There’s a really weird anniversary about to happen next month, on December 17. A 30 year anniversary.
It was designed to save lives which it obviously, and thankfully has done, and that’s a great, great thing. There was a side effect though. One which wouldn’t have been part of the calculation, but in effect killed the Aussie pub scene.
I used to live in the inner south west of Sydney.Well, that’s where my house was. My spiritual home though was 2 minutes away-The Bexley North Hotel. There was a great circuit in those days. From the Bexley North Hotel, to The Sundowner at Punchbowl, The Caringbah Inn. If you lived in Sydney you would travel. One night would be Matt Finish and The Lonely Hearts at Caringbah, the next would be Moving Pictures and The Divinyls at The San Miguel in Cammeray, and then Richard Clapton at The Manly Vale Hotel. (Remember the back album cover of “The Great Escape”?) There was always something on. My favourite act was The Sports. I saw them 3 times in 1 week. Can you imagine that today?
I saw everyone at The Bexley North Hotel. From Billy Thorpe to The Cure-yep, The Cure played at my local pub! After organizing my first instore appearance working at Grace Bros Roselands with Wendy and the Rocketts, Ms Stapleton dedicated a song to me there that night….and I felt like a king. At the Sundowner (not the greatest venue, I admit), I saw Jimmy and The Boys right through to The Romantics. At The Caringbah Inn one Friday night seeing Matt Finish I watched as Rick Grossman call Matt “Matthew” on stage rather innocently….Mr Moffitt very quickly growled and snarled back “don’t you ever fucking call me Matthew again”….ahh, rock and roll.
If you weren’t there at that time you just won’t get it. The big thrill for me every week was seeing the new band posters wrapped around the light poles announcing who would be up next. Chisel, the Rads, the Sunnyboys, Dee Minor and the Dischords…..
And then the R.B.T. was introduced and an era, a real defining era in Australian music was effectively capped. It was, unfortunately, the right decision because, and let’s be honest, there were some irresponsible actions by some of us that needed to be addressed, and who can tell how many of us, our family and friends’ lives were saved because of it?
But damn, those days were great and, as we are about to pounce on this 30th anniversary I reckon we should unlock those memories and let them overflow here and now-like a shook up can of Tooheys or KB. Who wants to tell us about their great memories and stories of the great days of pub rock?
Take a moment to reflect and then tell me what you remember, then tell everyone. people listen to you.