They headed to England were in 1969 they recorded their biggest hit 'Western Union Man' which stayed in the Australian charts for 11 weeks, and peaked at #13 for RCA.
MAX MERRITT & THE METEORS
Original (1965) line-up: MAX MERRITT (guitar, vocals); PETER WILLIAMS (guitar); JOHNNY DICK (drums); TEDDY TOI (bass guitar).
Max was born on 30th April, 1941 in Christchurch, New Zealand. He started taking guitar lessons at the age of twelve and eventually formed the Meteors. They began as a part-time group while Max worked during the day as a bricklayer. Max and the band moved to Auckland after a while and began recording. It was at this time that they scored a local hit with a single called, 'Get a Haircut'.
In December, 1964 they came to Australia to do a four week stint at the Rex Hotel in Sydney. The gig was so successful that they decided to stay on. Max and the boys gained immediate respect from both pop fans and fellow musicians. By April '65 they had released their first Australian single entitled 'So Long Baby'.
|Early Max Merritt & the Meteors in Christchurch|
Late in 1967, they were back on stage and within no time at all they were sounding as good as ever. The next two years saw the consolidation of the group's line-up, an overseas jaunt and also a change of record companies to RCA. In fact in December, 1969 they scored their first national hit with 'Western Union Man'.
In January '70 they experienced their first member change in two and a half years when John left to be replaced by DAVE RUSSELL (ex-Invaders). The change didn't seem to affect their sound and in March they released their best-selling selftitled 'Max Merritt and the Meteors album'.
|L - R: Max Merritt, Bob Bertles, Stewart Spear & John 'Yuk' Harrison 1970|
Early in 1971 they released another album, Stray Cats and a single from it called 'Good Feeling'. By now their material had developed a more experimental feel as opposed to a strictly soul feel. Another single, 'Hello L.A., Goodbye Birmingham' followed in May '71 and in January '72 they returned for the Sunbury Rock Festival in Victoria.
|Max Merritt And The Meteors On Stage at Sunbury 72|
Back in London they completed negotiations with Arista/Bell Records and put down their first album for the label which was called 'A Little Easier'. The album was released in Australia during October, 1975 and it took the charts by storm as did the single from it, 'Slipping Away'. Another track, 'Mr. Horizontal' was also lifted off the album.
In February, 1977 Max recorded a live performance at the Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne before a crowd of enraptured fans. The resultant LP was released under the title of 'Back Home Live'. Towards the end of the year another change of record label occurred, from Arista to Polydor.
All in all Max Merritt must be one of the most persistent rock legends Australia (and New Zealand) has ever known. Note: Bob Bertles remained in Europe and popped up later playing in a German band. (extract from Noel McGrath's 'Australian Encyclopedia of Rock', Outback Press, 1978. p199-2000)
|Max Merritt today|
St. Kilda, Victoria, on 21 October 2007, and raised $200,000. He is currently on a dialysis machine awaiting a kidney transplant and is unable to tour extensively. On 1 July 2008, Merritt was inducted by Glenn A. Baker into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Merritt was joined on-stage by Kasey Chambers and Bill Chambers to perform "Slipping Away" [extract from Wikipedia]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from CD and includes full album artwork for both media. Also included are three bonus tracks, featuring a very early version of "Let It Slide" and some rare live recordings. Although this album is a classic, I personally enjoyed their later 70's releases - 'A Little Bit Easier' and 'Out Of The Blue'. If there is enough interest, I might be coerced into ripping my treasured copies and post them for your pleasure. Anyhow, hope you enjoy the classic album featuring his big hit "Hey, Western Union Man".
01 Hey,Western Union Man 3:52
02 Fannie May 3:39
03 To Be A Lover 3:00
04 Louisiana Anna 3:33
05 You Touch Me 5:40
06 I've Been Away Too Long 3:02
07 Home Is Where The Heart Is 3:47
08 It's Just Wasting Time 2:45
09 Turkish Bath 4:37
10 Lay A Little Love On Me 3:25
11 You Can't Come Back 3:20
12 Respect (Bonus Live) 2:13
13 Live Levis (Bonus Track) 3:06
14 Let It Slide (Bonus Early Version) 3:34
Max Merritt - Guitar, Vocals
Stewie Speer - Drums
Bob Bertles - Sax, Flute, Bass Clarinet
John 'Yuk' Harrison - Bass
Gentlemen Of the Ensemble:
Russell Smith, Barry McKimm - Trumpets
Brian Brown - Tenor Sax