Music from the dawn of my time  

Records that were in the house when I was a little tacker were mainly brought in by my mother. It was a small three bed roomed house with two adults and six kids in it. If you put a record on, everybody had to listen to it. The record player was a small portable job that looked like a cute, tan small suit case. The Kingston trios' "Tom Dooley" was a regular, as was "Maria Elena" by a couple of Indians from South America called "Los Indios Tabajaras". (The liner notes told of how these two primitive s had found a couple of guitars in the forest and learned how to play them). There was a couple of Roy Orbison albums, a Buddy Holly as well as some Elvis Presley. ("Blue Hawaii" was the one I remember most). There was also the soundtrack to the movie "Bye Bye Birdie" .
A song called "there's a meetin' here tonight" by what must have been a white folk group was big when the relatives came around, as was "do the hucklebuck " by Irish singer Brendan Bowyer.

By far the scariest and most evocative record in the collection I can remember from that time was "Tell Laura I love her!" , the singer's name escapes me. It was a two sided concept LP , a man and a woman. The woman's name was Skeeter Davis. The song was a big ballad and involved a car crash a la the Shangri Las. The story was told from the two perspectives. I think hers was "tell Johnny, I miss him". This ,coupled with the very Catholic nature of my extended family with all the stories of death, guilt, self sacrifice, saints, sinners and persecution, must have given me a lot to think about.
There was also a double live LP by the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary . It included "blowin in the wind" and a great version of "Puff the Magic Dragon. (I won a fancy dress contest in this period dressed as Jackie Paper).

Every January Uncle Pat would come to stay for a couple of weeks from Adelaide. He was a very quiet man ( in the process of going deaf, time would reveal) who worked as a carpenter. He smoked a pipe and wore a watch with a brown leather casing over the face . He could knock up things as well as fix them which seemed quite impressive. He also brought a guitar with him and would play a few songs if nagged long enough. He fingerpicked a nylon string folk guitar and sang in a gentle voice like Pete Seeger.  

Later on the record collection grew as it was added to by my brothers and sisters. A double EP of the Beatles "Magical Mystery tour" was very impressive, especially when the "Paul is dead" story was broken on the radio and all there records were seen to have secret messages alluding to the fact that Paul had popped his cork at some stage and the hoax was on us all. ("Fool on the hill" was the one that cracked the mystery on this EP). When "Abbey Road" Came out, LPs were about $5.00 and my brother Phil and a few mates went shares in a copy as none could afford it outright. My cousin Gary and his brother Mussy came over holding a record by the Who one day. Gary and Muss were surfers and wore cool casual clothes. The Who seemed to be wearing the same sort of gear on their record cover. (It was a pre Tommy and "who's next record). They were all going off to listen to it and I tagged along for a while but they told me to stay home.
The first bit of pocket money I got I looked at the top 10 and bought the number one record as it had to be the best. The Australian radio strike was on at the time (no international records were played on radio for a period in 1970 or 71) so I came home with "La La" by the Flying Circus.
Also in 1970 I went to the Kings Theatre in Mount Gambier to see the Masters Apprentices with my brother Steve and his friend Michael Walsh ( now a classical guitarist). I was 10 years old. It was 50 cents to get in and the package bill included The Sect ("from Brisbane!" the ad screamed. They all wore black lace see through shirts), top local band the Star Liners, and "Uve", (pronounced "oovay"..."high priest of rock!"). The only thing I remember is Uve singing along in front of the theatre curtain to a backing tape and it fucking up. The Masters were very heavy and played "what is the future of our nation".


pic tony mahony

Around this time a "head" fashion shop opened in the main street. It was called "Cumquat" (influenced by the Beatles "Apple" I guess). The people who worked in there looked very glamorous and freaky. They had a small stack of records in there and I would stop and look at them every once in a while. Lots of Frank Zappa discs, the Woodstock album , Led Zeppelin, Cream and the Quicksilver Messenger Service. The only other place to buy records from was a small shop that mainly sold electrical goods.
My sister had a particularly evil picture of Led Zeppelin from their first album period on her bedroom wall.
I guess after this period I started to get a hang on things myelf but you take a lot in when you're a kid. Music was always a bit of a mystery to me and I was drawn to all the dark glamour of it.



the fun continues.............