Friday, April 19, 2013

Jeff St. John - Survivor 1965-75 (1977)

(Australian 1965-1976)

1961-1963 Vocalist, T.C.N.. Channel Nine, Sydney.
Was a regular feature vocalist on teenage variety programmes.
Opportunity Knocks, hosted by Desmond Tester.

1965-1971 Lead Vocalist Member of the bands The Id, Yama, and Copperwine . with The Id and Copperwine achieving national success, both live and with Top Ten hit singles. (Big Time Operator - The Id), (Teach Me How To Fly - Copperwine).

1972-1982 Self Employed. Ran a successful career in entertainment performing the roles of performer, writer (music and dialogue), producer and business manager. First artist outside America to be released on the Asylum label. National Top Ten hit single (Fool In Love).

From 1982 until now Jeff has done a lot of things including collaboration with Universities on various programs for the disabled, lecture tours on the same, and designing plus building a beautiful Harley Davidson trike plus of course fronting Jeffrey St John & The Embers. For more details about his latest band see the jeffreystjohnandtheembers website.
He was recently made patron for the MOSAIC Family & Community Services Organisation. This recently formed organisation provides support for disabled people in many areas, including rehabilitation programs for disabled people unfairly penalised by the legal system.

Will The Real Jeff St.John Please Stand Up
(RAM Magazine #20 December 5, 1975.  p12)
by Felicity Surtees
Jeff St John ... the name swims around your head, "wasn't he ... didn't he ...?" Yep. He was and he did. Teach Me How To Fly is the song title you're searching for — the national Number One hit that Jeff put out with Copperwine in '71. It still stands as an example of just what first rate Oz bands are capable of putting out. After the demise of Copperwine, little was heard of Jeff St John, at least as far as the media was concerned."It was intentional," he says nowadays. "1 wanted it to be very low profile because I wanted to get into my writing and it's very hard to pull in and out of work if you re functioning on a very high profile level.'
Jeff's split from Copperwine came about when he started writing his own songs. He dug them, the rest of the band didn't. He continued working sporadically and then, in early '74, accompanied by his wife Pamela and pianist John A. Bird, he flew to England. The initial intention had been to "go and have a look". While he was there, he formed a band with John A. Bird on piano, Ace Follington, drums, Billy Twyman, bass and Vince Melouney (ex Bee Gees) guitar. Doing about 80% of original material, they played a few pubs and met enthusiastic audience reception. The tale's been told before, but it bears telling again: "We doubled the crowd and halved the bar take." They were sacked after a week.
So in August '74, he returned to Australia, happy to be back. "I kissed the tarmac. I like the place." he says emphatically. Home, sweet home and to work. The twelve months since returning have seen Jeff gigging in every State and reaching a much wider audience than is traditionally associated with rock and roll.
"I'm in the position at the moment," he explains, "that with only slight modification, I perform my show for music freaks, heads, hoppers, pub crowds and fifty year olds — and it works pretty effectively on all those levels."

Jeff & Glyn Mason at the Mulwala Festival 1972.
(Image source: National Library of Australia)

The effort to reach a broader audience, as well as indicating good business sense, reflects Jeff's intense dislike of being categorized. "That s a bore," he says distastefully. "That's the thing I've been fighting against for the past five years. It's so easy to get slotted in this country —" he slips into a business drawl — "arr, that .boy s a soul singer — or a country singer or a folk singer. And that s a pain in the arse, it's so inhibiting. What happens if you want to diversify?"
Diverse — it's a word that figures prominently when Jeff St John talks about his music. He's been putting in time at Festivals studio recently. Seven tracks of a new album are down and of those seven, five are originals. "The working title of the album is Will The Real Jeff St John Stand Up?" He laughs and looks very pleased with himself. "It's an album that is delightfully incongruous. The musical scope we've covered in it is a little frightening ...."

Release dates are still a little vague. It depends on when Jeff gets some time off the road to put down the remaining tracks, and also on the reception to his current single "Blood Brothers". Before the word "single" has dried on my lips, Jeff leaps in with his description — "Black," he says, "and funky. It's an American song that died a death in the States because of the racial implications in the story. My producer discovered it ... said have a listen. I did, and we did and we have. The other side is a lilting little thing that suffers under the auspicious title of "Reach Out And Touch Me". It was written by Jeff and John A. Bird during their London sojourn.
"Again you have this thing of two entirely different colours. See, I tend to think of music as colours. You can paint with music — the dark colours of the heavy aggressive kind of thing, the paste! colours of country music and the vibrant reds of rock and roll.... Most music appeals to me if it is performed well..."
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from vinyl (thanks to ChickaMunro at Midoztouch) and full album artwork for both vinyl and CD (thanks to Micko at Midoztouch)
I owned this album many moons ago but alas, it was another LP that I stupidly traded for another with a mate. I've posted this album as it is a brilliant anthology of Jeff's work and also wanted to share with you the above interview with Jeff taken from RAM magazine. I've also chosen to include that funky single that Jeff released in 1975 called "Blood Brothers" (referred to in the RAM article) but did not appear on this best of collection.The band chronology displayed below was sourced from the Milesago Website with thanks.
Track Listing
01. Lindy Lou
02. Big Time Operator
03. You Got Me Hummin
04. Devil Got My Woman
05. Nothin Comes Easy

06. Cloud 9
07. Reach Out
08. Sing A Simple Song

09. Teach Me How To Fly
10. Freedom Blues
11. Hummingbird
12. Yesterdays Music
13. I Wanna Be A Survivor
14. Mr James
15. Reach Out And Touch Me
16. Blood Brothers (Bonus A-Side Single)

Jeff St.John Link (140Mb)  New Link 24/10/2015


  1. great post Aussie...big BIG fan of JsJ recently saw the episode of The Australians , you know the 1980s show hosted by peter luck, that was all about Jeff up to that point...once again, awesome post

    1. Thanks Recky - credit should also go to ChickaMunro and Micko for rip and artwork - I just pieced them together with the article I had from RAM magazine. Still spitting chips that I sold my copy though.

  2. Damn the link seems to be dead..although I actually only wanted the 2 bonus tracks

    Could you provide a new link pleae AussieRock..would it be too much to ask for just the 2 tracks on a separate link also..seeing as I obviously jhave the rest of them haha Thanks mate


  3. That should be the 'one' bonus track "Blood Brothers"..unless you might possibly have "In The Window Of Your Love" AussieRock

    1. Hi Micko
      Long time no hear
      Here are those singles + one extra surprise - enjoy !

  4. Gees I'm a bit slow..I didn't realize replies went to my Gmail address, which I NEVER use LOL I guess I better start :-) Many many thanks AussieRock for these extras..and the 'surprise'.
    Yes it has been too yo had a terrific Xmas/ holiday break & may you keep finding muscal pots of gold in 2015 :-)