the other half are doing..
- While Spectrum races up to the Vine Hotel in Wangaratta
and Wahgunyah's Pfeiffer Winery this weekend, there's just a
moment to reflect on what the rest of the local music world's
1) Ariel's Harvey James
has linked up with some other local luminaries, including: on
bass, Roger McLachlan, drummer, Angus
Burchall, and lead vocalist, Mick Pealing,
to present Mighty Rock, possibly the ultimate
Oz tribute band. We can but hope. They're appearing at the Ding
Dong Lounge, (level 1 / 18 Market Lane in the city), Wednesday
week (the 10th). It's open to the public - better check with
Sandy Kaye about door prices on 0418 314 681 if you're interested.
Ask Harvey to play I'll Be Gone..
2) After the false alarm of a few weeks
ago, I'm pleased to announce that the Official Launch of Gerry
Hale's Innocent Bystanders is 8.30 tonight - Friday
the 29th - at the Czech Club, 497 Queensberry St, North Melbourne.
$15 entry. Ring 0429 384 861 to book or email firstname.lastname@example.org
3) If you were at the Sound Vault Awards
you would've heard Ross Wilson talking about
this event - ROCK FOR THE ROSES, a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis,
which was to be held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, but which
will now be held at the Queensbridge Hotel,1
Queensbridge St Sth Melbourne this Sunday the 31st of October
from 11.00am -10.00pm. Featured will be performances by Angry
Anderson and Rose Tattoo, Tex Perkins, Don Walker & Charlie
Owen, Penny Ikinger, Jerome Smith & Ronimo, Resin Dogs,
The Kelly Gang, Bomba, The Screaming Jets, Ross Wilson and the
Urban Legends, New Bedlam, Rob Draper, Girl Pilot, Josh Owen
and The Knockabouts.That's a helluva lineup!
Call Ticketmaster 7 on 1300 136 166 or check the website: www.rockfortheroses.com.au
you may never have seen
It seems to be a trend - we're hardly over choking back the
tears from David Porter's exhibition, when Gold FM assembles
SNAPSHOT, a collection of Australian music
photos of the '60s & '70s (most never seen before) at
the recently refurbished Ormond Hall (557
St Kilda Rd Melb - Blind Institute: enter via Moubray
St). The show only goes till October 31, so get a move on!
On display (and for sale!) are Beatles 1964 Australian tour
photographs, the superstars of Australian rock: Johnny O'Keefe,
the Masters Apprentices, the Twilights, the Groop, Russell
Morris, the Zoot, the Vibrants, Farnham & many more. International
acts from the '50s and '60s include Hendrix, the Stones, Joplin,
the Monkees, the Grateful Dead, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, the
Small Faces & more.
||You can buy CDs, books and gig posters
of the '60s, T-shirts and autographs.
There's still one more live show on this Saturday evening, featuring
Marcie Jones and Bobby Bright,
which should be a lot of fun. You might have to check the times.
The show's open from Mon. to Fri: noon - 8.00pm; Sat: noon-10.00
pm and Sun:10.00am- 6.00pm. Phone: 9723 0433 for more info or
or check the Gold Nostalgia website
there, ye landlubbers!
The stairs, the bloody stairs! 2) Part of the sea-faring crowd
bog in to a hearty lunch
Robbo checks out Broc crossing the Westgate bridge 4) Spectrum
up on the RMYS roof
big Roctober weekend
25.10.04 - It started with the Nighthawk Blues (formerly
the Armadillo) on Saturday night - and that was the critical
difference; it was a Saturday night. For some reason we'd
never played a Saturday night in its former incarnation, so
I was shocked to find the place almost full by 8.00, and by
10.00 the joint was packed to the gills. A bunch of ragers
they were too, and it was good to meet the new owner, Bob
Thomas, and to find he was a Spectrum fan from way
back. (He even got us to sign his copy of Warts Up Your
It was a drag to get up the next morning and be confronted
with 26 implaccable stairs at the load-in time of 11.00am,
but the rest of the (private) gig at the Royal Melbourne Yacht
Squadron more than made up for that annoyance. We met some
wonderful human beings who made us feel especially welcome
to lounge around their slice of prime St Kilda real estate,
and insisted that we go out on the Bay with them some stormy
Sunday afternoon. Special thanks to Barry Scott,
who organised the sheebang and attended to our every need.
We'll look forward to that one coming up again on our social
Jones' Nixon tapes
- Sometimes we all need a good laugh. Triple J has compiled
some hilarious moments from the (other) doyen of talk-back radio,
Alan Jones. Check it out.
Thanks go to Paul Culnane for the tip.
Sound Vault Awards
Bill takes care of business while the rest of us show off our
booty 2) Steve Romig gets a little too frisky
Bar award winner, Craig Horne 3) Cyndi boasts 4) Ross Wilson
auctions off his kids
Robbo with Sound Vault artiste, Jessica Paige 6) A lovely post-honeymoon
shot of Mr and Mrs Robbo
wins Mars Bar Award at the alternative ARIAs!
18.10.04 - The most coveted award of the
Sound Vault Awards was shared by Spectrum
and the Hornets.
The Mars bar award, for gratuitoustly mentioning
Sound Vault to the media, was by far the most desirable award
of the day because, in addition to the handsome plaque, we received
a packet of the sponsor's product and we can actually eat it
(I've started already). The bad news is that Mars has decided
not to sponsor the award next year.
The Sound Vault afternoon was decidedly on the quiet side, but
I saw more of it than I saw of the predictable ARIAs last night.
Sound Vault director Adam Johnstone says that
next year's show is going to be nationally televised
As you can see from the group photo, Bill had some good news
while the show was still winding down. The man on the other
end of the line was none other than Garth Porter,
ace country music producer, who's finally had a moment to listen
to Bill's song - and he loves it! check
it out (All pics by Robbo)
- not just a pretty face
18.10.04 - Speaking
of Robbo, (which we do often - see the items below), it seems
that the lad is a bit of a hero. He was visiting his parents
recently when his mum Margaret started to choke on a vol
au vent. While his dad Neil ran round in ever diminishing
circles, Robbo calmly walked up behind his mum and executed
the Heimlich manoeuvre, which immediately cleared the obstruction.
Every mum should have a son like Robbo. If you're uncertain
what to do in such an emergency, check this address.
It's a more common sort of incident than you might realise,
and you should be ready in case it happens to a family member
Bill and Robbo show off Kerri Simpson 2) Mike chats to Shannon
Bourne thinking he's Jeff Lang (see
Mike hauls the merchandise to the Telstra tent 4) Mike hauls
most of it back to the van again
Robbo's contender for the next album cover 6) Robbo, Ash Grunwald,
Shannon Bourne and Captain Inevitable
Robbo makes friends with a couple of imported drummers 8) Robbo
and Li'l Fi
16.10.04 - Robbo
has at last relented and sent me some of his Narooma pics. Pics
numbers three and four show just how cruel the music biz makes
certain un-named people. When there's hard work to be done,
Mike suddenly finds that everybody magically disappears, but
then somebody sneakily takes photos of Mike grumpily
lugging the mechandise to and from the mechandising tent.
Sometimes it can be funny though - especially when somebody
else is the victim. The pic (right) shows Bill marching
around Xavier wearing a big strip of gaffer that Robbo stuck
to his back. Laugh? I nearly bought my own beer!
Turnbull's little joke
12.10.04 - I might've mentioned that Jeff
Turnbull is researching Melbourne music clubs and discos in
the '60s and '70s, to which end he popped over and recorded
some of Bill's and my recollections. After the interview he
insisted on taking a couple of photos of us holding the controversial
A Strange Fantastic Dream album, and sent one to me
(left) headed, 'Mike & Bill explain.. This album
has nothing to do with drugs. Trust us! - we're musicians.'
Now you're over the gales of laughter, perhaps you might feel
like getting in touch with Jeff and acquainting him with your
recollections of those halcyon days at Berties and Sebastians
et al. You'll find Jeff at email@example.com
Hey Gringo review
- Daryl Roberts is a really nice guy, but he has this persistent
streak that gets him review after review after bloody review..
Here's yet another review in Rhythms by Al Hensley of Hey Gringo's
Funky Car CD - Bill and I actually feature on a couple of tracks.
Check out Hey Gringo's website (address on the Links
page) for more details.
'As well as laying down some seriously funky grooves, this smokin'
R&B combo based in Melbourne and centred around guitaristbassist
Paul Gadsby, keyboardist-harmonica player Daryl Roberts and
drummer Lee Oldman also specialises in swing, shuffles and latin-derived
rhythms. Flanked by Laurie Bongolais and David Williamson alternating
sax roles, occasionally Nicky Bomba on congas and backing vocals,
Bill Pitt (hah!) on slide and lan
Russo's trumpet, lead vocalists Gadsby and Roberts are joined
on some tracks by such luminaries as Ross Wilson, Broderick
Smith and Mike Rudd. Gadsby and Roberts also
share songwriting chores with input from Oldman for his blues
number 'What We Got' and the minor-key riff based 'Outta My
Tree', seasoned by Smith's wailing harmonica.
Wilson cowrote the country rock-flavoured 'Old Country Road'
on which he sings lead and plays harp. He reappears when Hey
Gringo poses the question 'What Is It with a Woman?', a blues
shuffle where all six featured vocalists - including Smith and
ace guitarist-harpist Rudd (woah!!! - a
quote for my gravestone!) - take turns singing verses.
Smith's pliant reedwork is again heard on the blues-soaked closer
'Tell Me Something'. A crisp and well balanced genuine black-oriented
sound surrounds smooth vocal tones and harmonies throughout
the hour-long program. Stabbing horn lines and tastefully executed
guitar, piano and organ breaks blend a total of 14 catchy original
songs together with unerring precision,
More intriguing elements of Funky Car include 'Moonslap' - a
six-and-a-halfminute instrumental workout - plus the amiable
opener 'Never Let Me Go', a swinging 'Now's the Time' and '12th
Bar Blues', the bluesy 'What's Been Goin' On?' and funkified
'Overnite', Roberts' clever, hook-laden title cut, containing
more than a faint, modernistic tint of Zappa, exemplifies his
wealth of composing talent. Both lyrically and melodically he
is equalled by team-mate Gadsby, generally each writing separately.
Emitting a Steve Miller meets Steely Dan vibe with a sprinkling
of Joe Jackson, Hey Gringo is an excellent band offering much
to lovers of jazz-inflected traditional R&B.'
points out to the crowd that they're being photographed in gallery
full of photographs
Gallery will never be the same..
- Bill and I and special percussion guest, the alluring
Jenny K, wobbled our way to the Monash Gallery of Art yesterday
afternoon - wobbling mostly because of the blistering pace of
gigging this month. We'd played Ruby's in Belgrave the night
before, and I don't think we'll ever get over the Market
St Tavern gig on Friday night..(see below) Still, it
was a lovely afternoon, and the gallery is beautifully situated
amongst the pines atop Wheelers Hill overlooking the Dandenongs.
Not only that, but the gallery itself is spacious and modern
and wonderfully appointed, so it was a pleasure to be there,
We met up with Melissa Hart, who'd organised the arvo, and set
up in the Unreal Rock space, with time over for a coffee and
a bite to eat. Melissa introduced us to Emma, whom, I discovered
after the event, was supposed to introduce us to the assembled
crowd, a point which unfortunately managed to elude me. So I
blithely began chatting to the people about the gallery toilets
and public toilets in general, ignoring the frantic signals
from Bill and Jenny that I was treading on poor Emma.
No matter, the afternoon was a relaxed stroll down memory lane
for all concerned and we made the most of the contrast to our
usual smelly, sweaty gigs. At the end of the hour Emma got up
again and tried valiantly for a post script, but I trod on her
all over again. We played Esmeralda to finish up, which
was tentatively embellished by the assembled throng, which I
thought was pretty brave in daytime and all.
Porter exhibition on again!
8.10.04 - We've got a very busy schedule
this weekend, what with the Market St Tavern
tonight and Ruby's tomorrow night, but I
always feel for the people who have children who just can't
get out at night. The good news is that Bill and I and special
guest Jenny K. on percussion are playing a set or two at the
Monash Gallery on Sunday afternoon between
3.00 and 5.00 to mark the last phase of the nostalgic David
Porter (Jacques L'Affrique) photo exhibition - and
you are welcome to bring the kids along. Entry is $5.00 for
adults $3.00 concession and children under 16 free. Monash
Gallery of Art 170 Jells Rd Wheelers Hill Melway 71 J10 ph.
Quill plugs No Thinking in the Toronto Star
7.10.04 - Is it synchronicity? I think so. The day
after I get an inquiry about the Rare Vision Ariel CDs from
a Toronto CD retailer,
Sam See contacts me with the news that an article
has appeared in the Toronto
Star, penned by our old mate (maaate!) Greg
Quill, mentioning both our fine CD releases. I'll take
the opportunity to remind you that Spectrum and Sam and Glyn
are appearing with a galaxy of Sound Vault stars at the Sound
Vault Awards on the arvo of Sunday 17th. It's going
to be a fun function, and absolutely unmissable!
in the hot seat
St Bedes College music maestro, Shane Hayton, sent
me this telling shot of his students giving us the once-over
at the Xavier lunchtime concert. Shane bussed the lads over
especially to catch the performance. The guitarists' collective
thought bubble is palpable i.e. 'I can do that' or
'I can do that better!' the more likely option.
accepts the donation on Spectrum's behalf
makes a donation to Spectrum!
6.10.04 - Yesterday Mike, Bill and Robbo
rose too early (bloody 7.30!) and got themselves to St Francis
Xavier College in Beaconsfield by 9.55 to set up their gear
for a lunchtime concert.
Why so early? As it happens, the boys were on several missions:
Mike and Bill were to deliver a talk on the Vietnam era for
a history class before the concert and then have another chat
to the VET students on songwriting and recording afterwards.
It all went rather well and everybody seemed very pleased to
see them, and St Francis Xavier even made a tidy donation (pic)
to the charity of Spectrum's choice (i.e. Spectrum).
begins with a bang!
with Dave and Sue at the Bees Knees motel 2) Li'l Fi checks
out her photo
Damian Cohen and our old mate Damon Davies 3) Dave Hole digs
himself out of one..
The best band at Narooma according to Bill - The Kerri Simpson
Kerri Simpson momentarilty loses focus 6) Robbo and Bill being
interviewed on 2EC
6.10.04 - Well, we've done the Narooma Blues Festival
now - and it was great fun too. Bill and I decided to leave
on Friday, a day earlier than originally planned, and I think
the move was justified in retrospect. As it was, the last
hour or so into our stop off on the way, Mallacoota, was pretty
hairy, driving in heavy rain on treacherous roads in the dark
By the morning the rain had cleared and we drove to Narooma
in pleasantly warm conditions. Our accommodation was at the
Bees Knees motel, just a few k's the other side of Narooma,
so we checked in there first and met our hosts, David and
Sue Beasley. Dave told me he was from Worcestershire, but
was born in Staffordshire, (which makes him a Staffy/Woosy
cross in my book), and he and Sue run a spotless premises
and make a lovely breakfast.
Then it was back to the festival site and finding out the
lay of the land. Apparently this is the first year on this
site (just over the road from the old site), and they have
three tents running concurrently, instead of two as in previous
years. They have multiple tents at Port Fairy of course, but
not next to each other like here, and not with pretty loud
bands playing at the same time either.The noise in the middle
of the oval was cacophonous at times, and I was forced to
flee and find some peace later in the evening.
Anyway, we'd arrived and we had time to say howdy to some
old mates before we were due on stage. I saw this face I recognised
but I couldn't remember the name that went with it, so I asked
Robbo who it was. He said 'Jeff Lang' and so I went over and
had a bit of a conversation with him.
I thought he looked a little perplexed while we were chatting,
so I wasn't entirely surprised when Robbo told me that it
was actually Shannon Bourne. So I went back to Shannon, (as
I now knew him), and apologised for calling him Jeff. He looked
even more perplexed and said he hadn't registered that I'd
called him Jeff in the first place. (Dirk Dubois said later
that I'd executed a backwards faux pas - either a
pas faux or a xuaf sap).
Just a few minutes later I had a similar experience, but this
time the situation was reversed. I was walking numbly through
the happy throng when somebody grabbed me by the arm and said,
'Ross, could you sign something for me?'
I looked around and found this earnest looking moustache with
a man attached, standing next to a wheel chair with a rather
chubby teenager of indeterminate sex glaring cross-eyed at
'I caught your set at Byron,' said the moustache, 'it was
I'd decided to ignore the fact it was an obvious case of mistaken
identity and sign the book for the hapless wheel-chair person.
The moustache made a grab for the book, but the wheelie held
on to it suspiciously, probably thinking to himself, 'This
isn't Ross Wilson, you idiot.'
The moustache eventually wrested the book away and I asked
who I was signing it for. 'Dan,' said the moustache, so I
duly wrote 'Onyer Dan - Mike Rudd' and to make doubly sure
they got the message 'Spectrum.'
'Thanks Ross,' said the moustache as I walked away.
There were other adventures at Narooma, equally as exciting
as that one, but I'll relate them to you on another occasion.
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