I’m thrilled to share the cover of my latest novel, The Legacy of Old Gran Parks, available from 31st March, 2018. It’s a dark comedy thriller and I had such a lot of fun writing the story. Big thanks to all the team at HellBound Books for believing in my work and being generally amazing! A huge thank you to local photographer Wesley Stephens for his photo of Point Hicks lighthouse, and a very special mention to local resident and dear friend Cassarndra Skarratt, without whom this book would never have been written. ‘Gran Parks’ is available for pre-order too – see below. Stay tuned for details of the official launch on 12th May at the Cann River hotel!
Set in Cann River in Australia’s rugged southern wilderness, The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is a tale of a remote town haunted by a legacy, a legacy with ominous consequences.
It’s a warm evening in the autumn of 1983 when Miriam Forster rolls into town in her broken down car.
Frankie the deer hunter, is up in the forested hinterland with her gun. Old Pearl the fisherwoman sits on her front deck down by the lagoon with her whisky and her dog. And Emily, the English backpacker, scrubs out the pie-encrusted kitchen at the roadhouse.
All is not well. There’s a hoon doing donuts at the crossroads and screaming down the fire trails in the woods; a suspicious-looking city-slicker with two small children, squatting in Fred’s shack down by the lake; a beanie-headed gaunt guy convalescing at the lighthouse; and an acne festooned creature in the hotel room next to Miriam, thrashing about in the night.
Gran Parks is stirring. Who will survive? Who will get away? Who will stay?
Where: O’Donnell Gardens St Kilda opposite Luna Park.
Opening Night for Festival / Latin American Art Exhibition St Kilda 2018:
23 February at 4Diverse Hub, from 6 – 10pm, at 118a Carlisle Street, St Kilda.
The first annual St Kilda Latin Festival will take place 23-25 February with music, dance, food and art from Latin America.
The festival will begin with an opening night at 4DVerse Hub featuring an art exhibition with works by talented local Latin American artists, along with music and food from local Latin American restaurants, starting 6pm on 23 February.
The festival, organised by Casablanca Events and supported by City of Port Phillip Local Festivals Fund and 4Dverse, will continue with a full weekend of festivities hosted in St Kilda’s O’Donnell Gardens next to Luna Park.
Pedro Holder, who has spent most of his career working in creative arts promotion in Venezuela and China, said that he noticed that Latin American cultural events in Australia usually include only music, dance and food, so his inclusion of an art exhibition aims to showcase more creative diversity from the region.
“This exhibition brings together some of the great talents of Latin American visual art who reside in Australia, and in doing so helps to overcome some of the stereotypes about Latin American culture as only dance, music and food.
“In future Latin events, we hope to expand even further to include performing arts, film and literature”.
The funniest and filthiest broadway show in years finally arrives in Australia.
An irreverent, occasionally shocking, and perpetually hysterical romp to hell and back, Hand To God’s exploration of the ideas of faith, morality, and human nature will leave you sore with laughter.
With an all star cast in a brand new Australian production. Featuring Logie and Helpman Award winner Alison Whyte, multiple AFI and Logie award winner Gyton Grantley and Grant Piro, Vass Productions are thrilled to present the Australian premiere of Hand To God, the wickedly funny broadway smash hit.
Nominated for 5 tony awards, and garnering ecstatic reviews.
Hand To God is a wild, subversive, shocking and sidesplittingly funny black comedy that has made waves around the world.
What do you think about, when you’re alone, in the dark?
Night Songs is a collection of beautifully evocative and lyrical jazz-based songs that explore the stories created by the mind when we’re alone … at night … in the dark … without distractions.
It’s impossible to stop thinking, not even meditation or medication can silence the relentless chattering that generates a whirlwind of thoughts, memories, feelings and emotions in a never-ending stream of consciousness.
Even amongst the anxiety and sleeplessness there’s always time to yearn for connection on Facebook too!
Written and composed by Natasha Moszenin.
Vocals by Jai Luke, Claire Nicholls and Lara Vocisano
Navigating who we are has never been tougher, access is blocked with the promise of beauty and perfection. The personal highway to our soul is in multi-lane gridlock, diversions from the self at every exit.
Australia’s most celebrated underground performance artist & the worlds original sex clown Glitta Supernova guides you on an intimate fleshy foray through the parallel universes of ’90’s club culture & performative theatre.
Psychedelic, Satirical, Personal & Political storytelling that’s packed to the rafters with puns, punches & possibilities. BODY MAP is deep dive across the consumer bordered planet and into our inner being, highlighting our capacity to transform despite the odds.
Think The Mighty Boosh crossed with Black Mirror. The Body Map bordello bus pulls itself into Melbourne’s The Butterfly Club this March. Tap into the tail end of the massive 12 month sell out tour across Australia and New Zealand which has amassed a total 6 nominations and 3 awards including Top Gong winner “Best in Fringe 2017” award, “Best Cabaret 2017” & “Most Outstanding Fringe Performer”.
As one of Australia’s key underground culture makers & creator of Australia’s 1st Burlesque Club “Gurlesque” Glitta’s working class Dutch roots & a consistent anti-‐establishment message set the tone for a show that’s wanting to reach in and shake your soul memory up.
This is what happens when an original 80’s punk makes it through the vortex into 2018 -‐ more Anarchy, Bingles and Chaos than you could poke a selfie stick at.
“An audacious, hilarious and sharply political show. Don’t miss it!” Theatreview
“I was laughing the whole time. Go see it-‐ all of it. Burn the images into your retina” -‐Colosoul Magazine
“Body Map exuded both vulnerability & subterranean glamarama.” –ALT MEDIA
“A Tiki tour like no other through the highs, lows and bouncy bits of the life of an Ozzie party girl in the club scene of the 90’s.” - Theatreview
“The artists red light surrealism broke new ground, Body Maps socio political commentary on objectification and the beauty myth pulled no punches” - Otago
Nikki Nouveau’s new show Kabaret Dietrich took me back in time to a place in my childhood when life was much simpler.
As a kid Marlene Dietrich featured in many of the old black and white movies on early TV and I always was fascinated by this vamp of a woman and her haunting voice.
She was a megastar of her era and very much against the politics of her native Germany. She was famously quoted as saying, “The Germans and I no longer speak the same language.”
Marlene lived until her 90’s and managed to reinvent herself continuously to maintain her career, sadly becoming a ‘hermit’ in the last few decades of her life.
Nikki Nouveau brings Marlene to life on stage through the eyes of Lola Lola, one of Marlene’s characters, from ‘The Blue Angel’, in this short and sweet presentation of Dietrich’s life.
Set in a dingy club of the Weimar Republic Nikki nails the unique timbre of Dietrich’s voice and accent and tells us the story of Marlene’s life of which many aspects people would be unaware. The musical saw was certainly one of her talents of which I was unaware. It happens to be one of my favourite instruments and it was wonderful to hear it so deftly played in one of the songs.
You will love her renditions of classic Dietrich torch songs like ‘Falling In Love Again’, ‘Lili Marlene’, ‘La Vie En Rose’ and many more delivered in German, French and English with accompaniment by piano and musical saw. The pianist, Daniele Buatt, is also pretty fabulous!
Kabaret Dietrich is on at The Butterfly Club for the next few nights and very much worth the effort, especially if you are a Dietrich fan!
January 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st
Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
David Campbell revives the memory, music
and the magnificence of Bobby Darin
Last Thursday night my wife and I attended the evening performance of “Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical” performed at the Melbourne Arts Centre.
Starring David Campbell as Bobby Darin there can be no doubt that he is the perfect choice and his vocal abilities are perfectly in tune with both Bobby Darin the rock/pop singer and Bobby Darin the cabaret and showman.
Also performing is Hannah Fredericksen in the role of Sandra Dee, Darin’s wife – Arole. This is a role she is absolutely perfect for and we loved her. In fact the casting in general is most excellent.
We have Marney McQueen and Martin Crewes in the roles of Nina (Darin’s sister) and Steve Blauner, Darin’s oldest friend, biggest fan and longtime manager.
Then we have Marina Prior playing the dual roles of former showgirl Polly, Bobby Darin’s mother, and the ambitious, cut throat Mary Douvan, brilliantly playing Sandra Dee’s mother.
Finally Rodney Dobson plays Charlie, the partner of Nina, a warm father figure to Darin.
While the song Dream Lover plays a pivotal place in the performance, the show covers so much of Darin’s recorded material, material he sang and material he wrote that others sang.
It really is an intimate and epic story of an all-round entertainer adored by his fans. For those who were not around in the period that the musical covers, Bobby Darin, together with his movie star wife Sandra Dee, provided the iconic soundtrack to a generation.
The musical captures the glamour and passion of the big band era, the Rat Pack in Vegas and the Golden Age of Hollywood, a time of trail-blazing stars, knock-out fashions and life-changing events.
In fact it is almost worth the price of the ticket to watch and listen to the amazing 18-piece “big band” assembled for this show. The horn section is an utter delight and overall it reminds us just how brilliant and powerfully emotional is the music generated by a live and highly talented big band is.
Based on an original concept and stage play by Frank Howson and John-Michael Howson, and adapted for the stage by Frank Howson with Simon Phillips and Carolyn Burns, the show includes 34 great hits from the 50s and 60s.
Frank Howson spent a lot of time with Darin’s family in the USA getting his story first hand, and it shows. The complexity of his story, such as Bobby Darin’s mother actually being his grandmother and his sister actually being his mother, his presented in a clear to understand manner and yet, in a way that surprises us. Howson has provided us with an accurate storyline that is full of surprises.
The choreography is spot on and the costumes perfectly reflect the changing periods that the show goes through. With the big band featuring predominantly on the stage I an arc above the actors, the Director, Simon Phillips, uses the limited stage to its utmost and it’s not just the choreography of the dancers that deserves applause, but the choreography of the scene changing that occurs while the musical is being performed.
So what is my conclusion? Dream Lover is an extraordinary production. The quality of the individual performances are excellent. The renditions of the songs are simply wonderful, and the performances by the actors deserved the standing applause they got.
The lighting and the sound production support the performance in the manner in which it deserves. We relive the music and the triumphs and tragedies of this man born as Walden Robert Cassotto – the man who we came to know as, Bobby Darin.
On Friday January 5th, Frank Howson announced that the show had broken all box office records at the Arts centre for pre-show sales.
At age sixteen, Matt Taylor would frequent a fish shop near his house in Springhill, Brisbane. The fish shop was the kind of place bikers used to hang out in too. The bikers liked Matt. When Matt was in the shop, people would start abusing him about his really-long hair. He’d mostly be called ‘poofta’ and the bikers would front them
Then one day this guy walks in and it’s only a month or so since Matt had been taken down to the police station for having long hair. This guy had black and yellow check trousers [“black and yellow check trousers”?] and he’s got long curly hair. Matt goes up to him and says “G’day, cos there weren’t that many long hairs around so whenever we saw each other we’d make an acquaintance.” Turns out he had great knowledge about the blues and Matt said “look I’ve probably got the best blues collection in Brisbane at the moment, because I’ve just come back from Melbourne. So anytime you want to hear great stuff come to my place and I’m going to start a traditional blues band. The stranger says; “I’m already in a band, yeah we’re going to start a blues band, why don’t you try out with us”
Turns out this guy is Paul Johnson leader of The Bay City Union (BCU)
Paul Johnson was a great artist really, again died very young. He would have suited the punk era more than the 60s era they lived in, he would have just fitted in. In 1966 he had a T-Shirt with “Get Fucked!” written on it. Now you’d get arrested for having a T-Shirt like that in 1966 you know, no free speech in those days and he worked at a place called “Queensland Druggists.” So, every Friday night the hand would go in the amphetamine bottle, the Purple Heart bottle and the little white pills “I’ve never figured out what they are” bottle. All the guys in the band would be just dropping them because it was pretty much done now.
For the Brisbane boys, in those days, their mentors were in many ways The Purple Hearts [with Lobby Loyde] who were the biggest band in town
The paradox of some in the Australian police force of the 1960s, was that these very people who were paid by the government to protect us were treating honest people, particularly teenage boys, as the enemy of the state. Brisbane in the 1960s was the worst example. In a bizarre world, “the corrupt Police Commissioner Frank Bischof oversaw a campaign to stamp out rock ’n’ roll culture in the ‘60s'”
[I witnessed this oppression in Sydney too. It seemed to me, at the time, that the police were trying to provoke teenage boys to become tomorrow’s criminals. I suggest that the Australian Government, still today, condones these attitudes in the Australian Police Force, particularly against Aboriginal boys]
The public were caught up with this bizarre mindset to the extent that Matt’s English teacher believed the Beatles to be a “communist plot”
At age 14 and 15, Matt is really deeply into the blues. In Brisbane, aged 16, he’d virtually exhausted all the blues records you can get and some friends went down to Melbourne and said “Matt if you’re into blues come down here they’ve got Discuria and all these great record stores”
Matt was in Melbourne for about three months. He bought blues records, you know like John Lee Hooker and all the EXCELLO stuff with Lazy Lester and Lightning Slim and Slim Harpo, he adored all of these guys. He also bought some nice shirts and a pair of boots. “You couldn’t even buy a decent pair of boots in Brisbane, really nice fashionable mod kind of boots”. He checked out a lot of bands and there were some great bands in Melbourne but nothing as good as The Purple Hearts
Video: Matt trouble with police
Matt was reading through the latest copy of “Fabulous” [magazine] He saw a photo of a band that “looks exactly the way I feel”, he just looked at it and thought “O my god who are they?” They were the Rolling Stones. Without hearing one note of music Matt was an instant fan. He found out that they had an album coming out in a few days or weeks or something.
Matt loved all the Chuck Berry and Little Richard songs. The article on the Rolling Stones, said that they did a couple of Chuck Berry songs. He bought the album the very first day it came out. He ran home put it on his sister’s radio gram. His dad walked in, stood with his arms crossed in front of the radio gram, “Matty what’s that shit?” Dad was not impressed at all and the thing that knocked Matt out is that his dad was a harmonica player! They had harmonicas all over the house. To Matt, who never looked at them, that was old man music
All of a sudden … harmonicas started to have an incredible attraction. Matt gets every harmonica in the house and tries to play along with the music but he could not work it out. In “Fabulous” [magazine] there’s an interview with Keith Relph from The Yardbirds. A really good harmonica player and he gives all the instructions about cross-harp and how if you’ve got a ‘C’ harmonica the band plays in ‘G’. Matt found out that his dad had twenty different harmonicas but there wasn’t one that you could play blues on. He bought an Echo Super Vampa. It was the only one you could bend notes on and if you didn’t bend notes then it was no use playing it. At the time, it was the cheapest harmonica you could buy. Matt showed it to his dad, “Matty that’s just a toy”
Matt said [to Paul Johnson] “I’m only going to play traditional blues I’m not going to play any of the pop stuff … you know… we go back to the originators and learn the songs from them.”
“O look Matt, if you’ve got the albums, we’ll go along with that.”
Matt had been playing harmonica for about two years when he went to the first practice with Bay City Union. Matt played rhythm guitar and they do a couple of Jimmy Reed. They did a few other things and Matt could see the guys in the band thinking “Oh well he can play a bit of guitar” and then Paul says play “Got love if you want it” and Matt will play harmonica
“Soon as I played harmonica the guys just looked at me and said you’re in.”
Monday 14th February 1966, two things happened. One – Australia changed to decimal currency but more importantly Bay City Union had their first gig
BCU had been together for about two weeks when Jimmy Brelsford’s dad, Sid, gets them a gig (Jimmy plays slide guitar on Moose Malone “House of Blue Light”). But they had only been together two weeks and only knew nine songs. Sid had the answer, “Just play ‘em twice.”
The gig was right out in the suburbs, some kind of weird dance they had out there. They also did the Opening of the “In Shop” at Myers. You couldn’t stop BCU. The Purple Hearts had just gone down to Melbourne. Matt always thought, on his recommendation, but they said “No Matt, we were going anyway”
The best little blues club in Brisbane was called the Saint George Club and it was in a church hall and it was run by a fella named Glen Wheatley, [yes, that Glen Wheatley]. Glen needs the band and he’s got a little band “The Vacant Lot” but they’re not good enough to take the place of the Purple Hearts. Nor was the Bay City Union but they did it anyway. For a few months, they played at the Saint George Club. Glen’s band would go on first and by this stage, BCU knew about twenty-four songs they got through a night quite easily
They always knew that the St. George Club would come to an end. The gig was in a church hall and on a Saturday night. The poor old parishioners every Sunday morning had to wade through beer bottles. Remember there’s no drinking and these aren’t pubs. These are little clubs that sell soft drink but everyone’s coming in with beer and booze and going outside and drinking it. You know, there’d be beer bottles, cans, drink of a little bit of whiskey here ‘n’ there, Vodka (the girls liked Vodka a lot). This is basically, you know, Matt only 17 or 18 at the time and the audience was probably from 14 to 19 or something, incredibly young. It was just the greatest vibe
The Church’s Minister just said, “No we can’t do it anymore. One of the parishioners found a used condom.” That was the end of the Saint George Club and luckily for the Bay City Union, the biggest club in town was run by a fellow named Ivan Damon, who was Normy Rowe’s Manager. When John Hannay, the Manager of one of the biggest clubs, saw that they were pulling a lot of people away from their main big club. He said “look I like the band. I want you to play here Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I’ll pay you ten pounds each” that’s twenty dollars each. [Basically, a week’s wages was $40] BCU had only been playing for money for about four months
After about two months, Matt and Paul started to write a few songs together and we looked at each other and said “Let’s go professional” and Matt’s been a professional musician ever since
Glenn Wheatley joined Bay City Union in Brisbane 1966. The line-up in Brisbane was Paul Johnson – vocals; Matt Taylor – Rhythm Guitar and Harmonica; Trevor Bagwall played Bass; Jimmy Brelsford played lead guitar; Peter Miles – drummer. Then they went to Sydney and Melbourne
In Melbourne, Bay City Union would play at 10th Avenue in Bourke Street every afternoon. Cafes were the lunch time scene. The scene in Melbourne in the 60s wasn’t as nearly as sophisticated as the scene in Sydney. In Melbourne you played non-alcohol venues, whereas in Sydney you played alcohol allowed. It was thanks to Con at 10th Avenue who told Phil to apply for the guitarist’s position. After two weeks Phil fitted right in and it was even better than it had been before. Then the bass player left and Glenn Wheatley took over the bass. After 9 or 10 months, working every night, BCU got to standard of blues bands Matt admired like the “Unknown Blues Band”
Bay City Union recorded Mo’reen – Paul Butterfield style – but it was not accepted by Blues society. Towards the end of BCU Matt was writing with Phil Manning
Video: The Bay City Union – “Mo’reen”
“I connected on a deep level when I heard the blues I understood it, I understood that suffering. I understood also the good times part of it. There’s a wonderful song, I do a little bit of it every now and then, by John Lee Hooker it was actually written the year I was born in 1948 and it’s his big hit called “Boogie Chillen’” and what Boogie Chillen’ is about; it’s a young boy trying to get into the clubs so that he could hear the music and drink booze. I thought gee that wasn’t going to happen much in the next fifty years after that, was it? – young kids trying to get into the clubs – that’s what its about. So that’s why I love the blues and that’s why I say the blues is the truth.” Matt Taylor December 2017
(photo courtesy of Peter Maloney)
Chain recorded Black and Blue in Sydney at Festival in November 1970 on the way back to Melbourne from Brisbane. With Jiva and three roadies singing “We’re groaning” [the chorus] and they wanted a chain gang sound
The main radio station was 3XY in Melbourne, they loved it because they were now the top radio station for playing Australian music. “I’ll Be Gone” by Spectrum. That was number one for seven weeks. Black and Blue eventually knocks “I’ll Be Gone” off the top of the charts and it’s number one for eighteen weeks and it takes a little song called Eagle Rock by Daddy Cool to knock Black and Blue off the top
Matt walked into one of the radio interviews and shook the DJs hand and said “thanks very much for playing our song” and he looked at Matt and said “I wouldn’t play this shit! It’s just that it’s in the Top Ten and I have to do it.”
Chain recorded Towards The Blues in 1971. According to Steve Fraser, email@example.com “released to great (and enduring) critical acclaim in September”. Although, at this stage, they had not seen a black blues band and they’d never seen where the music came from
Phil would say “got a new riff” on their way to a gig and Matt would say “what key is it in?” “O its in ‘G’ o great we’ll do it third song”. So Phil would start this riff off, none of us had ever heard it – we’re at a gig – and we’d just make it up that’s how good that band was. The music was a really natural arrangement. They never thought about it but if any other person came in to play, they learned just how intricate Chain’s music was. Chain were never aware of the intricacies because they’d just blow on it every night and it would change slightly every night until they had a beautiful perfect song. The single of Judgement with Blow in D on the back is the perfect example. Blow in D was about six minutes long. They are two songs that Chain still are asked to play all the time
Video: Chain Blow In D 1971
“Listen to Judgement,” Matt never sat down with Phil or anything to write Judgement. “We just played it on stage and Big Goose or someone would say, “Phil you know that blow we’ve been havin’, try doing it this way and we’ll stop here” They’d be arranging blows in the van on the way to the gig. So when they’d have that blow, Matt would say look I’ve changed the words, it’s now called Judgement. “OK… well… when we play Judgement do it this way” and that’s why the arrangements, in that particular Chain, are so effortless
After doing the photography on Toward The Blues, Jiva was the first to leave to go to work as an Editor of the Daily Planet
Little Goose, who was more avant-garde, left because of musical differences. Jiva said Little Goose “lost the plot” and Roger said Little Goose wanted to play more jazz. Not long after, Big Goose left and they both went back to Brisbane where they were successful session musicians
On Saturday 17th July 1971, Go-Set magazine published an interview with Phil and Matt, where they spoke about the stress of music on family life. The article stated that “Things were unsettled”, Phil said Little Goose left because he wanted to play more Jazz. But they were still a family
Phil always said that cricket ruined Chain. When they went down to Melbourne they were performing so much. It was virtually five nights a week and they didn’t get to practice. Matt and the Gooses played cricket on their days off. Matt said to Phil “Phil we were just playing so much we just needed a break. The last thing I wanted to do was practice playing music on a day off”. So instead of practicing or writing new songs they’d just do ’em on stage. The problem was that because they were on the road incessantly, everyone started playing cricket but because of his poor eyesight, Phil couldn’t see the ball
After the Gooses left, Phil got jack of it too and went off to do solo. Matt tried to keep it together for another year but soon, joined by Jiva, left to join Fred Robinson’s commune in Beechworth
Little Goose from Chain Live CD liner notes:
“It was original Australian music,
I really believe that Chain was the first band to be completely honest,
to be there just for the music”
‘Judgement’ in this video, filmed in September 1971, the bass player is Charlie Tamahai, the drummer is Kevin Murphy and guitarist Lindsay Wells
Video: Chain – perform Judgement ’71 Live on GTK
Thanks to Phil Manning, Matt Taylor, Linda Bester, Roger Taylor, Clive ‘Jiva’ Lawler, Peter Maloney, Ron and Jeff King, Philip Morris and Stuart Coupe. I am very grateful for their generosity.
Greg Fisher of Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society inspired me to research Chain when he interviewed me on his program Blues Illustrated about “Yblues? A Tribute to Dutch Tilders” film. Greg said “What about Chain?” so I promised myself I would follow this up. Thank you Greg xxx
Burrows, T & Riseborough, P (2009) I Remember When I Was Young: The Matt Taylor Story The Hilliard Press Nedlands Western Australia
Field, Kim (2000) Harmonicas, Harps, and Heavy Breathers: The Evolution of the People’s Instrument First Cooper Square Press Edition New York
Jones, LeRoi (Amiri Baraka) (1963/2002) Blues People: Negro Music in White America Harper Collins New York
Lomax, Alan (1993) The Land Where The Blues Began The New Press. New York. NY
*McFarlane, Ian (2010) Chain Live liner notes from CHAIN LIVE CD
Oakes, L (1997) Prophetic Charisma: The Psychology of Revolutionary Religious Personalities Syracuse University Press. New York.
Palmer, Robert (1982) Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History, from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago’s South Side to the World Penguin Books USA
Webmaster@milesago.com “CHAIN HISTORY”
Weissman, Dick (2005) Blues: The Basics Routledge Press New York
(c. 1969 from Chain Live back cover left to right: Glyn Mason (guitar/vocals), Warren “Pig” Morgan (electric piano), Phil Manning (guitar/vocals), Barry Sullivan (Big Goose – bass), Barry Harvey (Little Goose – drums)
A big ice-cream cone appears in the middle of the road. The driver swerves to avoid it. The van careers off the road into a ditch. Big Goose says that Little Goose was never the same after that accident. Little Goose had badly damaged his right arm and for a drummer this was a serious handicap. [But this accident happened years before Chain broke up]
Little Goose was an incredibly technical drummer. He’d listened to John Coltrane
Video: Matt Taylor on Little Goose
Little Goose recalls working with his friend Big Goose;
“Here’s the incredible thing about Big Goose: Big Goose and I had a really close bond; the Wild Cherries had broken up; we were living in St Kilda and the night man walked on the moon (Ed: 20 July 1969), he came home and he had this new guitar case. The man was walking on the moon on the TV and Big Goose’s guitar case had gotten longer. And I said to him ‘hey man, what’s with the guitar case?’ and he said ‘oh, I swapped my Fender Strat for a Fender Jazz bass with Tim Piper’ and I said ‘oh, at last you’ve given the guitar away’
“So we spent three months in the practice room just playing bass and drums and then Chain started. It was amazing because Big Goose only told me maybe about six months before he died that when Chain started he was petrified because it was his first bass gig and he was playing with Phil and Pig and me and we’d been our instruments all our lives. But those three months we worked out with just the bass and drums that really paid off” [From 2010 interview with Ian McFarlane – Chain Live CD liner notes]
Video: CHAIN – Gertrude Street Blues
“The two Geese [Gooses] got their name because the sharpies used to call everyone ‘goose’
When Thursday’s Children played at the Bowl in Melbourne, the sharpies would shout out requests: “Play ‘Standing in the Shadows of Love’, goose” For some reason, the nickname stuck. To differentiate between them, they became Big Goose – Barry Sullivan who was the taller one and Little Goose – Barry Harvey
Big Goose listened to Hendrix, Page, Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, Honky Tonk Woman 1969 and Eric Clapton. Blues
The Gooses lived in a couple of little rooms in Jackson Street, St Kilda. When Thursday’s Children broke up they struggled along a bit, Big Goose started out as a guitarist, gave up the guitar and took up the bass
The Jam Factory South Yarra
It’s hard to believe that only under 50 years ago, Melbourne’s scene was mostly café’s and lunchtime gigs. Venues seemed less transient than today. No-Alcohol was allowed. In 1969 when Matt was struggling with keeping Genesis relevant, he met up with Big Goose who invited him along to a jam session. A jam session at The Jam Factory [coincidentally] The Jam Factory was a large club, which had actually been a jam factory … for making jam… and we know this because some of the original machinery was still on site
When Matt went to see them, he “just sat there and thought: this is mind-blowing. It was the best Australian band I had ever seen up to that time and that included the Meteors, and Thorpie, and all of those people. These guys were so good.
Video: Matt Taylor on Big Goose
The Red Orb night club in Brisbane was the place that Barry Harvey and Barry Sullivan played with Lobby Loyde. The Purple Hearts and Thursday’s Children” (Burrows & Riseborough pp 101-130)
You’d see a 20 year old surfer enjoying the strong blues undercurrent of The Red Orb and of course dances at Brisbane Trades Hall. Jiva Lawler was a Brisbane boy. He loved the energy that Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls radiated. Jiva was on his way to England, when in Perth, he went to say hello to Thursday’s Children at a nightclub. They offered him the job of roadie. Jiva bought a transit van in Perth and became the Wild Cherries roadie
Crossing the Nullabor Plain[and in those days not all of it was sealed] the Wild Cherries with Jiva Lawler as their roadie made their way to Melbourne
Jiva recalls that Lobby was something special, he would play unexpected stuff and eventually ended up with Billy Thorpe. After they broke up, The Wild Cherries reformed without Big Goose and Little Goose
Jiva would carry in the gear. “Instead of today’s gigantic big PAs, in those days there was just two columns with four speakers and he’d just throw them over his shoulders. Remember too in those days on a Saturday night especially in Melbourne you may do three gigs. You’d start off at the Sandringham and then you go over to Collingwood and then you’d go to the one of the clubs Berties or Sebastian’s or The Thumping Tum, which was great but the gig didn’t last long. So you had all of that organising and you needed a roadie cos Chain would come off stage and be half dead. Jiva would set it up and they’d go out and do it again and then he’d set it up again and do it again” (Burrows & Riseborough pp101 – 130)
“I don’t think Jiva needed to mother me too much but Little Goose and Big Goose I think did. They could get themselves into incredible spots, I think he was good for them, I think they may have gone a little bit off the rails when Jiva wasn’t around
We had the most highly educated road crew in the whole of Melbourne. We had two road crew at that stage. Jiva, Roger and we had all of these different University students which Roger was. Roger was the original head banger while we were playing
They were Magic days” – Matt Taylor December 2017
Jiva was being paid in dope. Even though Chain had a number one record they’d only get paid $200 in the pubs
5 gigs on Saturday – 5 set up times
Chain’s equipment was a step up from the previous bands. Matt bought his own PA from a manufacturer in Brisbane. “I went in and told the guy that I wasn’t interested in amplification, just in magnification. I wanted this exact sound. But he explained that there’s always some alteration to the sound of the voice. He made me a double-column PA with eight speakers in it. It was two hundred watts, and that was big for those days.” Jiva would bring the gear in, and then look after Matt’s system during the gig. When Matt was playing harmonica, Jiva would turn the PA down, because otherwise it would feed back. When Matt sang, he’d turn it back up again. Because of that, says Matt, Chain played in perfect balance. It wasn’t until a little later that PAs became more sophisticated” (Burrows & Riseborough pp101-130)
Roger grew up in the 60s and fell in love with the blues. When he heard British bands covering songs of Muddy Waters he explored the music even further. A re-generated Billy Thorpe was all the rage at University. Every Thursday night, he saw Lobby Loyde, Warren Morgan, Kevin Murphy and Paul Wheeler at the Thumping Tum, he decided that all he wanted to do with his life was be involved with the scene. He was in Queensland living with a Uni friend when he approached Phil Manning at a gig and asked if he could help out with the band. Phil offered him a job as Chain’s assistant roadie to Jiva
Before Roger worked for Chain he saw them play at the first Australian music festival in Ourimbah NSW. “The Pilgrimage of Peace” held on Australia Day long weekend 1970. At that time Chain was Warren Morgan – Piano (to July ’70); Phil Manning – guitar/vocals; Barry Sullivan – Bass; Barry Harvey – Drums; Glen Mason – guitar/vocals (Jan-July)
Video: ONCE AROUND THE SUN TRAILER
Chain singing ‘Sweet Little Angel’ [01:57 – 02:18]
After Warren and Glyn left Chain, Phil and the Gooses went to Brisbane
Video: Matt joins Chain
Thanks to Phil Manning, Matt Taylor, Linda Bester, Roger Taylor, Clive ‘Jiva’ Lawler, Peter Maloney, Ron and Jeff King, Philip Morris and Stuart Coupe. I am very grateful for their generosity
continued Chain “… and the night man walked on the moon*” Part 3