Saturday, July 4, 2009

Jeff St John - Live (1974)

(Australian 1965-76)
Soul-styled rock singer Jeff St John (born Jeffrey Newton in Sydney, 1946) fronted a number of first class bands during the 60s and 70s, including The Id and Copperwine. His performances were memorable not only for his strong, soulful vocals but for the wheelstands and spins he would execute with his wheelchair (Jeff being paralysed from birth by spina bifida)
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). In May 1970, Wendy Saddington joined musician Jeff St. John's highly acclaimed and well-established group, 'Copperwine', as co-vocalist just after the release of the group's Joint Effort album. Copperwine's line-up consisted of the following musicians: Wendy Saddington (lead vocals), Jeff St John (lead vocals), Harry Brus (bass), Ross East (guitar, vocals), Peter Figures (drums), and Barry Kelly (keyboards, vocals). With St. John temporarily away from the band, Wendy fronted Copperwine for their acclaimed performance at the Wallacia Festival on the central-coast of New South Wales. A live recording of the event, Wendy Saddington and The Copperwine Live was released on Festival's new progressive subsidiary Infinity during '71, which showcased Copperwine's sympathetic backing sensibilities for Wendy's distinctive vocals. Wendy left Copperwine around February 1971.
By mid-1973, beset by personal upheavals, disillusionment and continuing health problems, Jeff decided to throw in the towel and head off to the UK. His farewell concert was a gala event staged at the Sydney Opera House, with the St John Band augmented by friends including Vince Melouney, John A. Bird and Ace Follington.
In May 1974, Infinity issued an album of the concert, Jeff St John Live (included here), while Jeff was playing a handful of low-key gigs in London. He returned to Australia in August that year, to plan his next move. On his return, Jeff formed a new backing band, Red Cloud, and his new single "Mr Jones" / "Acapulco Lady" was released in May 1975. Produced by Martin Erdman and arranged by ex-Blackfeatherguitar-wiz John Robinson, the single was a minor sales success. It was followed up in October by another 45, utilising the same production/arranging team, "Blood Brother" (b/w "Reach Out And Touch Me"). Jeff and Red Cloud maintained a heavy touring schedule during 1975-76, and the singer continued as a popular live draw.
Jeff was the first Oz artist to sign with US imprint Asylum (whose listing included The Eagles, Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt) and he released a clutch of impressive singles for the label, capped by his welcome return to the national Top 10 during early 1977 with his scorching version of the Frankie Miller-Andy Fraser track "Fool In Love", a recording which must surely rate as one of the greatest soul records made anywhere, anytime, and must surely rank as one of Jeff's very finest vocal performances. A fresh (and typically thorough) Glenn A. Baker retrospective compilation, Survivor 1965-1975 was released in late 1977.
Jeff continued to record and perform live through the late 70s and into the early 80s, producing some quality rock performances, but in 1983, at the age of 37, he announced his retirement.
From 1983 until now 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 beautifull Harley Davidson trike (the Dinosaur)plus of course fronting Jeffrey St John and The Embers.
Jeff 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. (Extracts from Milesago and Jeff's Website)
This rip was taken from Vinyl at 320kps and includes album artwork (thanks to Micko at Midoztouch). I've also included label scans of my album for your interest. Enjoy!
Track Listing
01 - St John's Chariot
02 - (I Wanna Be A) Survivor
03 - Teach Me How To Fly
04 - Levon
05 - Jailhouse Rock
06 - Children Of The Storm
Band Members:
Jeff St John (Vocals)
Ron Barry (Guitar, Vocals)
Tony Ansell (Piano)
Peter Figures (Drums)
B.J (Bass)
Jeff St John Link (61Mb) New Link 03/10/2013


  1. Thanks for great music.

    The Vertigo Trip 1971 double LP, only Aussie

  2. Thanks for dropping in ZenBa - enjoy the music
    My brother has the Vertigo Trip VA double LP - I'll see what I can do

  3. Hi There, Thanks for such a great resource. Love the Stuff and music from Jeff St John. I have been searching the net to find a song from 1966 by Jeff St John and the ID. Title," Somebody to love". It is the Flip side of "Lindy Lou"
    Item was released on spin label Spin EK 1220. Am keen to purchase in what ever format I can.
    Could you check your resource to see if you may have it or access to it, or I would appreciate any suggestions as to where I could look next.
    Kind Regards
    Yours in fine music appreciation

    1. Hi Rexieb
      Finally found that single you were after - only took 5 years to find it !

  4. Hi Rexieb
    I've being keeping an eye out for you on this one, but haven't had much luck
    Perhaps you should try placing a request on the Midoztouch website forum (see Favourite Links)- someone there might be able to help out

  5. Hi I have gone thru my Jeff St John collection of singles I have 10 all together I have that Somebody to love , a double up of You got me Humming on Spin EK 1730, Blood Brothers on Infinity ,Ill Never Need anyone more on RCA records 1982,Big Time Operator spin .ek 1606.The Dock of the Bay on WEA. Jerk on spin ek 1328, A Fool In Love on Asylum records Rock n Roll Man on Asylum Records 100064. Everybody Gone on Spin EK2016 I collected them over the years when I followed Jeff St John around the night clubs in Sydney with my wife Lorraine There was disco in Hay market called Vibes he was there.He played many times ta the HERE diso in Norh Sydney I was too young then to go Saw him on Bandstand TV show.Hyde Park could of been at Christmas saw Wendy play with the Band that was some time else I have a lot of the albums but not the Live one I am in New Zealand now Cheers Howard.McILvenna

  6. Mr McIlvenna ,

  7. Hi I am the above mentioned Lorraine, have great memories of seeing Jeff perform live, I especially liked Wendy Saddington"s gutsy vocals with Jeff.
    My favourite memory was when Jeff invited me backstage at HERE in North Sydney for a meet n greet, got his autograph but sadly no pics. A really nice man, great singer. Cheers Lorraine McIlvenna. Blacktown.