March
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We're begging you, please! We're down on our knees!

Another pic from David Porter per Ron Govett. See what it's all about by checking the other shots..
 
Surprise!

1) Ian is totally surprised as he opens the Yak Bar door by the waiting crowd yelling 'Surprise!'
Ian McCausland celebrates 60th birthday
31.3.04 - The Yak Bar was the scene of a surprise birthday party held to honour one of the real gentlemen of the Melbourne music scene, Ian McCausland. Ian was duly surprised and not a little delighted to see the turnout, which was a veritable who's who of the I-remember-50-with-nostalgia set.
Regrettably I had to leave early, just as Les Stacpool and Peter Robinson were grinding into action in fact, but I managed a few words with Greg Macainsh, who has nearly completed his Law degree and is quite properly heading in the intellectual property direction, given the interest being generated in that area right now. (see the downloading links)
Somebody tipped me off there was a program on SBS at 10.00 about Bruno Lawrence, and because of my early exit from the party, I ended up being able to watch that instead. You'd most probably know Bruno from his role as the Brian, the producer in the hit TV series Frontline. I first came across Bruno in Christchurch in 1966 when he was playing with Claude Papesch in a strip club called Club 77. Everybody made mention of Bruno's eyes, and somebody said they were 'listening' eyes. I remember them well - they were listening too, but they were mostly bloody scary!
 

2) Omigod! It's YOU! I couldn't see anything in my sunnies 3) First Jak Management and Graeme 'Grimy' Webber

4) Bill pretends Ian isn't there and Ian sees somebody he'd rather be with anyway 5) Greg Macainsh and Roger Treble

6) The legendary Les Stacpool 7) Peter Robinson
 
Rob MacKenzie makes stunning return to Elwood

1) Rob and Robbo only have eyes for the back of their eyelids in 'I Only Have Eyes For You'
Mackenzie's Hypotheticals rev up
Blues Jam
28.3.04 -
The usually straight-ahead Sunday evening Elwood Blues Jam was buzzing tonight after Rob MacKenzie (ex-MacKenzie Theory) played a set with his pick-up band the Hypotheticals - which included Spectrum's Robbo on drums, Rob's nephew Will on bass and resident band member Adrian Reeves on keyboards. Rob picked up where he left off on the Derek Gille show the other day, and treated the full house to a dazzling display of guitar pyrotechnics in a variety of surf and jazz numbers presented with wit and affection. Rob even crooned (sort of) Steely Dan's The Fez and Robbo accomodatingly donned an inverted ice-cream container to represent the headpiece in question.
It was quite a night too for Spectrum's Bill. Not only did he star on lap-steel with the Ron Tabuteau band during the evening, but it was his birthday, and he wore his not-very special T-shirt to mark the occasion. More shots
 
 

2) Rob and the Hypotheicals L-R Rob, Robbo, Adrian and Will 3) Young Will - he's only had that bass for a couple of weeks! 4) Mr Bill Putt demonstrates the art of Rubens' lighting and keeping his eyes open for the photo
 
Sturt St goes out with a bang!

1) Robbo poses with aspiring drummer Dylan and his dad 2) Part of the happy crowd after the first set
Last time for Spectrum at Sturt St Blues?
28.3.04 - Spectrum played what could be their last gig at Sturt St Blues on Friday night, and the magic was palpable again. 'The only thing I like about playing at Sturt St,' I declared after the first set, 'is playing at Sturt St!' This is a reference to the bitching stairs of course, which combined with the travel time and the lack of facilities make the evening a bit of a marathon. But the gig itself has that intangible 'something' that makes it worth all the backache. We played a 75 minute first set and 90 minute second set, just because it was so enjoyable for both band and audience.
 
David Porter shots of Spectrum for exhibition
'70s shots re-emerge in the noughties
25.3.04 -
Today I received a CDR in the mail from occasional correspondent Ron Govett, with the accompanying shot of Spectrum presenting their Misère concert (circa '72) at Cathedral Hall, scene of the TF Much and Much More Ballrooms.
Coincidentally, I received in the mail a couple of shots of Spectrum directly from David Porter himself just a few days ago. It seems David is now living in the Blue Mountains (as you do) and is holding an exhibition there featuring many of the shots he took of us in the '70s, and has asked Ron to organise one here at the Victorian Arts Centre. We'll keep you informed.
 
What's this Batman?
Bill sits in with Hey Gringo
25.3.04 - Robbo's providing the back-beat with Rob MacKenzie tonight on Derek Guille's show, and he's a regular member of the Wolfe Gang, plus you see him nearly every Sunday at the Elwood Blues Jam, so you could say he's an established moonlighter. Bill very rarely appears out of the Spectrum context, but these days you can catch him sitting in occasionally on lap steel with Hey Gringo as they do the rounds promoting their new CD. Both Bill and Mike appear briefly on the CD, so it's worth a listen if you're in the mood. (Check Links to find the Hey Gringo website).
Bill's seen here with the Gringos at their recent appearance at Rhythm & Views, which, I'm sad to relate, is closing its doors for the last time later this year.
 
Know this face?
MacKenzie's theories on the ABC Thursday @ 7.30
23.3.04 -
Bill and I were in the Accidental Music Studio today, and just as I was about to overdub a harp part onto I Ain't Superstitious, the phone rang. It was Rob MacKenzie! The last time I heard from Rob was about ten years ago when he was over for his mum's 80th birthday. (Well, that's what we think, 'cause he's over for her 90th this time).
We decided to meet at Déja Vû in Carters Ave, but when we got there we found it was shut, so we went round the corner to Romeos and had some minestrones. Rob told us he's still living in LA, but he's not with Sha Na Na anymore - after a 12 year stint he's taking a step back and thinking about doing some other projects.
When we told him of our trip to the States on the eve of the millenium, he nearly fell off his chair. As we flew overhead, Rob was playing with the 'Nas on Suva for a couple of millionaires' cruise ships. Listen for Rob playing some fab surfing tunes on the Derek Guille show on Thursday night @ 7.30 ish- Robbo's playing with him too!
 
Mike tootles while Romig burns..
photo by Rallantando
Whose benefit?
21.3.04 - Last night it was the Rainbow's turn, and Bill, Jenny and I duly rolled up to the (world famous) Rainbow Hotel and bravely played a restrained set of nylon-string faves from the Volcano set. 'Bravely' because somebody the night before had nicked the second DI, meaning Bill and I had to share the one remaining - and we're not good at sharing.
Still, that's done. I did my 'tootle' at the Romig bash on Wednesday (pic) in the overpowering menstrual surrounds of the Lido in the Glenferrie Arcade. (I used to live round there and often wondered what it must be like. I reckon it would be a grand venue for the return of the TF Much Ballroom).
See you at the Sturt St Blues gig on Friday..
 
Benefit #1 down - two to go..
15.3.04 -
A lazy autumn Sunday arvo in Upwey saw Mike and Bill - and guest percussionist Jenny - hit out with a few nylon-string numbers to break the monotony. We said hello to a few friends, including Gerry Hale, Jessica Paige (pic 1) and Jessica's dad, Steve Romig, (pic 2) who's practising his self-satisfied leer for Wednesday night's launch of his well received (see this week's Mixdown review) Touch CD.
Speaking of the press, check out this month's issue of Rhythms for a full page review of Rare Vision's Ariel re-issues by our dear friend Billy Pinnell.
 
Odd Spot - things in reverse in the Northern Hemisphere
11.3.03 -
David Mann, an occasional correspondent with Stop Press, found this oddity while cruising the Net. Of course, the Spectrum in the pic is Spectrum the venue, but we can dream.. (Incidentally, the source of the photo is: http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~jasmith/personal/ and belongs to a James Smith, a Canadian dude who works at the Ambulatory Robotics Lab at McGill University. I would guess he's never heard of Spectrum the Aussie band).
We're always happy to hear from you and we're embarrassed our Contact us service is down, but you can still contact us on the mikeruddbillputt@hotmail.com address, and we'll happily answer any questions you might have.
So there..
 
Rutherglen revisited - Spectrum rocks Festival-goers in heatwave conditions
1) The courtyard setting at Café Shamrock 2) Robbo and Bill are tired even before Spectrum starts playing! 3) The Shamrock's Karen and Gerard graciously put Spectrum up in their home - it used to be a pub back in 1860

4) Robbo is surprised by paparazzi as he emeges from a refreshing shower 5) The massive marquee at Jones Winery where Spectrum played to.. 6) an equally massive audience..
Spectrum have too much fun at Rutherglen
8.3.04 - How far do we have to go to have fun? Rutherglen will do. Spectrum played the Shamrock again, and this time the joint had been booked up months in advance. We played in the courtyard, and a most attractive environment it was. The crowd were up dancing right from the start, (even in the nylon-string set!), and by the end of the night everybody was very tired and emotional - but happy.
We retired to our hosts' pad for the night, and set out the following morning for Jones Winery, just a couple of k's down the road.
We were there before 11.00, but it was already too hot, with the prospect of getting hotter, so we weren't totally impressed with the marquee provided, but as it turned out, we actually had fun playing hidey with the sun as it zoomed overhead. Most of the audience took refuge under the trees 30 metres away, but they seemed to enjoy the entertainment thoroughly anyway.
Leanne Schoen, one of the partners in the Jones' concern, saw to it that we were comfortable throughout the day and made sure we got a dozen bottles of their product before we left. We're looking forward to next year already.
 
 
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