oz rock - The I-94 Bar
He’s not a household name (yet) but don’t let that stop you. Ronny Dap is the self-styled King of Aussie Pub Rock DIY, a minstrel for those who wish their weekend trip to Bunnings was for guitar strings and not Ozito home-brand power tools that fall apart, shoddy customer service and a cheap sausage sandwich.
Yobbos. We’ve had a few. For those playing along at home overseas and not familiar with everyday Australian vernacular, Yobbo is the term for “a heavy drinker, who places mateship above all else and lives for those wild memorable moments that are unforgettable”. According to the authoritative Urban Dictionary, anyway.
From Billy Thorpe to the Cosmic Psychos, yobbos have been part of the musical and cultural fabric –the cut of the cloth being comfy jeans and a blue singlet. Turn up your nose if you must, but disdain for the upper crust, accompanied by larrikin behaviour, pre-dates Oz rock and roll by a long way. It’s probably one of the few defining national characteristics most of us can agree on.
Another 90 Oz Rock songs for 20 bucks. Can’t go wrong, eh?
This is Festival’s second “Glory Days” offering and it’s inevitably subject to some “mainstreaming”. There’s more chart action and a sprinkling of what might be regarded as lesser-known tracks or rarities, although you could argue they’re skewed from a Melbourne perspective. It's the lesser-known cuts that make this collection tolerable.
It’s not every day you see bands from Australian underground rock’s halcyon days (that’d be the ‘80s) rubbing shoulders with mainstream chart-toppers but that’s what’s looming.
“The Golden Days Of Aussie Pub Rock” is the first volume of a series through major label Festival/Warner that boasts four (count ‘em) CDs of Down Under backyard barbecue listening fodder.
Cool lesser lights like Sydney’s suburban pop-rockers The Lonely Hearts (“The Spell”), the unstoppable X (“Dream Baby”), The Numbers (“The Modern Song”), The Hitmen (“I Don’t Mind”), Huxton Creepers (“I Will Persuade You”) and the Screaming Tribesmen (“A Date With a Vampyre”) sit alongside heavyweights like Jimmy Barnes, Mental As Anything, The Angels, Cold Chisel and (gulp) Boom Crash Opera.
But wait, there's more. Boys Next Door, Sunnyboys, The Elks, The Boys and XL Capris fly the flag for independent bands. Stevie Wright, Finch, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and Angy Anderson (no, not “Suddenly”, thank fuck) represent the old guard.
The 91-song package includes comprehensive liner notes, with a track-by-track commentary and essay by key ‘70s Australian RAM magazine founding editor Anthony O’Grady. It’s out on April 1.
For overseas readers: Cold Chisel created a bubbling, intense hard-rock scene in ythe 1970s and greatly influenced the Australian music industry.
They came before Radio Birdman. And they started in Adelaide.
To be precise, quite often at the Largs Pier Hotel. Which, if you look at a map, you will discover nestling in Largs Bay, to the north-west of Port Adelaide which, back in the early-mid ‘70s, was not quite as foul as Port Melbourne, but none-the-less, decent people didn’t go there. A local joke goes that over there you can hear the largs baying, but … as I said, decent people don’t go there…
Cold Chisel had a rough-as-guts image, and played rock akin to punk before punk, used feedback where it was effective, and were huge all around the country in the '70s and '80s. It would be interesting to see what might have happened had the Hitmen been this successful at Chisel’s expense… but that is to tempt the cobra called Fate.