photo gallery



travel tales

gig guide

video clips




Singer, songwriter and guitarist, Carl Cleves, would, even as a child, entertain his siblings and schoolmates with his vivid imagination and captivating stories. After many requests from his friends and fans, Carl decided to write a book.

TARAB narrates the adventures and quests, wanderings and narrow escapes, mishaps and illuminations of guitar-toting troubadour and songwriter Carl Cleves in his many roles as young beat poet, law student, single father, journalist and ethnomusicologist, inmate of hospitals, relief worker in cyclone-struck India, antelope trapper in Uganda, encyclopedia salesman in Bangkok, band leader and recording star in Brazil.

This memoir runs over three decades and includes quests with his "she was not a screamer" partner Beatrice, during the revolutionary independence years of the late sixties in Africa and on the hippy/ spiritual trail in India in the seventies; escapades with his young son Tashi during the eighties in South America and North Africa; tales of calamities and survival set in the interior of Brazil, the Himalayas and recently, on the east coast of Australia.

Click on the title to read one of Carl's stories:

"From the Valley of the Moon to Coroico
Through the mighty magic jungle
The Altiplano in the snow
The crack of dawn the truck will go."

(from "To Coroico", words and music by Carl Cleves)


Carl's book 'Tarab - Travels with my guitar' is available in all good bookshops in Australia and New Zealand from July 1 2008 or on line through Transit Lounge Publishing or Boomerang Books

'Tarab - travels with my guitar' will be launched at the Byron Writers Festival on FRIDAY 25 JULY 3.30PM at the Lakehouse, Byron Bay Beach Resort, Bay Shore Drive and in Melbourne at Readings, 309 Lygon St, Carlton on TUESDAY 29 JULY at 6.30PM. It is a free event. Friends and fans are welcome.

Read more


As a child of devout Catholics I prayed at the open window of my bedroom that Peter Pan would come and whisk me away to a magical jungle in a snow-peaked mountain range. The Belgian comic strip hero Tintin, or Kuifje as he was called in my native Flemish, was my saint. Intrepid, courageous, optimistic, pure of heart, loyal, caring of his dog Milou, Tintin travelled the world.

In many places I saw his footprints: in the streets of Kathmandu, in Balkan villages, in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and the bazaars of Arabia. "The Temple of the Sun" was my favourite book. Set in the heart of South America, it told the story of an unswerving quest to rescue a friend, an amazing journey across snow-capped mountain peaks and raging streams, beneath towering rainforests, amongst the remnants of the Inca Empire and the downtrodden Indians who populate present-day Peru and Bolivia.

My prayer was about to be answered.