The iconic Largs Pier Hotel

AMC SA Music Hall of Fame

The Largs Pier Hotel and Elaine & Jim Counihan

Induction 25 October 2020

Back in July, Father of Five and I were officially advised that our much awaited holiday, Surf Music in Paradise in the Maldives, scheduled for later this year, was officially cancelled.  As were the travel plans of course of thousands and thousands of travellers all over the globe, as the world stayed shut down to battle the Covid19.

Staying in our home state of South Australia instead, we decided a night at The Largs Pier Hotel, situated right on the beach front at Largs Bay was the next best thing to seeing Jimmy Barnes live in the Maldives.

largs pier amc sa music hall of fame induction of the largs pier hotel and elaine and jim counihan 25 october 2020 largs pier dixons

Opened in 1882, it is a beautiful three-storied historical heritage-listed hotel with amazing view of the sea and the esplanade and white-arched stone architecture, but the additional attraction for me was the Australian musical history contained within it’s walls. 


You can take the girl out of the Largs Pier, but you can’t take the Largs Pier out of the girl !!
Photo: Sue Hedley

The iconic Largs Pier Hotel has a rich history of live performances.  Barnsey has such fond memories of playing at the venue with Cold Chisel that he wrote a song in 2010 honouring the Hotel.  Some friends and I were lucky enough to be in the music video he made down south here in Adelaide for that song.  Dixons Bar is also a quiet and fitting tribute to James Dixon Barnes and the shared affection between Barnsey and the Hotel. 


Other legends who played at the venue include Fraternity, Rose Tattoo, Little River Band, The Angels, Skyhooks, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Split Enz, No Fixed Address, the list goes on and on and on.

In the 70s, frontman of AC/DC Bon Scott met his wife to be, Irene at the Largs Pier after a performance.

Not to mention that The Largs Pier holds the unusual honour of being the country’s first drive through bottle shop in 1953.

The overnight stay was wonderful (we have five children at home, why wouldn’t it be?!?), both the food and the service were excellent and we agreed we’d definitely be back.

Little did we know just three months later, we would receive rare as hens teeth, covid19 numbers restricted seats at the invitation-only induction of The Largs Pier Hotel and it’s previous promotors , Elaine & the late Jim Counihan into the AMC SA Music Hlargs pierall of Fame.

It was a wonderful night introduced by AMC Founder & AMC SA Music Hall of Fame Director Enrico Morena, expertly emceed by Keith Conlan and attended by Mayor of the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, Claire Boan. 

The award plaque was proudly accepted by the current Partner and General Manager of the Hotel, Peter Johnson.


Then Elaine & Jim Counihan, who were instrumental in the success of Adelaide’s burgeoning live music scene in the 70s and 80s at venues like The Arkaba, The Bridgeway, The Shandon Hotel, Adelaide Uni Bar and of course The Largs Pier Hotel, were inducted.

Elaine Counihan
Lady Largs, Elaine Counihan holding court. Photo: Sue Hedley


Elaine was known as ‘Lady Largs’ and it was fitting for the couple to be honoured for her and her late husband Jim’s great contribution to Adelaide’s pre-eminent musical legacy at The Largs where it all started for them back in 1973.

Elaine entertained us with many stories of wild nights and I’m sure there were many more she probably couldn’t share with us.  Elaine also told many heart warming stories and we honestly could have listened to her all night.  What a wonderful lady.



Father of Five, Barry Crabtree, Annette Day (wife of SA Music Hall of Fame Founder, the Late David Day) and Cheryl Lee Photo: Sue Hedley


Father of Five and I enjoyed both the wonderful (and peaceful) night dining in the restaurant and staying in a beautiful corner suite and similarly, we thoroughly enjoyed the Induction and feel very blessed to have been included.

Congratulations to all involved.

largs pier sue hedley
Photo: Sue Hedley