An Open Letter (yes, another one)

My friends, I always start blogs with the best intentions to keep them going but, as always happens, I got distracted and I haven’t added to this blog in a long, long time. I feel incredibly guilty about this so I’m giving it a kick in the guts again and getting back in to the swing of things by joining in on a growing obsession amongst internet-dwellers, The Open Letter. Everyone’s writing and publishing these ‘open letters’ whether we care about what they have to say or not, and I don’t care, so I’m doing one too.

The following is an open letter to my friend, Josh.

Dear Goulies,

Long time, ey? How’s the Toyota? I heard you bought a new turbo for it, hopefully this one doesn’t make that farting noise whenever the wastegate shuts. I hope you’re still taking heaps of photos as well. Bought any cool new (old) gear lately?

I’ve been doing well, the training has been really tough but I’m still enjoying it. A funny thing happened yesterday, I was in the middle of a simulator run and one of the aircraft on the ground magically moved from one parking spot to another at about a hundred miles an hour. Assuming it was just being towed there, I said “Wow, that’s the quickest tug-job I’ve ever seen!”. The other guys and the instructor all fell over laughing, it took me about five minutes to realise what I had said. You should have been there.

I’m not sure when I’ll be back in Canberra next but hopefully I’ll catch you before the end of the year. You should come and visit some time before I leave Melbourne, though. We’ll have another big night out in the big smoke like we did that time in Sydney. Not that I remember much of that one.

Give the Roller-Colester my best wishes for the last few weeks of uni and send my love to your folks.


11th October 2013

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Koala Kloud

I got back to Canberra from Thredbo Blues Festival at midnight on Sunday night (a post about the festival coming in the next few days when I get a bit more time). Unfortunately I had to get back to Melbourne on the first flight of the day on Monday at 6:30am to get to class, so with four hours sleep behind me and six hours of class ahead of me, I was pretty much hating life until I looked out the window and was reminded why I love clouds so much – you never know what you’ll find. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.


Posted in Aviation World, Just a Passenger | 1 Comment

That’ll do, Pig. That’ll do.

It took a few days for the weather and Christmas to pass but I eventually got to do my commercial flight test on Friday the 28th of December.

I passed.

Graham, Jonno, FWK
My testing officer, Graham and I in front of VH-FWK

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The Final Countdown

How many blog posts in the history of blogs do you think have been given the title ‘The Final Countdown’? I am tipping more than three.

Anyway, this week I am counting down to so many things but the big cajone is my final commercial pilot flight test which I have booked for this weekend. For those who don’t know what this involves, let me try and explain it briefly. Once a pilot has completed all seven of the commercial pilot computer based exams, logged the minimum flying hours required (200 hours total flying time including some other particular minimum requirements) and has been recommended for a test by their chief flying instructor then they must have a final commercial pilot flight test. This process involves two main parts. The first part is the ground component in which you are questioned and examined on your knowledge of all things relating to being a commercial pilot and the aircraft you are flying in your test then there is the flying component where you basically conduct a psuedo charter flight in which everything that could possibly go wrong, goes wrong. This part of the test has to involve at least three hours of flying. Obviously, it’s a long day. But I’ve been lucky enough that in my haste to finish my commercial license before I start air traffic control training, I have managed to be squeezed into my testing officer’s schedule between his other students and my test will be done over Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

So, wish me luck this weekend as I put everything I’ve got into this test, the result of three years of hard work and countless thousands of dollars. Just quietly, I’m shitting myself.

Super Exciting Countdowns!
10 Mins until I go and pick up my new guitar
7 Hrs until my farewell gig at the National Press Club
2 Days until my CPL flight test
5 Days until Christmas
12 Days until the new year
15 Days
until I move to Melbourne
18 Days
until I start my Air Traffic Control course

VH-FWK, a Beech Super Muskateer. The chariot I will be doing my CPL test in.

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All Aboard!

January 2013 will see my return to the Legendary Blues Train in Queenscliff, Vic. It’s been about five years since I last played the train and it’s where the famous Bigger, Better, Zilber ‘pointing’ photo came from, so it was about time I went back. For the uninitiated, the Blues Train is exactly what the name suggests, a train with blues music, but it’s so much more than that. Basically, there’s a big ol’ locomotive, four carriages, four acts, two hundred people, food, drinks and a great night out.

The evening starts with the local legend Hugo Armstrong giving you a run down of how it all works, followed by dinner at the Queenscliff station (included in the price of the ticket, vegetarian and gluten free options available), then grab some drinks from the bar, hop on board and away you go up north. The train stops at Suma Park homestead and winery then Drysdale where you turn around and come back, stopping at Suma Park again on the way back. Everyone swaps carriages at each stop so by the end of the night, you’ve seen all four of the bands.

Discount Promo Tickets!!
Tickets generally start at $95 BUT check this out – I can offer you a special discounted rate of $89.20. All you’ve got to do is book a ticket on a date that I’m playing (listed below) online or over the phone with Ticketek and simply type or quote the super secret password ‘ZILBER’ and they’ll hook you up with the goods.

Jonno Zilber Blues Train Dates 2013
Feb 16 – with Blue Eyes Cry, Shane Pacey Trio and Jimi Hocking’s Blues Machine
Mar 2 – with George Kamikawa & Noriko Tadano (as seen on Australia’s Got Talent), Jimi Hocking’s Blues Machine and Diana Wolfe & The Black Sheep
Mar 9 – with Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk, Blue Eyes Cry and Louis King
Apr 20 – with John McNamara, The Detonators and The Andrea Marr Band

Visit for more details and ticket and accomodation info, and if I still haven’t convinced you, here’s a video of the shenanigans…

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Freedom! (…and Upcoming Gigs)

Well, I worked my last shift on the ramp at Canberra Airport today. I signed off at 9:30am and with a handshake from a few of my colleagues and my bosses I was out of there at 9:31am. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have finished that rather dull chapter of my life. Yes, I met and worked with some great people and got to play with big aeroplanes for five months (and learned a lot of new naughty words) but if I never have to see the inside of an airport bag room again, it’ll be too soon. Time to move on to something a little more challenging.

So from now until January 7th, I’m back to being an out of work professional musician – something I am very familiar and comfortable with. In the next four weeks I will finish my commercial pilot license in Merimbula, play two farewell gigs in Canberra, move to Melbourne (my seventh move in three years) and Christmas is tucked away in there somewhere too.

I’ll keep you updated on everything but for now, hope to see you at one of the shows.


Wait!! Did you say farewell gigs?!

Sunday, 16th December – Canberra Blues Society Jam
– Statesman Hotel, Theodore St, Curtin.
– 1pm start.
– $3 Members ($5 non-members)
The last monthly CBS jam for the year, also the last one at the Statesman Hotel before moving to the Harmonie German Club next year. I will be hosting with Leo Joseph on keys, Tom Fell on sax, Phil Jenkins on Bass and Mitch Preston on drums.

Thursday, 20th December – National Press Club of Australia
– National Cct, Barton ACT
– 7pm – late
I will be hosting the Press Club Christmas party once again to wrap up another bumper year of live music at the best music venue in Canberra. This will be my big farewell do and is going to feature a tonne of special guests including the reformation of my 8-piece Zilberfish Little Big Band. Don’t miss it!!

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I’m Not A Jealous Man – The Video Clip

Well today I finally got around to putting together a film clip for my favourite song from my new album, so here it is, I’m Not A Jealous Man.

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