Rod Hayward - guitar,
Formerly with Little Murders, Dust on the Bible,
the Tussock brothers and the Pete Best Beatles. Also played with the White
Rod walked into a rehearsal studio in Melbourne in 1989 with Conway Savage.
Clare and I had talked Chris Walsh (formerly from the Moodists) and Conway
into doing a few shows with us in a band that would do half my songs and
a lot of covers. Con said that he knew a guitar player. Rod played all
my songs for the next decade with complete empathy and a faultless precision.
He had a great sound and style and really knew how to place sounds in
the fabric of a group sound like Steve Cropper or Albert Lee (He loved
Albert Lee and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Tom Verlaine). I always had an idea
that the Coral Snakes could be an entity in themselves like the MG's had
been. For a few shows in 1991, the Coral Snakes did a set of songs with
Rod singing. It was a real pity that it didn't happen any more after that.
Rod lives and works in Melbourne. He played and will play in the recent and future versions of Dave Graney 'n' the Coral Snakes.
pic tony mahony
Gordy Blair - bass, vocals (1987/1988, 1990/1991, 1993/1997)
Born in Belfast, formerly with Rudi (76/79), the
Outcasts (79/81), the Trial (81/82), Big Self (82/85) and Ruefrex (85/86).
After the Moodists ran out of steam, Clare was really into playing with
a lot of different people. I was into staying home and listening to records.
Clare ran into Gordy through some mutual friends who all seemed to have
Creation Records in common. Clare and Gordy played as the rhythm section
of a band called Cathedral Forest which was formed by a man called Adam
Sanderson. Adam had formerly been in an early Creation records band called,
The Jasmine Minks.
We started to rehearse my songs and I demoed some of my tunes with Gordy
in 1987. Gordy ran the Ritzy cinema in Brixton and lived the London life
with a whole bunch of ex Belfast boys.
Gordy played the bass in a fantastically intricate, melodious way. Very
serious about music and life. Half of the set navigational points around
which his musical sensibility swung were formed in the dramatic scene
that was British punk and post punk. That a lot of that scene in Gordys
case was played out in the city of Belfast set an indelible tone over
all of the approaches he took to a musical idea.
Other influences that were always at play in Gordys aesthetic were his
time playing sax and the consequent non bass players way he would see
the particular architecture of a song. Very considered in every note he
He came out to Australia in 1991 for six months and then returned to live
permanently in 1993.
He reunited with Clare and Robin to back Malcolm Ross for a few dates
in Melbourne in 1999.
He was invited to participate in the 2015 shows but, after preliminary deliberations, declined to do so.
pic tony mahony
Robin Casinader - piano,
organ, violin, vocals (1991-1997)
Robin had previously played in Plays with Marionettes
and the Wreckery. In those bands he played keyboards, violin and drums.
After we returned from the UK in 1991 I ran into Robin on a bus and we
talked about playing together. He was just putting out a solo cd, "All
of these things".
He was one of those musicians who really made a commitment to make music
his life. He earned money from teaching and playing and did little else.
All through the Coral Snakes he kept his own projects going.
First there was "the Vanishing Lady" (1992) who had an extensive (and
brilliant) repertoire of electric folk rock songs which he subsequently
just threw away. I encouraged him to record one, "Late, Late, Late" for
the "Unbuttoned "cd. A great songwriter, musically and lyrically. Also
a fine string arranger. (He did all of ours as well as "white skin/black
heart" for Midnight Oil).In the Vanishing Lady he and his co singer, Amanda
Brotchie, did a great version of an old English song called "the saucy
sailor". It was a taste of things to come.
In 1996 he formed "Hood", a fantastic folk rock inspired outfit who he
drilled relentlessly in rehearsal and who played to dumbfounded audiences
around Melbourne. They put out an album, "every bell in town" on ID/Mercury,
(legend has it he mastered the album seven times) and again, watched the
world turn its back. Hood continue on in Melbourne, trying to find places
to play outside the straight rock scene.
Now residing in Canbera, he continues to work his own music, as well as contributing to others
recordings and also teaching. He played and will play in the recent and future versions of Dave Graney 'n' the Coral Snakes.
pic tony mahony