“My heart ached for weeks”: Osher Günsberg on losing a bass guitar and buying glasses | Australian way of life
YesYou may know Osher Günsberg as the host of The Bachelor franchise, but this weekend he’ll be back on screen with a very different schedule. Osher Günsberg: A Matter of Life and Death, premiering at 8:30 p.m. Sunday on SBS, explores the suicide crisis in Australia. It is a subject of personal importance to the television personality.
Günsberg experienced his own battle with anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation, which he will reflect on in this feature documentary. Outside of television, Günsberg has also devoted himself to mental health issues, serving on the board of the charity Sane Australia and hosting the Better Than Yesterday podcast, a weekly conversation that aims to uplift listeners.
Being in front of the camera is part of his job, but in his spare time Günsberg likes to go behind the lens. He is an avid photographer and considers a vintage camera to be his most precious possession. Here he tells us the story of this discovery of the “Holy Grail” and talks about two other important goods.
What I would save from my house in a fire
In the mid-2000s, I came across a rare find: the Hasselblad Xpan with a 30mm lens. This is one of the real “Holy Grail” cameras; it was the first camera to give the 16: 9 aspect ratio on ordinary 35mm film. In these times when incredible digital photography is at hand on our phones, it’s easy to forget that a large area of film was required to achieve a panoramic image before the images were stitched together by AI.
This camera has been with me all over the world and vice versa. This is the most remarkable travel camera you can own, in my opinion. The film format gives every frame that true cinematic quality, allowing you to capture all the action and excitement of a moment better than any other camera.
When you look through the viewfinder you are forced to compose an image in a way that would make you imagine you are Kubrick or Kurosawa. While you might not get that incredible visual storytelling from these masters, it’s hard to take a bad frame with this.
My most useful item
My glasses. In my mid-thirties, I noticed [my vision changing]. After a while of living in denial – increasing the font size on my devices to a point that looked like the automatic prompts I use in a TV studio – I had to come to terms with my new reality. When it came to shopping for groceries and stuff, in order to read labels to verify they were vegan, I was going to need magnification attached to my face.
I initially stumbled into the den of mall eyewear franchises before digging a little deeper and discovering the whole thing is pretty close to a racket, with almost every frame set made by the same company.
A buddy of mine got his health insurance billed $ 800 for a bunch of readers – that’s just fucking the fuck up. So I found a company called Dresden here in Australia that makes frames and lenses. In fact, the glasses I wear are made in Sydney from recycled beer keg caps, milk bottle lids and the like. I know I’m in the Guardian, but this level of virtue signaling even makes me sick. Sorry.
The article I most regret losing
A 1973 Maton JB4 fretless bass guitar. In the early 90s I worked as a roadie five nights a week, went to music school during the day and saved every dollar to buy this amazing instrument, which was great. out of my price range as a hungry student musician.
Do you know that feeling when you test a pen at the newsagent and your hand writes better because of the weight and feel of the pen in your hand? Multiply that by about a million and that’s the effect a beautiful instrument can have on your playing.
Sure, your fingers should do the right thing, but some instruments are great when you hold them and transform your abilities just by being there. It just cried in grief when you played it.
The guitar was stolen from a loading dock after a concert at the now demolished Woolloongabba Hotel in 1994. I felt sick to my stomach for weeks after it disappeared. I mourned the loss of this instrument as I mourned the loss of a loved one. I know it’s somewhere out there – the serial number was S93 if you’re wondering – and I’ve read stories of people reunited with stolen guitars years later. So I am sure that one day I will play this beautiful weeping wood again.