Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Scene The Seen: 1 March 1967, Who are they and where are they now?

The dresses are generally simple, perhaps the woman in the white sleeveless dress looks a bit more flash, but notice the floral patterns!! Notice that in some cases, girls are dancing with girls!! Which band was playing at the time? Also, was the Sydney Bowl a popular spot? Go-Set photographers visited a large number of venues over the years, this was one!

The girl with the cigarette seems quite happy!! Is she looking at the cameraman, or just to his side? Where was Long Johns, and how popular was it? Finally, who were they dancing to?

Who were the Two By 2? What songs did they play?
Three views from the Scene The Seen in March of 1967. The first two pictures show the fashion in Sydney in March 1967, the third picture shows a group, who went onto where? The answers are most probably on line somewhere, maybe on Milesago?? Who took the photographs, Colin Beard took the Melbourne pics, and Grant Mudford took the Sydney pics.
Just had a quick look, and no Two By 2 on Mileago. So who knows anything about them. Notice the way the guitarist plays his guitar. Typical of the period, following the style of the old blues players. So what kind og music did they play, and they played at the Rendezvous in Mitcham, in Melbourne Victoria.
Who can help with this one? Also does anyone recognise the dancers in the top 2 pictures? If you do, who were they, and what are they doing today?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ronnie Charles Goes to London

Go-Set: 2 January 1971: Page 2
Ronnie Charles was best known to audiences in the late sixties as the lead singer of the Groop.
Ronnie's move to England follows the fact that he made good contacts when the Groop had won Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds, and had learnt a bit more about the London music scene.
During my thesis Ronnie had been very helpful on background to Molly Meldrum, and the changes in his personality as a result of going to London, and of the way that Go-Set worked in the early days of 1966.
I will write more about Ronnie Charles once I find my interviews with him.

Australian Charts 25 December 1971

Go-Set Australian charts: Section: Page 23
Ed Nimmervoll was quite thorough, at this time in his presentation of the state of the information in the. The charts page which was nearly always full of charts now included both the US and UK singles charts, at least a top 10 of both. Included too, was the album chart top 20, and on the side and shown above is two views of the Australian singles charts.
At the top of the column is the actual Australian content of the National top 40 chart, which in some cases shows Australian content that was too low on the National top 40 chart to actually make it. So we see for example that Sherbet is at number 12 (National top40 (NTF) at 43) with Free The People, and perhaps on its way out. Billy Thorpe is at 16 (NTF69) with The Dawn Song, and the lowest Australian song is by Allison Gros at 20 (NTF88).
The broader implication is at the end of 1971, only 11 Australian artist songs were in the National Top 40. Quite good considering that Number 1 was Rod Stewart's Maggie May.
An interesting omission from the Australian Top20 is Olivia Newton-John, whose "Banks of the Ohio" is located at Number 2. Australia was proud to have Olivia back as an Australian when she saw fit to return, yet her omission as an Australian artist, begs a question or two!!
Ricky Springfield is included on the Australian Top20 with "Speak To the Sky" (NTF8). Mind you Ricky had not been long in the United States.
Could it be that Australian artists resident overseas for a certain period were denied entry on the Australian Top20? 
Another interesting omission is The Mixtures, on the NTF and debuting at 31 with Captain Zero; and lastly Barry Crocker sits at NTF39 with "Love Is A Beautiful Song". Neither of these are included on the Australian Top20.
Perhaps they were missed, or maybe there is another reason. Ed Nimmervoll must be applauded for his means of highlighting the singles of groups SCRA, Healing Force, Flake and Freshwater. Songs that were powerful enough to make national sales, yet not strong enough to make the national top 40.
In future posts I will examine the charts in more detail.

The Last Keyhole News from Ian Meldrum

19740817: Page 10: Keyhole News
This is a tiny part of the Keyhole news from the second last edition of Go-Set. Meldrum had a whole page of material that was published. Not that it says very much, except that it says more of the same about what is happening that week.
His work has been described as a 'stream of consciousness" by some, and in my thesis I determined that in some respects, Meldrum's contributions gave no intrinsic value to the magazine, except that they provided readers with an insiders view on their stars doings.
By this time, the only two contributors left from Go-Set's main years were Phillip Morris, who contributed the "Scene" photographs, and Ian Meldrum who wrote the gossip column. By this time Mitch had left, and Ed Nimmervoll had decided to stay in Melbourne, rather than go to Sydney, where the magazine was to be edited.
The last issue was the one after this, dated 25 August 1974. There was no Keyhole News. The issue would be made up from items drawn from other magazines from the IPC stable.
Like the Beatles last released album "Let It Be", the last Go-Set was a sad reflection of what it had been. The spark was finally gone!!
Next posting will go back to a more happy period!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Melbourne and Sydney Edition Difference 2

Go-Set: 10 January 1970: Page 15: Melbourne

Go-Set: 10 January 1970: Page 16: Sydney
Relatively speaking, Go-Set was consistent between its Melbourne and Sydney editions. However, in this issue the gig guide is placed one page apart in the two editions.
Another issue of significance in the Sydney page is that some venues have multiple locations.
With the Melbourne page, although the heading of the column is the tradition "Know Where", it is part of a larger page called "Go-Set Disco Guide". Whether this is a reflection of the audience expectation or is a standard set by Go-Set management is unknown at this time. I will have to go back and look at when the page heading was first used. The more common use of the word "disco" is more generally association with middle to late 1970s.

Images from The Scene-The Seen - 9 February 1966

Who is Anita Broxam?

Colin Cook photo by Colin Beard (probably?) The pictures from the Tom Jones concert were a first for Colin Beard in terms of getting backstage to meet big celebrities. This would be one of the strengths of Go-Set's position.

The mispelt Twilighters, however notice Glenn Shorrock. The apology was made the week after, and I have referred to it in an earlier post.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Subscription - If you don't, then you may miss out?

Go-Set: 9 February 1966: Page 15

Go-Set's price from the newsagent is 15 cents per issue. The cost for a whole year buying from a newsagent is $7.80.
Two notes about the wording. The first is that the promotion states that Go-Set is the ONLY teen and twenties newspaper, and the subscription price although unclear from this image is actually quotes as 70 shillings. It will be interesting to note when they actually change over the subscription amount to dollars and cents. A mix here of old and new currencies. On a side note, it was always a surprise to the editors and founders that Go-Set was a success. Apparently, Peter Raphael, who I will look at in more detail in a future posting, only believed that Go-Set would last 3 issues, as told by Colin Beard. He was quite wrong!!!
On a personal note, I was just over 9 when dollars and cents came in on the 14 February 1966. I remember, it taking a long time for people to come to terms with the new currency. Go-Set editor's in this sense, were no different to everyone else, although, interestingly the price listed on the cover is in cents. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leslie Pixie

Go-Set: 9 February 1966: Page 18
One question that must be asked about magazines that are aimed at a female teenage audience is what makes them want to write, then what sustains the interest and the need to return to the column.
Leslie Pixie, or "Dear Leslie Pixie" was Go-Set's attempt at producing a section where teenage angst and questions about relationships could be put to someone who could answer their questions and solve their problems.
Leslie Pixie was obviously not her real name, aesthetically it is a cute name, appealing to young girl teens, and write they did. The growing success of Leslie Pixie may have been because teenagers in Melbourne at the time had no one else to write to, or did they?
I will examine the content of these letters, and examines the themes and approaches taken by Leslie Pixie in satisfying the relationship information needed by the magazines audience. You will see that there are themes, philosophies and approaches to the way in which the questions are answered.

Another aspect of this particular part of the magazine must be viewed in the context of the editors. It must be remembered that the editors of Go-Set had, within the last 6 months been writing for a strongly left university paper that held strong political views of the world. The context of the popular social psychologist solving the problems of teens is far from their previous experience.
Research indicates that we must find out who originated the idea!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Prue Acton's Fashion

Page Heading

Go-Set: 9 February 1966, Page 8
For a magazine to have a successful fashion outlook, it would probably be essential to have a big name fashion maker within the pages. Go-Set had Prue Acton.
When I was researching the thesis I managed to get an interview with Prue, as she lived in a nearby region and was coming into Canberra for a function and agreed to allow me to interview her.
I was quite surprised when she said that she was not aware that Go-Set had a column that featured her fashion, she was quite surprised by the pages I showed her.
In fact she said that she thought it was the work of one her assistants.
From the perspective of the Go-Set reader, it is highly likely that they were unaware of the actuality of the situation. I am not sure the Go-Set editors had any knowledge of the position!!
This area is certainly worth more research, so who knows what the research will find out!?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Molly Meldrum - The Stardust Page -1974

Go-Set: 5 January 1974: Page 24 The Stardust Page

Go-Set 1974 First Issue

Go-Set: 5 January 1974 Cover 
By January 1974, the face of popular music had changed quite significantly. Pop and rock still existed, and while was being dominated by Glam, rock was being dominated by blues boogie.
The first cover of 1974, featured 12 covers from 1973. The artists being featured represented a wide cross section of the international music industry.
In order of appearance on this cover
1. Australian May Join Zappa (US) (14July73)
2. Now Tull Quit (UK) (8Sep73)
3. Sherbet's Daryl (AUS) (16Dec73)
4. Aztec Energy Rising (AUS) (30June73)
5. Glittermania (UK) (10Nov73)
6. Aztecs First To Rock Opera House (AUS) (29Sept73)
7. Cassidy Signs For Australian Tour (US) (27Oct73)
8. Jackson 5 Mania! (US) (7July73)
9. Kinks' Ray Davies Quits Too! (UK) (4Aug73)
10. Slade Storm England (UK) (28July73)
11. Brian Cadd Considering Four American Tours (AUS) (15Sept73)
12. Cadd-Hewett 'No' To Opera House (AUS) (1Sept73)

By 1974, many things had changed in the Go-Set publication format, from the owners, to the sources of information. From the percentage of Australian content, to the authors of the content.
Retrospectively Go-Set had changed because its readers had grown up, the world had changed as had the media companies that owned the popular music press.
Significantly, in 1974, Go-Set was owned by the UK media giant IPC, and it had competition from other magazines, but more specifically Dolly for the teenage market it was originally aimed at. However, historically, Go-Set was now targeting the market that was now predominately University students, and more largely male in gender.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Go-Set: 2 February 1966 Page 4

Go-Set: 2 February 1966 Page 5

Go-Set: 2 February 1966 Page 5
The Groop were the first Melbourne band, also the first Australian band to be featured in Go-Set. Probably picked because they had played support to Tom Jones and Herman's Hermits, who had toured Australia just prior to Go-Set coming onto the scene.
The feature contains a very important philosophical standpoint, and this was that "The Groop" played what they characterised to be the "Melbourne sound". Important in its own sense, when writing the thesis, this concept of a "Melbourne sound" is quite significant in terms of differentiation and creating a brand sense for Australian and more specifically Melbourne readers at the time. The 3UZ chart a spread of artists between the UK, USA and Australia. There is nothing unusual about this. The Beatles being held off the top of the chart by "The Seekers". The top 15 songs are dominated by UK artists, with 8 songs, then comes Australian artists with 4, and finally US artists with 3. The Groop are posted at number 24 with "Ol' Hound Dog", written McKendee and Ross.

It is not possible to say at this point who wrote the feature, and although Go-Set had a limited number of feature writers and the staff were still looking for a style.

Crazy New Game Who-Man

Go-Set Game: 9 February 1966
Reader interaction with Go-Set would find many pathways over the years. The creation of a game or competition in which readers could draw images send them in, and if they were liked, they would be published, gave the audience a chance to participate in the creation of more reader interest.
The underlying strategy is a play on the word "man" by adding a pronoun, perhaps, a preliminary term that would give the term ...man, a new meaning.
The image drawn by Herman, and signed as Herman, has both childlike and in a sense "beatnik" qualities to it. It looks like the image has a beard, yet when we look closer we see it is meant to be a shirt, or is it.
The image has a naivete that is  quite innocent, and this makes it attractive to its teenage readers. The audience gender to which this image is intended to convey most meaning is somewhat vague, yet at the Herman (aka Peter Noone) was a heart throb of the teen female audience, so it would be expected that the competition would draw its entries from mostly teenage girls.
In a few posts I will examine the outcomes from this competition.

Another aspect of this competition is that it establishes Go-Set as a pipeline to the pop stars of the period and that Go-Set could establish, almost casually, a relationship with pop stars that the teen audience reading Go-Set, could only see from afar.

Reader participation with Go-Set brought them one step closer perhaps, to meeting the stars that came to Australia!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Normie Rowe - First appearance in Go-Set of Normie Rowe

14 February 1966
The association of Go-Set with Normie Rowe started in the 3rd issue. It would be the beginning of many links between Go-Set, its audience and the more subtle political agenda that Go-Set would run with its audience. Was it known at this time that Normie would ultimately would have to go and fight in Vietnam? The agenda around Normie going to Vietnam are all played out in Go-Set, sometimes openly, sometimes some others issues were going on behind the scenes. I will examine these issues in further posts.
Go-Set was not above keeping its readers interested in the social and love life of its teen stars. His life can be followed quite intimately through the pages of Go-Set. He was the most covered artist in terms of pictures and stories until he went to Vietnam. The early success of Go-Set could in some ways be attributed to the coverage Go-Set gave to him, as by 1966 Normie was one of, if not already, Australia's biggest home grown star.
With respect to the place of the feature itself, placed on page 5, under an item on the Rolling Stones who were about to tour Australia, it was in fact rather modest taking up the bottom third of the page.
The feature itself reviews a Sydney awards event where Normie was awarded two Gold Records.
The scale of the event seems large by Australian standards, and I will have to research it more. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

1970 - 3 January Top 40 Chart

Top 40 Chart 3 January 1970 Compiled by Ed Nimmervoll
By 1970, all the compilation of the Top 40 charts was handled by Ed Nimmervoll. Ed had been studying architecture, and had an underlying interest in music. The charts he produced for Go-Set were based on a methodology he worked out. He had started supplying Top 40 charts to the Go-Set office in 1967. The office did not know who he was, but published them anyway, along with the explanations sheet that he provided with them.
I don't know whether they paid him, it is most likely they didn't, at least not in the beginning. As Colin Beard has said before, nobody got paid, but there were benefits for working for Go-Set, which I will mention in another post.
Ed Nimmervoll's charts are excellent, and they were the only National Top 40 charts at the time. The Kent Charts (no relations) would be another 4 to 5 years off.
Philosophically, Go-Set's strategy was both to unify the Australian pop/rock nation, and at the same time show its constituent parts. The chart is something of a unifying picture versus the edition philosophy of now having separate editions for Melbourne and Sydney. Alignment occurred amongst the States as the WA and Queensland editions were also contained in the Sydney edition. Melbourne got its own version. The story of how they produce these different editions will be addressed in another post.
Ed Nimmervoll is quite thorough in his sourcing of charts. Breaking down the data, the spread of stations is as follows:
NSW: 4: 2UW, 2SM, 2UE, 2CA
VIC: 4: 3UZ, 3AK, 3DB, 3XY
SA: 1:  5AD
TAS: 2: 7LA, 7HO
WA: 3: 6PR, 6KY, 6PM 
QLD: 2: 4BC, 4IP
Total Number is 16 stations
The actual means of calculation is something I have a great interest in. The only person who really knows is Ed Nimmervoll, so it to him we must ask the question. However in the meantime, we can see the spread of the stations is concentrated into the 8 stations of NSW and VIC. The remainder is spread over the other 4 States. The WA aspect of the calculation is based on 3 stations compared to SA (2) and QLD (2). Ed once said the calculation took into the population proportions of each State.
One example of the detail in the chart relates to the sources of the data in the context of the song position. Looking at song 31, Carroll County Accident by Bobby and Laurie. The song was in for the 2nd week, it had previously been at position 38. The calculation was based on charts from Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. Sadly we don't have the full Top 40 chart  for the States in question, to see the specific place information, but that was not the purpose  of the chart. Readers were more interested in the sense of Australian ness of the song position rather than how the song was performing in each State. Thus the sense of a united country was presented. Ironically, Carroll County Accident was the cover of a song from the USA.

Monash University's Lot's Wife - a snapshot

Image from Lot's Wife - 3 March 1965
At Monash University, the student magazine Chaos was closed down and replaced with a new magazine called Lot's Wife.

The mood and direction of Lot's Wife is expressed articulately by the editor, Tony Schauble.
In this first issue of Lot's Wife, Phillip Fraser is listed as an artist, along with John Phillips.

October 1965, Phillip Fraser and Pete Steedman shared the editorial.

The comments on the page mention Steedman, Fraser, and Laird (Ross). Laird indicated in an interview that discussions around time indicated that the editors were looking for something new to do. Participants in this discussion included Damien Broderick, who produced the Lot's Wife justification at the beginning of the year.
The editors earned 12 pounds for each issue, the staff member responsible for collecting advertising could earn 50 pounds an issue in commission, however for the editors, and according to Laird, earning an income, was one motivation for thinking of life beyond university at the time.
"From little things, big things grow!"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Melbourne and Sydney Edition Difference 1

Go-Set Sydney edition 3 January 1970 Page 8

Go-Set Melbourne edition 3 January 1970 Page 8

By 1970, with different offices in different capital cities, Go-Set was able to produce different editions of the issue. This is one example of the different pages.
The Sydney edition ran an item called Donnie's Place. It was the Sydney version of Ian Meldrum's gossip. Donnie was Donnie Sutherland, who would go on to host Sounds (commercial TV), while Meldrum went onto host and talent coordinate for Countdown (Australia's ABC).

The Sydney office was quite different to the Melbourne office, and I will explore this issue is a later posting.

The  Melbourne page is characterised by the Wendy Saddington column. Wendy was a musician, more specifically, she sang the blues.

I will analyse the content of each page, but for the moment, just enjoy the different styles.

Go-Set 3 January 1970 Page 1

A grainy colour version (thanks Barry)
Image is from the Microfilm held at the NLA
Russell Morris featured on the first edition for 1970.
He was probably the most successful recording artist of 1969 with his single Johnny Young written song "The Real Thing". The single was produced by Ian Meldrum, but all the technical and production work was actually done by the engineer John L. Sayers.
By 1970, Go-Set had found its groove. Two of the original founders, Tony Schauble and Doug Panther had gone, and the focus of the magazine was on pop with a growing coverage of rock music and issue.
1970 would also be significant for the release of Revolution, and the inclusion of the Rolling Stone (magazine) Supplement. Go-Set was reaching maturity, both in content and appearance.