Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Dingoes - Live At The Station (1976)

(Australian 1973-1979)
The Dingoes were an Australian rock band active from 1973 to 1979. From 1976 to 1979 the band was based in the USA. The founder and principal songwriter of The Dingoes was songwriter, guitarist Kerryn Tolhurst. He had been a member Melbourne's Adderly Smith Blues Band in the late '60s, where he first met singer and harmonica player Broderick Smith. This was followed by stints in two seminal Australian country-rock bands: Sundown (1970) with Keith Glass and Country Radio (1972-73). In Country Radio Tolhurst formed a successful writing partnership with leader Greg Quill, and they co-wrote the hit singles "Gypsy Queen" and "Wintersong", both of which were strong influences on the Dingoes' future direction.
After leaving Country Radio in early 1973, just after their appearance at the second Sunbury Rock Festival, Tolhurst briefly joined the band Mississippi (which would eventually evolve in Little River Band). Tolhurst formed The Dingoes in Melbourne in April 1973. The original lineup included Chris Stockley (ex-CamPact, Axiom), John Strangio (bass), John Lee (ex-Blackfeather (drums)) and Broderick Smith (vocals, harmonica). Smith had previously been the lead singer in noted blues/boogie combo Carson. Strangio left in July and was replaced by John Du Bois, who had worked with Tolhurst in Country Radio.
They were one of the early signings to the fledgling Mushroom Records label. Their debut single "Way Out West" was written by Tolhurst (although the first two albums credit it to the group as a whole). Released in October 1973, it became the band's signature tune and one of the classic Australian singles of the '70s. It was successfully covered by James Reyne and James Blundell in 1991. Just a week before the single was released Stockley received a serious gunshot wound during an incident at a party in Melbourne that resulted in a two-month stay in hospital. For many years the incident was written up as 'accidental shooting' but according to Ian McFarlane's Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop, Stockley was shot by the notorious Melbourne drug dealer Dennis Allen, who had been trying to gatecrash the party. While he recuperated, Stockley was replaced by keyboard player Mal Logan (ex Healing Force, Carson), who stayed with the group until the end of 1974.

A nine hour benefit concert was held on 4 November 1973 at Leggett's Ballroom, Greville Street, Prahran. "Way Out West" charted in January 1974 and reached No.26 in Melbourne. The Dingoes appeared at the 1974 Sunbury Festival over the Australia Day long weekend, and their performance featured on Mushroom's Highlights of Sunbury '74, released later that year. The same month, they recorded their superb self-titled debut LP, produced by John French. Mal Logan played on the album, contributing keyboards on several tracks, including "Goin' Down" and "Sydney Ladies".
John Lee left in May 1974 to join Ariel and he was replaced by Ray Arnott, (ex-Spectrum, Mighty Kong). The group's debut LP The Dingoes was released in June 1974, along with a second single "Boy On The Run" / "Last Place I Wanna Be", which did well in Melbourne but did not break nationally. The LP reached No 18 in July 1974 and was the Federation of Australian Broadcasters' "Album Of The Year" for 1974. A third single, "Smooth Sailing" / "Dingoes Lament", was released in October. During the year The Dingoes toured nationally with various artists including Bad Company, Leo Sayer, Bo Diddley and Freddy Fender, and they won 'Best Australian Group Album' at the Australian Music Awards and 'Best Group Vocal Album' at the ARIA awards.

Early in 1975, the group got a major break thanks to expatriate Australian roadie Billy McCartney, who saw them while on a visit home from the USA, where he had established himself as a tour manager for Elvis Presley and Rod Stewart. Returning to the USA, McCartney recommended the band to Peter Rudge, who was then tour manager for both the Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and after lengthy negotiations Rudge agreed to manage The Dingoes in the U.S.A. The following months proved frustrating for the band -- expecting the summons from Rudge at any time, they were unwilling to commit to long-term tours or to recording, and thus lost valuable ground in Australia when they should have been consolidating on the success of the LP and singles. An American tour was finally arranged for mid-1976, but by the time they arrived Rudge's attention was focused on Lynyrd Skynyrd. Just prior to leaving, Ray Arnott quit the group by "mutual agreement" and John Lee returned to the fold, meeting up with the band in Canada. The Dingoes signed a two-album deal with A&M records in the USA, on the recommendation McCartney and Rudge. In preparation, they undertook three months of rehearsals in Canada, then headed for the U.S., where they set up base in Mill Valley, in Northern California, at the start of 1977.

They recorded tracks for a new A&M album in San Francisco during January and February, produced by Elliot Mazer, whose credits included Janis Joplin and Neil Young, and there were session contributions from celebrated keyboard players Nicky Hopkins and Garth Hudson. The new album, ‘Five Times The Sun’, was the group's first overseas release, and included re-recorded versions of tracks from their first album, including "Way Out West" and "Smooth Sailing", which enjoyed chart success when released (as a double A-side) in Australia. It also featured liner notes by author Emmett Grogan. Soon after, the band members were granted their prized green cards, allowing them to base themselves in America, and in their two-year stay they toured forty states by road.

Stockley left the band in early 1978 and joined Greg Quill's new band Southern Cross, and when that band broke up in Australia at the end of the year he formed Stockley, See & Mason. He was replaced in The Dingoes by American session guitarist Andrew Jeffers-Hardin. By this time the group had moved east and settled near Woodstock, in upstate New York. In mid-1978, they released a third album, ‘Orphans Of The Storm’, recorded at New York's famed The Hit Factory, and they continued to work around the US until late 1978, but their efforts to crack the US market were ultimately to prove fruitless. The most serious blow came when several members of Lynyrd Skynyrd were killed in a plane crash, a tragedy which destroyed the morale of the management team and effectively brought The Dingoes' US career to an end.
‘Orphans Of The Storm’ was released in February 1979, along with a final single, "Into The Night", but by this time the band had split for good. [extract from wikipedia]
The Dingo Tapes Part 1

The Dingoes speak out... What's been tagging them, what turns them on; Why they left the MAC agency art what they really think about their 'Best Country Album Moomba Music Award. . . Hints about their secretive plans for America, and plenty of stirring. At last! The Dingo Tapes!

"My mother said I was an animal
For my wild and wicked ways
My father said I was an animal
Cos I would not wash for days
My girlfriend said I was a dog
And I guess she oughta know
A Man s Best Friend in human form
I'm a D-I-N-G-O
Yes I'm a dingo, I'm a D-I-N-G-O"
("I'm a Dingo", written for The Dingoes by Ross Wilson)

Ah yes, the Australian dingo — a much-maligned animal. A bit of an outlaw, with a price on his head . . . Running his pads raw, his tongue hanging down, across the yellow 'n red Australian outback sporting a wicked grin, looking for a hole in the endless fence where the dingo dogs crawl through.
More than just another wild dog, a Dingo is also a species of Aussie musician . . . A bit of a boy on the town, a man who's paid his dues and shows his scars from running battles with more than one mean-eyed promoter, out to tan his hide. Still grinning though, sharper than a brace of foxes and looking to be travelling on.
The Dingoes have been around since May '73 when Kerryn Tolhurst left Country Radio, our best Australian country-rock band up till that time, and teamed up with the inscrutable Broderick Smith, at the time pursuing a hot solo career (remember "Going on Down to the End of the World", on Flat Earth Records? Also, Brod playing the part of the Father, in Tommy? All these after leaving famous blues/boogie blow band Carson) and Chris Stockley (returned untriumphant from England, where "Australia's first Supergroup", Axiom, had broken up); drummer John Lee and bass-player John Strangio.
Three or four months later, Strangio was replaced with another member of Country Radio, John Du Bois. The only other line-up disruption since then has been when John Lee left around December '74 (to join the headed-for London town Ariel), and was eventually replaced, after some experimentation, by Ray Arnott, late of Spectrum/Murtceps and Mighty Kong.

Since their inception, The Dingoes have toured all over this wide brown land, all states excepting Queensland, "because Bjelke-Petersen's in power", and Tasmania, on protest (until such time as Errol Flynn's birthplace in Hobart is installed as a national monument). They have released three singles, "Way Out West", "Boy on the Run", and "Smooth Sailing".
The Dingoes, minus one Broderick Smith, who has succumbed to the enviable temptations of free food and grog at one of Melbourne's better restaurants, Edouard's of South Yarra — which, he discovered, was owned by the uncle of a friend — are gathered around an oval table in the plush-yet-modestly comfortable surrounds of drummer Ray Arnott's flat, only just a hop, step 'n' jump away from the luring cuisine of Edouard's. The tinnies are out, and the long tall glasses too, Dobie Gray croons morosely in the background. A couple of essential young women are talking at another table over by the kitchen door, and Ray Arnott s girl, Sam, strays by in a purposeful way, watering lush clusters of indoor plants as the conversation rises.

RAM: What was happening to The Dingoes, around the time that John Lee left to join Ariel?
Stockley: Absolute disaster. Oh well, the usual dissatisfaction came into a band around that time. About nine months ..... gestation. And then dissatisfaction comes in, and people start wanting to get into other things. Everyone had things to do, and everyone thought, like they'd go out and do 'em, you know? And that freaked John out, cos 'e 'ad a couple of offers, and 'e actually went and took 'is. Which was a bit of a shock to everyone concerned, because I think everyone else was just talking about it. But he went and did it. And that sort of. . Well, it's pretty dicey, init? Well, you know more than I do (looks at John Du Bois).
Du Bois: Basically, from my point of view, it was because we didn't have anything going at the time. We had an album out, and we'd given it a good six months ... it was out a while . . . and, um, there was nothing happening, and it would seem like we were sorta stuck. In Australia. Which we didn't want. Or I didn't want, just about everybody in the band really except Chris. And we were really on the verge of breaking up. But then, by the grace of God, a few things happened . . . The first thing that happened was replacing John Lee with Celonese drummer Seneil. It was an experiment that lasted three months.
"He was into black music" says Du Bois. "And he couldn't adapt. The whole thing was . . . like he was a beautiful guy, but the whole thing was really ... a waste of time."
Stockley: Yeah, it was just because of that, because he was into the soul thing, he wanted to do funky feels and go, ptsh-ptsh-ptsh, like that, and we wanted a real .  . a laid back big holy drummer.
Tolhurst: And we got an unholy one.
Arnott: It was really good, because, you know my record as well as I do . . I've played in two bands (classic Arnott understatement) ... but none of them have been, um — well all of them have been removed from what I've been into. Like, with Mighty Kong I used to like soul music a long time ago, and the band was really into soul. So I sort of drifted into that again. And this one is a combination of everything I've liked, and everyone has the same basic roots. From what I gather.

RAM: Why do you think the album "The Dingoes" didn't sell particularly well, when it won two major awards and got great reviews?
Stockley. For the reason that the minority appeal we have is not big enough to be financially viable. And it had no promotion.
Tolhurst: None of those awards were capitalised on one bit. I think each time — those awards were six months apart or something — that could've sold an extra thousand copies ... It probably could've doubled in sales, but it was a dead record by the time of the Moomba Awards.
Stockley: I think it's still selling, we don't have the figures ... But you've got a good example there. Because people who write, and people who play records, like DJ's and column writers, record reviewers, all loved it. Musicians loved it too, And then again, that market of ours is more an LP market than a singles market, for a start off. And the singles we released weren't singles, as such. They were sort of to push the album, if anything.
RAM: What happened to your latest single "Smooth Sailing"?
Stockley: It didn't really get picked up. We're really big in Newcastle — um, the radio, 2NX, were trying to get a copy because we were doing a concert up there a few weeks ago, and they had a big promotion thing because they were running it... and they couldn't get "Smooth Sailing". It's been out since, what, last October or something.
Stockley: We even sent them up a tape. Was it you Kerryn who said "And now for our new single, 'Smooth Sailing'?" — and they didn't have anything to play after.it, so they couldn't use the tape.
Tolhurst: It's pretty hard to sell records like that
Stockley: Actually, recording-wise, it was probably the best thing we've done but it should've been gone back on and registered, and you know, put a few more things on it.
RAM: What did you think of your "Best Country Album" award?
Du Bois: Well, I'm sending mine to Slim Dusty.
Stockley: I'm sending mine to Reg Linsay, cos he was nominated, and he's country.
Tolhurst: I'm sending mine to Fred Zeppelin . . .
Stockley: We're a rock 'n' roll band, anyway.
Tolhurst: No I . . .It was very strange. It was nice to receive it, of course.
Stockley: We're very thankful for the people that voted for us... But it was just another hype, that's all.
(A large and spirited argument erupts, with all taking part),
Arnott: From what I heard . . . There was so many nominations sent out, and only about a third of them came back. So it shows you probably about a third of those people are interested . . . And they're probably the people who like listening to good music. And that's probably why it got a vote.
Stockley. Once again, up your music critics.
[extract from RAM Magazine, #7 May 31, 1975  p14]
This post is an MP3 rip (320kps) taken from a soundboard cassette recording sourced from Midoztouch (thanks to Micko and DrPepperOz) and includes full album artwork and all photos featured above (sourced from brodericksmith.com). I have also included a copy of the RAM article scanned at high definition for all the music historians out there in Dingo land as well as their trademark track "I'm A Dingo" as a bonus, which was recorded at the Sunbury 74 concert.
For more information about The Station Hotel and the bands that played there along side the Dingoes, see my earlier post.
Track Listing
01 - Starting Today
02 - Shine A Light
03 - You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone
04 - Mother In Law
05 - Rock A Bye Baby
06 - Come On Down
07 - How Come You're Never Home When I Call
08 - KO Love
09 - Teenage Blues
10 - Living In The Land Of Oz
11 - Having A Good Time
12 - Waiting For The Tide To Turn
13 - Going Down Again
14 - Smooth Sailing
15 - Sydney Ladies
16 - Up On The Roof
17 - Marijuana Hell
18 - Mark Barnes' Rave
19 - When A Man Loves A Woman
20 - I'm A Dingo (Bonus Track)

Dingoes were:
Broderick Smith – vocals
Chris Stockley – vocals & guitar
Kerryn Tolhurst – guitar
John DuBois – vocals & bass
Ray Arnott – Drum 
The Dingoes (173Mb)  New Link 30/08/2015


  1. Thanks for this. Speaking of Midoztouch, do you know if it's coming back or are new comments there dead?

    Best from mcphert1

    1. Hi mcphert1
      I emailed Mick several times about the situation, and he did say he was going to look into it, but nothing ever happened? I'm thinking he was either unable to resolve the problem (password issues maybe) or simply decided to end the relationship with it (perhaps he'd had enough)?
      Midoztouch2 seems to have taken off though, thanks to Deutros, and well worth a look if you haven't already. See link - top left. Cheers

  2. Muchas gracias por este disco
    Tiene usted un blog fantastico
    Felicidades y saludos

  3. Fantastic! Brings back memories of many happy days watching the Dingoes at the Station. What A great band they were.

  4. I actually saw the Dingoes in 79...werent my cup of flat coke as a rule..but, I must of enjoyed 'em, I bought the album

  5. I was offered the gtr playing seat at one stage in Greg Quills country Radio band...funnily enough the Dingoes supported the The Little River Band of which I was the Lead guitarist at the time , in Cleveland ..where the LRB ate them up in the spirit of take no prisoners...they came off looking not so good

  6. This is from my soundboard cassette of the night at the Station which I must have sent a copy of to Micko. You could give me a credit. I am still trying to talk Gil Matthews into releasing a shorter version cleaned up by the NFSA. If you want a copy CD of that - its much better than this one - send me your postal address.