Saturday, December 12, 2020

Stars - 1157 (1980) + Bonus Live Single

 (Australian 1975 - 1980, 2019)

1157 is the first and only live album by Australian country rock music group Stars. The album was recorded at Bombay Rock in Melbourne in October 1979 and released in July 1980, following band member Andrew Durant's death. The album peaked at number 46 on the Australian charts, remaining on the chart for 8 weeks.

The Stars toured extensively to sell-out performances Australia-wide during 1975 to 1980, and chose to name their third album 1157 after the number of live gigs they had played.

Sadly, on May 6, 1980, Andy Durant died of cancer aged just 25. A shooting Star that dazzled us was gone. Eastick organised the Andrew Durant memorial concert in Melbourne and the big names of the Australian music industry offered their support, including Cold Chisel. The tribute performance on August 19, 1980 produced the double live album Andrew Durant Memorial Concert and profits from the concert and album went to The Andrew Durant Cancer Research Centre.

The following is an early gig review of The Stars while they were the supporting act for Joe Cocker when he toured Australia in 1977, and provides an insight into why so many people and fellow Australian artists respected this popular Aussie band from the 70's

Slugging It Out With Stars
(Review by Annie Burton)
RAM Mag, Dec 30th, 1977 - #74

When they filled the support spot during Joe Cocker's last tour, Stars proved their ability by being one of the very few Australian support bands to a main act to keep the people in their seats while they played.

Audiences were surprised by them, listened and applauded hard. The usual slightly deplorable attitude is Let's go out and have a smoke and an ice cream, leaving the support band with a three quarters empty hall. Stars were excellent- Tight, solid as a cannonball, with a sound of their own. No shit. They even took on Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way", the risky set piece for guitarists who use and abuse voice boxes, and won. In the middle of it they slipped into "Heartbreak Hotel" and then out again with easy style. Guitarist Andy Durant was superb, the drums/bass combo of former LRB bassist Roger McLachlan and drummer Glyn Dowding was simultaneously thunderous and nippy, like a rolling storm under flashes of flaring guitar. That sounds fanciful, I know, but they were that good.

No gimmicks, cheap shots or band-waggon hopping. And maybe that's why Stars are where they are and not headlining their own shows. You can't categorise them. Not a bopper band, not Serious Electronic, jazz rock, fag rock or crotch rock, although they most certainly are ballsy. Their stage manner is polite and charming, not abusive, dangerous or androgynous bopper sexy- Singer Mick Pealing is almost self effacing; not shy exactly, or reticent. nor is he a nothing. He has a good voice and he uses it well, it's just that he's not (and God knows I hate to use the word) charismatic. He's good looking, sure, and delivers the goods with knobs on, but he doesn't ever seem to go to the edge. Edgework is exciting; maybe it's the ancient call to the blood lust inherent in rock that's lacking. . .
It doesn't matter all that much, because what Pealing is doing is declining to be a front man. He stands back and lets the rest of the band steam ahead, almost as though he's slightly in awe of being part of such a machine.

When they first appeared at the far end of the plateau in '75. they were somewhat given to gimmickry. Not full on. Rollers type gimmickry, but a tricksy image all the same. They were the Rock 'n' Roll Cowboys, wearing sherriff 's badges, stetsons, neck kerchiefs, vests, boots, the leather 'n' denim schmear -That was the year they won the King of Slop Best New Band category. They followed up with the successful "Quick On The Draw" single. A long gap and then another cowpoke song. "A Winning Hand" Somewhere along the line they got sick of playing cowboy, as the American country soft and southern rock influences dwindled and Australiana took over.

Mal Eastick, second guitarist and founding member, said of its demise: "lf we ever get the opportunity to go to America, and got billed with the Charlie Daniels Band. or Elvin Bishop, or something like that, the tag 'Rock 'n' Roll Cowboys' would iust be ridiculous, cause they're cowboys playing rock 'n' roll. we're rock 'n' rollers playing cowboys." Eastick's statement displays not only the band's influences, but also a certain naivete; if Elvin Bishop has ever been closer to a cattle ranch than face to face with a Holiday Inn steak, l'll eat his Stetson. 

Changes in the line up solidified the sound, made it more Stars and less a conglomerate of influences. At one stage you could hear a Stars bracket and play spot-the-influence easy as pie; an Eagles song succeeded by an Elvin Bishop song succeeded by a Doobies song. . . I remember doing it in the Bondi Lifesaver (although time may have mixed up the influences a little) one night in particular, because then-bassist Graham Thompson was playing his last gig with the band, and volubly pissed off about it, getting drunk and growling at me, the band and eventually total strangers. He was replaced by Roger McLachlan. Andy Durant joined up and his guitar playing, risky solos sounding like a man juggling knives, gave Stars a much fuller. gutsier sound.

And they've kept working solidly, refusing to give up despite the lack of general recognition. Their recent "Mighty Rock" single deserved to go a lot further than it did, a really good, solid rock song with a hook you could pick up a beef carcass with. Stars remind me of an Australian Sanford Townend Band. Solid musicianship, good lead and harmony vocals, excellent lead breaks, gutsy and neat, and a distinct lack of glitter, satin, smoke bombs and all the rest of the step-over
throw hold stage stuff.

They've now got a new single out ["Mighty Rock" Ed.], but the real buzz is about their forthcoming album. It's finished and reputed to be shit hot, and it's also being kept under wraps till January or February next year ['Paradise' Ed.]. 
Just before Christmas, (apparently), is not the time to launch promising new artists. (Aunts and Uncles will insist on sticking to Names They Know and buy the latest Queen and Rod Stewart for young Roderick or Jane).

The Stars from 1979

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my 'near mint' Vinyl, and includes full album artwork for both CD and vinyl.  40 years later, this album sounds as fresh as it was when released in 1980 and I also discovered why they named it 1157.   Also included is a live B-side single entitled "Red Neck Boogie', a regular song on their gig play list. 

Track Listing
01 Watching The River Flow 3:34
02 Living A Lie 3:19
03 Cocaine 3:24
04 I’d Rather Be Blind 3:38
05 Paradise 3:09
06 Watch Out For Lucy 3:23
07 Mainline Florida 3:44
08 Since You’ve Been Gone (Sweet, Sweet Baby) 3:16
09 Jive Town 3:21
10 Rescue Me 3:03
11 Never Coming Back  5:43
12 Red Neck Boogie (Bonus Live B-Side Single)       3:33

Stars were
Drums – J. J. Hackett
Bass - Ian McDonald
Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals – Andy Durant
Lead Guitar – Mal Eastick
Lead Vocals – Mick Pealing


  1. Are you interested in buying a copy of the Andrew Durant Memorial Show? Cheers, Glen Iris.

    1. Thanks for the offer but I already have a Vinyl copy which I'll probably rip and post in the near future.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi Mate, I am Looking For Material of the Super-group 'The Stetsons'
    That You Did Mention Here.
    Have you or Any of You all Got their sole 1987 Album or 1997 kind of re-union album or Compilation?



    1. A mate of mine has both LP's but is waiting for a new turntable. Said he'd rip them when it arrives. So stay tuned DNA

  4. Oh Great!!! I Will AR, Thanks A Million :-)

  5. Hi AR Mate,
    Any News About the Stetsons Please?
    I had the unfortunate experience of purchasing the '97 collection cd from a 2nd hand online store,
    but the media cd turned out to be deeply scratched and bruised and the cs skips in almost any track.
    i wonder how people taking care of their medias
    with such a great careless.

    Thanks for any progression update :-)


    1. Hey Dan - my contact followed through as promised and the following link will take you to a post with FLACs & Artwork. A huge thanks to Ozzie Musicman for this one.

    2. AussieRock,
      I Want To Deeply Thank You & Deutros!
      this Is Awesome Quality Straight From A Perfectly Saved Media.
      I Greatly Appreciate The Effort Here,
      and in this Occasion I'll Say, not only for this specific thing, but for all the hard work and dedication you and your friend are putting at this Blog.
      As a Non-Aussie, I find this Place a big opportunity to be exposed and learn about many wonderful Musicians & Performers that were unknown for myself.
      So, thanks for that as well!


      Happy The Man

  6. At This Point When You Actually Privileged Me with a hand on the cookie jar, one gets hungry :-)
    But Yes, I know it would be rude to trouble you with the original request of the Stetsons 1987 Album.
    So, I'll Just Say That Only If You Put Hands on The Song 'Bad Blood' from that album, that is the only with i can dream of :-)
    No Commitments In Any Shape or Form.
    You Already Done Enough For Me.

    Best Regards,

  7. I am saying that, because I know The Song 'Bad Blood' appears also outside the orig. album on at least 2 VA compilations

    1. OK - I'll see what I can do. I think he has this LP as well

  8. Hi AussieRock,
    Any News Concerning 'The Stetsons' 1st Album
    or 'bad Blood' Please?

    Best Regards,