Saturday, March 30, 2013

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - The Gun Live (1970) Soundboard

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
L to R: Paul Gurvitz, Louie Farrell, Adrian Gurvitz
The Gun were a little-known 60s British acid rock band who evolved into the 70s progressive hard rock trio Baker Gurvitz Army. The Gun began as The Knack, formed in 1963 by guitarist/vocalist Paul Gurvitz (born Paul Anthony Curtis), 6 July 1947, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire; he was known by the surname Curtis until the early 1970s. Thereafter, he adopted his family's actual surname, Gurvitz. The Knack changed its name to the Gun with the development of a psychedelic style in the spring/summer of 1967, performing at the final UFO Club concerts with bands such as Pink Floyd. In November, 1967 they made recordings for the BBC's newest flagship alternative music radio programme, Top Gear and twice played in the air.

Soon to expand into a sextet, with Paul's younger brother Adrian, then they were consisting as a power trio of Paul Curtis as bassist, Adrian Curtis (Adrian Gurvitz) as guitarist/vocalist (he also wrote all music and lyrics of The Gun), and drummer Louie Farrell (born Brian John Farrell, 8 December 1947, Goodmayes, Essex; he joined The Knack in mid 1966) to release two albums after being signed to CBS Records in early 1968.

In early 1968 the band scored a hit with the opening track from their self-titled album (1968), "Race With The Devil". Issued as a single in October 1968 it reached the top 10 in its native UK and #35 on the Australian Singles Chart (Go-Set) in March 1969. Jimi Hendrix quoted the song's riff during his song "Machine Gun" at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. "Race With The Devil" has been covered by Judas Priest (on the remastered CD version of Sin After Sin), Black Oak Arkansas (on their album Race With The Devil), and Girlschool (on their album Demolition)

Their debut album's cover is noteworthy as an early example of the work of Roger Dean, who was later responsible for producing trademark covers for super bands such as Yes, Greenslade and Asia. Allmusic describes it as having a "distinctive psych-flavored proto-metal" sound [Extracts from wikipedia].

This live rendition of "Race With The Devil" was recorded at the 3rd International Essen Pop & Blues Festival in 1970-10-22 Essen, Germany Grugahalle. This is extremely rare as there are no other live recordings of the Gun that I am aware of. The band starts off playing their mega hit but soon digresses into a tribute to Jimi Hendrix playing a medley including "Who Knows", "The Wind Cries Mary" and "The Star Spangled Banner". The quality of the recording is excellent and would have to have originated from a Soundboard.  My research also tells me that the drummer on this live recording was probably Goeff Britton, as Louie Farrell had already left the band by the end of 1969.
See psychedelicbaby.blogspot for a better insight into Gun's short existence (a little over 2 years)
So this month's WOCK on Vinyl post is as Obscure as it can get, so enjoy it while you can.
Post includes both FLAC and MP3 formats with a selection of B&W photos (thanks to Paul Gurvitz website)

Track Listing
01. Race With The Devil -> Hendrix Dedication Medley -> Race With The Devil 

The Gun Link ( 90Mb)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Various Artists - Sunbury 73

(Various Australian Artists 1973)
The word 'Sunbury' has etched itself into Australian rock music folklore. Forty years ago it was a farming town just 40 'miles' (70s speak) north of Melbourne, an hour's drive from suburbia into a gently rolling rural landscape. In 1972 and for the three subsequent years, during the late January Australia Day weekend the word 'Sunbury' became associated with a rock music festival on a farm out of the Sunbury township. Today suburbia lurks so close to the Sunbury Pop Festival site if you turned up Billy Thorpe's amp to its obligatory '11' you'd get complaints from the neighbours on the hill. But the site is still there, identified only by the rusted wire fence surrounding the area where the stage stood, and the foundations of the toilet block nearby, in front of Jackson's Creek. Behind the creek a steep incline, in front a gently rising hill, a natural amphitheatre. 

 There had been rock festivals before and there have been rock festivals since. But Sunbury looms large as 'Australia's Woodstock' - erroneously. It could just as easily be called the first 'Big Day Out' -- held during the same weekend. Or a prototype of Meredith. Australia's real 'Woodstock' was held at Ourimbah in NSW on the Australia Day weekend in 1970. During the intervening two years 'the Woodstock nation' had been replaced by another generation of teenagers, another generation of music, another set of values The Beatles had been replaced by Led Zeppelin. But for the media those Woodstock images lingered. That's what they went to Sunbury looking for. That's what they came away with. That's what sticks in people's minds as 'Sunbury'. Those who were there remember the 'bonged out' sitting next to the underage drinkers and bikers collapsed in their own vomit after a night of shouting 'suck more piss' from the hill. The similarity between Sunbury and all festivals is the freedom to be young and free, to the soundtrack of the day's music.

Australian music had shifted dramatically during those two years between 1970 and 1972, between Ourimbah and the year of the first Sunbury in 1972. In 1970 Australian music had struggled to be 'progressive' like the rest of the world. Our record companies weren't interested. Then during the last half of that year a record ban forced the Australian music released by the major record companies off radio airwaves, retiring many of the pop stars of the day. Music fans had to go 'out' to get their music fix. In Melbourne they found Daddy Cool and Spectrum north of the river. Chain and Billy Thorpe's 'new' Aztecs south of the river. In Sydney the music retreated to the Kings Cross nightclubs entertaining servicemen on 'r and r'. The first Sunbury festival tapped into that still very alive thirst for live music. Somehow Australian music had forgotten to look over its shoulders at overseas trends and musicians and their audience were happily following their own path. In January 1972 it led to Sunbury.
The festival had been organized by an unlikely 'hero', John Fowler, a middle-aged Channel Nine employee. While their children were smoking dope and drinking and dipping nude in Jackson's Creek elder Australians were watching John Fowler lighting the soundstage for their own addiction, 'In Melbourne Tonight'. Fowler and his advisers thought that the popular acts of the day weren't quite enough and for that first Sunbury Festival organised for the return of Max Merritt and the Meteors after just over a year in England. Ever competitive, Billy Thorpe would have made conquering the Sunbury hill his goal anyway. Having old rival Max top of the bill was an added incentive. Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs turned up the volume and made Sunbury 72 theirs'. Within weeks Billy released 'Most People I Know' and later that year a live album of the Aztecs at Sunbury became a national top ten. The only other Australian-made top ten album that year had been Daddy Cool's 'difficult' second album 'Sex Dope And Rock'N'Roll'

Sunbury 73 was set up as the most important event on the Australian music calendar. Clearly. whoever won the hill at Sunbury 73 was set up for the rest of the year. You had to be there.
A lot of people get the four Sunbury's confused. In their minds they've become one. But 1973 was THE one. In bygone years there had been a thing called the Hoadley's Battle Of The Sounds, where the bands of the day allowed themselves to be judged. The winners were kings for the year. Often the losers broke up to think of a way of winning the following year. That was the mood with which Australian music entered Sunbury 73. You had to be there. It was important to make an impression. It was the year the Sydney acts - Sherbet, Country Radio - descended on the festival, and Mississippi performed with a 35-piece orchestra. It was so important to be there, even pre-70s rock legend Johnny O'Keefe came, determined to stay in the game. And Michael Gudinski was there to record it for his just-formed Mushroom Records.
Of course Billy Thorpe was also there, returning just in time to top the bill after trying his luck in the UK. This was our chance to celebrate his return. There was no clear winning at Sunbury '73 but the points decision probably went to Thorpe. There were a lot of winners, a lot of sets went back to the traditional venues and found keen audiences for the rest of the year. [written by Ed Nimmervoli]

While Sunbury '72 was widely touted as the beginning of a new era, Sunbury '73 was the one that consolidated the festival's success. However it also marked a changing of the guard, with a number of notable bands -- Carson, Country Radio, Friends, Healing Force -- all splitting for good in the months following their Sunbury appearances. It was also the final Australian performance by Flying Circus, who had already been in Canada for some time. They returned specially for the festival, but were coolly received, and returned to Canada immediately after Sunbury, where they remained until they split some years later.
The Aztecs headlined again, reprising their huge success of the previous year and Max Merritt & The Meteors again returned from the UK to perform. One of the surprise hits of the festival was rock'n'roll legend Johnny O'Keefe; he was cheekily introduced as a "newcomer" by MC Paul Hogan, but despite an initially derisory reception, he won the crowd over and by the end of his set, as Ian McFarlane notes, he "had the audience of hippies eating out of the palm of his hand".

"Sunbury 1972 was the first, but the 1973 festival is often remembered as the best. It has a place in our music history, just like the vintage clips of the Easybeats performing 'Friday On My Mind' and AC/DC travelling down Melbourne city streets on the back of a tray truck while belting out 'It's A Long Way To The Top'."  - Steve Waldon, The Age

Like Sunbury '72, the performances were taped using a mobile multi-track facility; it is presumed that some film or video footage was made but it is not known how much of that (if any) still exists. The sound recordings were edited to become the inaugural release for the newly established Mushroom Records label, founded by Michael Gudinski and Ray Evans. With commendable hubris, it was the first Australian triple-album set ever released.
The fine performance by Carson (which would prove to be their last major concert appearance) was also released by EMI as the On The AirLP; this has long been out of print but it is scheduled for re-release on CD by Aztec Music. The other major recording culled from the festival was the extended early-morning jam session between The Aztecs, Lobby Loyde's Coloured Balls and Leo De Castro, which was released on the Havoc LP Summer Jam. This has recently been reissued on CD by Aztec Music. [extract from]

Owned by George Duncan, he generously offered the use of his property at no cost to the organisers, even going so far as allowing toilet facilities and rubbish bins to be installed on the property in later years of the festival. Which really makes sense, considering he’d have had as many as 40,000 people in his “backyard”. You don’t have to be a mathematician to know a crowd like that plus three days of food and booze equals a mess that would make even Keith Moon blush.

With the Duncans’ farmland providing a natural amphitheatre, the scene of the Sunbury festivals has since become an isolated area, far from the bustling hub it was during one of music history’s most famed events. Residential subdivision in the area has since limited public access to the site and redeveloped the landscape.

According to a document on the website of Hume City Council, little remains there now but there are still the remnants of the toilet facilities and bins, along with echoes of the event that linger to this day with “small artifacts such as items of footwear and drink can pull-rings” scattered over the area.
For more information on the Sunbury 73 concert, refer to the following websites:
It was the Sunbury 73 that got me first hooked on 'Aussie Rock'. My brother owned the triple album set originally (having being lucky enough to attend the festival) but I soon managed to talk him into selling it for a bargain basement price.  Being a young teenager at the time, I was listening to overseas artists like Robin Trower, Alice Cooper and Grand Funk Railroad. However, the bands and the infectious aussie rock that they played at this famous festival was the turning point in my life. I suddenly realised that there was 'real talent' in my own back yard.  And I've never looked back.
Bands like Madderlake, Chain, Carson, Blackfeather and the Aztecs have been a huge part of my passion for music and I owe it all to this wonderful recording, released on the legendary Mushroom label (thanks Gudinski)

My only regret is that I was too young to attend the 73 Festival although I did manage to fulfill my long life dream to a point, by attending the 2010 Sunbury Backroad Festival, featuring Madderlake, Spectrum and Chain. See my review
If you haven't heard this Sunbury 73 recording, then you have really missed out on a vital chunk of Aussie Rock. Need I say more?
The post consists of an MP3 rip (320kps) taken from my cherrished vinyl copy, which is in relatively good condition considering the number of plays it has had. The artwork included (with CD2 and as a separate link) was taken from a CD release that was circulating on the web at one stage (possibiliy C/- of the Midoztouch Forum).
Some choice photos of the venue and crowd are also included.
As a bonus, I have included a recording of Mississippi's "Kings Of The World" which was also recorded at the Sunbury 73 festival but never made it onto the triple set (sourced through YouTube)

Note: There was also a promotional E.P released featuring 6 tracks taken from the triple Sunbury album set and is one of the items on my Holy Grail List of wants. I have yet to see it turn up on ebay, and can only dream of the day when I might find it! (see pictures below)
01 Johnny O'Keefe – High Rollin' Man 2:57
02 Friends – Bird On A Wire / La La Song 6:58
03 69ers – Harry Rag 6:58
04 Coloured Balls – Johnny B. Goode 4:51
05 Madder Lake – Down The River / 12lb. Toothbrush 14:40
06 Band Of Light – Messin' With The Kid
07 Aztecs – Going Back Home 13:31
08 Blackfeather – I'm Gonna Love You 9:53
01 Carson – Friday Night Groove 4:53
02 Mighty Mouse – Sunset Song 10:05
03 Healing Force – Erection 6:47
04 Country Radio – Silver Spurs 4:51
05 Matt Taylor – From Brisbane To Beachworth 8:50
06 Sid Rumpo – Sailing 8:38
07 Mackenzie Theory – New Song And 8:47
08 Glenn Cardier – Australia 2:28
09 Bakery – Living With A Memory 12:12 

10 Mississippi - Kings Of The World BONUS 2:38
Sunbury CD1 Link (156Mb) New Link 20/12/2022

Sunbury CD2 Link (183Mb)

Sunbury Artwork & Photos 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

John Paul Young - One Foot In Front (1984) plus Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1972 - Present)
In 1966 John Paul Young (known as Squeak or JPY) and his family moved from Glasgow, Scotland to Australia and settled in Sydney. John began is interest in music at an early age and learned to play the piano accordion.
John joined the Sydney based band Elm Tree in 1969. Members of Elm Tree included: Roger Barnett, Ollie Chojnacki, Phillip Edwards, Andy Imlah, Dave Kaentek, Ron Mazurkiewicz, Geoff Watts and John. Elm Tree had a following around Sydney, and were spotted by producer Martin Erdman, they cut one single for Erdman's Du Monde label. The cover Rainbow was released through Festival in November 1970. In 1971 Elm Tree entered Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds. Elm Tree broke up at the end of 1971.
John auditioned for Harry M. Miller’s production of Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice's rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar in 1972. John won a major supporting role. The show premiered in Sydney in mid-1972. As well as established theatrical performers, the cast featured leading pop-rock performers including Easybeat: Stevie Wright, John Paul Young, Marcia Hines and Air Supply. John left the show in February 1974.
John Paul Young became well known when working with producers/composers Harry Vanda and George Young. Simon Napier-Bell, producer and manager of many leading British acts at the time, produced John Paul Young’s debut solo recording for Alberts, the single "Pasadena" co-written by Vanda & George Young and English actor David Hemming. Pasadena charted at #10 on the Sydney charts, followed by "You Drive Me Crazy" in February 1973.
He signed to Alberts as a solo artist and released the single "It's Only Love" in March 1974. John was supported by the ABC's top-rating weekly pop show Countdown.

Between 1975 and 1980 John was one of the most popular male performers in Australia. His records were hugely success overseas. His records topped the charts in Europe, the USA and South Africa.

In March 1975 Alberts released John Paul Young’s recording of Vanda & Young's Yesterday's Hero, a song about the fleeting nature of pop stardom. The record hit the national charts in April, reaching #1 and staying at #1 on the Melbourne charts for six weeks. "Yesterday's Hero" sold strongly in the USA and reached #42 on the Cashbox top one hundred. A key factor to "Yesterday's Hero" success was the film clip made to promote it, which enabled the song to be given exposure on Countdown (following the official start of colour TV broadcasting March 1, 1975. The Hero LP reached #20 on the charts in November 1975 and became a gold record.
John made two national tours during the year, one of which was a joint headliner with Sherbet. In order to be able to tour regularly in support of the Singles and album, John had a backing band named the All Stars. Members of The All Stars included: Warren ‘Pig’ Morgan, Johnny Dick, Ian “Willie” Winter, Ronnie Peel, Ray Arnott, Vince Meloney, Kevin Borich, Phil Manning and Tony Mitchell.
John's next single "The Love Game", released in August 1975. "The Love Game" became John's second national Top 5 hit and peaked at #9 in Melbourne during October. In November 1975 he released his debut album, Hero, entirely written and produced by Vanda & Young.
In March 1976 John released the top 5 hit single "I Hate the Music", the single reached #3 nationally in April and gained gold status.
Later in the year Alberts released John's second album, J.P.Y. It reached #10 on the album chart and it achieved platinum status with sales of over 70,000. The album included: "Won't Let This Feeling Go By", "Give It Time" and "The Painting".

"I Wanna Do It With You" was released in February 1977, it reached #8 nationally and #11 in Melbourne. John Paul Young and the All Stars recorded the album Green, which was released in March, 1977. Five tracks were co-written by John and Warren Morgan. The next single, "Here We Go" was released in April at the start of a three month national tour.
"Where the Action Is" was released in September 1977, In December, Alberts released the Christmas compilation All The Best, and John Paul Young and the All Stars toured capital cities in Australia, by the end of the year the Green album had received gold LP status.
In January 1978 with the disco beat now popular, the dance-oriented single "Standing in the Rain" from the J.P.Y. album was released overseas and went to #6. To support the release John toured Germany and Holland in August. "Standing In the Rain" went to #1 in South Africa, and made the Top 10 in Germany and Holland, the Top 40 in France and the US Top 100.

In June 1978 John Paul Young released Vanda & Young's "Love Is in the Air"; it is one of the best known of all Australian popular songs and was included on the soundtrack of the hit film Strictly Ballroom and by its use in the Sydney Olympics closing ceremony. John toured extensively throughout Europe, United Kingdom and the USA. John Paul Young appeared on Top of the Pops. In September 1978 John toured nationally. "The Day that My Heart Caught Fire" went to the national top twenty, reaching #18 in September. He was awarded TV Weeks - King of Pop. He released "Fool In Love" in December of the same year.

A greatest hits album John Paul Young 1974-1979 came out on the budget Hammard label, and Alberts released the single "Heaven Sent" in August 1979 and a new album of the same name was released in November. John released the single "Hot For You Baby" in January 1980 and ended his contract with Alberts. He recorded an album of 1960s rock and pop favourites called The Singer in 1981. John released the single Oh No No in July 1982 on the Southern Cross label.

In 1983, John signed to the Australian branch of German label I.C. Records. He flew to Germany with producer, composer and keyboard player John Capek to record a new album, with sessions at Horus Sound Studios, Hanover and Union Studios, Munich, Los Angeles, AAV Studios Melbourne and Albert Studio 2 Sydney. The result was the featured album 'One Foot In Front' in March 1984; One Foot In Front was renamed Soldier Of Fortune for the European market. It produced four singles including "Soldier of Fortune", "War Games", "L.A. Sunset" and "Call The Night".

Album Review
The album displayed a contemporary electro-pop sound. Most of the material had been written by John Capek and Canadian Marc Jordan, with one Young/Morgan composition `Cryin' Eyes'. `Soldier of Fortune' returned Young to the Australian Top 20 for the first time in five years when it reached #15 in December. "Soldier of Fortune" was picked as the theme song for the 1984 Disabled Olympics held in New York, and it also went on to be a hit in Germany. The album put Young back in the spotlight for a while, but apart from two more singles, "Spain"/"Money to Burn" (on EMI, October 1986) and "Don't Sing that Song"/"Here We Go" (for CBS, June 1989), he essentially retired from the music business. One Vanda and Young song, the whimsical acoustic tune "Lazy Days" (from the Love is in the Air album) summed up Young's philosophy best: amongst the hurly-burly of pop stardom, Young would rather be sitting on his sail boat with fishing line in hand and sipping wine.

In 1984, John retired from recording and performing, although he continued to work on and off as a radio DJ.
In 1992 "Love Is in the Air" was chosen as the theme song to director Baz Luhrmann's internationally acclaimed feature film Strictly Ballroom. A CD single of Love is in the air (Ballroom Mix) was released in August 1992 through Albert/Sony and peaked at #4 in Australia.

John Paul Young went to Spain to appear on two of Spanish television, European networks, Japan to perform for members of the Royal Family, Thailand and Fiji. He appeared at many events including: the Sydney Olympic bid, the AFI Awards, the Australian Music Awards and the Australian Grand Prix Ball.

In 1993 John Paul Young appeared in the re-opening of Newcastle Civic Theatre production titled A Rare Jewell with cast: Geraldine Turner,John Macternan, Michelle Pettigrove, Terry Serio, Celia Ireland and Peter Ross. Special guests included: Bill Smith, David Wood, The Tap Brothers, The Curvettes, Irene Waugh, Nola Wallace, Clair McHugh, Jamie Redfern, Shirley Purvis, Ian Sandercoe and John Paul Young.

In 1996 John recorded a new album, which included a re-recorded version of Love Is in the Air. The single was released in August. John returned to Germany and appeared on all the major TV programmes & specials, which in turn led to a month-long tour in Germany in 1998 with The All Stars. In 1998 he sang on a new version of I Hate The Music, backed by indie band Ratcat and the single made the charts as a spin-off from the Australian movie Occasional Coarse Language. The song All Hell Broke Loose, which John Paul Young co-wrote with Angry Anderson and Warren 'Pig' Morgan, was recorded and released by Rose Tattoo for their 1998 national tour, and in 2000 John appeared in a quirky Kraft Foods TV commercial which used Yesterday's Hero.

John and The All Stars have appeared at corporate events for: General Motors Holden, Toyota, Subaru, National Mutual, McDonalds, Digital Equipment Corporation, National Panasonic, Dairy Farmers, AMP and IBM.John has also had a long involvement in radio, working as an announcer at New FM in Newcastle, Sydney's 2CH and on the breakfast slot on Curtin Radio 927 in Perth in 2000/2001. He also recorded a syndicated program aptly named Yesterday's Heroes which was broadcast in the eastern states of Australia on the RG Network.

In 2000 he played to his largest audience as a featured performer at the Closing Ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics.In September 2002, John Paul Young and the All Stars appeared in the TV Series Long Way to the Top. John Paul Young and The Allstar Band toured in 2002 Long Way to the Top with the cream of Australian talent to celebrate the music and its Stars of the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s.

In 2003 and in 2005 John appeared in the musical Leader of the Pack – The Ellie Greenwich Musical as fast talking record producer Gus Sharkey - a composite character based around the legendary team of Leiber & Stoller and later Phil Spector. 2005 John Paul Young joined the Celebrity Race at the Melbourne F1 GP. 2006 saw John return to the studio at Flashpoint Music to record his first album of new material in many years In Too Deep, which sees John reunite with his 70's hit maker Harry Vanda as producer and principal songwriter.
John appeared in the Countdown Spectacular 2 concert series in Australia between late-August and early-September 2007. He sang 2 songs including the favourite Love Is in the Air.

John has appeared on many national television programs including the Coca Cola Summer Promotion, Channel 7's The Hard Yards, the premiere of Channel 9's Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, Roy & HG's Club Buggery, Channel 9's This is Your Life tributes to Molly Meldrum & Jon English, Channel 10's Monday to Friday show presenting the entertainment & music news segment and 7's Full Frontal in which he appeared in a spoof on The Footy Show performing Simply the Tops and Popstars TV series. He also went to New Zealand where he performed and competed in NZTV's Celebrity Wheel of Fortune Christmas Special.

Away from his musical work, John is a long-time resident of Lake Macquarie Newcastle Australia, where he is active in the Landcare movement and is an outspoken community activist on issues related to mining in the western Lake Macquarie area.

This post consists of  FLACs ripped from my vinyl copy which is in very good condition. Full album artwork is also included, along with CD artwork for a later release entitled "The War Years".
Also included are 3 bonus tracks taken from JPY's 12" Single "Soldier Of Fortune" which featured 2 other versions of the title track plus the non-album track "The Sirens".

Track Listing
01 War Games       
02 She Made A Fool Out Of You       
03 System Overload       
04 Call The Night        

Later Release with Bonus Tracks
05 Soldier Of Fortune        
06 Cryin' Eyes       
07 Body Heat        

08 Love Is For Heroes       
09 Television Girl       
10 L.A. Sunset       
11 The Sirens (Bonus B-Side Single)

12 Soldier Of Fortune (Bonus Single Edit)
13 Soldier Of Fortune (Bonus Extended Mix)

JPY and the AllStar Band:
John Paul Young (VOcals)
John Capek (Keyboards, Synths)
Alex Conti (Guitar)
Mark Puch (Guitar)
Russell Dunlop (Percussion)
Steve McDonell (Didjeridoo)
Veronica Lee, Wendy Matthews, Marc Jordan, Russell Dunlop (Backing Vocals)

JPY FLAC Link ( 347Mb)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Arena - Arena (1976)

(Australian 1976-1977)
This is a highly sort after Australian Jazz funk issued privately in Melbourne. It includes the famous tune "The Long One" which was compiled on Ubiquity’s 'Heading in the Right Direction'. Could be described as the Australian Placebo.
Recorded in Melbourne sometime during the 70's (maybe 1976), this is one of those rare albums that hardly ever turns up on ebay and when it does, it goes for a small fortune. Arena was formed by Ted White and from what I gather this was their only release and the main reason this album was made was to test out the newly built “Crystol Clear” Studio’s in Melbourne, Australia.
After hearing there was a copy in town, and some running around Melbourne, I finally got a hold of this mythical Aussie holy grail piece at a reasonable price / trade. Arena is a 7-track progressive Jazz/Rock album by Melbourne musicians Ted White, Peter Jones, Graham Morgan, Bob Arrowsmith and Charlie Gould. The albums highlight, "The Long One" starts with a drum break and then heads into 6:32 minutes of funky madness. There are a number of other breaks and ill moments spread throughout this platter. Great listening and well worth the money and effort tracking this one down.
“The Long One” is the tightest cut on the album (sought after by collectors and beat heads for the dope drum break intro). It's a really Dope Jazz-funk instrumental and was included on the “Luv N’ Hate” compilation “Heading in the Right Direction” . The majority of the album is pretty dam funky with Samples and Drum breaks all over the place. Other stand out tracks include: "Scope", "Scrichell Cat” & “Keiths Mood”.
Their music is not dissimilar to that of Crossfire or Weather Report, however, it lacks the production and jazz hooks that made these bands famous.  You can preview Arena's music by taking a look at the following YouTube Clip.

Although there is not a great deal of information for Arena, I was able to gather the following snippets of info on each of the band members:
Peter Jones 
(Keyboards, Electric Piano)
Joined Mackenzie Theory is September 1973, played at the Sunbury 74 concert, and on their Bon Voyage album (a recording taken from their final concert at Dallas Brookes Hall, Melbourne)
For more info, see

Ted White
(Lead Alto Sax / Reeds)
Ted has toured in South Africa and Hong Kong and has backed numerous Australian and overseas acts. He has played with names such as - The Bee Gees, Midnight Oil, Australian Crawl, Little River Band, Barry White, Sammy Davis Jnr, Village People, Dianna Ross, Gladys Knight & The Pips and Liberace.  Played at the Sunbury Rock Festival.
He arrived on the Gold Coast in 1963 playing various venues before becoming Musical Director for the Maori Castaways (Hi-Fi’s) and touring with them from 1964 – 68 going to UK, Malaysia, Thailand, Sweden and Finland.
Ted not only played with Arena in 1975-76, but he also wrote most of their material

See Ted's Website for more info

Graham Morgan
(Percussion, Drums)
Born in Melbourne Australia in 1937, Graham Morgan was educated at Melbourne Grammar School. He ventured to Los Angeles in 1962 where he studied under some of the best drummers of the time (Joe Morello, Murray Spivak).
Grahams outstanding career has spanned five decades and has taken him from playing on the first ABC television broadcast to recording a live album at Carnegie Hall with Cleo Laine and John Dankworth. He has recorded and played with numerous other artists such as John Farnham, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Clark Terry, Carmen McRae, Freddie Hubbard, Nancy Wilson, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and his own "Graham Morgan Jazz Quartet".
At GTV-9 Australia he held the position of staff drummer for over 20 years working on numerous shows including The Don Lane Show. At channel 10 (0) Graham worked with the Young Talent Time band for 10 years, The Ernie Sigley Show, Showcase and more.
His drumming can be heard on hundreds of filmscores and television/ radio commercials recorded during the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. He has earned himself the unique title of 'The Most Recorded Drummer in Australian History'
For more info, see

Bob Arrowsmith
Played Bass for Bruce Woodley (of the Seekers) and for a long-running Melbourne revue band called the Roulettes. For other snippets of info, see and

Charlie Gould
A session payer for many years, Charlie played with Beeb Birtles and Daryl Cotton in the highly successful Australian band 'Frieze' and earlier with the Melbourne group 'The Thunderbirds'
See also billyowens.tripodcom and

This post consists of an MP3 rip (320kps) taken from a clean Vinyl copy of the album. It includes limited album artwork and label scans.  This is a rarity not to be missed but best suits Jazz enthusiasts.
Track Listing
01 - Journey In Three's
02 - Scope
03 - Duke
04 - Scrichell Cat
05 - Keith's Mood
06 - The Long One
07 - Turkish Defunked

Arena are:
Saxophone, Flute - Ted White
Keyboards, Electric Piano - Peter Jones
Percussion, Drums - Graham Morgan
Bass - Bob Arrowsmith
Guitar - Charlie Gould

Stop Press:  Album has just been re-released in all its glory and can be purchased through North Side Records