of the formative forces and perceived objectives.

Here, then, is a potted biography of a life that sometime struggles to be called my own. Meanwhile, a condensation of my musical history is presented here and my writing achievements are noted here. In keeping with the wide potential audience, and to avoid possible embarassment wherever possible, I have left out any overt references to illicit or sexual matters. Then again, some people may actually prefer to read of these things.

In the future, with new multimedia and programming developments, it may be possible to present autobiographies that present information in a countless variety of different ways. Here's hoping that someone takes up the challenge of such work.



Born at 2:20 pm on 14 February, 1960 at Canterbury Hospital, Sydney, Australia. The third son, and last child of my parents, Adriana (Jane) and Bryan, who have lived in Australia only two years (having come over from Sri Lanka/Ceylon), after meeting and marrying in London England some years before. Raised in a rambling, old, weather-beaten house. The usual childhood paraphenalia - family, toys, games, television, etc.


1967 Started attending school. Found to be unusually bright by my teacher. Became an avaricious reader - of books, encyclopaedias, and (my favourite) Marvel comics. Still, I feel somewhat distant from my fellow students, and only keep one or two close friends at a time. In 1970, after getting the results of school-wide IQ tests, I am placed in an 'opportunity' school for gifted pupils, but leave after a month because I dislike the excessive homework and religious teaching (and because I refused to have a haircut). I go back to my old school and friends, and continue my scholastic achievements, though on completion I fail to become dux - even though I top the school in three subjects, and 'beat' the actual dux in all subjects except one. From this, I gain a suspicion of teachers and authority.


I start my high school years at Canterbury Boys High (the alma mater of Australian Prime Minister, John Howard), but find things fairly intolerable. With a growing indifference to academic achievement, concern over my parents fighting and generally poor health, my grades start slipping. However, my intellectual abilities remain intact, and - on first tests - I find I have a reading speed of 1200 words a minute. In 1973, the family moves to Kareela, a new and bushy suburbs in Sydney's southern suburbs. I start attending Gymea High School (the alma mater or very few people of any consequence, save two female writers - Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey - who initially found fame as the 'Salami Sisters', and joint-authors of a book and film called 'Puberty Blues'). My remaining High School are full of the usual good and bad times, attractions to the opposite sex, first stirrings of adulthood, shunning of authority, and so on - though I manage to get suspended for "pseudo-intellectual arrogance".


Upon leaving school, I initially gain admission to study Economics at Sydney University. However, I decide to get a job with the NSW Public Service instead, since I feel the need to gain an income. My first employment is at Stamp Duties Office, where I fall in love with a girl there, Cherie, with whom I encounter all sorts of turbulent feelings and events (this is the subject of a short story of mine, that has yet to be published - and may eventually turn into a book). Later I join another part of the public service, and work in a succession of locations in the metropolitan and country areas.


After a six month stint in Albury (a town on the New South Wales/Victorian border), I start work in Sydney. There, I fall in with a group of young friends that my brothers occasionally hang out with - going out, having parties and form a fledgling rock band. Mentally, I wander off into Zen Buddhism and start to cultivate an interest in jazz and classical music. I start to study for a law degree part-time at Macquarie University, but drop out after about six months. Then, in 1984, smitten with the urbane cosmopolitan jazz of Miles Davis and the writing of Henry Miller, I rent a flat in the inner-city area of Glebe, but find the culture there under-developed, and go back home (but not before an overseas trip to Bali). From the early 1980's, I'd been recording music - solo and with the fledgling band - and this activity carries through until around 1988. Then I start my part-time law studies again, this time at University of Technology Sydney (and completed them in 1993).


I work at a few more offices, before gaining my curret permanent position. I travel to Japan in 1991, and stay with my brother/s there - and to the USA in 1994, where I stay with an uncle. Upon graduating from University in 1994 and being admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court in 1995, I move house again - first to a two-story townhouse in Gymea and then to my current home - a delightful apartment in Miranda, with views towards the city skyline and much of suburban Sydney. The apartment and townhouse complex is surrounded by parkland, has two swimming pools and is within walking distance of all modern facilities.

In the late nineties, thanks to a course of chiropractic treatment and homeopathic-based medicine, my physical condition has improved dramatically - I've virtually cured my childhood asthma, lost a substantial amount of weight and gained inner strength and balance. In September 1999, I start working full time as a solicitor/lawyer with J.S. Mueller & Co., but returned to my old job after three and a half months. I was taking a $ 130/week pay cut, to work much harder in unfamiliar territory, for longer hours and spend an extra hour a day in congested traffic. The advantages? I got to call myself a lawyer, I learnt a heck of a lot (about the law, and life in general) and I "won" cases in the Local, Federal and Supreme Courts.


Y2K got off to a bang. I spent the night around the Sydney Opera House surrounded by a select group of ticket holders, watching performances by Swing City, Vanessa Amarosi, The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Circus Oz, Demi Hines, Jimmy Barnes and The Whitlams. Meanwhile the proceedings were screened around the world via the ABC, BBC, CBS. NHK and other networks. The people were (mostly) great and the fireworks were wonderful.

I took time off early in the year to help with the arrival from Japan of my brother Rudi and his then-expectant wife Mao (Tara was born in April), then took more time off for my birthday. In February, as part of my 40th birthday ideas, I travelled back to Canterbury to revisit my childhood birthplace and home.

I couldn't get tickets for the Olympics in September/October, so - amongst the rush of a million or so tourists in Sydney - I travelled to America for a few weeks (see the My Travels page for details). There I travelled around western USA and Mexico and stayed with my aunt and uncle around New York.

For Christmas/New Year, Rudi Mao and Tara flew out to Australia. I spent Boxing Day at a party on the cliffs off North Bondi - socialising, drinking and eating, watching the Sydney to Hobart yacht race contestants going past and getting sunburnt. Finally, New Years Eve was spent at the Hilton Hotel - the Marble Bar and George Adams bars - socialising, drinking and dancing (and getting home just shy of 4:00 am).


I've managed to get around a bit - to an evening/night of South American music at Darling Harbour, to the Symphony at the Domain and the fireworks at Cronulla on Australia Day. On 21 February, I went into Theosophy House for lecture by Nevill Drury, bought a book, had it signed/dedicated and had a chat with him. I may become a member of the Theosophical Society - we'll see.

A 40th birthday party should have been in the wings, but my (pre) 41st party was a great success, despite some conspicuous absences from the guest list - I also have enough alcohol left over from it to last me (and one or two guests) a long time.

Musically it was an intensive year - with a lot of new equipement purchased, many live performances, lots of CDs released, videos recorded, new web-sites and more - check my Musical History page for more details.

Romantically, I tried dating with www.friend.com.au - but nothing of any consequence eventuated - beyond a couple of dates, some email exchanges and "experience".

The Present

I'm fairly settled for the moment, but keen make progress in my professional and personal life. A string of minor romances has taken place over the years, but nothing is deep or secure enough for a lasting relationship. In my leisure time I enjoy reading, guitar-playing, getting on the internet, going out with friends and seeing movies or bands. I also look forward to what the future brings - since I won't let it be uninteresting.

For the latest news - in music and all things generally - check the Personal News page.


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URL: http://homepages.tig.com.au/~avanstar
Alex Van Starrex