The original line-up was John Worrall, Roy Daniels, the great Lindsay Wells (ex-Healing Force) and Tom Watts. Worrall had been the original lead singer of noted Perth band Bakery and had performed on their two Singles and their debut LP, Rock Mass For Love LP. Worrall quit Bakery shortly after the LP was released in August 1971, joining Ssarb for several months before forming Fatty Lumpkin in 1972.
Later members included other Bakery alumni -- Rex Bullen (a member of pioneering Canberra band The Bitter Lemons with Paul Lyneham, Bakery, Natural Gas), Phil Pruiti (Ex Current Bun - guitar), John Meyer (guitar), Jon Ryder (bass, vocals), David Little (drums), Bob Fortesque (bass), Warren Ward (bass) and Al Kash (drums). Fortesque and Kash will be known to OzRock aficionados as the rhythm section in the mid-1970 lineup of John Robinson's Blackfeather, the version of the group that recorded their acclaimed debut LP At The Mountains Of Madness.
Warren Ward had been an early member of country-rock pioneers The Flying Circus and also played in a post-Robinson Blackfeather lineup. Almost all of the members of Fatty Lumpkin also played in Perth band Ssarb at various times.
|Fatty Lumpkin On Stage (Perth)|
"Don't Knock My Boogie" / "Got to Get Back T' Nellie" (Clarion K-5271)
"Millionaire" / "Man Who Owns the Sea" (Clarion K-5566)
"Movin' "/ "One Way Road" (Festival)
"Lemme Rock" / "Freedom" (Festival)
After Fatty Lumpkin ...
John Meyer went on to join the bands Everest, Saracen (who issued an independent self-titled album in 1986), Rose Tattoo and one of the more recent lineups of Chain.
John Meyer is an ‘old rocker’ at heart and apart from being a “top guy”, he isn’t sure why exactly he was inducted, but he does believe he is better known as a guitar player rather than for the bands he’s played in. For a guitarist who never envisioned himself playing beyond his twenties it is staggering then, that he has been inducted into the WAMIA ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ of Renown’ in 1993 and hence the WAM Hall of Fame (2004) in recognition of his extensive music career.
|17 Yr Old Meyer|
By the age of sixteen, Meyer was already playing in pubs, “from memory the drinking age, for about a year, was still twenty-one, but nobody seemed to mind.” While Meyer has played in a number of bands his first one, which was ‘gigging regularly’, was a short-lived cover band called Stugwar Express (‘raw guts’ backwards); Meyer laughs as he recalls the nature of the music scene, “band gets together, gets a name, does a few gigs and breaks up”.
In 1972, at age seventeen, Meyer formed “progressive rock band” Fatty Lumpkin with New York drummer, Al Kash, plus others, which was an institution in its heyday. The name was that of Tom Bombadil’s horse in The Lord of the Rings, “we didn’t know it was a fat old horse at the time.” A few years into its lifespan, they had released some singles and received several offers from major labels to record an album in 1975, but at its peak in 1977 the band dispersed; “while we were ‘humming’ and ‘hah-ing’ about the deal the band broke up.”
Eventually in 1979 Meyer left Everest to play in another band called Airforce before he returned to the former, which once again underwent a new formation and name change as Saracen, becoming a popular band in pubs and on the touring circuit, while recording a self-titled album.
Finally, in the early 80s, Meyer left Saracen (which then became Trilogy) and made the move to Sydney where he felt there were more opportunities. There he played with bands Swanee, Sharon O’Neil and recorded ‘Southern Stars’ with the already well-established and successful Rose Tattoo after meeting front man ‘Angry Anderson’.
|John Meyer and Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo)|
In 1991, Meyer left Chain and returned to Perth and the John Meyer Band, finally realising his dream of releasing a completely instrumental guitar album in 1992. Meyer acknowledges the LP as a personal yardstick; “I’m still proud of that album,” and although, according to Meyer, it “didn’t set the world on fire” it did win a few awards and has been used a lot on TV as background music for a number of motor sport programs which – being a fan himself – gave him “a bit of a buzz”.
Now settled in Perth, Meyer shows no signs of slowing down, working six days a week; recording in his studio, tutoring guitar privately, playing the occasional gig and, until recently, writing jingles for TV and radio. He still performs, although not as much as he used to, mainly at the Perth Blues Club and Blue to the Bone, with a spin-off of the John Meyer Band called John Meyer’s Blues Express. They released a self-titled album in 2004 and played at the Bridgetown Blues Festival. The album, having received good airplay on blues stations around the world, selling overseas and receiving fair reviews, rekindled Meyer’s enthusiasm for his music and he is subsequently working on a new album.
While Meyer doesn’t see a great deal of music now – only occasionally going to the Indi Bar in Scarborough where he lives – he does hear a lot; “In my twenties I used to be down there every night, but now I’ve got a pool to clean and lawns to mow.” He also makes it a point of supporting the industry where he can, avidly reading XPress and purchasing Groove magazine. From what he’s heard he’s very impressed with the high standard of contemporary Perth bands. Two bands he’s been “blown away” by are Toby and Code Red and Dave Mann Collective. Apart from any band that he’s played in, of course, Meyer cites Dave Hole as a favourite Perth musician. While of the 80s and early 90s it could only be The Never-Never with Peter Bush.
Meyer calls the Perth music scene an industry now, and “a melting pot of different styles and influences.” Because of it’s distance – more so in the past – artists who were denied the chance of seeing many of the ‘top-line’ acts tried to match the standard of an album, which was frequently far superior to a band’s live performance. “Quite often you’d go and see a band that sound great on an album, but when you actually see them live, they’re not nearly as good.”
|John Meyer Today|
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from Fatty Lumpkins four 7" Singles and includes all label scans. A big thank you to WoodyNet who allowed me to provide his 'custom' artwork for this post. Grab em' while you can cos' copies of these singles fetch many hundreds of dollars on eBay. Thanks to Dave at the original Midoztouch website for these rarities.
01 - Don't Knock My Boogie (A-Side)
02 - Got To Get Back T' Nellie (B-Side)
03 - Millionaire (A-Side)
04 - Man Who Owns The Sea (B-Side)
05 - Movin' (A-Side)
06 - One Way Road (B-Side)
07 - Lemme Rock (A-Side)
08 - Freedom (B-Side)
Fatty Lumpkin Link (74Mb)
Just Arrived: Artwork (3Mb)