Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Live Life Love Music

I spent a good part of my misspent youth watching bands do their stuff in pubs, clubs and outdoor concerts.  In 1981 I was in Year 10 (4th form in those days) and I was faking my way into pubs and clubs using my sister's ID (no photo ID's then).

I still see a band now and then and a few times a year I may get to a music festival.  I still have a big soft spot for those bands I first heard in my teens and a lot of the background noise to my childhood was the music played at my parents' parties and barbeques. Some of Mum and Dad's favourites were Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles. Then my older siblings brought in Captain Matchbox Band, Daddy Cool, ZZ Top, Rolling Stones and Creedance Clearwater.

It seemed all of my parents' friends were up for a party most weekends (especially in Summer) and Mum would rustle up a bit of lettuce and tomato or a giant potato and egg salad with a side of canned beetroot and corn on the cob. Dad would char some tiny, thin steaks and sausages on the big, metal plate he had suspended on bricks over a fire, which was his version of the barbie.

There was always loud music, lots of canned beer and cask wine, laughter, dancing and someone with a guitar. Dad would sometimes play the bongos, spoons or the tea-chest-base (which of course he made himself) and occasionally perform one of his party tricks (my favourite was when he would suspend himself in a perfect horizontal line from the clothes line pole, sometimes in his red striped pyjamas - I don't know why - but I was impressed by how strong his arms were).

(this is how I ended up on the Hills Hoist most times)

When I finally got to escape the backyard BBQ (which were actually always good fun with Mum and Dad for entertainment), I discovered live bands (professional ones).  My first concert was Midnight Oil on Wanda Beach where even after convincing two of my friends to go with me, they chickened out and I ended up in front of the stage with Peter Garrett's head sweat raining down on me (along with a torrential downpour).

Two of the earliest, and favourite bands were the Radiators and The Sunnyboys.  I must have seen the Radiators about ten times over the years and, unfortunately, only saw The Sunnyboys a few times. The first time was at Caringbah Inn with my sister where, once again, I wiggled my way up the front to look at them up close. Not quite a groupie, but I was transfixed.

Zoom forward about 30 years and I was transfixed again watching the ABC special "The Sunnyboy".  It was about the life of Jeremy Oxley and his battle with mental illness.  Absolutely brilliant film and even if you're not a fan of The Sunnyboys, I recommend you watch it. Jeremy is an interesting man and, in the end, a Happy Man.

So did music play a big part in your youth? What was your favourite band?

*Joining with Essentially Jess*


  1. Your family bbq's sound so full of joy and happy memories, how lovely.
    I saw screaming jets when I was 16 and went more than once or twice nightclubbing before turning 18! Nightclubbing was big at the time.

  2. What awesome family memories you have. I've never been very keen on live music at all. I don't mind it, but I don't actively seek it out.

  3. If I were alone and lonely, finding you Becci, just now, I would say that she is the woman!!! Haha, lucky for us all, I have a gorgeous family in Brisbane, great woman and 2 beautiful kids 3 1/2 and 7 1/2.
    I was just telling a work mate ( we often swap stories on music, seeing, listening & playing) and I mentioned Tanelorn. He is a bit younger than I so I had to google it and this is where I come across you!!
    I was at Tanelorn on my 19th birthday, setting up our massive army tent. Myself and 3 mates threw in $50 each and bought a holden station wagon to get there. I was like you, always hitting up the local band scene, sometimes even alone, I just couldn't get enough of it. Still love it today!! And yep, like you, my family will continue to hear about it for years to come. I just had to travelk and spent over 8 years in Europe and by accident fell into a Tour Leader job which led on to travelling to over 50 countries. (That sentence always feels cringeworthy!!) I just saw Rodriguez again recently and the release of the Sunnyboys film (Jeremy Oxley was at the launch in Brisbane).
    I am not a blogger but have been guilty of doing a couple of travel blogs when travelling with my young family in Vietnam.
    Thanks for the memories Becci Swan. p.s. stolen from Triple J my chant with the kids is..."We LOVE MUSIC!!!"


I love your comments. Keep 'em comin'! [All comments are moderated but all opinions are welcome.]