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Frenzy! The 50th Anniversary Collection – Normie Rowe (Festival)

normierowe frenzyWe don’t have pop stars in Australia any more. In their place, we have reality TV-manufactured, milksop product whose fame is carefully designed to meet a demographical need and is disposable as the songs somebody else writes for them. Just as the tag “R & B” has been diluted beyond recognition, these people aren’t pop stars in the true sense of the term.

You might know him for an infamous TV fist fight with a shock jock (and, hey, that was almost one lifetime ago) but back in the 1960s, Normie Rowe was one of Australia’s first bona fide pop stars. There was no need to manufacture stars back then – the media certainly was complicit but they largely just appeared – and the good looking Rowe inspired teen adulation on the back of a string of national hits.

Glimpses: 1963-1968 Rarities – Yardbirds (Easy Action)

glimpsesScratch deep enough and you’ll find an undercoat of Yardbirds below the shiny paintwork of every worthwhile rock and roll vehicle.

We’re talking a group that was part of the original wave of British blues, but took 12-bar and twisted it for their own purposes. The Yardbirds were true progenitors of overdrive and sustained feedback, bringing in eclectic influence like Gregorian chants and Eastern ragas.

All-in sonic escalations (dubbed “rave-ups” by the band) were features of their song arrangements. Does that that ring any bells about contemporary bands all these years later?  

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