By Lyn Gain
Witch Girl and the Push is a unique insider story of the Sydney Push, told by someone who was actually there. It explodes numerous myths and misconceptions which have been perpetuated by outside commentators.
Witch Girl and the Push spans over 50 years of social, political and sexual change in Australia, from the late fifties American rock and roll perceived as contributing to a ‘moral crisis’ amongst ‘the youth’, to the modern day ‘slut walks’.
It is a fascinating and irreverent memoir from the present day perspective of Witch Girl, a nickname bestowed on the author as a bewitching 17 year old in the Royal George hotel in the early sixties.
Witch Girl is both the heroine and narrator of the book which provides numerous frank, funny and fearless observations and sketches about people as diverse as: Cec Abbott (once head of the NSW Drug Squad); Premiers Nick Greiner and John Fahey; Supreme Court Chief Justice Murray Gleeson; feminist Eva Cox; radical trad, the Rev. Harry Herbert; and a vast array of eccentric Push characters and ex-lovers, as well as state government ministers, left wing unionists, prominent welfare advocates and some alternative life-stylers.
This is a many layered book. The author cunningly disguises what is essentially a philosophical treatise as a story of sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll and more sex, told in a charmingly frank, no-holds barred style. You will not get any looking down the nose in this tale. What you do get are the big questions, seriously considered, with answers so well pulled together it will leave an indelible impression as well as a way of finding your way through the most complex questions of right and wrong.
There is plenty of reference to sex in the book, but there are no sex scenes.
|PART 1: THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN|
|Chapter 1: Push ideology and sexual liberation||1|
|Chapter 2: Push women||16|
|Chapter 3: Romance and the gambling push||45|
|Chapter 4: Push houses, pubs and parties||69|
|Chapter 5: Wild, wild young men||106|
|Chapter 6: Growing up||130|
|PART 2: A NICE NEW GAME FOR GROWN UPS|
|Chapter 7: All care and no responsibility||153|
|Chapter 8: The boss’s job||183|
|PART 3: THE GAME’S NOT OVER TILL THE FAT LADY SINGS|
|Chapter 9: No Push in the bush||220|
|Chapter 10: Witch Girl and the Push today||251|
|Chapter 11: And today – a postscript||276|
|Glossary of Push slang||286|
|Selected reference material|
|Books and articles||289|
|Poems and songs||292|
|Index of names||295|
|Index of photographs and maps||305|