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Sarah Carroll and Chris Wilson
Andy Baylor benefit a hit
28.12.05 -
Given the timing, i.e. the day after the day after Chrissy, it could have been a fizzer, but Melbourne's music community turned up in numbers for the Rainbow's benefit night for Andy Baylor. Well, it was more like the middle of the afternoon when I opened proceedings, but I enjoyed a better crowd than I've been used to even so, and got a sympathetic hearing too. Immediately after me came Sarah Carroll (pic) with Chris Wilson backing up on harps, and then Mark Ferrie and Co. - but by now I was already starting to weary of the fast life and opted to drift back my comfort zone in Camberwell.
With Bill Dettmer simultaneously raising money for the cause down at Beaches in Mornington, Andy will hopefully clear a few bucks to keep the home fans blowing. I know you'll join with me in wishing Andy a speedy recovery

Mike awaits your pleasure
Mike's back at Fresh
23.12.05 -
I think I enjoyed it a bit more indoors last time, so maybe I'll do that as a matter of course. It's either too cold or too hot in the courtyard, although Pat did mention something about a pagoda being installed.. We'll see on Sun. 15th

Andy Baylor benefit lineup
23.12.05 - I happened to hear Chick mention this on the radio the other day, so I know that Chris Wilson and The Spiders, Peter Baylor, Ross Wilson and a host of other Melbourne luminaries

(and me) will be there this Wednesday night (the 28th) from 6.00. Sounds fun!

New Year's Eve not sorted!
23.12.05 -
I'm cool about Chrissy, but I'm downright sour about New Year's Eve, and it's a blessing Spectrum's been overlooked again this time around. I might be compelled to potter down to the Greyhound and take in Twin Lizzy and Status Quo exponents, Piledriver. I know they did my piles a power of good at their debut gig, except the gig's on Fri. 30th - bugger!


Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday..*
21.12.05 - Those of you Stop Press habitués with still-functional memories will remember that Bill and I choofed into 3CR not long ago and did and interview with one Iain McIntyre for some psixties psychedelic project or other. Well, it's come back to bite us - check this out!

Tomorrow Is Today: Australia In The Psychedelic Era (1966-70)
The mid to late 1960s were a time of immense change in global popular culture, as well as a period in which radical new attitudes towards sex, drugs and politics began to emerge. Due to be published by Wakefield Press in May 2006 and accompanied during a Melbourne festival by film nights, concerts and an exhibition, Tomorrow Is Today: Australia in the Psychedelic Era, 1966-1970 traces the evolution of Australian youth culture during this heady period.
Featuring chapters on such Australian icons as The Easybeats, Go Set magazine, The Loved Ones, Spectrum,
Russell Morris and Daddy Cool, Tomorrow Is Today will be an extensive guide to Australian life in the late
On Tuesday December 27th from 4-6pm and on every Tuesday thereafter in January, music fans and others with an interest in the period will get a taste of the book/festival and a chance to hear the Australian music that it covers as contributors Iain McIntyre and Ian D Marks (co-authors of Wild About You) present a series of two hour specials on Radio 3CR 855AM. The radio shows will include music and interviews as follows:
December 27th - The garage rock era: R&B and primitive rock n roll plus an interview with Herman Marcic of The Creatures.
January 3rd - 1966: The top proto-psychedelic tunes of the year plus an interview with Go Set editor Philip Frazer.
January 10th - 1967: The year’s top psychedelic pselections plus an interview with Lobby Loyde of The Wild Cherries.
January 17th - 1968: The year’s top psychedelic pselections plus an interview with Chris Lofven, film maker and member of Campact.
January 24th - 1969: The year’s top psychedelic pselections plus an interview with Bill Putt and Mike Rudd of Spectrum.
January 31st - 1970: The year’s top psychedelic pselections plus an interview with Ross Wilson of The Party Machine and Daddy Cool.
* A favourite saying of the legendary Hal Todd

A public service announcement
19.12.05 -
It's pretty self-explanatory really. This time of the year is hideous enough without the cacophonous accompaniment of zombie schoolchildren tootling or scraping an instrument, who are in your face in every shopping centre to a) earn a few extra bucks so they can loaf around on the footpath outside McDonalds with their mates b) simply get out from under their parents' feet, or c) somehow publicly justify their parents spending inordinate amounts of money on teaching their children to play their chosen instrument of torture to a certain level of competence, only to never play it again once they leave school. Oh, the humanity!

Fishy's is off, dear..
16.12.05 -
I'd just been advised by Yahoo! that I'd reached my daily limit of e-mails, in which I proudly highlighted that tomorrow night's Fishy's gig was sold out, when I got a phone call from Peter at Fishy's saying that due to a council prohibition on their having any amplified music on the premises, they were going to have to cancel! Damn! Apart from anything else, we were looking forward to playing at the new place. Oh well, there's always next year I s'pose. We'll keep you posted.
As far as I know, my solo gig at Fresh is still on this Sunday arvo. In the case of inclement weather, I'll be playing inside.


1) Ross Ryan has grown one.,. 2) and Mark is growing one..
There goes another one!
11.12.05 -
The weather was fine, and the new guitar is now behaving itself, so the fourth (?) in my series of solo appearances at Fresh @ Elwood was set up perfectly. I'd mentioned in my first set that Ross Ryan and Mark Holden had taken a shine to the Ariel song I Can Do Anything that I'd penned back in the '70s, when as if on cue, Ross Ryan appeared, only to be followed by none other than Elwood resident and natural redhead, Mark Holden.
I promptly did another version of ICDA and then accompanied Pat Wilson on a stirring version of Summertime, and it was over for another week.

It's a Brown Xmas!
9.12.05 - Last night there was a knock on the door, and when I answered it, there was Ron Brown, (pic), the mastermind behind the new Daddy Cool DVD, holding a couple of those precious pink (free) DVDs marked for Bill's and my Xmas stockings! Hooray! Santa lives! (Oops! - I sounded a little excited there. Sorry..)
I'll give it a spin over the next few days and let you know what I think

A website glitch
9.12.05 - As I write there is no new info coming up on the site. It seems to happen periodically that our host loses its marbles and can't identify any of its clients. It maybe that I find this more frustrating than you do.

Andy Baylor benefit
9.12.05 - I've put my hand up for the Andy Baylor benefit at the Rainbow Hotel, Wed. 28th of this month. Ross Wilson will be there too - I'll keep you informed about the lineup.

Mike back at Fresh @ Elwood this Sunday
7.12.05 -
I just spoke to Pat Wilson to confirm my spot at Fresh this Sunday arvo, and she told me that they had a full courtyard last Sunday, and as she was under the (mistaken) impression I was playing that day, she was reassuring everyone to that effect - but, of course I didn't show up. Yer typical bloody rock & roll communication glitch.
So, that was disappointing. I've just got George (Martin) back from Brenden at Real Guitars, and he's feeling nicely set-up and ready for action, not to mention I'm also hoping to have at least one more off-the-wall type tune off by Sunday, so don't miss it.
Mike's at Fresh @ Elwood 130 - 132 Ormond Rd Elwood Sun. 11th 2.00 - 4.00 9531 4130

1) Spectrum poses with Gary Foley (centre) 2) Busking champion does his unique thing

3) A poignant shot of the empty Paramount stage
gig report
Spectrum reborn - and nobody came
5.12.05 -
It was a coodabeen weekend in so many ways, particularly in relation to the Paramount Cinema gig. At first glance, the venue (Level One) is a contender as a replacement for the Continental Café, and, from a performers' perspective, but for an all too modest stage and PA, it could slip into the role tomorrow. The reality is though that it isn't the Continental, and so it came as no surprise that only a few enthusiasts witnessed the first hesitant signs that the keyboard-enhanced version of Spectrum had re-emerged from an epic hiatus.
It really was quite satisfying from a musical point of view, the musical exchanges were very reminiscent of the 'old
days', and the audience seemed to enjoy it all as well - it's just disappointing that there weren't more there to share the euphoria. (Incidentally, I'd tried to watch the Sunbury DVD at home before Bill and I pre-recorded the Off The Record segment on Thursday, but found it impossible to do more than skip through it, so I took advantage of the opportunity to see it all on the big screen at the Paramount. Spectrum wasn't there of course, but Billy Thorpe is - in abundance. I don't have very fond memories of any of the Sunburys, (however many), and this document doesn't really change anything).
The Black GST gig at Edinburgh Gardens was another coodabeen - but this time it was a potential misadventure to do with the weather - predictions were for showers, and as there was no stage or cover provided, it coodabeen awkward. As it turned out, the showers amounted to a few drops, and while the wind was pretty gusty, it remained fine throughout. Gary Foley welcomed us with open arms (pic) and everybody made us feel welcome and that we were doing something worthwhile, and it was a pity I felt so drained from the previous night's activities, otherwise I might've enjoyed it even more.

Robbo scared me with this pic he sent to my phone..
Venue for Black GST gig changed
1.12.05 -
I was just about to send out a reminder about this weekend's gigs, when I got an e-mail from Maya, saying the venue for the Black GST gig had been moved to the Edinburgh Gardens in St Georges Rd, North Fitzroy. I believe we will be found nestled somewhere between the toilet block and the rotunda. Linguistically speaking it's an improvement on the lame 'rock and a hard place' cliché, and one might hope it may enter the language on that basis and not as a result of anything that may or may not happen on Sunday arvo. (Incidentally, as well as Rod Quantock, Greg Fleet and Marcus Jones will be spitting out the odd witticism - wholesome food by Lentil As Anything).

In case you're not familiar with the Edinburgh Gardens, White Hat says that the gardens 'are a marvellous combination of open space, sportsground, barbecue area, gardens complete with long-established European elm trees, neighbourhood house, skateboard bowl, tennis and basketball courts, ethnic festivals, bandstand, bowling greens and bocce links, remnants of the old Melbourne rail loop, gracious living, living on the poverty line and a magnificent grandstand dating from its days as the home of the mighty Royboys.' And Spectrum on this Sunday..


Mike and Bill think of smoked mussels with Brian Wise
Mike & Bill speak Off The Record this Saturday
1.12.05 -
To help advertise Spectrum's upcoming gig this Saturday night supporting the Sunbury movie at the Paramount Cinema Restaurant, Bill and I turned up to Triple R's new studios opposite the Lomond Hotel in East Brunswick to speak with Rhythms' Brian Wise. I even brought one of my scrap books of the period to help jog everybody's memory, but we managed to chat on quite effectively without reference to actual events. Nobody really knew how many Sunburys there were - I thought four, but I was out-voted and we settled on three. It doesn't really matter - all you've got to know is that Spectrum isn't in the movie, but we'll be there in person to bring it all back home. Triple R Sat. 3rd 10.00am - 12.00pm
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