Saturday, 13 January 2018

Why I wrote Angel with Drumsticks - the Consequences by Pamela King

In April 2015 I posted a blog titled Why I wrote Angel with Drumsticks As explained in that blog, Angel with Drumsticks is a true story. The information was drawn from recollections of the band’s founder and leader, Angelo Ferrari as well as extensive research.  It is a story you won’t find factually represented on the internet in full.

Since publishing the book there have been some interesting responses to the story.

The subtitle of Angel with Drumsticks is The rock that shook the foundations of the Vatican and I think this accurately sums up the series of events that followed the first performance of La Messa Dei Giovani; the First Rock Mass.

The Catholic church has been under a lot of criticism in recent years for its cover up of a variety of scandals and attitudes and, I guess, this book could be seen is just another one. But, it needs to be remembered that, like so many other scandals, it impacted on the lives of innocent followers.

Firstly, it has been interesting to note reactions of people reading the back cover (see below). Some will eagerly purchase the book wanting to know more about how a revered and long-standing institution has played with the beliefs of its followers. Others, devout members, have scoffed at its claims and even verbally abused me for publishing such “rubbish” and “lies”.

I am aware of at least one bookshop that refused to stock the book based on its subject matter.

More extreme religiously zealous people have written abusive and condemning comments on the Angel and the Brains Facebook page. ( and sent personally offensive emails. Some demanded the withdrawal of the book from circulation.

I don’t know if the Vatican has seen or even heard of the book, but it would surprise me if they were not aware of it. To my knowledge there has been no comment or response to the claims.

I should also point out that many of the facts of the story have been confirmed by other former band members on the Angel and the Brains Facebook page and in personal emails.

If anyone would like to know more about the story they can contact me by email on

Back cover

This is the story as it was told to the author by Angelo Ferrari, drummer, singer and founder of the Italian Beat rock group Angel and the Brains.

After recounting how the band was formed and its music ambitions, it continues to tell the true story about the aftermath of La Messa Dei Giovani (La Messa).

La Messa was conceived to fulfil the desires of the Vatican II to make the Catholic Church more appealing to young people but, because of resulting bitter and vicious arguments within the church and the media, the Vatican took a course of action that was inconsiderate, hurtful and cold hearted.

The story describes how these young musicians, who had responded to an invitation from the church to perform the first rock mass in Rome had their fledgling careers destroyed by the Vatican.

The reader will discover that many articles written in recent years are wrong in their descriptions of what happened following La Messa and falsely acclaim the event as being a successful innovation of the Catholic Church at the time.

Friday, 5 January 2018

La Befana: The Good Witch of Christmas by Pamela King

The once beautiful woman swept the floor, sighed, and started sweeping again. He can’t be dead she thought to herself, not my beautiful baby.  Grief over the loss of her beloved son so recently after being widowed, began to age her. Some say she went mad. 

In an endeavour to eliminate the child professed to become the new king, Herod had ordered the death of all male children born in the year of Jesus. The soldiers had rampaged through her village and taken her baby boy along with all others.

In her sorrow she became obsessive about keeping her home spotlessly clean, sweeping the floor incessantly. One day three wise men knocked at her door. Although she was poor with only rags for clothes and broken shoes, she made them welcome in her humble, but cosy, cottage giving them food and a room for the night. They told her they were following a bright star that would lead them to the new born baby Jesus and showed her the special gifts of gold, incense and myrrh they carried for the Christ child.

The next morning, they thanked her for her hospitality and invited her to accompany them. She declined saying she was too busy with her housework and she had nothing worthy to give the special child.

Delusional with grief, she wondered if this baby could be her own, saved from the evil King Herod’s cruel plans. She left her home, still with her broom in her hand, to catch up to the wise men, taking all her son’s clothes and toys. She also bundled up food she had prepared. 

Magically, she began to fly on her broomstick and eventually found Jesus.  Realising this was not her child she presented him, and his parents, with her son’s belongings and the food as gifts.

By this time, her faced had aged more with many lines and hair had turned completely grey. Joseph, the child’s father, looked at the face of this stranger bearing gifts and wondered about her past and what extreme sorrow she had suffered.

Delighted at the gifts, and in gratitude to her generosity, Jesus and his father blessed her and gave her a gift in return. For one night a year, and for all eternity, she would be honorary mother of every child as if they were her own.

The twelve days of Christmas finish with the Epiphany, a celebration of renewal, on 6th January. Overjoyed with her blessing, this is the time she takes to her broom delivering gifts to every child; blessing good children and punishing bad ones. She became known as La Befana from the Roman dialect pronunciation of the Italian name for the religious festival, Epifania. 

On the eve of the epiphany she climbs down chimneys to find stocking hanging near the fireplace. From her basket to places candy, fruit, toys and books in the stockings of the good children goes; but naughty ones receive coal, onions or garlic.  In return the families leave wine and cakes for her.
A smiling but very old woman with a slight hunch, she still wears rags with colourful patches covered with soot from climbing down the chimneys. 

La Befana does not like to be seen so here is a word of warning. If you ever spot her on her rounds do not look at her or she will smack you across the face with the end of her broom.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Australian Twist on a Classic Christmas Story

'Twas the night before Christmas; there wasn't a sound. 
Not a possum was stirring; no-one was around.
We'd left on the table some tucker and beer,
Hoping that Santa Claus soon would be here;

We children were snuggled up safe in our beds,
While dreams of pavlova danced 'round in our heads;
And Mum in her nightie, and Dad in his shorts,
Had just settled down to watch TV sports.

When outside the house a mad ruckus arose;
Loud squeaking and banging woke us from our doze.
We ran to the screen door, peeked cautiously out,
Snuck onto the deck, then let out a shout.

Guess what had woken us up from our snooze,
But a rusty old Ute pulled by eight mighty 'roos.
The cheerful man driving was giggling with glee,
And we both knew at once who this plump bloke must be.

Now, I'm telling the truth it's all dinki-di,
Those eight kangaroos fairly soared through the sky.
Santa leaned out the window to pull at the reins,
And encouraged the 'roos, by calling their names.

'Now, Kylie! Now, Kirsty! Now, Shazza and Shane!
On Kipper! On, Skipper! On, Bazza and Wayne!
Park up on that water tank. Grab a quick drink,
I'll scoot down the gum tree. Be back in a wink!'

So up to the tank those eight kangaroos flew,
With the Ute full of toys, and Santa Claus too.
He slid down the gum tree and jumped to the ground,
Then in through the window he sprang with a bound.

He had bright sunburned cheeks and a milky white beard.
A jolly old joker was how he appeared.
He wore red stubby shorts and old thongs on his feet,
And a hat of deep crimson as shade from the heat.

His eyes - bright as opals - Oh! How they twinkled!
And, like a goanna, his skin was quite wrinkled!
His shirt was stretched over a round bulging belly
Which shook when he moved, like a plate full of jelly.

A fat stack of prezzies he flung from his back,
And he looked like a swaggie unfastening his pack.
He spoke not a word, but bent down on one knee,
To position our goodies beneath the yule tree.

Surfboard and footy-ball shapes for us two.
And for Dad, tongs to use on the new barbeque.
A mysterious package he left for our Mum,
Then he turned and he winked and he held up his thumb;

He strolled out on deck and his 'roos came on cue;
Flung his sack in the back and prepared to shoot through.
He bellowed out loud as they swooped past the gates-
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all, and goodonya, MATES!'