Tuesday, 14 July 2020


Sidewinder was a rock band formed in Melbourne in 1976 by David Castles and Richard Lee.The two had previously played together in a band called Isaac Aaron in the early 70s. Originally intended to be a blues revival band, Lee's classic violin training allowed an eclectic mix of blues, hard rock and classical influences. Members came and went, but soon  after Ashley Buckle joined and the nucleus of the musical form was set. Lee and Buckle co-operated on writing songs. Castles stopped playing guitar and became the frontman/singer. With Greg Pope on bass and Michael Buckingham on drums, gigs consisted mostly of small inner Melbourne pubs using bluesy riffs as the core. In 1978 Wayne Young replaced Buckingham on drums and the form became closer to the heavy-driving "pub rock" sound that marked the rock genre of the late 70s.

Sidewinder toured widely in Australia, playing in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth and many regional centers. They attracted a loyal band of followers, especially in hometown Melbourne. Due to the heavy touring commitments and a failure to secure a recording contract, Lee left to form another band with the same name. New members were Chris Barker, Rick Rankin, Tony Thornton and Steve Walsh. Lee disbanded this group soon after, following an offer to join Dragon (minus Marc Hunter). Although no Sidewinder album was released, recordings were made at EMI in Sydney and four track recordings of a number of live performances. Another unrelated Australian band called Sidewinder was formed in Canberra in 1991 by brothers Nick and Martin Craft.


Richard Lee (violin), David Castles (vocals), Ashley Buckle (guitar), Greg Pope (bass), 
Michael Buckingham (drums), Wayne Young (drums), Chris Barker (bass), Rick Rankin (guitar),
Tony Thornton (drums), Steve Walsh


Who's Who of Australian Rock and Roll by Chris Spencer

Friday, 3 July 2020


Brian Mooney was born in Peak Hill, NSW in 1930. As the youngest boy of an Irish family living in Hay NSW and later in Sydney he was deeply influenced by the stories and songs by his Dublin born mother. During the years he worked in QLD and sang for his work mates in the pubs, his experiences as a cane cutter and fruit packer gave added meaning to his songs of the working man while his continued involvement in and increasing knowledge of Irish history and folk stories gave a depth of his understanding of the Irish songs he loves.

Mooney taught himself the guitar in his late 20s and his full time singing started in the late 50s. He cut his first album 'Moreton Bay (And Other Songs, Mainly Of Convict Origin)' in 1960 with other folkies, Martyn Wyndham-Read and David Lumsden. In 1965 a second album followed, 'Will Ye Go Lassie Go?' with Glen Tomasetti and Martyn Wyndham-Read. His third album, this being a solo effort was titled 'Brian Mooney Sings Irish Songs' and was released soon after.

In 1965, he travelled to Ireland and stayed twenty-one years in Galway, where he married and raised a family of four sons. During this time, he had a number of successful exhibitions as an artist in Galway, and toured Europe and England on eleven occasions singing and playing folk and traditional songs. Since returning to Australia in 1986 , he has had shows in Melbourne and Tasmania and has recently been invited by the Galway Arts Centre, to exhibit his Irish and Australian paintings during the prestigious Galway Arts Festival. 

Thursday, 18 June 2020


Short-lived Melbourne band Quinn, was formed in 1969 by Mike Edwards and Ross Hannaford after Party Machine broke up when Ross Wilson went to on join Procession in the UK. Recruiting Barry Windley (ex Chessman and Cherokees) on drums and Steve Edwards on bass they were managed by David Flint of Thumping Tum fame. Together for about 18 months they gigged around Melbourne and appeared on all the usual pop TV shows. Their only release was a cover of Bob Dylan's “Mighty Quinn” on the Festival label which was also an Australian hit for British band Manfred Mann ((#8 on the national chart). They disbanded when Wilson returned to Australia and recruited Hannaford to form Daddy Cool. Ross Hannaford died on 8 March 2016 aged 65 from cancer; he had been diagnosed with the condition a year earlier.


Mike Edwards (guitar/trumpet/sax/flute/vocals), Steve Edwards (bass),
Ross Hannaford (guitar/vocals), Barry Windley (drums)


Steve Edwards

Wednesday, 3 June 2020


Roger Bell 1919 - 2008  the younger of the two Bell brothers spearheaded the post-war resurgence of improvised jazz in Australia. A gifted and virtually self-taught player and inimitable vocalist, his bright driving but melodic and lyrical trumpet lead was much of the striking sound that characterised the Graeme Bell Band from the forties onwards playing at major dance venues such as the Heidelberg Town Hall and the Palais Royale at the Exhibition Buildings. All this was consolidated by the first commercial recordings of the band by EMI in 1947.

The band went to Prague in 1947 to the World Youth Festival, sponsored by the Eureka Youth League, whose hall in North Melbourne they used as a weekly night club, The Uptown Club. By their return in 1948 they were widely known in Europe and had sparked a jazz-for-dancing movement in the UK. Roger’s infectious playing and singing were very much part of the success of the tour. A three-month ABC tour of all states consolidated the band’s reputation. They again visited Europe and the UK in October 1950.

After the core band broke up in 1952 Roger played lead trumpet in popular jazz groups such as Frank Traynor’s Jazz Preachers, Max Collie, The Melbourne Jazz Club house band and with his own group The Pagan Pipers. He continued to make recordings, particularly with the latter, and played at many festivals. He recorded and released albums on the W&G and Swaggie labels during the 60s. He again visited Europe in 1971 and 1981, playing with old friends such as Humphrey Lyttelton and Claude Luter in Paris. He died in Melbourne in 2008 aged 89.



Monday, 18 May 2020


Peter Wright hailed from Toowoomba and his musical talent was first noticed when Col Joye recorded one of his songs written with Ian Jamieson, ''Please Give It A Chance'' in 1962. A year later Brisbane TV producer Nat Kipner heard a demo tape of Peter Wright's songs and following an audition Wright was engaged as a regular on Brisbane TV.

His first recording was made in 1964. The disc made some regional charts but more importantly he came to the attention of label EMI who signed him to a recording contract. From 1964 to 1967 he based himself in Sydney working hotels and clubs. It was during this time he recorded ''The Rose And A Thorn'' which received enthusiastic airplay in the capital cities. As a consequence there were many TV appearances including Saturday Date, 10 On The Town and Be Our Guest. ''The Rose Has A Thorn'' was released again in 2005 on the EMI Compilation, 'Memories Are Made Of This - 60 Solid Gold Hits'.  

Signing to the Festival label Peter’s first release was a self-penned track called ''House Of Bamboo'' once again a success in Sydney, making both the 2UE chart and Ward ‘Pally’ Austin’s Top 30 on 2UW, where it reached # 3. Top-flight band The Questions, hit-makers in their own right (and later to become Doug Parkinson In Focus), backed Peter on these recordings. ''House Of Bamboo'' was released again on the 2004 compilation 'Peculiar Hole In The Sky'.

After one more single for Festival he decided to return to Toowoomba where he opened a recording studio. In the 70s he formed The Peter Wright Revival which toured Australia extensively and became the opening act for Johnny O'Keefe on many of his shows. Later in the 70s he became a solo performer recording albums and singles on the M7, Cam and Sundown labels. Peter Wright died in 2014.



Thursday, 7 May 2020


Declan James Affley (8 September 1939 – 27 June 1985) was an Australian folk singer and musician.
Affley was born in Cardiff, Wales, to working-class Catholic parents of Irish descent. As a child, he learned to play the clarinet and picked up some Irish songs from his father. At age 16, he joined the British Merchant Navy and travelled to Japan and Australia, where he jumped ship in 1959 to find work on coastal ships based in Sydney. At a harbourside pub, the Royal George, he discovered the Sydney Push and joined its folksinging scene, which had links with other establishments in Melbourne.

Affley became a regular performer at the Troubadour Coffee Lounge in Sydney and later at Frank Traynor's Folk Club, Melbourne, leading to appearances at many other venues and folk festivals. Affley participated as a singer in an award-winning ABC television documentary, `The Restless Years’ (1966), which presented Australian history through songs, stories and poetry. In 1972 he accompanied Peter O’Shaughnessy and Marian Henderson to Ireland to perform a dramatised stage version at the Dublin Theatre Festival. He also played small parts in several films including Peter Weir's The Last Wave, and Richard Lowenstein's Strikebound, of which he was musical director. He recorded two albums, 'The Rake And Rambling Man' with Mike Ball in 1967 and 'The Day The Pub Burned Down' in 1970.

He married Colleen Zeita Burke in Melbourne on 11 December 1967. A son and a daughter were born from the marriage. Affley was well known as a singer of traditional songs such as "Carrickfergus" as well as performing the work of contemporary songwriters including John Dengate, Don Henderson and Harry Robertson. He died suddenly at the age of 45 from a dissecting aneurysm of the aorta.



Friday, 24 April 2020


The Jackson Kings morphed out of a band called The Castaways in 1965 playing R&B covers. Signed to CBS they recorded two singles "Watch Your Step" and Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" in 1966. The band gigged around Melbourne appearing at top venues like The Thumpin' Tum and Garrison. Later that year they disbanded with Brian Cadd and Ronnie Charles joining The Groop.


Carl Bennett (vocals), Chas Brown (guitar), Brian Cadd (keyboards, vocals), 
Ronnie Charles (vocals), Neville Ray (bass), Bill Turgeon (drums)

Tuesday, 21 April 2020


Born in the small town of Taralga near Goulburn in 1942, the Terry Gordon story began at age five when his dad took him to see the Tex Morton Wild West Show which passed through the town. It was enough to set the wild-eyed youngster on a determined, unswerving ambition to become a country music star. By age 16, he was already playing guitar in a band and in his early 20s, he was a solo performer on the Sydney club circuit. Since beginning his recording career, he has released more than 25 CDs.

Terry learned his stage craft touring with the Seekers, Tom T Hall, Slim Dusty, Col Elliott, Normie Rowe, Jade Hurley and Wally the Worker to name just some. His TV experience extends from Bandstand, Six O’clock Rock through to morning/midday shows, late night variety programs and his own nightly television show out of Tamworth “Must Be Country”. In 1995 Terry was invited to appear at the Hodag Country Music Festival in Wisconsin, USA along with Willie Nelson, Clint Black, George Jones, Bobby Bare and a host of American country music legends.

Terry was awarded Country Music Entertainer Of The Year in 1995 and in 2002 given Australia’s Living Legend Award. In 2005 he received an OAM for services to the entertainment industry and in 2012 he was awarded the Entertainers Roll of Renown. 

Friday, 10 April 2020


The Epics rose out of The Statesmen who recorded two of their own singles for HMV, "Beach Comber" (1963) and "Slow Stompin'" (1964). The Statesman also recorded with Roland Storm. In 1964, drummer Mark Rigney left and Billy Green (aka Wil Greenstreet) joined on guitar as the group became Roland Storm and The Epics and recorded a single, "Zip a Dee Doo Dah" (1964). When Storm left they became simply known as The Epics and released their own singles, "Caravan" (September 1964) and "Too Late" (June 1965). The Epics played many Sydney venues mainly Surf City in Kings Cross. The band also backed QLD singer Peter Wright on his 1965 release ''I Couldn’t Keep Your Heart / Once I Had Love'' on the HMV label. The Epics morphed into The Questions at the end of 1965. Duncan McGuire died in 1989 from lung cancer. Rory Thomas died from cancer in 2010.


Mike Allen (drums), Billy Green (guitar), Duncan McGuire (bass), Rory Thomas (keyboards),
Peter Maxworthy (guitar), Bill Flemming (drums)



Tuesday, 7 April 2020


Dean "Rocky" Page was born at Kadina South Australia on May 10, 1928. Rocky's parents had a mixed farm and in 1932 his father passed away and the family moved to a dairy farm at Wallaroo. Rocky helped with the milking before and after school. Rocky volunteered for all the circuses and travelling concert shows in the hope of getting a ticket to the show. In 1939 his mother moved to Crafers in the Adelaide Hills where Rocky completed his education. Rocky's step father, George Westly, was a talented musician on the accordion and mouth organ and taught Rocky to play these instruments. Rocky was greatly influenced by Wilf Carter, Tex Morton and the Carter Family when he listened to them on the radio. Rocky's first job was delivering meat and mail around the Adelaide Hills on horseback - rain, hail or shine.

It was in the early 1940's that Rocky met radio personality, Uncle Bert Wooley, who gave him a guitar that he brought back from France and taught Rocky to play. Bert was a fine entertainer. Rocky and Bert performed in many shows around Adelaide.In the late 1940's Rocky appeared on many radio stations, Mel Cameron's Radio Canteen 5DN, Bob Fricker's Mountain Music 5AD, The Tivoli Shows and Good Friday Appeals. Rocky made his first custom record in 1947 at 5AD. He also taught music at the Adelaide College of Music.

In 1951 he moved to Berri and continued to teach for the Adelaide College of Music. Every Riverland town and charity organisation benefited by the "Rocky Page School of Music Shows". In 1956 Rocky toured with Stan and Kitty Gill around Australia in their rodeo and circus. At the close of this tour in Melbourne, Rocky met Les Partel and as partners had many joint ventures in show business and recorded as the Whitman Brothers. Rocky appeared on television in Melbourne many times on Channels 9 and 7 and on Radio 3DB. The Rocky Page Show was playing to packed houses everywhere, with top artists, Tex Barnes, Ian Castles, Les Partel, Isobel Denmead and Ken Warne.
In 1957 Rocky had a weekly radio programme that played on 5RM (Berri), 3TR (Sale), 3CV (Maryborough) and 7HT (Hobart).

In 1961 Rocky undertook a two month tour in Tasmania with the Slim Dusty Show and Rocky recorded for Hadley Records in Launceston with Slim, Joy and Barry Thornton backing. The next six years Rocky spent working with Frank Foster on most capital city show grounds with great artists such as Lonnie Lee, Slim Dusty, Chad Morgan, Lionel Long, Johnny Chester, Johnny Devlin, Johnny O'Keefe and Normie Rowe. In early 1967 Rocky performed a lightning tour with the Johnny Young Spectacular. Later that year Rocky joined the Slim Dusty Show for a complete tour of Australia which in Rocky's own words were very happy and exciting times. In 1968 Rocky again toured with Slim and Joy with regular appearances on Reg Lindsay's Country and Western Hour television show in Adelaide.

In 1971 Rocky organised and started the very successful Berri Rodeo. In 1978 Rocky rode a horse to Darwin putting on numerous shows to raise funds for Apex Help A Kid Make It Appeal and raised in excess of $10,000. The rides and shows took some four months to complete. Also in 1978 the first South Australian Country Music Awards were conducted following the Berri Rodeo. Over the next 20 years, Rocky continued to organise and promote the South Australian Country Music Awards and was instrumental in establishing the Festival which is now part of a ten days of Country Music in the Riverland. Rocky's health was not always the best and he died in 1997 after a long battle with Motor Neuron Disease. Rocky won numerous awards over his lifetime culminating with his induction into Tamworth's Roll of Renown in 1998.



Monday, 23 March 2020


After the demise of Ariel in 1977, Mike Rudd moved into promotion and production for a time. He produced the debut album for Newcastle bands Daniel and Jab and demos for Jane Clifton (ex-Melbourne band Stiletto). In 1979 Rudd and ex Ariel band members Bill Putt and Tony Slavich formed Mike Rudd & The Heaters. The band signed to Mushroom Records and issued its debut single, ''Australian Girl'' in early 1980. In May 1980 the band became a four piece with Tony Fossey and Robert Dillon joining. The Heaters played a mix of pub rock and pop and were popular on the Melbourne and Adelaide scene. They toured the country and appeared on Countdown and Hey Hey Its Saturday and played in front of 40,000 people at the Myer Music Bowl for the Mushroom Evolution Concert. The band's debut album, 'The Unrealist , produced three singles, ''I'm an Animal'', ''Laser Love'' and ''Love Comes and Goes''. The records were not successful and The Heaters broke up in June 1982.


Mike Rudd (vocals/harmonica/guitar), Bill Putt (bass), Tony Slavich (keyboards),
Tony Fossey (keyboards), Robert Dillon (drums)



Tuesday, 17 March 2020


The Hergs formed in the mid 60s in Adelaide with the lineup of: Eddy McPherson on vocals, Mike Williams on guitar, Laurie Lehman guitar, Peter Luckins on bass, and Barry Sincock on drums. Landing a deal with EMI they recorded ''Style Of Love/Cadillac'' in 1967.The A side ''Style of Love'' is a great early punk-meets-psychedelia track, written by vocalist Eddy McPherson. The explosive version of ''Cadillac'' on the flip is a cover of Vince Taylor’s ''Brand New Cadillac'' and not written by Chuck Berry as notated on the label. Interestingly though it was the B side that was picked up by Adelaide radio and went Top 10. Mike Williams was replaced by John Thornton before the band ventured east to Melbourne under the management of Darryl Sambell. Unfortunately Sambell was so busy with John Farnham he hand-balled them to Geoff Edelsten.

The Hergs had a constant stream of gigs both in Melbourne and regional Victoria. During their time in Melbourne they recorded two tracks at Armstrong Studios that never saw the light of day because manager Geoff Edelston didn't pay the studio costs. One of those songs ''Three Jolly Dwarfs'' ended up being recorded by Zoot. Another lineup changed occurred when drummer Barry Sincock was drafted to go to Vietnam and was replaced by David Potter. Vocalist Adrian Russell replaced Eddy McPherson by the time of their last live appearance, at the Royal Melbourne Show in September, 1968. Laurie Lehman died in 2008.


Eddy McPherson (vocals), Mike Williams (guitar), Laurie Lehman (guitar),
Peter Luckins (bass), Barry Sincock (drums), David Potter (drums), Adrian Russell (vocals)



18 NOV '67




Friday, 13 March 2020


In the 1980s, Russell Crowe and friend Billy Dean Cochran formed a band, Roman Antix, which later evolved into the Australian rock band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts (abbreviated to TOFOG). Crowe performed lead vocals and guitar for the band, which formed in 1992. The band released 'The Photograph Kills' EP in 1995, as well as three full-length records, 'Gaslight' (1998), 'Bastard Life or Clarity' (2001) and 'Other Ways of Speaking' (2003). In 2000, TOFOG performed shows in London, Los Angeles and the now famous run of shows at Stubbs in Austin, Texas which became a live DVD that was released in 2001, called Texas. In 2001, the band came to the US for major press, radio and TV appearances for the 'Bastard Life or Clarity' release and returned to Stubbs in Austin, Texas to kick off a sold out US tour with dates in Austin, Boulder, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, Hollywood, Philadelphia, New York City and the last show at the famous Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. In early 2005, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts as a group had dissolved with Crowe feeling his future music would take a new direction. 


Garth Adam (bass),  Dean Cochran (guitar),  Russell Crowe (vocals/guitar),  Dave Kelly (drums), Stewart Kirwan (trumpet/flugelhorn),  Dave Wilkins (guitar) 

Mission Beat

8 MAR '04




Wednesday, 4 March 2020


Outline evolved out of funk band Casablanca in around 1978 with Jenny Watson on lead vocals, drummer John Marks, Harry Ladomatos on bass, percussionist Mark Madden, guitarist John Sammers, Alex Lakajev on keyboards, trombonist Mick Mead and trumpeter Phil Rigger. According to the band's Facebook page ''Outline entered the 2JJ band competition in 1978. The heat, we played funk covers…..the semi final - funk covers….the Grand Final - Rock-a-rama - a history of Rock n Roll in 15 minutes complete with makeup, blood capsules and a very Zappa-esque stage set and we won''. 

Managed by future INXS manager Gary Grant, Outline had an 18 month residency at the Bayview Tavern in Gladesville, Sydney packing out the venue every  Friday and Saturday night. Eventually Jenny Watson, John Marks, Harry Ladomatas and Mark Madden quit the band and they became a six piece with Dale Ryan joining on drums, Jeff Barrett on bass and Phil Rigger assuming lead vocal duties. They became a five piece when Mick Mead had a serious motorcycle accident. In 1980 they would enter the recording studio and cut their first single ''Cities''. Produced by Peter Dawkins for the CBS label the single charted nationally at #82 and they gained an appearance on the TV music show Countdown. The band would release more singles, an album, 'Maybe It's A Game' and the seminal urban anthem ''The Cicada (That Ate Five Dock)'', which was voted as one of Triple J’s All Time Hottest 100 songs. Outline would continue to pack out pubs until they disbanded in 1982. Alex Lakajev died in 2012.


Jenny Watson (vocals), Phil Rigger (vocals/trumpet), John Marks (drums), Harry Ladomatos (bass), Mark Madden (percussion),John Sammers (guitar), Alex Lakajev (keyboards),
Mick Mead (trombone), Mark Azzopardi (drums), Jeff Barrett (bass), Doug Coster (keyboards),
Scott Johnson (drums), Dale Ryan (drums)



18 AUG '80



Tuesday, 25 February 2020


Col Millington was born in Melbourne and had a very early introduction to music learning guitar at age 13. Col was inspired by his older brother Gary who was a member of The Saxons and The Crickets (who won the 1965 National Battle Of The Sounds) also inventing Eminar Amplifiers. Millington's involvement with that environment inspired him to get into music as soon as he could. He joined his first group Natures Own in 1968, followed by Midnight Special, The Rondells, Bluestone and Bass Strait. By the time the early 1970's had come around Col had started experimenting and writing his own material and encouraged by such music icons as Johnny Chester he made the decision in 1976 to jump the fence and he defected to Country Music. Colin's music history shows that this was a totally correct decision. His debut album, 'Goin' Back To Country' was released on the Rich River label in 1978. Since that time he has released over 30 albums selling over 100,000 units and winning numerous awards including being a finalist in the Tamworth Golden Guitar Award, a feat he repeated in both 1981 and 1983. 


Rob Greaves Toorak Times

Thursday, 13 February 2020


In 1967 Brian Godden took a job in Noumea playing to the holiday crowds with other members of Sydney band The Grape Escape, though not using that name. ''We played pasadoble and tangos because being a French country they love those sort of tunes. Then we’d play some jazz tunes and then we’d do some rock and roll. We had a good time over there.''

With batteries recharged Brian decided to come back to Australia in 1968 and he quickly found work with folk musician Alex Hood. The two performed as The Prodigal Sons for about a year. In that time they recorded a single, ''The Didgeridoo/The Girl On The Five Dollar Note'', released by Parlophone Australia in 1969 and also did a series of broadcasts for schools.

Monday, 10 February 2020


Robyn Habel is a singer-songwriter who was born and raised in St Louis, USA. She has won a stack of Australian music industry awards, a film industry award and is a Radio Triple J Unearthed song competition winner. Robyn has recorded two solo albums 'Robyn Habel' & 'Red', which were released in Australia, the US, Europe & Asia. Her third CD, ‘Sun Come Shine’, was recorded in 2008 with renowned producer Michael Carpenter of Love Hz Studios Sydney, at the helm.

With over 10 studio albums under her belt, Robyn has recorded with Juju Eyeballs, The Everys, July 14th, The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Jeff Lang, and has supported acts such as Stevie Wonder, Toni Childs, Crowded House and Midnight Oil to name a few. She has been associated with labels such as Polygram, Warner Chappell, Festival, Mushroom, Albert, Larrikin, Round and Greasy Pop. As an electric and double bass player, Robyn has backed artists such as Judith Durham of the Seekers, Matt Monroe, Don Burrows, George Golla, James Morrison, Normie Rowe & Kamahl.

As a film maker Robyn has co-directed/produced/composed the award-winning documentary ‘Little Artists Big Dreams’. In her spare time she lectures in Jazz at the University of Adelaide, drinks beer and eats pizza.



Monday, 3 February 2020


In December 1971 singer Leo de Castro formed Leo de Castro and Friends, also billed as Friends, as a progressive rock group in Melbourne. He was joined by former band mates Mark Kennedy, Rob MacKenzie and Duncan McGuire; and new associates Tim Martin on saxophone and flute, and Charlie Tumahai on vocals and percussion (Healing Force, Chain). MacKenzie left early in the following year with Phil Manning of Chain filling-in until April when both Billy Green and Ray Oliver joined on guitar. Friends had appeared at the inaugural Sunbury Pop Festival in January 1972.

In August 1972 Friends released a single, "B-B-Boogie", which Duncan Kimball of Milesago website felt was a "solid boogie-rock number highlighted by Green and Oliver's dexterous dual guitar work." McFarlane described it as "exceptional hard rock". The track was co-written by de Castro, Kennedy, McGuire and Tumahai. Kimball preferred the B-side, "Freedom Train", which he opined was a "driving, prog-jazz" track that "became their signature tune", it was "one of the best Australian progressive recordings of the '70s." McFarlane noticed that it was a "jubilant jazz-tinged" work.

Tumahai returned to Healing Force in January 1973 and, late that month, Friends appeared at the Sunbury Pop Festival as a six-piece – de Castro, Green, Kennedy, Martin, McGuire and Oliver. Three of their performances "Lucille", "Bird on a Wire" and "La La Song", were recorded for a live 3× LP album, 'Sunbury 1973 – The Great Australian Rock Festival' (April) by various artists on Mushroom Records. A six-track extended play was also issued with one track by Friends. On stage at Sunbury de Castro joined Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls, and Billy Thorpe for an early morning session. Their track, "Help Me" / "Rock Me Baby", was issued on a live album, 'Summer Jam' (November 1973), by the Coloured Balls on the Havoc label.

The studio version of "Lucille" was issued as a single by Friends in February 1973 on Mushroom Records. Soon after Green, Martin and Oliver left and, in April, Ray Burton joined on guitar (Delltones, Executives). In June a four-piece line-up of de Castro, Burton, Kennedy and McGuire performed "Freedom Train" and McGuire's newly written track, "Lady Montego", at one of the final concerts at The Garrison venue. The tracks were issued on the live album, 'Garrison: The Final Blow, Unit 1', by various artists on Mushroom Records. In June Leo de Castro and Friends disbanded when Burton, McGuire & Kennedy all left to form an eponymous trio. The trio added Jimmy Doyle in August and became Ayers Rock, a jazz fusion, progressive rock group, by September. Leo de Castro died in 2019.


Leo de Castro (vocals), Mark Kennedy (drums), Rob MacKenzie (guitar), Duncan McGuire (bass), 
Tim Martin (sax/flute), Charlie Tumahai (vocals/percussion), Phil Manning (guitar),
Billy Green (guitar), Ray Oliver (guitar), Ray Burton (guitar)



Monday, 27 January 2020


Chet Clark was born Peter Clark in England. In the late 40s, he moved with his family to Australia, where, at age 10, he began six years of study in classical piano. At age 16, he moved to Sydney to begin a career as a commercial artist. However, a successful appearance on Australia's Amateur Hour at age 17 proved to be the turning point, and he became a professional musician, using the name Chet Clark.

He began playing with jazz and pop groups in the Sydney area after studying recordings by Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson, George Shearing, and Nat Cole, all major influences. He appeared all over the Sydney area in 1955-57 appearing with many other emerging performers such as Johnny O’Keefe and Barry Crocker. At the same time he performed with top jazz musicians, becoming the first Australian artist to have simultaneous careers in Jazz as well as Pop Rock. 

In 1957 he opened at El Morocco in Brisbane with his trio, and a year and a half later moved to the Surfer's Paradise Hotel on the Gold Coast, where he became nationally known. At this time he also began to make guest television appearances. An engagement at the Embers in Melbourne followed, where he opened for top jazz artists Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, Oscar Peterson and others. Returning to Sydney, he took over the big band at Andre's working with Shirley Bassey, Billy Daniels, Dorothy Dandridge and others.

Also at this time, several of his songs were hits for some of Australia's top recording artists. He was then signed as host on one of Australia's top TV shows, Six O'Clock Rock on ABC Television for a year and a half. He left Australia for California in 1963 where he had a very successful career.



Monday, 20 January 2020


Jazz fusion band Pyramid was formed in 1978. It consisted of musicians, David Hirschfelder (who would later play with the likes of the Little River Band, Dragon and John Farnham's backing band), bassist Jeremy Alsop, drummer David Jones (ex-Crossfire) and session man Bob Venier, who at that time was recognised as one of Australia’s leading trumpet players. In 1981 Alsop was replaced by Roger McLachlan from (ex-Little River Band/Stars). Although the band wasn't around for that long they did achieve cult status which saw them play at the 1983 Montreux Jazz Festival, appear on Don Burrows jazz program 'The Don Burrows Collection' on the ABC and record a self titled album on the East label.


Roger McLachlan (bass), David Jones (drums), David Hirschfelder (keyboards),
Bob Venier (trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion), Jeremy Alsop (bass)

Saturday, 18 January 2020


Sounds Like Chicken (SLC) began in 1999 when Nathanael Kitingan (Nat Kitingan) met Nyall Dawson at Monash University in Melbourne. Nat and Nyall attempted to start an unnamed musical project with Hugh Ogilvy (also from Monash University) featuring Nyall on electric violin, Hugh on guitar and Nat on drums. This trio did not get off the ground and so brothers Joel and Elliot Dawson joined to form Sounds Like Chicken, a ska project taking influences from Voodoo Glow Skulls, The O.C. Supertones, The Insyderz and Five Iron Frenzy. This early lineup was Nyall Dawson (vocals), Nat Kitingan (bass/vocals), Elliot Dawson (drums), Joel Dawson (sax) and Hugh Ogilvy (guitar).

Sounds Like Chicken's first show was at Joel's 21st birthday party in mid-2000. Hugh left the band at the end of 2000 due to other commitments and was replaced by Tom Dowding on guitar. Tom was an extremely accomplished bass player and so Nat decided to swap to playing guitar so that Tom's talent could be fully utilised. The band decided they needed another horn and so after a number of unsuccessful audition attempts, in 2001 Nat met Natalie Parker at university and invited her to a practice. Natalie was initially apprehensive but was eventually convinced by the boys to join the band. During her second practice she was already laying down trumpet tracks on their first demo recording which ended up becoming the band's self-made demo EP, 'Slowly Going the Way of the Chicken'.

Sounds Like Chicken toured interstate for the first time under this lineup in September 2001, playing in Sydney and Canberra and also at the Black Stump Music Festival. In 2002, Tom Dowding departed from Sounds like Chicken to be replaced by Joshua Diemar on bass. It was in this year that Sounds Like Chicken released their first studio EP, 'I Am Gibbon, Hear Me Roar', produced by David Carr (Antiskeptic, Taxiride). The EP gave the band airplay on community radio, Christian radio, and Triple J.
In early 2004, the band were signed to Boomtown Records, a Melbourne-based indie record label distributing through Shock Records and MGM. Deciding that a bigger ensemble was required, Sounds Like Chicken asked long-time friend Dave Powys (ex Staff Discount and Never In Doubt) to join on second guitar, making them a 7-piece band. Dave moved down from Canberra and recorded on the single ''Global Domination'', their first release with Boomtown and distributed through MGM. The single received national airplay and spot airplay on Triple J and was sold out within two months of its limited pressing. It was noted that producer Dave Carr's production was a big step up from previous releases.

It was shortly after this that the band decided it was time to move on and the band was without a bass-player. They were booked in to record an album and so asked if Carlos Echeverria (ex Know Exit and Wishful Thinking) would fill in and record bass for them. Their first full-length album, 'Like a Cannonball to the Ocean Floor' was released late that year through Boomtown, also doing well on the airwaves. The album drew acclaim from reviewers as a "brilliantly released debut album", although the length of 17 tracks drew some criticism. Sounds Like Chicken did a joint national tour with label-mates Wishful Thinking to launch the album. Carlos officially joined shortly after the album's release.

In early 2005 founding member and manager, Elliot Dawson, decided to part ways with the band. Mike "Carcass" Haydon (of Melbourne band The Knockabouts), only 17 at the time, was able to fill the role of drummer. Mike had been a tour roadie for the band for the past three years and so was already well-acquainted with their songs. That year Sounds Like Chicken released the second double-A side single off the album, ''Take a Bullet to the Grave/El Chupanebre'' through Boomtown Records, and completed a national tour over 3 months to launch it.

On 3 November 2006, founding member, Nyall Dawson, announced his decision to depart the band early in 2007. On 18 December 2006 Sounds Like Chicken announced they were calling it a day in a bulletin released on the band's MySpace. The main factors in the breakup was the future departure of Nyall Dawson and other key members of the band, the band stated... "We guess it’s time for some of us to move on. There was other plans for our lives and with the impending departure of some key members, we felt that SLC would simply not be SLC if we went on without them. We all feel at peace about this decision."
Shortly after, the band announced plans for an Australia wide farewell tour to take place in February–March 2007, along with the release of a final limited-edition compilation disk titled 'Death To The Crow' to coincide with the tour. Sounds Like Chicken's final show was held at TLC Bayswater, Victoria on Saturday 17 March 2007.

On 31 March 2014 it was announced on the band's fan-run Facebook page that they were reforming for a once off show on 11 May 2014 as a benefit for Fist2face record store. The show was held at Ding Dong Lounge and featured supports from Antiskeptic, The Ramshackle Army, Best Before, Payoff and more. The show sold out.


Natalie Parker (trumpet/vocals),  Joel Dawson (sax),  Nyall Dawson (trombone/vocals),
Dave Powys (guitar/vocals),  Nat Kitingan (guitar/vocals/bass),  Ben Hobson (bass),
Mike Haydon (drums), Elliot Dawson (drums),  Carlos Echeverria (bass), Josh Diemar (bass),
Joe Ireland (bass),  Tom Dowding (bass), Hugh Ogilvy (guitar)



Thursday, 9 January 2020


The Gadflys were formed in Canberra in the 80s. The band emerged amidst the unlikely yet burgeoning Canberra punk scene, they soon transcended the strictures of punk and ’80s synth pop to develop a unique style. Opting to play acoustic instruments – classical guitar, clarinet and double bass – their sound became less abrasive and more melodic though they still retained the urgency and energy of punk.

Founding members Phil and Mick Moriarty’s dad played clarinet in a band called Clean Living Clive’s Good Time Palace Orchestra. He had a record of Benny Goodman performing “Sing Sing Sing” at Carnegie Hall, with Gene Krupa’s drums pounding away like a runaway freight train, a big influence on the boys. The brothers developed an enthusiasm for the tambourine rhythms and melodic thrills of ’60s Motown. They both admired the straight-shooting singing styles of Iggy Pop and Shane McGowan. Mick coined the term Mongrel Jazz to describe the blend of blues, klezmer, skiffle and cool jazz, underpinned by righteously rootsy grooves, which formed the Gadflys sound over four albums two EPs.

After 15 years of constant touring and gigging, the Gadflys’ fortunes were boosted courtesy of a three-year stint on Paul McDermott’s satirical TV panel show Good News Week. Playing original tunes live to camera, they soon won over a legion of new fans. The GNW gig showcased the instrumental verve of musicians at the top of their game. The band also backed well-known artists Neil Finn, Steve Harley, Glen Tilbrook, Diesel and Yothu Yindi. Recently teaming up with long-time band members Elmo Reid on bass, and Pete Velzen on drums, the Moriarty brothers have recorded the first Gadflys’ album in 19 years, 'Love & Despair'. A single, “Deborah” was released October 2019 .


Peter Velzen (drums), Mick Moriarty (vocals/guitar/double bass),
Phil Moriarty (vocals/clarinet/harmonica), Andy Lewis (bass/piano), Jonathon Nix (bass), 
Peter Kelly (trumpet/percussion), Kathryn Brownhill (violin/piano), Elmo Reid (bass)



Friday, 3 January 2020


Downtime was a metallic hardcore punk band from Sydney. The band formed in 1994 after guitarist and vocalist Billy Hughes left Toe to Toe. He formed the band with drummer Brendan Peace (with whom he had been in King Pest, a post-high school band, back in 1988) and James Meek (who had kicked on from the band Massappeal) on bass. They released their first album 'Lose Yourself' in 1995 followed by 'Tooth And Nail' in 1997. A few lineup changes occurred after the release of their second album until they finished up in 2002. The band appeared on stage with touring international bands such as Suicidal Tendencies, Fu Manchu, SNFU, Sex Pistols, All, Pennywise and Bad Religion. Billy Hughes was killed in a motor vehicle accident in 2011. 


Billy Hughes (vocals / guitar), Brendan Peace (drums), James Meek (bass), Eric Groethe Jr (bass),
Dave Dunn (bass), Percy Ricaud (drums)

Sunday, 22 December 2019


The Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band (MNOJB) formed in 1957. The band became prominent when they commenced playing for promoter Horst Liepolt at the Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Club in St.Kilda during August of the same year. Later that year at the Adelaide Jazz Convention they were voted best New Orleans group in Australia. At Sydney in 1958, Cootamundra in 1959 and in their home town in 1960 the honour was repeated and in addition, the band were chosen to represent New Orleans jazz before an audience of 60,000 at an important History Of Jazz concert given in Melbourne's vast Music Bowl. Jazz record label Swaggie signed them up and they released a number of singles, EP's and albums. The band also held down a successful Saturday residency at the Esquire Club in Glen Iris. In 1961 they provided a much needed shot in the arm on their arrival in the UK. British jazz fans felt traditional jazz had become too commercial for their tastes and the MNOJB was just the right prescription. From September 1961 the band toured extensively in the UK, Ireland, and Germany until disbanding in London in April 1963.


Llew Hird (trombone), Nick Poiltes (clarinet), Willy Watt (banjo), Graham Bennet (drums),
Lou Silverleben (bass), Mookie Herman (bass), Frank Turville (trumpet), Dave Rankin (trombone),
Kevin Shannon (trombone), Charles Powell (trombone)

Saturday, 14 December 2019


In October 1968, a major split took place within the band The Vibrants. Marc Leon, John Hossen and Barry Rogers left with their manager Don La Roche to form a new group called The Graduate. They added Michelle Kennedy from The Laurie Allen Review and drummer Frank Durant. They released their first single in 1969, ''I Just Made Up My Mind/Birds And Bees'' on the Columbia label.  Glenys Hewett replaced Michelle after she returned from Vietnam and Liam Bradley joined on trumpet and vibraphone. The band toured South East Asia in 1970 shortly after the line-up change.

In 1971 David White replaced Barry Rogers on bass and Murray Ellington replaced Liam Bradley. Moving to the Festival label they recorded ''It's Alright/Get It Together'' in 1972. Soon after Brian Fitzgerald and Graeme Fisher replaced John Hossen and Frank Durant. Hossen later turned up in popular Perth band The Troupadors. Judy Condon replaced Glenys Hewett. In 1973 they released their third single ''Riverboat Queen/Icy Fingers'' this time on the RCA label. In the mid 70s Glenys Hewett returned to vocal duties and the band added Jenny Wrenn. The band covered many genre's including rock, blues, jazz, latin and even country and they toured the length and breadth of Australia. The Graduate appeared on TV shows like Happening 72 and they supported Jose Feliciano on his 1973 tour of Australia. Barry Rogers, John Hossen and Frank Durant have since died.


Marc Leon (guitar/vocals), Michelle Kennedy (vocals), John Hossen (sax), Barry Rogers (bass),
Glenys Hewett (vocals), Liam Bradley (piano/trumpet/vibes), Frank Durant (drums),
Judy Condon (vocals),Brian Fitzgerald (keyboards/sax), David White (bass), Graeme Fisher (drums)
Greg Cook (guitar), Murray Ellington (trumpet), Mike Anderson (drums), David Dunn (drums)
Eddie Podgeronick (bass), Keith Van Heysel (keyboards), Jenny Wrenn (vocals)