Friday, March 30, 2012

WOCK On Vinyl - Aussie Radio Jingles (Coca Cola)

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Before things get too serious at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song at the end of each month, that could be considered to be either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
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This WOCK posting comes under the 'Obscure' category and is Part 2 to an earlier posting, which included Coca Cola jingles by the Easybeats and the Bee Gees.
Music is a big seller of products and services and is an important part of advertising. In particular, well known bands and artists have been used to reproduce commercial jingles to sell their products (in this case that magic elixir we call Coca Cola).
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This posting provides a sample of some more classic jingles from Aussie bands like: Johnny Farnham, The Twilights, The Seekers, The Groove, The Executive, Billy Thorpe, Sherbet, Doug Parkinson, Dragon, Brian Cadd, Ronnie Burns and The Valentines.
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Coca-Cola was developed in 1886 by John Pemberton, a Pharmacist at the Eagle Drug & Chemical Company. Initially being sold as a patent medicine for a nickel, the first sale of Coca-Cola was on May 8, 1886 at a Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia. On May 29, 1886, Pemberton placed the first Coca-Cola ad in the Atlanta Journal. Coca-Cola was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler who began to market it as a soft drink. The Coca-Cola Company produces extract not soda! They then sell the concentrate to licensed Coca-Cola bottlers who hold exclusive territory rights with The Coca-Cola Company. They in turn produce the final product in bottles and cans.
It was in 1963 that Coca-Cola started using the slogan "Things Go Better with Coke". Advertising agency McCann-Erickson worked with popular acts to create musical jingles utilizing the slogan. The jingles became so popular that Coca-Cola eventually distributed 60,000 promotional "Let's Swing the Jingle for Coca-Cola" singles through their bottlers.
In these short radio spots, the original artists would rework their own popular songs to reflect the idea that "Things Go Better with Coke." What's amazing is that these short little reworkings are actually strangely compelling to listen to. In fact, even listening to several of them in a row is enjoyable, sometimes in a head-shaking kind of way. What's bizarre to me is that something that today would seem like such a crass sell-out was deemed not only acceptable, but was actually incredibly popular. What helps, I'm sure, is the earnestness that went into the production of these tracks. Clearly less cynical times, mind you.
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An Aussie single was released in 1968 for Coke called "A Groovin' With Coca-Cola" b/w "Summerhill Road" (PRS-2028). The A side featured 4 one minute Coca-Cola jingles by The Executives, The Twilights, The Groove and Johnny Farnham. The Groove won the Hoadley’s National Battle Of The Sounds of that year. As a special bonus the B side featured the latest single by The Executives (at the time of its release) "Summerhill Road".
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Most of these jingles in this post (14 in total) were sourced from a CD called "Things Go Better with Coke: Sixties Coca-Cola Commercials (1965-1969)" and the single "A Groovin' With Coca Cola" (thanks to Ozzie Music Man for the single). My favourite Coke Ads are those by the Seekers and The Valentines, but be assured that all these jingles are worth the listen, cause - 'Things Go Better at WOCK on Vinyl' !
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Aussie Coca Cola Jingles Link (25Mb)
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Machinations - The Big Beat (1986) Mini LP

(Australian 1980- 1989, 1997)
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The Machinations formed around Tim Doyle and Tony Starr, who started writing together around the end of 1979, using what electronic instruments they could find. Their school friend Fred Loneragan joined as singer and they played their first show at Garibaldi's in Darlinghurst, Sydney in early 1980. Another school friend, Nero (Nick) Swan, soon joined on bass.
In late 1980, with the assistance of radio Triple J, the band recorded some songs at Trafalgar Studios; in November 1980, the band entered the studio with producer Lobby Loyde. These recordings resulted in the band's debut single, "Average Inadequacy"/"Arabia" (released 26 August 1981), and the four-track debut self-titled EP (20 November 1981), both released on the independent Phantom Records label.
"Average Inadequacy" created enough interest for Mushroom's White Label to sign the band and reissue the single with a new B-side, "Machinations of Dance" in March 1982. A year later, Machinations issued a new single, "Jack"/"Be Double" in February 1983. This was followed by "Pressure Sway"/"Pushbike" in June 1983. "Pressure Sway" became the band's first national mainstream charting single when it peaked at #21 during July 1983. "Pressure Sway" also made an impact in the United States reaching #40 on Billboard's Club Play Singles chart. In April 1983, Machinations released their debut album, Esteeem, which peaked at #54 on the Australian album charts. The third single from the album was, "Jumping the Gap"/"Terminal Wharf", released in October 1983.
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Following the album's release, and an Australian tour support slot with Joe Jackson, Machinations added Warren McLean on drums; prior to that the band used a drum machine (a Roland CR-78). The band entered Rhinoceros Studios with English producer Julian Mendelshon, emerging with the smoothest and most fully realised album of its career, Big Music, in July 1985. The album produced four hit singles. The first of these, "No Say in It"/"Man Overboard" pre-empted the album by nine months (it was released in September 1984) and ended up being the band’s highest charting single, peaking at #14 in October 1984. The second single, "My Heart's on Fire"/"Spark" followed in May 1985, it reached #27 in June 1985. The third single, "You Got Me Going Again"/"I Ain't Waiting for No Train" was released in August, 1985, making #39, however the fourth single, "Execution of Love"/"Dusted Down", released in December 1985 failed to chart. Naomi Star sang backing vocals on most of the album, although Inez Anthony was featured on "No Say in It". The album peaked at #20 on the national album charts, spending several weeks at that position. It was also released in the United States on the A&M label.
In 1985 Machinations performed the three national hit songs for the Oz for Africa concert (part of the global Live Aid program). It was broadcast in Australia (on both Seven Network and Nine Network) and on MTV in the US.
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In 1986, White Label issued the mini-album The Big Beat (featured in this post), which is a collection of dance remixes of singles like "No Say in It", "Execution of Love", "Pressure Sway" and "You Got Me Going Again", which reached #83 on the charts.
That same year, Warren McLean left Machinations to join Melbourne funk-pop outfit I'm Talking. Henry Downes took his place on drums. Downes was then replaced by John MacKay (ex-Sea Monsters) in early 1987. The band was back in the studios soon after with American producer Andy Wallace (Prince, Run DMC), recording a new album.
Machinations' third album, 'Uptown' was released in October 1988 and produced four singles spread out over eighteen months. The first single, "Do to You"/"Looking Out for You", was released in August 1987 and almost matched the highpoint of "No Say In It", reaching #15 in October 1987. The second single, "Intimacy"/"Hit by a Missile" (May 1988), reached #44, the third, "Do It to Me"/"Normal" (October 1988), peaked at #69 and the fourth, "Cars and Planes"/"Beats and Planes" (February 1989) failed to chart. The album was well received upon its release and reached #46 on the national album charts.
By that stage, Machinations had established themselves as a popular band on the Australian touring circuit. The band's activities were curtailed in early 1989 when a hit-and-run accident left Loneragan unconscious and with a broken back. He spent several months recuperating in hospital. Initially other band members intended to continue writing new material whilst Loneragan recovered from his injuries, but over time the various members left to pursue other projects. Swan toured with the James Freud's band and with MacKay performed with Absent Friends.
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Machinations re-unite in 2012
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While the band reformed for some select dates in the 1990s their latest reunion will be the first chance to see the group in full swing since its 1980s heyday.
Swan said "band members had remained good friends ever since it disbanded in 1989 and when a friend approached them about the possibility of reforming for a few shows they jumped at the chance".
He and singer Fred Loneragan had remained prominent in the industry and had played a number of sets together on the Absolutely 80s variety tour but both missed the chemistry of the original band.
“The Absolutely 80s shows were a lot of fun, but at the same time, it was frustrating only doing six songs - playing with a backing band wasn’t the same,” he said.
The experience did give the pair a chance to revisit the band’s material and decide which songs had withstood the test of time and which songs needed some reworking.
The group has been rehearsing for the gigs since December and Swan said fans could expect all the classic hits such as Pressure Sway and My Heart’s On Fire. But the show will also feature a range of early post-punk and some rarities and B-sides.
“Some of the songs we hadn’t played since the mid-80s but when we revisited them we thought they are damn fine songs,” he said.
The line-up is the same as in 1989 - Fred Loneragan, Nero Swan (bass), Tony Starr (synthesizers), Tim Doyle (guitar) and John Mackay (drums).
The band is so excited for the reunion they have all spent money updating their rigs and gear and will look to book a few shows in Melbourne and maybe one more in Sydney following the Bridge Hotel gigs [as reported in the North Shore Times, Feb 2012]
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This post consists of mp3 (320kps) ripped from my cassette tape release of this album which plays as good as the day it was purchased. I have included full album artwork from both the LP and cassette tape releases along with some select photos of the band from the 1980's.
Although a little dated in concept (with 12" dance mixes), this album is still entertaining to listen to - now where did I put my mirror ball ?
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Track Listing
01 One Closer Step

02 No Say In It
03 Execution Of Love

04 Pressure Sway
05 My Heart’s On Fire
06 Jumping The Gap
07 You Got Me Going Again
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Band Members:
Tim Doyle - guitar
Fred Loneragan - vocals
Warren McLean - drums
Tony Starr - keyboards
Nick (Nero) Swan - bass
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Machinations Link (102Mb)
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

V. Spy V. Spy - Meet Us Inside (1984) Mini LP

(Australian 1981-1994)
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Spy vs Spy is an Australian rock band from Sydney formed in 1981. They have been known as V.Spy V.Spy, Spy V Spy and quite simply 'The Spies'.
V. Spy V. Spy formed during high school in Newcastle, New South Wales, when bassist Craig Bloxom met guitarist Michael Weiley. Later they moved to Sydney where they met drummer Cliff Grigg. They started off as Spy vs Spy, but had to change their name just prior to releasing their first EP, 'Four Fresh Lemons' to prevent a lawsuit from Mad Magazine. The E.P was recorded for friends on an independent label, Green. The E.P's original pressing was a limited release of 1000 copies. They sold out in 5 days.
Originally the band oscillated between a kind of rocksteady-paced reggae and full tilt Oz rock. This was popular at the time that they formed - there was this whole ska/reggae thing that permeated the Australian music scene at the time, probably due to the influence of Madness and The Specials.
The Spies' music had this potent rhythmic reggae twist initially, no doubt thanks to the lovely skins work of Grigg. It wouldn't be long before some of their signature sounds started to emerge - particularly Grigg's drumming. Eventually their rock side would prevail over the reggae side.
Bloxom eventually became the lead vocalist, singing tales of inner suburban squalor. I read somewhere a tale of Grigg (I think) being busted for squatting illegally, which was probably fairly routine for inner suburban Australian musicians at the time.
They briefly broke up in early 1983 but thankfully were back together by July of that year - temporarily with a fourth member, Marcus Phelan.
Managed by Gary Morris of Midnight Oil fame, the Spies created an unique sound based around Craig Bloxom's driving bass, Michael Weiley on guitar & Cliff Grigg on percussion. Three piece bands often fight to achieve prominence, in the Spies case this was achieved by ear bleeding sound levels coupled with anthemic lyrics and Bloxom and Wieley's alternating vocals.
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Anyway, to the Mini LP featured in this post. They still hadn't recorded a full length LP at the time, although 'Meet Us Inside' included not one but two bona fide rock epics in "One Of A Kind" and "Mugshot", which clocked in at 6:28 and 7:20 respectively. Not bad for a five track EP. I don't recall them ever doing a rock epic again.
"One Of A Kind" was released in truncated form as a single, but as always the E.P edit is far superior. The song itself starts with some nice rimshots by Grigg followed by the bass of Bloxom. Eventually the signature riff of Weiley's is sighted - an amazingly simple one at that.
Bloxom had this rather earnest vocal delivery which worked for a lot of their tunes and had progressed from the more weedy delivery on their earlier work. It would beef up further in years to come.
On this tune, as with some other Spies' tunes, Bloxom's vocals are punctuated by these little spoken rants delivered by Weiley, which could scared the poo out of anyone. Presumably, this is a tune about mental illness. Eventually, Weiley's signature digital delay pedal shows up. Weiley loved that pedal, and with good reason - nothing symbolised the Spies' sound more than that pedal. The Digital Delay was to the Spies what Robert Smith's Chorus pedal was to The Cure.

.The Spies went on to record a trilogy of extremely strong albums in 'Harry's Reasons?', 'A.O. Mod. T.V. Vers'. and 'Xenophobia [Why?]' before returning to their reggae roots a little with 'Trash The Planet' in 1989.
The Spies travelled to the UK to record 'Trash The Planet' but this album wasn't nearly as strong as the previous three, and the Spies found themselves without a label. Grigg left about this time to be replaced by Mark Cuffe.
Somehow along the way, they'd picked up the tag, "Poor Man's Midnight Oil", no doubt due to both the political content of their lyrics and the fact that they shared a manager with Midnight Oil.
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They changed their name back to Spy vs Spy before recording Fossil, and around this time they discovered religion and became committed Christians. I didn't hear much from them after this, although I remember reading something where Cuffe moved out the front of the band to share lead vocals with Bloxom and Weiley and they got another drummer.
A 'best of' collection, 'The Spy File', was released in June 1992. Subsequent release Fossil was relatively ordinary and the band called it a day in 1994.
Bloxom appears to be a chef in Mexico, now, judging by his profile on Vuze.
In 2007, some of the former band members were touring as Spy - Spy and performing all of the classic hits. For a full discography of their albums, have a look at the following PDF
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This post consists of a 320kps rip of this Mini LP taken from a cassette release (my vinyl copy has seen better days) and includes full album artwork and label scans. The reproduction is impressive and matches anything that could be produced from vinyl.
(band photos were sourced from The Spies Website with thanks)
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Track Listing
01 - One Of A Kind (Full Version)
02 - Where Are We Going
03 - Voices Of The People
04 - Mugshots
05 - CES Limbo

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Band members:
Craig Bloxom - Bass & Vocals
Mike Weily - Guitars
Cliff Grigg - Drums
Guest Artist: Sue Kempster - Cello
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Spy V Spy Link (56Mb)
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Free - Live! (1971)

(U.K 1968–1971, 1972–1973)
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Free was an English rock band, formed in London in 1968 and had a somewhat turbulent history. Their best-known line-up was founder Rodgers (b.Middlesbrough, Dec 12, 1949), Kirke (b. Chelsea, London, July 28, 1948) and Kossoff (b. Hampstead, London, Sept 14, 1950 - d. Mar 19, 1976).
Kirke and Kossoff were playing together in a blues group, Black Cat Bones, when they saw Rodgers singing with the outfit Brown Sugar in a North London pub, The Fickle Pickle.
The three assembled their new band with the addition of Andy Fraser, 16-year old bass player from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.
While still in their embryonic stage, they came to the attention of Alexis Korner, one of' 'founding fathers" of British blues, who suggested the name "Free", introduced them to Island Records boss Chris Blackwell (who wanted to call them The Heavy Metal Kids), provided early musical 'coaching', and even arranged group's debut gig in spring 1968.
Though the subject of some initial criticism - they were dubbed as ersatz Cream in certain quarters of British rock press - the band established a strong club following within a year of formation, playing a mix of original material and blues standards.

.Early albums (first in 1969) were only moderately received by press and public alike, until in 1970 their original composition, "All Right Now", went to #1 in British singles lists, and into American Top 5 in autumn of that year. Free followed up with their next big hit "My Brother Jake".
In early 1971, however, for a variety of reasons never fully explained, one of them being possibly their immaturity, the band split — for the first time.
Each member pursued various, though largely unsuccessful projects. Rodgers and Fraser formed own bands, Peace and Toby respectively; Kirke and Kossoff recorded album (Kossoff Kirke Tetsu Rabbit - Island, 1971) with Texan keyboards player John "Rabbit" Bundrick and Japanese bassist Tetsu Yamauchi.
Then in early 1972, the band regrouped with their original lineup to cut a disappointing 'Free At Last', plus the hit single "A Little Bit Of Love", and for a reunion tour.
Fraser departed towards end of that year, however, and Tetsu and "Rabbit" - from a fore mentioned album - came in to make Free a five-piece for only a short period of time before Paul Kossoff, suffering from drug addiction, also quit. Nevertheless, Kossoff appears on parts of the final Free album 'Heart-breaker' (1973).
Wendell Richardson, then with Osibisa was brought in as a temporary replacement for Free's early 1973 American tour, after which Tetsu quit to join The Faces.
Free disintegrated for second and last time in late 1973, allowing Rodgers and Kirke to form instantly successful Bad Company. Original bassist Fraser subsequently led own eponymous Andy Fraser Band with relatively little commercial success [extract from The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock, by Nick Logan & Bob Woffinden, 1977 - p89)
Due to the publicity caused by their breakup, a live album was rush-released by Island Records to commemorate the band.
Recorded in 1970 and comprising of tracks drawn from their 1st four studio albums (Tons of Sobs, Free, Fire and Water, Highway), this is a brilliant and powerful live album from one of the great blues rock bands ever...'
A fitting live document to a magnificent band who were sadly short-lived. At the time, Free was on the verge of becoming extremely big, they just couldn’t see it. These live tracks capture this feeling very well indeed. I would give my paycheck to see these guys play live if only I could. Alas, Free Live! is the next best thing [review from Amazon]
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This post consists of a rip (320kps) taken from my vinyl copy which I bought as a teenager and represented my first introduction to this legendary band. Full album artwork for both CD and vinyl is included along with label scans. I consider this album to be one of the few classics that have stood the test of time and it is still an integral part of my general playlist. Hope you enjoy it!
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Track Listing
01 - All Right Now
02 - I'm A Mover
03 - Be My Friend
04 - Fire And Water

05 - Ride On Pony
06 - Mr Big
07 - The Hunter
08 - Get Where I Belong (Studio Track)

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Free were:
Paul Rodgers (vocals)
Paul Kossoff (guitar)
Andy Fraser (bass)
Simon Kirke (drums)
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Free Live Link (95Mb)  New Link 23/10/2015
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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wlliam Shakespeare - Can't Stop Myself From Loving You (1974) with Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1974-76, 1979)
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In a classic case of pop reincarnation, Johnny Caves (born in 1950) became Johnny Cabe, then William Shakespeare. He then scored two Australian #1 hit singles and was never heard from ever again.
Behind the scenes were ace production/songwriting guru's Vanda & Young (ex-The Easybeats) who wrote Shakespeare's hits "Can't Stop Myself From Loving You" and "My Little Angel", as well as engineering his carefully contrived image (Australia's answer to Gary Glitter).
Johnny Caves initially sang with beat band The Amazons. By the early 70s he was working the Sydney clubs as Johnny Cabe.
At the beginning of 1974 he came into contact with Vanda and Young, who had just recorded the backing track for "Can't Stop Myself From Loving You" for another singer who was unable to handle the high notes.
The song seemed tailor-made for Cabe's falsetto voice, and he was promptly signed for the Alberts label.
Vanda and Young decided to create a new image for Cabe. They renamed him William Shakespeare and kitted him out in glam rock gear, replete with puffed Shakespearian sleeves and gaudy fake jewels. To top it all off, Shakespeare sported an immaculately coiffured, plum-coloured hairdo.
His first single release "Can't Stop Myself From Loving You" came out in July 1974 and immediately hit Number 1 on the national Australian charts. With the help of regular appearances on Countdown, his second single, the Christmas-flavoured "My Little Angel", also reached Number 1.
Two more Vanda and Young singles followed: "Just The Way You Are" (April 1975) and "Last Night" (March 1976), plus the album Can't Stop Myself From Loving You, but none charted. While his career was in decline Shakespeare was charged with carnal knowledge and received two years' probation.
He left Alberts in 1977 and by the middle of 1979 was back working Sydney clubs, this time as Billy Shake. His career was temporarily revived in 1990 when listeners of Melbourne radio station 3MMM voted My Little Angel as the "daggiest song of its generation". Shakespeare began headlining "Dag Nights" on the nostalgia circuit and wore his 'Top Dag' appellation as a badge of honour. [extract from nostalgiacentral.com]
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Sadly, John Cave passed away on 5th October, 2010 at the age of 61,as a result of alcohol abuse.
The following is an article from the Sydney Morning Herald, August 24, 2009 entitled 'Countdown Star's Topple from Grace' (editorial by Brendan Shanahan)
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Pop star William Shakespeare's ascent to No.1 was as fast as John Cave's descent into hell.
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"I got a royalty cheque the other day,” says John Cave, better known as 1970s glam star William Shakespeare, “for 13 bucks.” There is a rare moment of ironic humour in his voice as he gestures at the letter on the table.
At the age of 60, John Cave h
as seen better days. Then again, he's seen a lot worse. Almost since he had his first hit, Can't Stop Myself from Loving You, in 1974, quickly followed by another No. 1, My Little Angel, Cave has been on a downward trajectory. At the height of his career, his alter ego was a Countdown regular and, for a brief period, the most famous man in Australian pop.
But, fairly or otherwise, William Shakespeare (also billed as Billy Shake) wa
s not to be remembered for his musical contribution so much as a symbol of the excesses of the glam-rock era and the transience of fame.
These days, Cave lives alone in a governm
ent flat in Riverwood, cared for by his neighbour, Rhyse, an extraordinarily energetic 83-year-old great-great-grandmother and self-described “hyperactive geriatric”. “I'm his carer, his friend, his surrogate mother,” she says, busying herself with tea in the kitchen.
Cave's story began in Sydney's inner west, where his parents ran a fruit-
and-vegetable shop. Cave's father died when he was 14; his mother when he was 21. “She never even got to see me sing,” he says.
After singing for various pub bands, Cave was one day confronted with a fateful decision. “I got the offer to be the lead singer of AC/DC, although they didn't really have a name then. I took the story back to my manager and he said, 'Well, do you want to sing in a bloody pub band all your life or do you want to be a star?' I thought, 'I want to be a star.' So that's the road I chose and I became William Shakespeare.”
It was, needless to say, poor advice and soon a perfect storm of scandal, changing fashion and incipient alcoholism conspired to destroy William Shakespeare almost as quickly as he was made.
In 1975, only a year after his debut, Cave was convicted of carnal knowledge with the 15-year-old president of his Melbourne fan club. It's an incident he refuses to acknowledge any responsibility for, dismissing it as a “set-up” and an extortion attem
pt. Whatever the truth, Cave was rapidly heading for a crash from which he would never recover, professionally or emotionally.
Depression has been a constant companion for Cave. Uncomfortable in the company of strangers, panic attacks have been a regular feature of his life. Even in his heyday, he says, he would get nervous for days before appearing on stage. Tragically, these problems would eventually bring him into the orbit of notorious psychiatrist Dr Harry Bailey, the man at the centre of the Chelmsford Hospital scandal in which many patients died during, or committed suicide after, Bailey's unregulated experimental techniques.
“I started seeing Harry Bailey at my wife's recomm
endation. I was having these pains in my legs and Dr Bailey gave me injections in my back and the pain was just gone.”
Eventually, Cave wound up at Chelmsford where, like his friend Stevie Wright, the former lead singer of the Easybeats and a long-term drug addict, he was subjected to so-called “deep sleep” and electroshock therapy.
“They handed me a paper cup full of pills,” he says, holding out a shaking hand, “and said, 'Here, swallow these.' I woke up two weeks later and didn't know . . . what had happened.”
Cave blames Chelmsford for much of his physical and mental decline over the next few years. In the 1980s his alcoholism and mental illness accelerated until he f
ound himself sleeping in the toilets opposite the St George Leagues Club in Kogarah.
“If it wasn't for the people at the club, I wouldn't be here. They looked after me, gave me breakfast and kept an eye on me. I'd be dead if it wasn't for their kindness.”
Cave found friends in other places, too. Upon hearing his story, the former drummer for the Go-Betweens, Lindy Morrison, eventually rescued the fallen idol. In 2001 she arranged accommodation and financial assistance through the charity Support Act
, which helps members of the music industry who've fallen on hard times. Cave still relies on assistance from Support Act. His mental health, however, is a constant burden.
“I will admit it,” he says, giving his walker a resentful shove. “I have thought about suicide on several occasions. But I've never really had the intestinal fortitude to go through with it. I've had friends who have gone that way, but I can't.”

Perhaps surprisingly, Cave doesn't seem to feel much bitterness for the music industry. Indeed, his recollections seem to be the only moments when the fog of depression lifts; with excitement he relates a story about his old mate Bon Scott shoving an ice-cream into the face of a man behind the wheel of a Mercedes; legendary songwriters Vanda and Young, he says, “did their very best for me”; and nothing gives him pleasure like singing. The convenient narrative of the fallen star, chewed up and spat out by an unfeeling industry, is too simplistic; Cave's problems run deeper: “It wouldn't have mattered what I'd done,” he says when asked whether an alternative career might have helped him avoid his current problems. “I was always like this. My whole life I've been a nervous person.”
Cave has regrets. He wishes he had "worked harder". His estrangement from his only daughter, too, causes him some distress: “I would love to see her again. Maybe she can read this and something will come of it.”
Lately his health has been touch-and-go. Although h
e's now down to a single beer a night, he was admitted to hospital earlier this year, close to death. But despite this and complaints of loneliness, Cave still has a love of music. When asked what he wants his legacy to be, he stares intensely: “I just want people to know that William Shakespeare isn't dead. That he's alive, that he can still sing and he's living in Riverwood. I love every person who . . . bought one of my records. I just want people to remember me as someone who brought a lot of happiness into people's lives.”
Suddenly, emotion overwhelms him. Rhyse grips his shoulder. “You're a strong bloke, John,” she says. “A fighter. And I love ya.”

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This post consists of an mp3 rip (320kps) taken from my pristine vinyl copy of this album. Full album artwork and choice photos are included. I have also added several bonus tracks - firstly a live recording of his hit single "Can't Stop Myself From Loving You" performed at the 1975 benefit concert held in Darwin in the aftermath of Cyclone Tracey. His final single "Last Night" is also included (thanks to OzzieMusic Man for this single). I have also included the alternative front cover for the CD release of this album (as shown below).
It is interesting to note that each side of this album is labeled Act I and Act II respectively rather than the usual Side 1/2, or Side A/B. Anything for a gimmick hey !
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Track Listing
01 - Can't Stop Myself From Loving You

02 - Can't Wait For September
03 - Woman
04 - My Little Angel
05 - Can't Live Without You
06 - On Saturday Night
07 - Love Is Like A Cloudy Day
08 - Goodbye Tomorrow Hello Today
09 - Lean A Little Bit On Me
10 - Just The Way You Are
11 - Time
12 - Feelin' Alright
[Bonus Tracks]
13 - Can't Help Myself From Lovin' You (Live Concert For Darwin 1975)
14 - Last Night (Single 1976)
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William Shakespeare Link (93Mb)
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crossfire - Selftitled (1975)

(Australian 1974 - 1982, Present)
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The cover may have you expecting some prog-psych-rock nightmare, but this is actually a rare piece of Australian 70s jazz. This album is largely instrumental but does include a vocal or two. It was only after many years that vocals would again feature when Crossfire toured with Michael Frank out front.
Crossfire were my introduction to electric jazz - introduced to the funk via the radio and some Reneé Geyer shows, then this local band Crossfire appeared in 1975, with some funk guitar riffs, rhodes and various woodwinds and brass, often with several instruments played through wah-wah pedals.
Listening to it again now, more than thirty years later, I think I can hear what they might have been listening to - maybe some early pre-guitar wank 'Return to Forever', some wah-wah Eddie Henderson, and even the occasional MPS jazz artist?
Crossfire made seven albums, and often backed international jazz visitors like Randy Brecker, Ben Sidran and of course Michael Franks on a 1980 live album.

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The following is an article published in the Dec 5 1975 edition of RAM magazine (editorial by Felicity Surtees)
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Crossfire: The approach is serious
Ironical, that's what it turned out to be. Y'see there's this group in Sydney called Crossfire who've established something of a reputation for themselves around the biz. Stories of people standing on each other's shoulders and applauding till they came up in bruises were not uncommon.
So here's what happens, your scribe turns up at the waterings-hole of French's to see the marvel and sure nuff, a band is playing involving and spontaneous music that stirs the crowd into mighty enthusiasm. They are finally let from the stage after they plead, "We just don't know anything else to play."
Good group that Crossfire, heh?
What's that?
Well, turns out it wasn't Crossfire after all. Crossfire had had to cancel out of the gig and what had been blowing was a jamming outfit consisting of the rhythm section of Sydney group Rocket with a few footloose sax players, etc. thrown in.
Oh, I see.
So anyway, catching the real Crossfire the next Saturday arvo was something of an anticlimax. It turns out that Crossfire is a bunch of very competent musos with influences ranging far and wide — but somehow the afternoon seemed to be lacking in the uh ... high spirits dept. The audience was part of
Crossfire's dedicated following and there was polite applause after any particularly tasty solo etc. The approach was Serious.
Earlier, as I d stumbled past the sprawled bodies of French's stairs, I d noticed a large poster asking Crossfire—Jazz or Rock? So I put the question to bass player, Greg Lyons. He returned it with a polite frown, saying, "That is not our doing. What we play is contemporary music. We re influenced by everyone really ..." Which basically means that Crossfire are not about to confine, define or restrict themselves with labels. "It allows everyone to be creative," explains Greg. Which is what Crossfire is about. A band where its members can feel free to experiment without compromising. It was originally formed as a creative outlet outside their "day jobs". Day jobs that ranged from percussionist lan Bloxsom's stint with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to the various session/studio work of the other members. But now their first album Crossfire has been released, and it's gone past the stage of being just a creative outlet and has become a major part of their lives. As the band's guitarist, Jim Kelly puts it, "It's more of an onwards and upwards kind of thing."
Oh, I see.......
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 Post consists of a 320kps rip from vinyl and includes full album artwork (thanks to Micko and the Midoztouch community for the vinyl rip and scans). I have also included a scan of the magazine article featured above, along with a bonus track featuring Jim Kelly playing live at a small music venue called 'Queens Head Cafe' in Tasmania, sometime in 2011. Unfortunately, the track is untitled and was sourced via YouTube.
Complete with Derek Smalls 'etching' cover art, this is pure punchy driving fusion goodness, straight from the top drawer. Shades of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Soft Machine and electric Miles and all bundled up in knat's-chaff-tight arrangements.
This 1975 album is their first and best album in my opinion and I regret the day I sold my copy at a record fair back in the 80's. Hope you enjoy it!
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Track Listing
01. Remember The Trees (Jim Kelly)

02. Nobody Nose (Mick Kenny)

03. Freddie Funkbump (Jim Kelly)
04. Perverted Pavanne (Mick Kenny)
05. Inside Out (Mick Kenny, Don Reid)
06. Nada (Ian Bloxsom)

07. Stygian Night (Mick Kenny)
08. You Gotta Make It (Greg Lyon)

09. Bonus live track (Jim Kelly, Queen's Head Cafe, 2011)

Band Members:
Greg Lyon - bass, voice
Mick Kenny - keyboards, trumpet
Don Reid - Reeds
John Proud - drums
Ian Bloxsom - percussion
Jim Kelly - guitars

Link fixed 10/03/2012
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Crossfire Link (119Mb)

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