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The Correspondence page
I've been getting so many interesting e-mails of late, it seems a shame not to share at least some of them with you. So, now we have a correspondence page. I'll only print the most complimentary, the most abusive, or the most bizarre, (and the occasional lame one from somebody famous), so knock yourselves out. Scroll down for some famous Xmas greetings, raves on Spectrum records of all vintages and some nice things on the website itself. (The most recent offerings are at the top)

The Guitar Horror page
There was an item in Stop Press earlier in 2005 featuring correspondence about one or two of my old guitars that have since moved on or are deceased. It seems to be an ongoing saga, so you guitar afficienados should make an effort to check out the Guitar Horror page

 

Book Spectrum - read the Peter de Groot review

 

Stephen Scott waxes lyrical after steamy SA gig..
The heat was on during our recent SA tour with Matt Taylor's Chain

It was great to meet you, and to hear some of those songs again…especially my personal Spectrum favourite, The Sideways Saga, as well as the Murtceps tunes. Seeing you guys up their with Matt and Chain was a highlight, and I know many in the audience were equally delighted. Didn’t see any CD’s though. Perhaps it was the heat…
I’ll put some video on Facebook for Warwick to see. He may become a fan…
Sometimes I like to write silly rhymes…this one dedicated to Spectrum, and all your fellow warriors of the 70’s and beyond.

How many years it has been since we last heard those chords
In the heat and the crush of your worshiping hordes
In pubs and clubs, and under the great southern sun
Your tunes were our joy; with you we were one
Decades passed quickly, our time on the move
It just got too hard to remain in the groove
We made way for disco and glamorous kings
Giddy love anthems sung by pretty young things
We grew wise, we grew sensible, then we grew grey
But that majestic music aged not one single day
We place the needle on vinyl and relive the times
Discos and parties, dressed to the nines
We drift back to our past, when life was a blast
When your music was loud and the future was vast
We connected, we related, by your words unbound
From a world turning sour; it was more than just sound
It was binding and aligning with those of our kind
Through the gift of your talent they were easy to find
They stood next to me as you played on the stage
The sound of your songs now the sound of that age
And you still play on when our time is not long
Soon to be summonsed to sing the last song
As the reaper drags me kicking towards death’s morbid doors
I hope you wont mind if I go singing yours…

Stephen Scott (SA) 24.2.15

 

What was that again..?
Nije shares some thoughts on failing hearing..

Your observation about hearing aids and devices is of great interest. This is something that has become a point of discussion and scrutiny in the High End Hi Fi industry. Many of us are involved in the business of selling, playing with and listening to the world’s finest state of the art audio componentry. It is always worth $thousands and more frequently $tens and $hundreds of thousands as we strive to recreate recorded music as perfectly as possible.
Inevitably the greatest proportion of traditional audiophiles willing to invest in this equipment are predominantly male and of an age where they can remember when there was only one form of cricket and were quite able to produce flowing running writing using a pen with a knib and ink in an ink well accompanied by blotting paper.
Blokes of our age who are, as you say, requesting that their partners repeat everything 3 times.
One of the concerns of this group is the ability to listen to $50k - $100k loudspeakers driven by magnificent $$20k - $50k amplifiers through hearing aids that sound like shite.
Plenty of potential for future work to be done by our smart young consumer electronics designers and technicians to make the ultimate High End audiophile hearing aid

Former Ariel drummer, Nigel Macara 16.1.15

 

The answer to everything..
a response to the Quo Vadis P&W (May 2014)


Dear Friend,
Firstly, there is no such thing as 'universal.' This is an archaic term, once used to denote everything in the world. Monsewer Gatezz would like to own or control, it, enough said.
Secondly, perhaps the correct term is "Cosmos" or "Cosmic." Some erudite entities might consider the term "Cosmologic or Cosmologically" or even worse "Astro-."
Third, there be already a "Cosmic language," this arrr me hearties is Beer or to use another term alcohol, arrr.
Fourth, it is a known constant, the most prevalent molecule in "The Cosmos," is "Alcohol."
Fifth, If there was no beer their would be no civilisation, no pyramids, no great wall, no relief from the media, who most certainly arrr high on their own astro-gender, as it were.
Sixth, As an adjunct there might not even be any "Pink Floyd."
Your humble servant,

The Mahatma of the Cosmos. 20.5.14

 

A painful commission from Laurie..

I was intrigued by your recent recount of you visit to the proctologist. (I love that word. Can you please put it in a new song ?.....what would rhyme with that ?) Now I hope you asked him to use two fingers. It doesn't hurt to get a second opinion !!! Oh wait.....maybe in this case it would.
You know, never in my wildest dreams, would I have thought at 18, I would one day be listening to Mike Rudd discussing a rectal examination. It just goes to show that life is best understood back to front, but we have to live it front to back. Anyhow, please keep us all informed about the state of your prostate (pictures will help), and if you are at all interested, I can let you know about mine, and the doctor with very short fingers.
Your Bum bling correspondent

Laurie Tunnicliffe 20.4.14

 

Rock & Roll Scars passes the longevity test..

For the 1 millionth time I am listening to Rock and Roll Scars, and I regard this as one of the great albums from a band, not only Australian, but anywhere. The production and engineering are absolutely fantastic. The music, unique, and wonderful. I worked at EMI Studios in Sydney in the 70's, listened to this album, always, and I am always amazed that this does not get the recognition it deserves. I actually had the privilege of working some gigs where you performed (sound mixing and general roadie work) and the memory of Ariel is ever present. I did a bit of work for Sherbet and thought Harvey was a legend, but it his work on Rock and Roll Scars that shows how good he really was. Bill Putt, such a beautiful bass player, and you, a great song writer, with an amazing guitar style that is so unique, something that all guitarists aspire to, uniqueness. I bump into Nigel Macara every now and then and reminisce, "no you did not write that song, but perhaps wish you had", although a bit MOR for you, about the great days of Aussie rock in the 70's...
Anyway, just words of appreciation from a long time fan. I use the drum sound at the beginning of "I'll be Gone" to test speakers and amps, because it is such a great sound. On day I would love to know how you came up with your chord progressions.
Again, so unique, so you, and I try to work them out but can never capture the same bite that you get. Thanks for your contribution to Australian music.

David Carey 10.4.14

 

Glenn's Disco Dilemma partially resolved

Hi Mike,
We had another enjoyable night at the Vesbar on Saturday night with you guys. As opposed to your first gig there this set was much more blues oriented which was good. We had hoped to hear Red Hot Momma and Heidy Ho (?) but with such a large catalogue of tunes it must be nice to mix it up.
As promised, here are the photos I took of you and Ariel at Dallas Brooks Hall back in 1977. I borrowed my dad’s Voigtlander camera and snapped a few at the gig. I also have some of the support band but I can’t recall who they were. I was surprised that I actually found them as I thought they would be loose in one of my many old photo packs. They had in fact been placed ‘properly’ in an album!
I always thought that they were taken at the farewell concert but in looking at the shots on the Aloha and More From before LP’s this can’t be the case. Perhaps it was during the Goodnight Fiona album tour.
Anyway, hope you enjoy them. I wish they were a bit clearer but for an amateur 15 year old using a ‘proper’ camera they’re probably not too bad.
All the best, hope to see you at the Vesbar again sometime in the future.

Glenn Lamb 13.1.14

 

The Caravan Club with Ross Wilson

Hi Mike
Great show on Sunday. It was great to hear you out front of Ross Wilson's band - the sound was fantastic as was the song selection. The blues numbers featuring Ross Wilson were outstanding - great to hear you exchanging guitar licks with Eric McCusker. Thoroughly enjoyed hearing The Party Machine numbers played live - hope you get another opportunity to do a similar show with Ross in the future. Also admired your shoe selection - I had been to Rivers during the week and just happened to be wearing my red boat shoes! I'm sure if there were more men in the world wearing red shoes the world would be a less confusing and more harmonious place! All the best!

Andrew Smith Krome Plated Yabby Show 99.3FM 3NRG Sunbury 6.11.13

 

A former Lost Soul reminisces..

I offer my condolences to you and Bill’s loved ones over his recent untimely death.
I was genuinely shocked and upset when I heard the news… all my old memories of him really came flooding back. A few I would like to share with you I hope you will find interesting.
I met Bill in grade 5 at the Springvale primary school. For some reason we clicked and became best friends… we did all those things that 11 year olds do with their best mates.. riding bikes, playing footy (yes Bill did play a couple of game) etc.
Somehow we decided it would be a good idea to learn to play the guitar, so our families bought us a cheap acoustic guitar each and we started lessons at the Victorian Banjo club in Oakleigh.
It was initially a struggle but we persevered and we got a few chords under our belt. The VBC put on a talent quest so Bill and I decided to enter as a duo. We learnt an old Johnny Horton song, “The Mansion you stole”. We picked the one because it was on the B side of the “North to Alaska” 45 that Bill had and it was slow enough that our chord changes would not be too diabolical.
We actually won that talent quest and a couple of others with that song.
I can proudly say that I was there for Bill’s first public appearances.
We both went to the Noble Park Technical school and hung out for a couple of years (still learning those ratty old guitars) until Bill started his panel beating apprenticeship and I stayed on at school. I lost track of him for a couple of years.
During this period we both were involved in bands unbeknown to each other. We caught up one Saturday afternoon, when we were both going to gigs. In those days everyone in a band had a small cardboard sign in the back window of their cars. We spotted each other and pulled over and had a conversation. He was playing Bass in his band and I was playing the guitar, badly. One thing led to another and Bill turned up to gig we had in Clayton. He stood there and watched us for a while then disappeared. I thought we must be bad.
The following Monday Bill appeared at my door insisting that we needed a lead guitarist and that he was going to be it. You could never argue with him and because none of us knew what we were doing it sounded like a good idea.
So Bill, Robert Woff, Les Wilkins, Alan Gregory and I started our journey as the “Lost Souls”. It was Bill that provided the glue for this band.
We got better at it and started gigging regularly, won a Battle of the Sounds, recorded our one and only 45. They were exciting times and Bill grew musically throughout this period. It was obvious to me (probably in hindsight) that he had the drive and temperament to succeed.
Bill and I lasted through two iterations of the “Lost Souls” until it came to an end around 1968. After that you know the Bill Putt story better than anyone.
I caught up with Bill from time to time over the years, even went to some of Spectrum’s shows. Whenever me met it was just like old times the conversations were resumed. Bill had that knack.
He was a gentleman, had a wicked sense of humour and became a fine musician.
I will sorely miss him, even though I haven’t seen him for a while. He will always be my friend.
Thank you for being there for him for the last 40 odd years.

Terry Paul 18.8.13

 

Georgican farewell

Dear Rosemary, family and friends
I'm writing this from Georgica in the Northern Rivers in New South Wales, and regret that I'm unable to be present to pay my respects in person. I was privileged to know Bill in the early 70s and even more lucky to play with him - albeit briefly- in those heady days in Melbourne.
Just like Bill's musical soul mate and life long friend Mike, I'm an extremely rusty Kiwi. But some things stick with you, no matter how long it is since you've been 'home'.
In New Zealand, there is a wonderful and evocative Maori expression called 'Mana'.
Mana refers to personal qualities such as honesty, integrity, wisdom, fearlessness, strength of character, compassion and power. Mana cannot be assumed: it is by comment assent that individuals and the wider community agree that a person possesses 'mana' and confer this honour on him or her.
Bill had 'mana' in spades.
In my mind's eye I picture him now as a gentle Forest Giant - which would be Eucalyptus grandis in botanical terms, I believe. That seems apt.
I choose to believe that, as in life, Bill is towering over us with a wry smile and a gleam in his eye. He is much loved, hugely respected and will be sorely missed.
Go well, Bill

Stephen Nelson 14.8.13

 

Bill Putt - Laurie speaks for a lot of us..

I didn't get to speak at your funeral, or even attend. If I had, this is what I would have said.

I was around 14 when my adult awakening, and more importantly my musical awakening, happened. I had watched "Herb Alpett"on TV when I was about 10 and started learning the trumpet, ascending to the lofty heights of Victorian junior trumpet champion (under 12 division) in the brass band eistedfed, but when reaching adolescence, realised that "chicks dig the bass player" more than they did the trumpet player.
So of course I switched to bass guitar.
It was around this time that Springvale town hall held a concert for the local high schools featuring Spectrum/Murtceps. This was a revelation for me. Probably the first time I saw live music from what was the coolest band in the world. Bill, you immediately became my hero, and Spectrum my obsession. I collected all the albums, and started reading GoSet, and watching GTK.
I saved all my money from working in a petrol station after school to buy a bass guitar and a Strauss valve bass amp advertised in the Trading Post. Of course my gear HAD to look like yours Bill, so I built a replica of the Strauss 2X15 JBL box you had, and some cheap copy speakers. They HAD to have the silver dome dust caps because yours looked SOOO cool. I would drag the amp and speakers from my bedroom into the lounge room every afternoon after school and put on a Spectrum album on my Fathers AWA stereogram and I learnt to play all your bass lines.
As I got closer to 18 and pub age, I was able to see more of Spectrum/Ariel and attended more gigs. I remember seeing the "strange fantastic dream" Ariel, and I creamed my musical jeans. Satin costumes, smoke machines, pyrotecnics and stupendus music and lyrics. Bill, for me you where an Icon. If god made the perfect human to wear a fender precision bass, you would be the prototype. Nothing shouted bass player more than you, wearing satin flares, a woodgrain 60's precision bass, and a Strauss valve amp with 2X15 JBL's. I stood in front of the mirror for hours with my bass, just trying to look like this. To me this image of you IS art.
Of course Ariel 1.0 broke up and when I was reading the local paper I came across an advert for bass guitar lessons by who else but Bill Putt. Do you think I wasted any time booking in for that !!! So Bill, for a short while we did cross paths, and I was able meet my hero. You were living in Paxton st Caulfield I think, with Mal Logan (from every band at the time) Shortly after, I played you a demo tape of the garage band I was playing with, that include Gavin Robinson who you worked with as a panel beater in your early days. You "kind of" said we were going nowhere, and put me onto a carlton band that needed a bass player (Bleeding Hearts). So not only did you inspire me, but you coached me, and help me find my first "real" gig.
Of course as soon as I could afford a proper bass, I bought a genuine fender precision, stripped the paint off, and stained it wood grain. I have owned a number of basses, and all have been stripped and stained...."just like yours" I spoke to you not too long ago at the Mulgrave country club, were you told me the story of your new, old wood grain precision bass. The serial number was only a few digits away from the one you played in Spectrum. That must be karma? To this day, I have not recaptured the feeling of that first time seeing Spectrum live, and seeing Bill Putt the perfect bass player. You have affected my time on this planet and I wish you the best for whats next for you.

Laurie Tunnicliffe - 12.8.13

 

The other, other Mike on Spectrum at the Burrinja Café

Hi Mike
Just to say it was a great show last night and I know everyone really enjoyed it.
Playing with Bill for 45 years does shine through.
It was an interesting journey through some of Australia's music history.
It was funny you talking about the wizard at Sunbury as I was there and remember it so clearly.
I had never known the real reason they talked about the wizard flying to New Zealand...now I know.
I've often thought that you and Bill must hold the record for the most number of gigs played in Australia...do you think that's true?
Look forward to catching up again soon

Mike Swan (Low Rent) 27.7.13

 

Woody gets the CDs and relates a couple of pertinent stories

Hi Mike,
Your CD's arrived Thursday, thanks.
I have 2 stories for you if you don't mind.
My wife and I drove to Adelaide on Friday to attend our first grandsons christening, an enjoyable trip as it turned out. At 07.00 on the Monash freeway I put Milesago disk 1 in the player and turned it up. To my surprise I sang along with every song, it was the same with disk 2! and it was fantastic. My wife and I worked it out I have not listened to that album for around 35 years ( the reason for that is another story). This raises 2 interesting points the 1st being, I remembered all the words and the riffs to all the songs, so this proves I haven't killed off too many brain cells, and 2, how much your music influenced me through out my musical career. R&R Scars was the next to be played and I was suddenly 18 again, I had to ask the wife to drive.
I can now see why I have liked and studied Pink Floyd for many years.
When we arrived in Adelaide the kids took us to Rundle Mall for dinner and we passes a record shop, so we dropped in. The first thing I asked for was Warts up Your Nose and to my surprise he pointed and said its very rare. I followed his gaze and saw a originally packaged copy of the record. It was $150.00, I didn't buy it, but I had a good look at it and it looked in good condition, only one small blemish on side 1.
So all in all I had a very Spectrum day. I'm pleased I walked past the Vesbar that cold and wet day and saw your poster..

Martin 'Woody' Woodward 8.6.13

 

An appreciation of Mike & Bill's show at The Courthouse

Hi guys,
just want to say thankyou to you both, Mike and Bill for taking the time to remember us country folk and coming down to play at Auburn in the Clare Valley last night. It was a fabulous performance and it seems you two just get better and better..
Hope you come back another time!!
Kindest regards
Rod and Judith Dawson.

(I actually wrote this as I sat listening to you guys that night!)

Auburn evening observations....

Timeless magic of the night
All else slips away
By miracle of blues and candlelight
Dawn of reborn day
Sounds rise enfolding wrapping holding
Ether composed of
Subtle mystery
Essence seeps from stirring strings
As Rudd and Putt find things
Not lost
But unknown to common man
Defining delicacies of the night
Revealing things unplanned
The heartbeat of this evening,
Living now
Once breathless,
Languid air now finding life
Stretching out
In sounds of beach and sand and peace
In gentle hands
Waves slap on strings
Holding back but
Even more,
Revealing things.

Judith Dawson 25.4.13

 

Kieron waxes lyrical re' St Andrews

Hi Mike,
I saw Spectrum at St. Andrew's this arvo. I'm the bloke with short grey hair who said I had not seen Spectrum since the '70's just before you set up your gear for the gig. I have to say it was a blast!!!!! Anyway on the way home I was reflecting on Spectrum 1970's and Spectrum 2013 and I came to the realisation that today was the first time I was sober at one of your gigs. Sure I'd heard of some of your recordings but the real deal is in the flesh and it helps if yer not off ya face too.
So any attempt at a comparison is pointless. Suffice it to say today was thoroughly enjoyable with a good mix of old, more recent and the blues set. I particularly enjoyed your tribute song to Max Merritt. Max and the Meteors were the first rock group I ever saw live. I was about 12 y.o.They were playing at the Melbourne Show in the late '60's and they became one of my favourite Oz groups along with Thorpie and the Aztecs and Spectrum.
Thanks to Spectrum for a memorable afternoon.

Kieron Lynch 10.2.13

 

Nancy drove a Wolseley too..

Just noticed you had the Wolseley emblem on your home page. The first car I drove was a 1958 Wolseley (one of my brother's lent it to me when I first got my licence) lovely wooden dash and when you went around a corner it felt like it was going to roll over. I complained about this and it was taken away and it come back all hotted up, better suspension, a Mazda motor under the bonnet, mag wheels, and a very long plastic (?) radio antenna.

Nancy Robertson 28.11.12

 

Terry remembers a magic interlude

Hi Mike,
Just a note to say that I enjoy your ‘Pith and Wind’ column. Very much so. I always read it in full and it always makes me smile, sometimes in a sad way. You have quite a way with words.
A few months ago I turned 60 and I suddenly realized that life is not going to roll on forever. I like the way you touch on this notion in your column.
Anyway, I used to go to Sebastian’s every Friday and Saturday night during 1970 and 1971. Typically I’d meet up with friends at the nearby Inter (international) pub on the corner nearby. You remember it? We’d sit around for a few hours getting sloshed, then make out way up the gentle rise to the front door of the club. If Spectrum (and later Murtceps) were playing it was ‘must get in’ night. And if ‘Daddy Cool were also on the same bill (and they frequently were) it was a night not to be missed. Absolutely.
Usually we’d (a few male friends of mine always looking for girls) make our way up those narrow, rickety stairs to the top floor and try to find somewhere to sit and get a coffee. Then after a while we’d go our separate ways and I’d head back down to the music on the ground floor. I was always more interested in the music than my mates.
I’d stand at the back watching Karvas Jute or Tamman Shud or Healing Force for what seemed like an eternity. Then they’d finish (at last) and the roadies would go to work. Man, those guys were fit and fast. They’d have the stage cleared in 10 minutes and be bringing in Spectrum’s gear in a flash. Gaffer tape was liberally taped onto everything in sight, and at last, Spectrum would suddenly appear on stage.
Some unknown and unseen party would turn the volume up several notches and that Leslie speaker would start spinning. So would my head. And the gig would commence and then I was truly in rock heaven.
Long, tall Bill would mooch around in the background all arms and walrus moustache, Mark Kennedy would attack the drums with great touch and finesse (later Ray Arnott); the older looking balding guy on the organ who’s name I’ve never quite remembered (Lee?) would put his head down and go to work and Rudd would stand proud and centre striking his sunburst Strat with robot-like precision. The operatic vocals would fill the room then the lead break would come and that Strat would pierce my booze fug and penetrate my brain. Ecstasy. So loud. So beautiful. I was mesmerized. It was my way to get high every weekend without taking drugs (which I never have, incidentally).
I’d go home, usually alone, and usually in a taxi which always seemed far quieter than normal cars; I’d hear the whoosh of tyres on the tarmac but that Stratocaster would still be buzzing in my brain.
I did this twice a week for two years and then it, one day, suddenly, it was over.

Terry (Elwood) 27.11.12

 

Some reflections from Batemans Bay

Hey Mike, Bill and Robbo,
Thanks for the welcome and thanks for a great night and I agree it was a pity there was not a bigger audience to enjoy the fine tunes of the evening, sadly with a bit more promo from the local guy I feel it would have got a few more in. But hey I want to stay positive as I personally was chuffed and just to get the opportunity to be up close in a small room was just fantastic,not to mention gettin a few piccys and a handshake. Having been a fan since I was a teenager(now 55) I was just wishing that my buddies of those days were there with me on the night as they would have been just as stoked as me I'm sure.
We used to party on like we all did back then with adjusted brains and no cares and put on " warts up ya nose"and "testimonial"albums and jive along to songs like," be my honey" " homesick valium blues" and crack up over, "excuse me just one minute", and " in the bog", what a trip. Cant thank you enough for those tunes back then. You can sure write em Mike .
Anyway fantastic memories and Im still a fan,its just great to see you guys play. With mileage comes a polished performance, I listened to a couple of young guys talking and they were commenting on the musicianship I reckon they dug it too.This is the real legacy of your influence on aussie music, Its great to see a new young legion of fans enjoying real music unlike some of the crap they serve up today,Crikey, there I go sounding again and old goat again. Anyway thanks again and I am glad I made it and I will make the next opportunity too. Keep on playin.

Tom Marsh 24.10.12

 

Andrew Purdam at The Brassey

Thank you all for such a fun gig. I arrived late (trying to get stuff finished before a NZ visit starting this Wednesday) so only got the last two songs of the first set (I joined my brother on the front centre table - I think we'll be in one or two of your photos of the audience. He chatted to you about digitising Terminal Buzz). I liked that "You play the guitar like you make love" one (jiggling the whammy bar so much conjures up interesting images!)
Was such a nostalgic trip to hear all the old tunes again in the second set. I sang along to all of them (never knew the "yeah yeah yeah yeah" in Jamaican Farewell was so bloody high!), hope you didn't mind. I was sorry you didn't do the whole Terminal Buzz spiel for Going Home, but I guess that would blow the piece out another five minutes, and it probably needs a more concert audience than a pub audience. (Nice crowd by the way. Apart from the kids, I think I was the youngest there!)
Nice to hear the bluesy set too. Was fun to see you go to town on - agh! I've forgotten which song it was. Near the end. Some very nice harp playing. I really like the sound of your lower pitched ones.
Was listening to Sp Part One later that evening, and wondered whether Fiddling Fool would be a fun addition to the trio. There's that big Mark Kennedy build up that Robbo could really go to town on. Of course, would benefit from having keys.
Well, better get to work now.
Thanks again for visiting Canberra.

Andrew (and my brother, Craig) Purdam 22.10.12

A heart-warming gig review - from WA!

Hi Mike, Bill and boys

Just have to drop you a quick note to say a HUGE thankyou for a cracker of an afternoon of music (still bringing a nostalgic tear to my eye a week later!!) at the quite special venue of St. Andrews Hotel.
As a boy raised in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne my formative and wayward years included Saturday night bludging a lift to various venues(remember Piccadilly at Ringwood Town Hall) to follow Spectrum/Murtceps and Ariel and up until recently, all I had were distant memories of great times, the ability to play 8 chords quite poorly and original vinyls of the farewell "Terminal Buzz" and Ariel "Aloha" to remind me of those heady times (here come those tears again....sniff!)
Then by chance, we happened to see Mike on ''RocKwiz" playing a solo "I'll be gone" and followed up with that outstanding duet with the gorgeous Jess Cornelius !!
Well the pilot light of Spectrum memories was now a raging flame. A few emails to and from Mike (thanks!), and a check of the latest gig guide suggested that if you boys were not coming to Perth, then we would come to you!!

Fast forward 6 weeks (and a 5 hour flight) and on Sunday 10th June we sauntered into the bar at St Andrews Hotel (hiding my copy of 'Terminal Buzz' that I desperately wanted signed - like the nervous little groupie I was!!), ordered the appropriate sustenance (fine,cold Melbourne beer and superb steak sandwich) and perched ourselves very comfortably a few metres from the stage. The crowd was a real mixture.We spoke to quite a few as if old neighbours or schoolmates and shared a few ''did you ever go to?" stories.
The venue was also a real treat. Couple of log fires, busy but not packed, great view of the band from almost all points, sound quality was very good I thought....and a dance floor!!
And the music!! I might check how old you guys really are!! You started just after 3pm and were still going strong after 6pm with only one break!!
As the famous song goes "...there's always one more customer to go... and where she gets the strength from, I don't know".....seems appropriate!!
REALLY enjoyed the mixture of old and not so old. And did you notice how many of us knew the words?? Plenty of nostalgia and delivered so tight and so smooth that you make look so easy and yet we all know that's 'cos you guys are soooooooooo damn good. To get so many (relatively sober) people on the dance floor at 5pm the afternoon....... you must be good!!
And then you finish us off with some old blues standards....and then some Cream (including "Strange Brew") and Fleetwood Mac.
Full dance floor, pub is jumping and very, very happy punters. You still got it in spades!!
But wait there's more... you must have been pretty buggered after the drive from Warracknabeal in the morning and the afternoon show, and you STILL made the time to chat to us, sign my vinyl and take a few photos!! Thank you so much. Great end to a wonderful afternoon. And even if you don't come to Perth (you have our address!!), we look forward to seeing you again soon wherever we find you.
Enjoy your 4 weeks break, stay well and ......Yes..... you ARE Indelible ....we know !!

Peter de Groot and Marie Leggat 18.6.12

back to the top

Stuart sends some feeeeeedback - and a dissenting view

Well, you said you liked feedback, so
SCREEEEEEEEEEEEE
Oh. Sorry.
What I meant to say was, enjoyed your pith and wind (hmmm, now that I've said that, I'm not sure that I DO want to say it...).
Anyway, I've just started reading a book called "Guitar Zero", which is by a cognitive psychologist called Gary Marcus who, at the age of 40, decided that despite a life-long lack of musical ability, he was DETERMINED to learn the guitar. So of course he used himself as a guinea-pig and wrote a book on the psychology of learning in general, and, more specifically, learning a musical instrument later in life.
I find it fascinating (as obviously he did) that despite, in my case, not hopeless, but nonetheless limited ability, some of us just can't NOT play music. These days, possibly more than ever, it's simply the most important and enjoyable thing in my life.
I really do wish I'd had the balls in my teens to say "no, I'm not going to give up playing guitar to concentrate on my "studies" and go to fucking uni!" But I didn't. And I lasted a year at uni, hating it. Spent most of my time depressed, sleeping, playing guitar and going to see incredible bands, such as Spectrum (heard of them? Might be before your time), Daddy Cool, Max Merritt, etc. at the union nights. So was uni useful? Nup (except to introduce a county kid to amazing bands and foreign fillums). Am I still playing guitar? Yup.
Oops, got side-tracked there with pointless lost opportunity regrets prompted by getting old(er).
The point of this email - what I actually wanted to say - was that one of the reviews on the back cover of the book says, in part, that the book "...reveals that the fountain of youth very well may be made of wood and have six strings". (Not sure where that leaves bass players...). Sounds good to me. And believable.
So keep on rocking and rolling!
(Although that did briefly conjure up images of rocking- and wheel-chairs)
It's doing you good. But you know that.
Cheers,
Stuart

ps I LOVED Hugo. I thought it was a fabulous modern example of the magic of film, which is what the film was about. Best use of 3D I've seen (well, apart from Avatar). And just gorgeously, sumptuously beautiful! I did think that Sacha Baron Cohen was the weakest thing in the film. But I blame the director... I don't really think that Martin Scorsese gets humour.

Stuart Beatty 9.2.12

 

Some feedback on Breathing Space As Well

Hi Mike

Just to let you know I've received the CD thank you.
Absolutely love it. I'm possibly going to wear it out before November though, I've played it 4 times already this evening.
Good to hear Max, and about time Bill put his Jenwah to CD.
Keep up the good work and look forward to not only catching you guys in November, but also the next Breathing Space.

Stephen Rees 11.10.11

Dear Mike and Bill.,
Like all good trilogys (Star wars, Lord of the Rings, Revenge of the Nerds) the third is the most anticipated and the best. And in your case that is well true !.
What a great great album. The only negative is that its too short.( But I will put the three onto my iphone as one album!!!!!!)
Sounds more spectrummy to my ears than the other two as well!
I will play it continuously until you release the fourth installment of the trilogy.
Warm regards

Ken Murdoch 22.9.11

Hi Mike,
It's fabulous !
Four stars from me !
Seriously - it has a much more produced sound - with the added instruments voices etc, but also in the sparse instrumental sounds as well (you know I love a cool instrumental)
I have only heard it once (and a half spin) as yet.
I hope it goes well and wish you all the best with it.

Roger Pyke 14.9.11

Hi Mike,
got the e.p.
Another job well done. Disparate output indeed. And why wouldn't you? If you're not playing what you love why bother? What else is there to do in life? Lots of sax these days. Great! I was wondering what happened to the recorder and then comes along a song with it or is it flute?
..Keep up the great work.

Larry Hoofs 9.9.11

Hi Mike & Bill,
Just to let you know I love the new EP (ordered it straight away!). It sounds great and has a great feel to it - I definitely won't tire of it.

Jan M. 9.9.11

 

Some thoughts on Spectrum at the Myeloma benefit

Hi Mike and Bill.
I was at the Jim Keays Myeloma benefit last night (18th) at the Hi Fi bar. I just wanted to say you guys were the clear highlight of the evening, really a breath of fresh air. I did enjoy Madder Lake, Daryl Braithwaite was inexcusable, Russell Morris and Jim kind of massacred their songs. But you guys were just exceptionally clean, simple, fresh and I have to say, blew me away with how great the songs are. I do remember a few from way back but haven't sought you out since then. More fool me, the songs are just so good. I loved Second Coming and will be ordering some CD's from you ASAP. I wish you'd played more. I am 53 y.o. and have Myeloma myself. Treatment etc. has been pretty awful at times but I have enough energy to get back into playing some music myself (used to play in the 80's). My wife plays drums and we have been playing 70's covers etc. at country halls in Gippsland for a few years. So much fun and we don't even have to be good ;-) Anyway, as a guitarist myself I really enjoyed the way you played Mike, love your technique. OK I will be hunting you down next time you play live near the Northern Suburbs. I want more ! thanks again for making the night for me, -

Peter Webb - 19.8.11

 

Tim takes the kids to The Lomond

Bill and Mike - caught you at the Lomond Hotel last Saturday. An awesome night of music. We were able to introduce our daughters and their boyfriends to your work. You have another generation of fans. Your skill, sound and integrity are much appreciated .
Tim

Tim White - 16.8.11

 

Harvey

dear mike,
words r inadequate. i had the absolute joy of being just feet away from two of the four guys i worshipped in the 70s when u played semaphore in december. i was scared to go, cos i attended dom polski as a kid when u said "the tide is coming in and my feet are getting wet" before tony slavic went crazy on keyboard.
as an adolescent, u, bill, harvey and john helped me through those confusing early years; helped me understand; helped me be. how could you still "have it"? Well, you are even better. yeah, i was the idiot in the front row who knew all the words..... but returning to the past,,, when i was a teenager, i saved enough money to buy a stereo. i also bought rocknroll scars.
you guys let me sing "not much fuck'n use" at the top of my voice, in the name of art.
so then i bought all i could afford, backwards and forwards from the ariel/spectrum discovery point, and agreed with the question "mumma, did jesus wear makeup?" and was equally challenged by the riddle of putting "my precious cat out with a bucket full of sand", as the time seesaw did its thing. i also didn't get why radio stations and so called music lovers DIDNT get it; but it was, and is, what it is.
"i'll be gone" will be played at my funeral, with john asking whether "does anyone want a count in?".
when i looked up at the tv on the weekend and saw the SHERBET clip of HOWZAT.. i was initially excited, screaming "look Harvey's on TV!!!!!!!" then they said he was dead. part of me died. i named my first car after harvey. it was called harvey. we carried our amps and guitars and pizza and shit in that damned volkswagon, which snapped clutch cables and ran out of fuel.
ignorant, idiot me didnt event know he was sick. i looked on your website today and saw harvey's benefit gig pictures. this disease sucks giant dogs' balls. i'm raving on, but you and bill were such refreshingly good people at the semaphore gig to a middle-aged tragic who's young son is still talking about "how good was spectrum?" and he will always, i just wanted to say. thanks and oh heavy hearts for a great musician. we were actually listening to the abbey road album in the car on the day harvey left us, without even knowing it.
harvey james was my favourite guitarist and always will be.
i cannot begin to imagine how much you and bill must be gutted to the core. my heart and ariel soul goes out to u. to quote a dear friend who died from leukemia last year, "that's all".

Mark Smith - 18.1.11

 

A New Year's message from Addlebrain

It was most enjoyable having you at our place again and I had to pinch myself mentally about the opportunity of having two blokes over who have been a part of the scene for so many years - you know.... rock stars!
I didn't think I'd have the chance to catch you playing and was most pleasantly surprised when the leave pass was granted. From the moment you started playing I was transported straight back to my darkened bedroom where I would play along to your vinyls over and over again and the reason for my initial interest became patently obvious - it's the bloody music! (surprise surprise!) The structure, rhythm, weird chords, storytelling, silliness, solid delivery.......on and on!
All power to ya for writing the stuff, keeping up with the technology (I particularly enjoyed the gig at the Bridgeway (when Tony F was playing with the Heaters and you interviewed punters as they came through the door with the camera equivilent of the brick mobile phone and playing the tapes back during breaks - brilliant), keeping your own marketing going, keeping on the road, and keeping sane (I presume!).
Onya!

Geoff Miller 1.1.11

 

The scent of Sebastians recalled

In 1970 I used to go to Sebastians every Friday and Saturday night. I was 18 then. When Spectrum played it was always a good night. The big white Ford Transit van would arrive and park right out front and I knew we'd be in for a great night of EXTRA LOUD music.
I remember sweaty bodies cramped in that tiny downstairs room and the piercing sound of the hammond organ and strat guitar, you couldn't hear yourself think. It was bliss to my drunken brain.
What I remember most about Sebastians is the smell. A heady, extoic mix of sweat, coffee, smoke, marihuana and petulia oil.
Man, those were the days, eh?

Terry (Elwood) 23.7.10

 

The Sunbury generation

G'day Mike,
I am glad that South Oz was a great success and I must thank you for the "Some Good Advice" dedication to me at Sunbury. It was very nice and much appreciated.
Since your email below I have dome a lot of navel gazing and annoyed the shit out of friends, fire brigade members work bods and a huge array of acquaintances including ambushing people at the two funerals I attended with the last weeks. After your comments about the formula not being right
for the Sunbury thing I must now add that this formula was only maybe 70% of the issue. Price would have been a good slice of the rest.
"Why pay $85 to sit in a paddock to see these bands?''. You were right about this as well.
People like me that just are musically minded and like a vast array of music and prepared to make sacrifices to ensure I get my fill of the best music in the world which is our own local home grown music, I have now learnt are increasingly rare.
Chain, Madder Lake Spectrum on the one bill too me is great to miss. Many I canvassed (Harassed) just have the ' Oh yea, I could just put the cd's on and were there' attitude.
One of the things I asked was whom would drag you out?. The array of replies was Unbelievable. From The Stones to Led Zeppelin to The Eagles. ( Billy Thorpe was a big one on the list. Doh!).
The big surprise also to me was the radio stations that these punters listen to and what music they tune to...... Stuff me, 3AW!, nothing else?. A little Gold FM. maybe. (groan!)
I have now learnt that we baby boomers the upholders of the right, economy, keeping our kids afloat and grandchildren now have become lazy whinging T V sooks!.
I have travelled widely and appreciate the very high quality of talent that we have here but when I asked about newer music apart from 'golden oldies'
"No it is shit, won't last, No beat or words and poor quality". Well, How good is that young bloke Jarrah Thompson at Sunbury?.
There in the "If its' to loud - your too old" club.
Even my dear wife now dislikes going out to a venue now unless it is someone she really likes like Doug Parkinson. She is just not interested anymore and so are her friends. " Just put on the CD dear".
So I have had my rant and am at a loss for my withering age group ( I did go to two funerals as mentioned). Loosing their perspective of talent and gaining a certain loss of perspective in their own lives on just how to have a good time.
My late Grandfather always said 'time is the most precious thing you have, your here for a good time, not a long time'. The older I get at 57 years I can see he was certainly right. Pity about the rest of our age group.
Any how I hope this all makes sense.
Regards,.

Mick Newman 28.4.10

 

Some interesting feedback from northern Italy
I got an order for A Strange Fantastic Dream from Euro Isersi and asked how he'd come across Ariel

I'm a collector of psych-prog-hard and heavy music of the 70's with particular regard to Vertigo and Harvest label stuff.Since the Ariel was issued originally on Harvest I was curious to know what it sounded like and searched for infos online.When it came out that Ariel was an aussie rockband I told myself "I'm gonna get it".I really freak out for downunder rock! With the engine search I came across your nice site and the game was made! .Here in this part of northern Italy there are many freaks about KAHVAS JUTE, BLACKFEATHER, BAKERY, BAND OF LIGHT and others (not to mention the huge RADIO BIRDMAN and related side projects, with fan clubs and fanzines).Got the picture?
..and then later..
By the way I saw on the "Dreams,fantasies and nightmares" book of Vernon Joynson that you were the guitarist (along with the great Tim Gaze) and vocals of Ariel, so is a pleasure for me to be in touch with you."Il giardino dei Finzi Contini", I remember that movie of italian master Luchino Visconti, and you all made a nice choice for a song title.If you have two minutes I would like to make you know that, in the small town of Chiuduno from the mid-80's till 2000 there was a strong core of aussie rock die hard fans,with a monthly fanzine (mainly focused on 80's bands) named "ROLLIN' DOWN FROM AYERS ROCK".Those people were so loud (I was one of them) that the australian bands on tour in Italy at those times (Celibate Rifles, Lime Spiders, Hoodoo Gurus, Lipstick Killers, New Christs, Screaming Tribesmen, Howling Commandos etc.), becoming aware of such a scene, all came to play in the small clubs around here.After those crazy days the fanclub called it a day, but the love for aussie rock never faded. And never will...
......and right now I saw, on the booklets of Spectrum-Part one and Milesago that you both were the driving force of this great band. I'm absolutely astonished!

Euro Isersi - Bergamo Italy 10-13.3.10

 

An Ariel fan says thanks - from France..

Hi Mike,
It is a real pleasure a privilege for me to receive a message from one of my heroes. I cherish since a long time the Spectrum records you created and I have tried for years to find the Ariel ones - impossible to get them in France or Europe in general, even in the record Collectors conventions. Therefore, I was even happier to see that I can purchase them from the artist directly and avoid paying bootleggers or persons who will never return a part of the money to the real creators of the music. I know very vell the stylistic difference between the Spectrum and the Ariel sound but one of my friends who lived for a while in Australia made me listen the vinyls and I loved them too. I am delighted to have my own official CD copies now. If I'm not wrong, there are also other Ariel records which are still not available in CD format; if so, you maight find a remedy to this.
Thank you for your message and lots of luck,
Keep the fire burning.

Mihail - Gentilly France 8.2.10

 

We've still got it..

Hi Mike/Bill,
Thank you for a wonderful, intimate evening at Minya. I was a Spectrum virgin, so to speak, as I had not seen you play live prior to that night, even though “I’ll Be Gone” is an all time favorite of mine.
Had it not been for my gorgeous brother and sister-in-law presenting my partner and I with tickets as a Christmas gift, I would not have known that you playing down this way.
Hopefully it won’t be the last.
Again thank you……just brilliant
Kind regards

Sandy Wemyss 28.1.10

 

Identity theft?

Hi Mike/bill.
I've been browsing the interweb thingy and discovered midoztouch.com that has mp3 of 70's rock. Now a bit of background......as Ive mentioned to you before, everyone knows that music reached its zenith by the end of the 70's and I stopped listening (married with children) about that time (rock and roll scars was when I tuned out). Well I discovered and downloaded a band called "mike rudd and the heaters The unrealist". Now Mike I hope you are sitting down because I have to tell you that these guys are using your name to sell themselves. I hope you download this and contact your "people" immediately because its a disgrace that this 80's electro-pop group is trading on your name. This group obviously set the drum machine to 120 beats per minute and recorded one long song with all the typical synth/keyboard sounds/lines, and carved it up into 12 tracks. This so called Mike Rudd could only muster "I want a head job" as a hook and I know that could not possibly be you since you have a wit far exceeding this. And I know it cant be Bill on bass as all I could here is those chromatic runs using octaves like Ive heard in so many disco tunes. If I were you mike I would contact your lawyers straight away and see if you can get this "feckless gorm" mascarading as you off this website before people think its actually you. I can only imagine that these guys listened to some record company executive who told them to "move with the times", "disco the new thing", "get the punters dancing","Ill make you big stars". I know the real Mike Rudd makes real music with light and shade, humour/wit, mood and intelligence so Im convinced this cannot possibly be you. I dont think I heard a guitar on this impostors record so it cant be you. Anyway I hope Ive alerted you to this travasty of justice and you can take the appropriate action. see you at a gig sometime.

Laurie Tunnicliffe 15.8.09

 

Why don't we do it in the road?

Hi Mike and Bill,
Do not take the above literally, unless you really want to (but you'll be on your own). Now after such a tasteful start, I would like to continue with some Beatles thoughts and observations - you're a man after my own heart Mr. Rudd!
Without trying to sound a bit on the you-know-what side, one of the earliest concerts I remember going to was in fact The Beatles at the old Centennial Hall in Adelaide. As my father was the manager of Radio 5AD, we obviously went to many, many shows plus he knew Ken Brodziak fairly well, so the rest is history!
That concert, if I remember correctly, was on a Friday and we later went down to the airport on the Sunday to see the Fab Four off, my father doing a live cross etc. George Harrison actually took a photo of a few of us and, after getting some details, finally sent a copy some months later (alas, I know not where mine is...). And as fate would have it, I formally met George some 20 years later at the Adelaide F1 Grand Prix: I was working for Shell and lived with the McLaren Team for some 5 days each year, with George being their special touring guest. He was a lovely man, wonderfully dry sense of humour and on several occasions we sat down for a 4 hour lunch mainly talking about music ( he surely hadn't always been dealt the best hand by messrs. Lennon & McCartney - however, when you listen to his "All Things Must Pass" album, the picture becomes much clearer).
And just to really make it a family affair, my mother actually spent an afternoon at Apple records in Saville Row while the "Let It Be" film was still in the can. She was given a private showing by the cameramen plus Michael Lindsay-Hogg in Apple's theatrette, 'ran' into George H. in the lift and came back with a dozen or so Beatles and all the solo albums released at that time - you can imagine how thrilled I was! So, that's little bit of inside information about my family's 'association' with the Beatles with the conclusion being that all of my adult children have the whole Beatles catalogue on their iPods (as do Adrienne and I). If I ever get on to Rockwiz, you now know what my favourite topic would be! (By the way, I do realise that you guys recorded at Abbey Road and that is a BIG achievement!)
...See you whenever and glad the EP is heading to a second pressing - see, you're never too old!

Richard Moore 22.8.09

 

The Beatles rule!

Hi Mike.
Read your Beatles article, which I enjoyed. The Beatles got me into music at 13, and kept me enthralled all through my teens, as they continually changed and progressed in huge leaps and bounds, which wasn't the norm for pop bands.
Then spent many years not listening to them - bit sick of it - but recently have listened to all the albums again on my iPod, and thoroughly enjoyed them.
By the way, U2 played Beatles over the PA before the show when I saw them, and it worked really well. I can't really remember, but I'd guess it was the earlier poppy stuff. Had a great energy.
And Oasis' latest album is slathered in blatant Beatles influences (as, apparently, all their stuff is). I love it.

Stuart Beatty 20.8.09

 

Breathing Space thirty years too late?

G'day Mike,
I just read your P & W from your site and I think Matt Croke himself is thirty years still wet behind the ears!. As you know I dearly love your music and I have always been a fan and I have a deep passion for good music particularly live.
Since our last meeting almost a month ago I have seen Joe Camilary, Lucinda Williams, Russel Morris, The Who, last tuesday night was a guest at the Ultimate Tribute show at the Palm Room Crown casino, and this arvo Phil Manning. I got drowned on the way home!
The amount of young faces that are right into the Who last week and in 2004 is simply amazing. Like Spectrum, they take a lot of care to present to the punters a very polished professional sound not nessesarily as per the recordings either as like you have learnt to diversify arrangements. I even remember telling you once after a gig at the TF Much ball room that your sound was out that night. You did not give a shit!. I do remember your grumpy attitude at times. (maybee it was related to you fuzzy beard!).
Spectrum and a number of bands could come up with a string of potential No 1 hits next week and as you know would hardly get airplay. I think this situation will change as the hard core buying public (not the kidds that get free stuff that is gone forever within 30 days), are slowly having an influence on radio and cd sales. Getting back to Matts coments, If it is anything like Breathing Space it will be as fresh and exciting to hear like "living on a Volcano" which I think was way ahead of time. It is a fickle market as you say but people remember the good stuff and the trashy stuff will be well gone into oblivion in thirty years.
I would think the Ep would be better called "More Breathing Space".
Sorry for the rant, but I see a little envy there somewhere. I look forward to catching up and I also have pulled out my '" The Unrealist" album for you to sign if you would not mind. Yep you still had fuzz on your face!!!.
Regards,.Mick N.
P. S. I wonder what Ed Nimmer will think about the new Ep??.

Mick Newman 4.4.09

 

Japanese feedback for The Studio gig of the year

Dear Mike and Spectrum,
Hope you had a great Christmas! Just received a letter from our Japanese exchange student, Momoko who we took to your concert at The Studio , Geelong. She writes
'' Dear Miller Family, I really had a good time with you. Above all, I was so moved when you took us to Live concert. I have never listened to such beautiful music before''
So, we knew she enjoyed herself , but obviously you were the highlight of her trip above Sydney Harbour , Melbourne Zoo etc etc. Have you ever performed in Japan? They seem to be crazy for the 70's. Our previous student was mad on Jimmy Cliff (Reggae)
So there you are. Have a great New Year and hope to catch your concerts in 2009

Judy & Andrew Miller 29.12.08

 

Dedication for no result

Dear Mike,
I was so disappointed and very sad that I was unable to get to your gig on Saturday night at the Lomond Hotel. See, I went to see the marvellous MSO at Hamer Hall with my girlfriend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. This concert finished at 10pm, so I thought we would zip up to East Brunswick and see the remainder of your performance, which would've been the perfect cap to an excellent day. Unsure of the address we rang my girlfriend's mum to look it up, which was all very well and we got on the 96 tram up Nicholson St with our faces pressed to the black windows counting up to 225. We overshot it and got off at about 415, then walked back down to find the right place. I was brimming with excitement as we approached 231, 229, 227, 225 oh shit where's the hotel! Number 225 Nicholson St was a house!! I thought the address must be wrong, so we called my girlfriend's mum again to doublecheck with the same result. Frustrated and upset we walked up and down the street aimlessly, until we jumped on the next tram back to the city. I had to console myself with iPod Spectrum.
Investigations the following day showed me that indeed the address was correct, but some smart bottomed person had cleverly numbered the lots in Nicholson St up to about 900 and then started again back at 1 when the suburb changed from Fitzroy to Brunswick East!! We had stupidly assumed that numbers along the same road remain consistent between suburbs, maybe something to do with past experience. We also hadn't realised that we were indeed in Fitzroy and not Brunswick East, I can't tell the difference and thought it would've been irrelevant anyway. Either way I was sorely disappointed at our seeming incompetence and the fact that I've only been able to get to one of your lauded gigs (empty Royal Park Hotel), and I haven't got my girlfriend along to any, and it was the last one for the year that you have listed that we would be able to get to. Next year will be a much more effortful Spectrum-gig-going time for me I think.
I hope you enjoyed the show as much as we weren't able to.
I'm sorry for writing you such a long uninterestingly verbose email, but I feel obliged to perform tautologous acts and take up your time. After all, that's what fans are for!
Sincerely in fanity

Craig Mattingley 13.12.08

 

Global Spectrum - A Spanish Milesago fan tells his story

Hi there,
Thanks again for the reply, it's a privilege. I´ll wait for the albums to come, though I´m so anxious to listen the restored material. "Warts" in particular is one of the highest favourites of mine. And when "Milesago" and the others arrive, I´ll let you my feedback, if that helps a little. All this is very exciting to me: the great, timeless Spectrum/Murtceps personally at the other end of the line! I just can't beleive it.
Finally: no, I´ve never been in Australia. But I've been a r'n'r freak since my childhood. In 1973, I spent a couple of months in Cambridge, England, learning english. There I met a hippie in his twenties, another music lover, who showed me the likes of completely unknow bands in Spain, like Curved Air, Skin Alley...and an Aussie prog-psych outfit that was his primal atraction by then, with an album just released called "Milesago". I got relly impressed, and he recorded for me a C-60 tape that didn´t take the whole album. I listened to that till it got literally demolished. I wonder now what that guy thought of a skinny, beardless, spectacled 14 year bloke that showed him the Grateful Dead for the first time and came from the land of the bullfights and the paella...
In the 80's the search of the original albums came -they never were released in Europe, except some in England I think, let alone Spain-, which proved to be a cumbersome task, years before the internet. And some of them cost me a little fortune. But all of it was worth the effort.
Sorry about this long chat, I just let myself go . We´ll talk soon again. And I want to get into the Ariel stuff, which I don't know.
Thanks to you and Bill for keeping the flame burning!
All the best

Francisco Escolano (Madrid) 14.10.08

 

Morning of the Earth - a couple of reactions

G'day Mike,
I want to let you know how much i enjoyed the Morning of the Earth gig. It's been 3 days since i was there now and i think i've managed (in my mind) to edit this email down from what was probably going to be about 10 pages of gushing adoration of yours and the rest of the musicians performances that night.
Friday night at the Palais was one of the most moving experiences of my life. Being in my late 40's now i often feel like i'm fast heading for 'over the hill'. Friday night had me re-experiencing some of the best days of my life in a very real way, i genuinely felt (and still do to some extent) like i did back in the 70's and i must say it's been quite an emotional time since then. The mixture of feeling oldish but young at the same time is strange in a way. Feeling 16 but knowing i'm 47 and that i can never be 16 again feels sad but at the same time anything that can make me feel 16 again must be good and is like gold to me.
This is all due to the quality of the concert. EVERYTHING about it was exceptional. Every note was perfect, i was mesmerized from start to finish.
Your vocals fitted in so well it was as if you were in the original recordings and Lior and Old Man River seemed to understand the feeling of it all even though (i imagine) they weren't even born when it was originally made, and their performances (like yours) also conveyed a passion for what they were singing.
On Saturday morning a couple of the surf report websites mentioned the gig in their surf reports and the good turnout and high quality of the night. Everyone i've spoked to who was there was equally impressed. You guys have certainly set the surfing world abuzz.
I was wondering how it would turn out with so few of the original artists there but the quality of Australian composing and performance shone through again. It is at least the equal of anything from around the world.
Thank you Mike for one of the best nights of my 'old' life. I'd like to send this to each person who performed but i guess you'll be able to pass on the general message.

Karl Thielmann 6.10.08

Good Morning Mike !!!

Congratulations !! What a fucking Show and What a Fine performance from YOU ……………I’ll bet your cock was that hard you could’ve cracked fleas on it after the Show…………..Sarah and I were in the third row……We caught up with lots of old faces……….The love and respect between you and Geeeee Wayne singing together at the end was….. Mwaaaa Magnificent…….This show certainly made up for the ONE song at Long Way To the Top………….Mate you were like the cat that ate a shitload of Cream……….When you walked off stage each time after you performed a song ……….Head down ……..Beaming with Pride ………..Sarah and I just looked at each other ……….It brought a tear to the eye……………..And Congratulations on the Hawks for kicking the crap out of the “Fat Head Cats”…………One flag is enough for them, for now

Stephen Ramsay 6.10.08

 

Cobblers - this P&W was made to last..

Hey Mike,
Advice from a former shoe repairer, get Topy soles put on your leather soled footwear. Protects the leather sole, much better wearing, better grip, and none of the disadvantages of "plates", tips we used to call 'em in the trade. Might be wise to get a price first though, gotta weigh up cost versus benefit. You're right about shoe repairing being a dying trade, that's one of the reasons I'm no longer in the trade.

Reg Loe 24.7.08

..Read the latest P&W. A cobbler has enabled my famous Blue Suede Shoes to last 20 years. I had him cover the original soles with something more long wearing - not that I wear them everyday!! My grandfather made shoes that were like diving boots - very heavy soles, built to last, but not exactly foot friendly. Ah! They don't make 'em like they used to!

Ray Hogan 17.7.08

 

Life on other planets - Mike cops it suite..

Mike.
re: probability of other planets.Let X be the probability of other life. Let y be the estimate of the number of other planets. Then X*Y is the actual number of other planets. Now even if Y is very large, say approaching infinity, if X is very very small then there is likely no life. Now if we integrate the equation and do a double derivative setting the result to zero and add the einstein cosmological constant, as long as we allow for the hysenberg uncertanty modifier then the resultant equation PROVES that if there was other life, that they would be in a parallel universe with 11 dimensions.......I think you can see where im heading with this and by now you will have jumped ahead to include the angular momentum of the universe as a whole to the resultant poly-othorgonal function.
Athiest ???? "There are no Athiests in fox holes"
Regards
Laurie.

P.S. Why are all the people in the photo pages so old ???

Laurie Tunnicliffe 8.3.08

 

From the audience at The Soundgarden

Dear Mike and the boys,.
As always your performance was very enjoyable even though it was rather rowdy from people towards the rear of the venue.
I have never been there before even though I only live 15 mins away. I have been a 'fan' of Spectrum / Murtceps from the beginning and I live your unique music ability's. During your first break I was talking to a 20 year old that came as his old man had told him what a great band Spectrum is and he came to see. He seemed disappointed as he did not know any of the tunes. I have seen him at the Willy RSL before. I told him just to relax and listen to the music and don't have a pre conceived thought about the band.
I told him in the early days in the festival eara that you guys would be on stage for an hour and a half and only play three numbers. he was amazed, so I convinced him to get down to basement discs and grab some of the earlier cd's.
Anyhow thank you for the email and I really enjoyed the show including some "out of tightness" parts which was a good larf and enjoyable. I look forward to the new cd as well.

Mick Newman 4.3.08

 

Bill's bass guitar story resonates..

Hi Bill and Mike,
Great to catch up and read the latest on your site.
I just had to write and say how great it is to see that Bill and Paul caught up after so many years and re united Bill with the old P Bass. I sold it to Paul way, way back and its great to see that its looking like it should once more.(see story in Guitar Horror)
I wish I had been at the Manhatten to see Bill playing the old girl again....maybe next time.
Take care guys

Gary Newman 22.12.07

 

Sam McNally has some things to say about Spectrum - from China

My Spectrum experience. As a young man and semi-professional musician in 1971, I had a short-list of fave and “most influenced by” bands and artists of the day. There were the giants like Purple, Tull, Zeppelin, the Allmans and a few others, but on home turf in Melbourne, Spectrum reigned supreme in my mind as the penultimate Australian group.
With Spectrum, it was about the mood of the music, the way that 4 players played together like one great machine, the perfection of the arrangements, the slightly haunting melancholy of Mike Rudd’s voice and songs. A certain simplicity. But, depth and subtlety as well. At one time I remember, whilst still being at school, having managed to see Spectrum 13 times in a year. I knew Spectrum better than any other group. I totally ‘got’ what they were on about.
The shock departure of organist/pianist Lee Neale created a vacancy in the keyboard chair. I was brave enough to put my hand up for the audition process and I remember arriving home one day to see “Mike Rudd 80 2576” on the telephone pad. Mike had returned my call, regarding an audition. The excitement / fear was palpable. I do not, now, remember the conversation we had, but I was left with the understanding that I was “too young”, at 17.
Should I have lied? Plenty of folks have blustered their way into situations with bravado, forgetting the truth along the way, to later arrive at some very successful position or situation. It wasn’t my way to work like that. I’ll never know if I may have “nailed it” had I gotten that audition, but I know my musical instincts and ability well enough to know that, had my nerves been under control, I would have at least gotten pretty close. I’d never even played a real Hammond then, but I was already good with the electric piano and I had such a love for the genre, such a love for Spectrum’s music, such a studied understanding of
“what was needed”, plus an ability to simply copy what Lee Neal had already done, anyway, and with ‘feel’. I believe I could have made an impression, at least. It would have been a pivotal moment in my musical growth.
26 years later I’m sitting in an apartment in Shenzhen, China listening to the beautifully re-mastered, re-packaged “Spectrum Part One”, that same album I gazed at, at “Lee’s Sound Lounge”, Mentone, in 1971. It was a “strange fantastic” experience listening to it thru headphones. The sound, by todays’ standards, was as basic as an FE Holden, but wonderful as well, charming in its simplicity and yet richness of ideas. Well recorded on analog tape naturally, but “simple”. The power and majesty of the songs was still there. Hearing that album all these many years later was some very unusual experience.
Mike and Bill are still doing their thing, to their great credit. So much has changed, but thanks to the enthusiasm of a small group of good people, it’s now possible to get re-mastered re-issues of those landmark Australian pop rock albums such as Spectrum’s. This is music, this is art, that is outside the mainstream by a long margin. And yet, thanks largely to the unique stroke of luck “I’ll Be Gone”, Spectrum were and are known as a major Australian rock group of the 70’s. IBG was perhaps the exception to Spectrum’s rule, but what a fortunate freak song it was - and remains.
Mike Rudd insisted on leaving I.B.G. OFF that album when it was released! Which says lots about the mood of the times - the hippy ethos of ‘protecting the art at all costs’, including what any sensible record company exec would consider utter lunacy. That uncompromising attitude was part of why Spectrum were as great and unique as they were, like the times themselves.

Sam McNally, keybpard-player/producer - 6.12.07

 

It's been a long time comin'.. but persistence pays off in the end

Mike & Bill,
I have been searching for your material for a long time. I used to (attend) NSW Uni in Sydney and used to see the Murtceps performing in the Round House at lunch times - Sensational. No one ever used a recorder. (That) was when you had Ray Arnott I think it was on either keyboards or drums.
I had all of your Vinyls including Milesago, Cortinas, Warts, Part 1, Strange Fantastic Dream, Rock & Roll Scars and the others.
Unfortunately the vinyls have been well & truly lost. What a shame. Warts was the only Vinyl I had with a brown paper bag sleeve. We also saw you & Bill at Long Way to the Top. I saw you as Ariel in Hyde Park in the 70's when Jamaican Farewell was charting and Tim Gaze was with you.
We now live in Dubbo, and one day the Bushwackers came through .
I played in the support band for the Bushwackers at the Zoo with the Far Cry Bush Band (a bit of a Graeme Kennedy). Dobe was a pot head but his brother in law was a detective in Dubbo. He let it be known over the PA that his brother in law had the best drugs in town.
Anyway when I saw the Bushwackers perform again at the Macquarie Inn, I watched their guitar player and realised that it was Tim Gaze from his style. I saw him in a break and told him that I had seen him playing in Ariel with you & Bill. He was amazed that anyone would recognise him, particularly in Dubbo. I also told him that he used to play with Francis Butler & the 69'ers. I was in a Sydney band that one night supported Francis Butler. Stevie Wright, the main act never showed - he was too stoned, so we all had to do additional sets. I asked Tim whether he still had his pure white custom double cutaway SG Gibsonwith triple pickups and gold plated hardware. He said 'Hey Man where have you come from. I even forgot that I owned that guitar'.
Anyway, all that I have been able to find from your past career was a few bad downloads of a couple of songs, so I am pleased to find your early releases and some of the material that I have never heard. Could you keep me on your database and if you ever release more of your earlier material, please let me know. Warts up your Nose, Milesago and Garden of the Frenzied Cortinas would be nice but I know what major recording companies are like and the battle you go through to get this material out there.

John Cook, Dubbo 17.9.07

 

An unmemorable night in Castlemaine 1997 - Heckler one, Mike zero..

Dear Mike
Long ago I had a dual autographed copy of Living on a Volcano but a marriage break-up saw the ex get the album. I would love a new one but am having trouble getting one. If you could Email me with some details of how to get one, that would be great. I met you and Bill in Simpatico's restaurant in Castlemaine where you signed my old vinyl copy of Strange Fantastic Dream.
Haven't seen you since the Northern Hotel in Castlemaine about 1997. It was an interesting night with a very small crowd and it ended with a classic scene from a heckler. You might even remember.
Heckler says, "Play some blues."
You say, "Gonna play one of my own."
You play, "I'll be Gone."
At the end he says, "Thought you were gonna play one of your own."
You look over at me and my ex as if to say, "Just what's a fella gotta do in this town to get some recognition." Then start packing up without even acknowledging the heckler.
It still makes me laugh. Hope you've done better since.
All the best to you and Bill. Hope to hear from you soon.

Peter Howell 25.2.07

 

I resign! - we get about one person a month politely peeling off the e-mail list - this is my fave..

Mike I hate you so sotp sending me emails because i am not interested in you so buger off !!!

Lewis McCabe 2.1.07

 

Some LWTTT Chrissie messages - well, I had to write to them first..

You're very thoughtful!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Best Wishes and Love to you and yours.

Little Pattie 24.12.06

HI MIKE AND GUYS,
HAVE A GREAT XMAS AND NEW YEAR. HOPE TO SEE YOU ON 2007.

Thorpie (shouting as always) 22.12.06

Reciprocal Greetings for Xmas & New Year, Mike
All the best
Love
Margret

Margret RoadKnight 21.12.06

Thank guys, a lovely thought!
The same back to you. All you wish yourselves.
Lotsa love,

Suzanne and Lonnie Lee 22.12.06

Mike
Mrry blah blah and happy blah blah to you and the lads too as well
also....

John Schumann 19.12.06

Hi Mike 'n Bill
and a very merry chrissie to you all too .
about those elves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul Wheeler 22.12.06

 

Ash Wednesday makes contact

Hey Mike, glad to see you on Sunday. and musically, Darryl's keys did provide an 'authentic' sound to the Spectrum tunes. I was pleased that you had elected to leave these songs more or less intact - and still captured the spirit. have spent most of the evening delving through your archives and the related milesago database - fascinating stuff! Melbourne was the faraway tree for me back in the days of the TF Much Ballroom and the likes - I used to watch it on TV (Happening 70 and Go show) and read GoSet. I'm from Adelaide - but, I was at the Myponga Festival - just reminiscing over that one - wow, what a line-up. And I saw as many Spectrum concerts as I could - Adelaide Uni lunchtimes and similar - when Mark was playing drums. Underground music was very important to me then, still is. Anyway.. don't know how much space I have here so I'll give you my virtual contact details take a look www.ash-wednesday.com www.myspace.com/ashwednesday2006 and hopefully communique soon and hi to Bill, although we've never met adios for now Ash

Ash Wednesday 1.11.06

 

Rock & Roll Scars - some thoughts inspired by Nicky Campbell's reminiscences

Dear mycrudd,
Where to start?? Firstly, Rock n Roll Scars received in tact by Aussie Post today 14/09/06 with thanks. A mutual acquaintance of ours, namely Nick "Curley" Campbell e mailed me your web address last week, which enabled me to browse RuddPutt history and products available. You would probably have wondered who and where on earth did an order for the album come from??
Growing up in Melbourne's eastern suburbs 1/2 mile from the Matthew Flinders Hotel, the early seventies were a smorgasbord of great bands, musos and music. I decided to get amongst it and went to a lot of gigs in '72, and 73.
I got my start as a roadie after a gig at Festival Hall in Melb, not unlike the notes on the album sleeve by Ian McFarlane. Sherbet were on the gig as part of their Slipstream tour, Road Manager Jim Murrie called me over to give him a hand while i was hanging around some chicks chasing autographs.
That day was the start of a 12 year stint as a "roadie", with, and for some of the best people I've ever known, a lot of who, are today still my friends, and still stay in touch. eg Nick Campbell. I noted back then many Melb bands in those days used Strauss Audio amps and Nova PA's, so i went there looking for a part time gig, to learn the ropes and maybe set myself up for a full time gig after i left school in Nov 75, The guys at Nova,
Al Butler, Merton Ciddor, Rick Brown, Jim Mac and Jim V were very accepting of my inexperience and taught me shit that helped me hold my own. I remember the B404 Bass amp and new reflex bin (with red trim) Nova built for Bill Putt, and i was fortunate enough to be on hand the day he came in to give it
a work out. Ariel were back from the UK to "tour" and promote Rock N Roll Scars. An offer by Billy "Clover" Rowe and Mick Wickow one day at Nova, to join the Bloodshed Crew ensued. You may not recall me as a young 17 year old lugging Ernie Roses' red PA boxes around and helping set up and pack up at Ariel gigs, but i was there, during the summer of 74, 75 Ariel did a
lot of gigs, including the dreaded triples on Saturdays, say Matthew Flinders in the arvo, Sth Side 6 in the evening and then Hard Rock Cafe late, and that would've been on top of a double on Friday night. Billy Rowe and Mick Wickow were doing plenty of other gigs with Ernies' PA as well, which added to
the learning curve, i was like a sponge, i couldn't get enough gigs, Billy and Mick, treated me with dignity and gave me a great start, I still have my Powewart tour "T" shirt, you Mike, Bill, Harvey and John were always accepting of me, and said Gidday, which i appreciated very much.
Sunbury 75 is a stand out in my memory as Ariel played there on Friday night in the rain, did a double from Sunbury into the Croxton Park i think, and were back at Sunbury on Monday at lunchtime, to welcome the sun and play the anthem (I'll be gone) to open the set to the thousands of drowned rats who
had persisted through "Launching Place" like conditions all weekend, standing side of stage hearing the harp folding back off the ridge top, and seeing all those mud-caked music freaks appearing from under their soaking shelters was something i'll never forget, the reception for Ariel was phenomenal. I graduated roadies school during summer 75, 76, and tackled all
forte's of the road crews brief at one time or another during my career, FOH, monitors, stage, lights, rigger, both PA and Lights, truck driver etc,.
Mycrudd? you say, i worked for Sherbet in 1976 and of course came face to face with Harvey at rehearsals prior to Howzat, a reunion of sorts. I noticed that the words, "Hi Harvey" or something similar, "Mycrudd" had been written in texta on the side of the pantec of Sherbets' truck one day at a gig, i'm sure it was at Festival Hall, brought a smile to my face.
There is too much to tell here, but i attended the funeral of my old friend Gerry Georgettis in Melb in February this year and caught up with a lot of the old firm of road dogs, all drawn together by a common bond, to pay tribute to GG. I traveled down and back to Melb from Newcastle with Nicky
Campbell, who i have known since 1975, we met when he was working for Ron Blackmore. He called in to visit me a few weeks ago on his way home to Coffs Harbour from a trip to Sydney, as usual we had plenty of "road raging" to do, and said our see you laters' with a hug and a tear in our eyes. He is a legend, a true gentleman, and it is an honour to know him, and it was a real buzz to see his life and times acknowledged on your web site, he also, along with many others taught me values that have been the cornerstones of my life's experiences. Ariel, Spectrum, Murtceps etc havebeen a part of my life for the best part of 35 years now, and i am enjoying your music as much today as i ever did. Not a day passes when i don't recall
a roadie mate, a gig, a muso or band, or even a tune from that "golden era" of my time on the road. Old roadies never die, they just do other gigs.
Mike, it's been great to receive the cd, dribble some shit, and give the album a spin a few times while writing this e mail, i will be ordering some more stuff in the near future.

Mark Edwards - 14.9.06

 

The Lobby Benefit

G'day Mike,
What a night, what a night, eh? I trekked down from Canberra for the night and was damn glad I was there. Man, if they do put the show on up in Sydney I'm definitely going back for a second bite of the Wild Cherry, and this time I think I'll fork out the $200.
You're right about the crowding (glad I'd found myself a hole up n the balcony, although see of the action was blocked by a bloody mirror ball) and the sometimes unnecessary volume, which in some cases detracted from some of the performances I reckon. Good to see Spectrum put in a good solid small set and I look forward to catching up with you when
you're down in the nation's capital early next month.
take care

David Le Roy 3.9.06

hello mike&bill,
i read your write up on the lobby loyde, night and i certainly have to agree with you some of the bands were very loud and yes the smoke was terrible.myself and diane was right up the front and when rose tattoo played we couldnt understand a word angry, was singing or barnsey for that matter because simply too loud.chain,brian cadd,the maters,russell morris,wendy saddington and spectrum,were my pick for the night.see you at st andrews in a couple of weeks mike.

Vince Smith 2.9.06

..I was privileged to hear I'll Be Gone Like A Fly Without It's Wings at the Lobby thing. Nice to hear thinking musicians who play within the limitations of the PA instead of going at it like it was Sunbury in the 70s. I'm afraid it was not a pleasant experience being treated like a sardine - heated and smoked and constantly being buffeted by other, sometimes drunken, sardines on their way to/from the bar/toilet...

Ray Hogan 31.8.06

WOW Man what a fuckin Night!!!!!!
and you 3 were shit hot. Spectrum had a much better sound then at Long Way To The Top, Even allowing for the fact that the "little fella" had the PA tuned for the Aztecs. You just did not sound like a three-piece.*
The masters need to change their name to the Masters and the Apprentice (Wheatly give it a rest its time to retire- but good on him for paying his dues).
So the question on most peoples lips is ............ Was Jack Thompson in character or was that not an act the audience was getting from him?
Thanks again to you Bill & Robbo for what I believe was Spectrums BEST EVER Performance. Lets hope the three of you never require a night like that, but rest assured the same people will be there with the same amount of love in the air should it be required.
My respect to you all for helping out my old neighbour.
Peace, Love Happiness and Good Health to each of you

Mal Leishman 31.8.06
*I should point out that we were in fact a four-piece on the night, but Mal's view of the stage may well have been obscured..

 

Colin Talbot and Alana Galea on 20 to 1

mike
i was absolutely compelled to pen this diatribe(or letter) when i saw the top 20 songs list from channel 9...they didnt have 'i'll be gone' so i'll be buggered. at least i didnt see it.....should have been about number---oh, 12...
plus they had kylie singing locomotion which is not an aussie song and it's a cover yo boot and they had i honestly love you which i think was john farrar so that's all right but it was kind of an american production thing i think but i let that pass, and they had you're the voice by JF but that was written by the procul harem guy which is..debatable.. and they had ' good in bed' by skyhooks which wasnt even one of s/hooks better songs.
luckily the show was pretty stupid so it didnt really matter... still, it makes one think there should be a real list.
well, i guess i've really made you think. it made me think when i remembered seeing party machine in 1968 by windsor railway station in a joint in a parking lot with 'youve all got to go' and some song about animals, and you i read was in the band...sorry, were in the band.
there you go.
as i always say (or will try to from now on) keep on rockin snf hi to bill.

Colin Talbot 3.6.06

Hi Uncle Mike
After seeing your little article on the 20 to 1 compilation of Australian songs I thought I'd send you the article posted on my website. Let me know what you think of it and enjoy the reading..

I watched “20 To 1” last night, and although it was a nice try, it was obviously compiled without as much consideration as it should have been given. All in all, I consider 11 songs to be correctly placed and I have no complaints about their inclusion. However 11 out of twenty is a bit pathetic, to say the least. At number 20 was placed “Shout” by Johnny O’Keefe and “Bye Bye Baby” by Col Joy. This is the first of many misplacings. It shows contempt for Johnny O’Keefe and Col Joy’s contribution to Australian music. These are the grandfathers of Australian music and should be placed below a lot of the artists considering what they have given and how good their songs were. In the words of Peter Garrett “Shout” is “the spirit of Australian Rock” and the spirit of our own brand of music deserves to be placed lower than a cover song sang by an actress on a TV show, otherwise, we’re just dismissing the very thing we are trying to celebrate – Australian Music. read more

Alana Galea 26.5.06

 

Excuse Me Just One Moment While I... Ray Hogan's back with a gig review!

The refurbished turntable has now proved to have magical properties. No sooner had I completed a play through of the Spectrum/Indelible Murtceps catalogue than up pops an email message from Mike Rudd himself advising of a gig to be played by Spectrum Plays The Blues at 5.30. pm on Friday 19.5.06 at the famous Broadbeach Blues Festival. Less than two day's notice to find the blue suede shoes.
And what a gig it was! read more

Ray Hogan 19.5.06

 

Wild Thymers

ONYA Mike!
Gaby and I had a great time, a truly memorable night. I'm taken aback that you guys thought it was a special night, too. Aren't they always like that or was the night different to your normal gigs??
We drove around Warburton yesterday listening to the CDs and reliving the music from Saturday night. Whatever it was that delivered you guys to Wild Thyme we are grateful. We reckon you guys are fair dinkum legends!

Darcy 06

 

LWTTT lives on

My older brother, John, who is a genuine fan of many years (and apparently just a few days ago watched your contribution on the "Long Way To The Top" DVD, having also seen it live in Melbourne) is in town next weekend so I reckon we'll come and see you again when you play at the Lomond Hotel.
Looking through your website, it is a gem, congratulations. Very straight up and honest.
Thanks again and I look forward to the 'bootleg' edition of the Volcano CD in due course.
regards-->Mal

Mal Padgett 16.4.06

 

Love to hate - some thoughts inspired by the April Pith & Wind

Hi Mike,
Great to read your latest musings re' fear & love. I think there are different types of both - surely the 'useful' types of fear are the ones that preserve our life when confronted by mortal danger etc. - in contrast to the fear of the unknown or poorly understood (as in Howard's view of the world).
For me the sustaining version of love (as well as companionship) is the sort you just let happen; that is, I have to sweep aside all my baggage and prejudices and remind myself of how we are all connected.
An ongoing debate!
Regards,
Dave.

David Hicks (occasional Spectrum drummer) 9.4.06 - check out Dave's excellent drum tutor book at www.tarahall.com.au/stickfigures

Hi Mike,
I'm up early writing an assignment on families and mental health and your comments on depression were timely. Globally one in two will suffer from it and I wonder how we address the fastest growing illness in the world. Maybe reconnecting with music and art, poetry and literature will take us back to the that mystical experience without drug affecting fog.
The tour with Max and co would be amazing. I had to laugh as I went to a Catholic girls school in Heidelberg and we convinced the head nun that a lovely band would play at our school formal in 1973. We knew if we got Chain we'd have all the hot boys from the surrounding secondary schools. (Catholic of course as the protestants would have contaminated us as was the awful culture of the day.)
It was so incredible that we had multiple gatecrashers from the local skinhead group, the police and girls getting caught having sex in a cubby hole under the stage! We were banned from organising another Social and the head nun's final comment was"They were NOT just like the Seekers, Karen."
They rocked the hall and our world and it remains a pivotal point in my life as I had my first kiss!
Music and memories of time, people and place. Maybe that is our problem, not enough time to consistently connect with that ethereal feeling in our heads or in reality. We rely on substances to transport us. On the discussion with Max; you all look happy and enthused-transport that passion for your music and magic happens for all of us.
The rest of the "Do what you do do well" song is, I think, "feed your love and honour your heart". My Dad sang it to us but I can't remember any more. Good enough anyway. Have a great day.
Karen

Karren Burgess 7.4.06

 

Big, bad brother

Gambling is great isn't it? A state sanctioned activity that makes addicts of thousands of people many of whom can least afford it. Problem is the state itself is now addicted. Anyone who did Psych 1 in the early 70s would know poker machines operate on the strongest reinforcement schedule (the most addictive) - variable ratio. Is it any bloody wonder they're a blight on society? Radars, speed cameras and other devices used in the game of chance the state calls road safety are just different tools in yet another revenue raising enterprise. I look forward to the day all the radars and speed cameras are inside the pubs and clubs and we motorists can enjoy the odd win from the occasional roadside poker machine as we sail past at the correct speed.

Ray Hogan 17.3.06

 

And, this is why you do it..

Dear Mike,
...I have been a huge Spectrum/Murtceps/Ariel fan since I saw 'What the World Needs.......... on GTK in 1971, and saw Ariel when they supported Deep Purple at the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney and also at the 2JJ Studio at Clapton St. I don't know where you rate Disco Dilemma amongst your many great songs, but I just loved the melody and lyrics, as they were so relevant to me and a lot of other guys at that time. I should also tell you that I recently saw Mondo Rock in Sydney and after the concert had finished, the DJ played 'I'll Be Gone'. It was great to see and hear the whole crowd break into song and remain in the hall until the song had finished. Maybe you guys should come to Sydney.
I look forward to the release of the two live albums (I have 'More from Before') as I particularly enjoyed that line up. The inclusion of Glyn Mason and Tony Slavich seemed to the song writing and live performances. Glyn is another one of my favourite musicians. Anyway, I hope that you and Bill continue to do what you are doing and hope to see you in Sydney in the near future.
All the best,

Jeremy van Reyk 26.11.05

I read some article this week. It was about 50 things you should do to make you happy, or something like that. "Write to someone who inspired you" was one of them. So that is why I'am writing to you. You inspired me to play and write music. You had a great influence on me. The first band I formed played your songs. I was 15 at the time. And I'm still 15 now. Thank you.

Ross Bowen 21.10.05

 

Observant Ross

how'd you do dat?
pics of 14/9 & 12/9 on your news page - you have EXACTLY the same expression & head tilt !!!

Ross Wilson 30.9.05

 

Kevin Bloody Borich

Hi Mike,
Seeing you with Kevin reminded me of the times we had to get him down from the roof of a block of flats in Bondi Junction - he was convinced he could fly in the sixties. Once he told me he could fly across the road and land on 'that roof' (police station). Fortunately they were blissfully unaware of his intentions,(or his existence,probably). A lot of great times otherwise, with him and Phil. He never did return my Traffic and Small Faces records either.
I hope you will work with John Schumann - long story, I'll tell you another day.
Do you know your demographic? My five year old grandson, Jake, visiting from the Gold Coast, came shopping with me. He said 'Ah, that's better Nan' when I put Spill on, 'Much better than Dad's music'(hip-hop & rap). Long way in a car for a child with good taste in music.
Other end of the spectrum,(clever eh ?), my eighty two year old mother wouldn't let me turn the car off because Summertime was half-way through. When it finished she just said 'Wow'. When she gets her breath back I might let her listen to Manuela!
Cheers Pam.

Pam Cleary 8.4.05

 

Tsunami concert

Hey Mike,
I read your report on the Tsunami Benefit on your site and
felt compelled to write to ya.
I saw the show and loved it and have been subsequently raving about delighting in Thorpie's ebullient spirit. I really appreciated his including Phil Manning in proceedings (and PM played like a man 're-possessed'), and I loved that he incorporated you and Bill into the set, in what was a tribute to the halcyon daze of Oz Rock. He has such generosity of spirit, or spirit of generosity, ....whatever it is, Thorpie's got it like no-one else. Which is kinda unusual for someone with Thorpie's own ego (or level of self-confidence, or self-assuredness), I reckon.
Anyway I'm reminded that I said to my friends on the night that the performance of "I'll Be Gone", complete with vocal harmonies from Thorpie, and the 'kiss' (!!!), was a moment to savour, and I'm glad I was there.
The absolute highlight of the day, I thought, was Daddy Cool's
performance, which was just sublime. While not wishing to wallow in nostalgia excessively, I was in Teenage Heaven!
They've never sounded so good. Well, they've never played through a sound system that good, or been mixed that well, and obviously their collective musicianship has gotten better and better these last 30 years. I felt proud of the four of 'em.
Loved Cold Chisel too, and agree wholeheartedly with your summation of Moss as guitarist and singer. Let's hope the MIMF finds its feet and sense of direction next year.It's gotta become a 'festival' more than just a concert at the Bowl.
Keep up the great work on your website. It's so nice to have someone in music who's articulating an intelligent non-mainstream viewpoint, while documenting an interesting life !
cheers,
Gerald

Gerald McNamara 2.3.05

 

New Year's Eve

Hi Mike
..nice pic lol Poor Dave he doesn't look at all well!
I read what you said about the night and I agree with you. I said to Dave during the night that NYE must be so hard because young people just want to go out and get drunk and see friends, they don't seem to really care much about the music. Dave and I actually went there because you were there, and we had a really good time. I thought you were great, and I'm glad you don't look or sound like Britney Spears :-)
There were two other couples there that we met who also went there because you were there and they enjoyed it too. One of Dave's mates from the jail was really annoyed because they are Blues fans too and his wife is learning Blues guitar (she used to play classical) and he is learning Harmonica and they have been to Marlo every year for the past few years and not much has been on so they decided not to go this year. We all went on the Blues train together in Queenscliffe last year and had a great night.
I hope we do get to see you again soon, we do try to get to a few things during the year. 2004 we went to see Taj Mahal, Mavis Staples and Dr John and the Prince of Wales and we have being saying for ages we will get to Nighthawk and Jimis in Mentone, so who knows! Dave used to see you years ago at clubs in Melbourne like Berties and The Biting Eye, so he's a fan from way back.
Anyway, don't be depressed, it's a whole new Year...
Dave said to say he was sorry he didnt get to say happy new year to you guys but we had to catch the bus back to Orbost. As it turned out we sat on the bus for over half an hour waiting for everyone to come out. We had a quiet trip back to Sale the next day and listened to our new CD's in the car.. one was nice and mellow for our sore heads and the other one kept us awake between Bairnsdale and Sale :-)
Happy New Year..
Gwen

2.1.05

 

Living in the past..

If $5 today is worth around $1 in days of yore (probably worth less) then Andy Baylor's Xmas party is this week's bargain

Ross Wilson 22.12.04 www.rosswilson.com.au

 

Xmas messages

Hi Mike & Spectrum.
Dinah Lee wishes you all a very merry christmas and a happy new year......looking forward to catching up.............I go on the road starting Feb 18 2005 with Max Merritt & The Meteors our show is called "Rockin Is Our Business".......
Kind Regards.

Dinah Lee 17.12.04

And a very happy Seasons Greetings to you too Mike.
Cheers
Ray C

Ray Columbus 17.12.04

 

Unqualified raves about records

Hi!
I've discovered your great music thanks to internet. I'm
enjoying a lot "Superbody", "Drifting", "I'll Be Gone", "Make Your Stash", etc, altought I don't understand why such an awesome band it's so unknown out of Australia.
Do you have any plans of doing a lyrics section? It's difficult to me tounderstand the lyrics because of the language problem.
See yo and long life to Spectrum!

Paul Marco Spain 6.12.04

Mike,
I had a chance to have a good, uninterrupted listen to the CD on the way home from Falls Creek today. Man, all I can say is Congratulations!!! It's awesome!!! Apart from being great driving music, I just loved it so much, when it finished I hit play again & I haven't done that with an album in years. I particularly liked the treatments of "She's a Woman" (one of my all time favourite Beatles tunes AND I get very precious about reworkings of their songs) "Summertime" & the walloping you gave "Heartbreak Hotel". Your voice is sounding fantastic, with even greater range & versatility than ever. Great work, please pass on my heapings of praise to Bill & Robbo.
Peace & Love Bobby V

Bobby Valentine 5.9.04

 

What makes all the pissing round on the website worthwhile..

Hi Guys
I think people are quick to complain when they're not happy, so conversely, I think it doesn't hurt to make the effort to comment when we like something.
I was put on to your site by a mutual friend a while back and it has become somewhat ritualistic cathing up with what's going on. It's informative and eclectic, and I love the way it is written. I'm not sure who writes it but it really appeals to my probably warped sense of humour - the use of irony, sarcasm, not afraid to have a go at some bastard who deserves it - speaking of
which, I love the Alan Jones tapes.
I guess it can probably be a bit disheartening at times to put stuff out into"the ether" and not know who's reading it - well, lots of us are and for some of us, it's a bright spark in an often dull day. Keep up the good work.
Sue

Sue McIvor 27.10.04

I agree wholeheartedly with your comments on 9/11 Not only does most of the thinking world understand it is September the Eleventh, I along with thousands of other petrol sniffing drummers am annoyed that it has smeared the memory and reputation of the greatest and most iconic product Dr Ferdinand Porsche ever designed and built. Someone needs to drive a Porsche four wheel drive into the side of the Corvette Stingray factory.

Nigel Macara (Ariel's extant drummer) 16.12.04

I am really pleased to see your website. I've been a fan
since about 1974 when I was 13. got milesago off a mate on loan and never gave it back. worked at the ABC as a sound engineer for 12 years with Paul Petran(musi deli etc.) and always wanted the ABC to reissue milesago. they didn't. then i CD'd my vinyl copy and I listen to it all the time (along with Strange F.Dream and Warts up your nose).
So.. its great to see you're remastering your old records (but where's milesago?) I am gonna buy them. also great that you are doing new stuff (gonna buy that too).
I've only seen you once (eltham pub, mid 70s).
You guys cannot underestimate your value as musical geniuses. I am amazed by the stuff you did in 1970's and 80s and hope to see you live real soon. (i had no idea you were playing this much) I live near apollo bay so I'll check your gigs and turn up.
sorry to rave like a dickhead .

Duane Mitchell Vic.2.11.04

 
     
     
 
 
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