the visitors - The I-94 Bar
Most serious musicians would have an aneurysm if someone wanted to release recordings from their callow youth. They’ll tell you they’ve been hidden in a sock drawer for 40 years for good reason, and that demo recordings are just that.
Of course, people with OCD, completists and the truly curious and/or obsessed - and any or all of these descriptors could apply to most of us - vehemently disagree. This release from the amazing Buttercup Records label in Melbourne satisfies our shared jones.
Foundation Radio Birdman drummer Ron Keeley is offering a rare piece of memorabilia for sale on the UK eBay site, taken from his own collection.
This item is a 24 inch (61cm) diameter painted bass drumhead from his white Rodgers kit. It was hand-painted by the band’s long-serving bass player and their artist, Warwick Gilbert. It saw action from 1976-78. It was re-used by Ron after Birdman broke up and he joined The Visitors, at that point being covered by a cardboard fascia with that band’s logo.
“It was on the kit for ALL the Radio Birdman gigs we played during that time, including all those at the Funhouse, the famous live session at 2JJ Studios, both of the legendary 1977 Paddington Town Hall gigs and many others,” Ron said.
“Condition is pretty good considering its age and the number of ‘skirmishes’ it was involved in…although it’s a bit battle-scarred (and stained in places with splashes of beer and other unidentified liquids.)”
The item comes with a personally signed Certificate of Authenticity stating that the drum face is a contemporaneous item from Ron’s personal collection, and describing its provenance.
It’s taken me a little while to get to this one, and I wish I’d got here sooner.
There’s 12 tracks, nine by guitarist Dylan Webster, three by other guitarist Jason Sharples. With your bass by Dave Lundquest, drums by Serge Ou (no, really, that’s what it says here) and vocals by Michael Preiss… we’re looking at a band capable, if we read the back of the CD right, of constructing and delivering the twin guitar assault.
My oath they do.