Sunday, July 29, 2012

 Hooray for Slade. By 1973, Slade were the all conquering heroes of poppy rock, or glam rock as it would become known. Historically Slade had gone from punk rock to glam rock. As a punk-like in the early 70s, or bovvers (maybe) they hadn't really made a lot of  impact. Their early songs were growing in style, however, the glamming of Dave, and the excesses of Noddy's efforts to get audience participation fell on yet to be enthusiastic audiences.
Interestingly in 1973 Slade toured Australia with Lindisfarne, and a still largely to be discovered Status Quo.
In this issue of Go-Set the dates of the tour had not been set, but Go-Set announced they were coming. The article is almost a history piece on the band. Slade were one of the most successful rock acts England was to produce. Yet in America they made little impact.
 In 1973 Ed Nimmervoll had been made principle editor of Go-Set by the new owners. Phillip Frazer was no more in charge, and the new owners had imposed a limited budget on the looks of Go-Set. The effects were a less diverse paper in terms of looks. The content was now more obviously sourced from UK pop newspapers, and the size of the Go-Set staff was reduced.
Ed Nimmervoll asked the industry to look at itself with this editorial. It was obvious to him that there was much to be corrected in the way the Australian rock music industry worked.
He picks on two specific areas, the "hustlers" who have taken advantage of the musicians and who "ripped them off, degrading the,, controlling them", meaning the musicians, and that these "artists" have been "satisfied with the hollow promises of the hustler They put up with lousy conditions and equipment."
Ed Nimmervoll ten goes to savage the record companies who "don't help the acts in the slightest and the acts don't help the record companies AT ALL."
Then Ed gibes it to the radio stations though the lines that "what's crippling this industry most of all is the radio, with its singlew rock network, turning down records left and right, having the scene wide open to one set of radio programmers pointing the scene wherever they see fit, to whoever gets closest to them"
The finger points at the issue of perhaps corruption, but does not actually say it.
Finally, Ed appears to be frustrated by the whole thing, "It's becoming increasingly difficult to feel patriotic, no matter how worthwhile we might think our local performers are."
Go-Set's charter was to make the issues of musicians and its readers known. The be an iconoclast on the Australian scene, and this editorial makes it clear that Go-Set doesn't like it.
 The growing success of Brian Cadd in the USA was being made public by Go-Set. Yet Go-Set is pre-empting a position to its readership. Go-Set would always crow about Australian success, no matter how big or small.
 This looks like an interesting place. Who remembers Teaser? Will someone please tell me!!!

 Times have changed. Would an album like King Crimson's Earthbound, today be chosen by anyone as an album of the week. Contextually, it should be noted that this is actually an advertisement.

 Ian Meldrum also survived as the co editor of Go-Set, although according to Ed Nimmervoll, Ian didn't do very much. By now the "campness" that was Meldrum at the time is quite obvious, and had been for quite some time.  It's interesting to read this as the phrasing sounds like Molly on Humdrum, or on Hey Hey It's Saturday. Molly (Meldrum) continues the industry buzz at the time, following on from Melody Maker and NME that Bowie was quitting. However, the truth was more that Bowie was Ziggy Stardust, not that he was giving up show business. It would interesting to know whether Meldrum did have the inside gossip on Bowie at that time, or whether he really believed that Bowie was quitting for good..
 The top40 chart for this week has the highest Australian song as being Col Joye at 5, with "Heaven Is My Woman's Love", and Barry Crocker at 7 with "Suzie Darling".
The songs on this singles chart seem surprisingly soft, in terms of the lack of twangy guitar songs.
Relatively speaking, the albums chart is way more progressive with Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rick Wakeman, Yes, and Focus in the top 20.
One might say, "what a strange time it was"!!!
Just for interest, here's the albums reviewed this week!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

 This is the cover page from the July 26, 1967 issue of Go-Set. The issue contained a wide variety of information and topics and even ventured into the ethics of sexual relations.
However the cover made the announcement that the Groop had won the Battle of the Sounds competition.
The other mention of note is that Johnny Young was still in England, and would never return???
 Top 40 charts always afford great interest.
The first Australian song in the charts is at number 14, Easybeats: Heaven and Hell; followed at 15 by the Twilights: Young Girl; and then at 16 by Normie Rowe with But I Know.
The top 5 songs show the diversity of the music of the period with Procol Harum - Whiter Shade of Pale at 1; Scott Mackenzie with San Francisco at 2; Silence is Golden by the Tremeloes at 3; Waterloo Sunset by the Kinks at 4; and finally Petula Clark at 5 with This Is My Song; At 40 is the Groop with Woman You're Breaking Me. The highest debut is by the Beatles with All You Need Is Love which debuted at 9 on the chart.
There's probably a great deal to be said about this chart that is interestingly so representative of the hippy period and the beginnings of Haight Ashbury and also the slowly developing soul music which took a while to get going in Australia, except for the bigger hits and Max Merritt's interpretations. But Australian pop at this time was just beginning to mature, thanks to the help of Go-Set.
 Go-Set really got around. Capturing pictures from a dance at Laverton Airforce base. Denise Drysdale, Penthouse girls dancing, and a heap of bands made a wild night, by 1967 standards. More pictures to come
 Go-Set catered for the needs of its readers, so a soap ad was not out of place. Brand placement of Dorothy Gray, on one of the social pages was about educating the masses.
 The questioner, Michelle, lays the groundwork for Lloyd to put forward an argument as to how values were changing. This background comes against a moral set where the older generation was still coming to grips with the mini skirt, and the recent introduction of "the pill". So sex for pleasure, with the limited chance of pregnancy become a talking point for the generation. The question itself related to under age sex brought about by the needs of the poorest members of society!!!
Finally, more advertising, or advertorial. A Taste of Honey is some quite specific product placement in the form of an article. Place in the "You" section of the issue, it is part of the fashion section of the issue, and was aimed at both at making Go-Set the lead fashion magazine and to provide advertisers with a way into the minds of the readers.

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.