Queenscliff Festival Snubs Spectrum
3.9.04 - Spectrum won't be playing the Queenscliff Festival again this year. A source close to the band revealed today that nobody was particularly surprised given band leader Mike Rudd's controversial support for a wind farm on the Queenscliff foreshore. 'Pissing off the unsightly macracarpas and pine trees and replacing them with attractively designed 40m tall wind turbines will be a positive move for Queenscliff,' said Rudd the other day. 'Not only will the town be the cleanest, greenest town in the state, it will attract eco-tourists from all over the world.'
Rudd also supports calls for the turbines to be decorated with traditional indigenous designs interpreted by Mirca Mora in a turquoise mosaic. 'Mirca's slowed down a bit lately,' said Rudd, 'but she's really looking forward to the challenge of sticking tiny bits of coloured stone to a turbine 30 metres in the air in a howling on-shore gale.'

As well as the links at the top of the page, we've got..

More Links!

Book Spectrum

How to book Spectrum for that special function

Contact us

Get in touch with us and make a comment or two


Give us your thoughts on the file-sharing conundrum


Some helpful links to Spectrum's favourite people

Check out Bill's Twang and Robbo's Blah on page 3


Find back-issues of the Bloody Newsletter and Stop Press

Stop Press

All the very latest news and pics

Odd Spot (thanks to Dave Mann)
Vittorio de Sica's The Garden of the Finzi Continis is the early-matinee presentation at the Astor this Sunday, Sept. 5 at 2.00pm The film's title was the inspiration for Ariel's Garden of the Frenzied Cortinas on A Strange Fantastic Dream.

3.9.04 - Yeah, I know - it's not till October, but I got this 'request' from Sound Vault head office to stick the poster up on the site, and it's as well to toe the line 'cause we're in the running for the Mars Bar Award and we don't want to upset anybody at this stage. It's a good line-up you'd have to agree, and I think it'll be a great show - a great show to which you can bring the whole family. Hooray!

Issue # 11
  Pithed again..
There was a sense of dèja vue when Bill and I trotted down to the Manningham Gallery the other night (Wed. 1.9.04) to play a part in the opening of David Porter's Unreal Rock photographic exhibition. One of the first gigs Spectrum did back in the '70s was to play at an exhibition opening somewhere in South Yarra. I can't remember whose exhibition it was now, but I think it was some sort of installation, because we had to find bits of floor on different levels on which to set up. I seem to remember polished wood pyramids...
I also remember getting quite excited about this and possible future liaisons with 'legitimate' art and artists. I thought that Spectrum was doing something quite adventurous and not a little mysterious (even to us) that almost justified being called 'art'. And, at that time, artists were quite keen to be associated with pop
musicians. Not because we were deep and artistic mind you, but as brash young recording artists, we had unlocked a market the size of which they could only dream about. It was simply the belated impact of mass production of course, but it had yer painters and sculptors sidling up to us musicians and trying to discover by osmosis what the magic ingredient might be.
I mentioned this in passing in my little speech to the huddled mass that rolled up to wallow in the nostalgia at the Unreal Rock opening. I don't think it was such a bad speech, but I get a little wound up reading things as opposed to singing them, so I probably didn't do it any favours.
For that reason, and because I'm a lazy bastard, I'll reproduce that speech for you now in this column. If it's pictures you want, check out the report in Stop Press.

When these photos were taken, there was a sense that everybody in our baby-boomer generation was setting off on a big adventure. After all, these were the ‘70s, horizons were limitless, jobs were plentiful, and we were no longer constrained by the expectation that we would inevitably follow in our fathers’ footsteps. You could choose to be a musician for instance, because that’s what you wanted to be, and then you could set your musical course to infinity, and your gallant audience would follow you enthusiastically to the outer limits - and beyond - of your ability.
Pop music was the happening medium of the times. Everybody knew the Beatles, and those lovable Liverpool lads were the captains of the good ship What Next? Expectations, so dreary and predictable during the War and the ‘50s, hitched themselves to a star, and that star was pop music.
Pop music and fashion were for the young, and pop magazines told us the news. Go-Set told Australian fans what was hot and what was not, and David Porter (as we knew him then) was one of the merry band of Go-Set photographers recording the exciting developments on the Melbourne scene in particular.
Eventually, the musicians that were in music for more than just the fringe benefits, started to experiment with their music (amongst other things), and to push the boundaries. The Let It Be agency was created by a bunch of disaffected agents and artists to find a way of connecting to a market, any market, in the course of which they created their own venue – the TF Much Ballroom.
It’s been forgotten to a large extent, that the original TF Much Ballroom was an attempt to marry music and installation Art in particular. The entrance to the Cathedral Hall was once made up to resemble an inflatable plastic vagina that you pushed your way through to be rebirthed as a happy / hapless hippie, and to discover for perhaps the first time the joys of lentil burgers, patchuli oil and and a vast array of bongs available from the market-style stalls set up inside. Once, even more provocatively (given that the Hall was owned by the Catholic Church), Hell’s Angels bikers rode their choppers into the hall in a daring and not entirely successful attempt at a ‘happening’. Ross Wilson’s Sons Of The Vegetal Mother’s Garden Party EP is probably the only recorded evidence that such a collaboration ever occurred. read more
Just when you thought it was safe.. blah.. blah.. I'm moving again, so all my time and energies are being used up doing what one does when one has to move. But the biggest piss off is pulling my studio down and putting it in storage, (not a good thing for my general head space). So, if you see me at a gig and I look pissed off, go and talk to Michael and Robbo. But don't mention Collingwood to Robbo, (who, by the way, still hasn't given me the wooden spoon I so richly deserve...)
Anyway, as I said before, moving sux.
  NOooooo – Not a country gig on GRAND FINAL DAY!
I’m not happy, people. Grand Final Day and Spectrum’s got a gig on in the country. What’s goin' on? I normally don’t mind playing on GF day if it’s local, but this gigs in Rutherglen over three hours away, which means we’ll be travelling during the game.
POO! Shit! Bum!
The last time I traveled to a gig on GF day was in 1980 when Richmond destroyed Collingwood. I had to sit there in the car with anti-Pie people and suffer all the way. The gig was in Deniliquin, and when we got there the whole Pub was done up in Collingwood colours, so you could imagine what the vibe was like that night with a room full of miserable drunks (including me)!
Another memorable GF Day was 1990 when the Pies brought it home after 32 years – the first flag in my lifetime. I was there and had the best footy day of my life. Unfortunately I had a gig on that night, so I couldn’t party on too hard..
read more





Book Review - Magic Circles by Bob Mason
Once again the 'regular' dealer of the month feature has been postponed in favour of a usurper, but I thought that this book deserved my bringing it to your attention. There's not a lot that hasn't already been written about the Beatles, so Bob Mason is to be commended simply on those grounds. That he establishes a novel and largely plausible thesis about the intent of the Beatles' (and BobDylan's) songs that we've all somehow missed when the evidence was right there in front of our eyes and ears, is quite remarkable.
I don't use the description of 'thesis' lightly. I've been subjected to a few of them over the years, and I know the style - or, to be strictly accurate, the lack of style. According to the Duffy and Snellgrove website; 'Bob Mason has a PhD from Monash University for his work on the Beatles.(Aha!) He is a Melbourne-based computer analyst and intellectual entrepreneur. He has three children and five
university degrees.' (I like that last bit).
I saw Bob chatting about the book on the ABC Book show a few weeks ago and was immediately intrigued. I had to order the book as it wasn't visible on the shelves, but it's worth searching for if you're the type who can't get enough of the Beatles. I'm going to recommend it to Ross Ryan. Ross is familiar with both the Beatles and his Bobness, while I'm a little sketchy on Dylan's stuff - a lot hangs on how credible Dylan's story sounds.


back to the top