Tag Archives: AC/DC

George Young – the AC/DC Map

GEORGE YOUNG

Vale George Young. The passing of the genius behind The Easybeats and a key member of the Young dynasty has generated new interest in AC/DC, the Young brothers and their huge influence on Australia.

THE AC/DC MAP

If you’re visiting Fremantle, Melbourne or Sydney and want to go on a Bon Scott and Angus Young pilgrimage, here are the sacred sites. On the AC/DC Map of Australia, Melbourne has to come first. Why? The band lived there. And Countdown made them famous there – mainly because Bon Scott put on a school uniform too.

 

Countdown (Melbourne) is big on the AC/DC Map. (ABC-TV).
Countdown (Melbourne) is big on the AC/DC Map. (ABC-TV).

AC/DC IN ELSTERNWICK, MELBOURNE

Bon Scott immortalised himself and the band filming Countdown  for ABC-TV. These images are from Twitter #ClassicCountdown.  Sarah Clarke @ACSarahAC is the source for the 1985 Countdown studio audience pass.  Sadly the famous studio has now been sold to a supermarket. And by 1985 AC/DC had become world superstars.

 

Sarah Clarke on Twitter @ACSarahAC Bon Scott on Countdown Bon Scott Countdown II

The AC/DC Map of Australia just has to include Melbourne (ABC-TV).
The AC/DC Map of Australia just has to include Melbourne (ABC-TV).

 MELBOURNE – ST KILDA

6 Lansdowne Road, East St Kilda.  Demolished and replaced (like most of Melbourne music history) but nevertheless, nominated by music magazine Mojo as a contender for music history’s “vilest den of depravity”. There is also a free app if you are interested – put together by Australian music historian Bruce Milne and Music Victoria.

The St. Kilda Kitchen

It wasn’t all depravity, though. Sometimes there was cake. Trudy Worme’s mum used to drop her off at 6 Lansdowne Road on Sunday afternoons so she could cook dinner for them. She also baked Angus his favourite chocolate cakes. That definitely puts her on the AC/DC Map.

 AC/DC Lane

The visuals in AC/DC Lane (off Flinders Lane, Melbourne and the home of the ‘musicians’ music venue’ Cherry Bar) change all the time.  Even if you’ve been here before, it won’t look the same. AC/DC Lane was the result of lobbying by Music Victoria’s Patrick Donovan (then a journalist with The Age) and James Young, who runs Cherry Bar. 

This part of Melbourne is associated with Bon Scott (far right, with hippie band Fraternity) in particular. This is where he lost his flares, found his tight jeans and discovered his voice. You can walk from AC/DC Lane to Swanston Street and see the trail Bon and the band followed for It’s A Long Way to the Top. 

 

Bon Scott with Fraternity in a Go-Set poster.
Bon Scott with Fraternity in a Go-Set poster.

The Hard Rock Cafe

The original Hard Rock Cafe was created by former AC/DC manager Michael Browning from the remains of Bertie’s, formerly Victoria and Albert. This is where AC/DC played for $1 and Angus Young fell on the floor and accidentally invented his ‘dying insect’ pose. It stood at 1 Spring Street.

The Australian Music Vault

The Hard Rock Cafe of Seventies legend at 1 Spring Street has now been swallowed up by the corporate towers of Shell (below).  If you want to get a feeling for not only AC/DC, but also Melbourne music history though – the place which formed the sound – The Australian Music Vault in The Arts Centre Melbourne (opened December 2017) is a good place to start. Bon’s leather jacket is archived there.

 

The former Hard Rock Cafe, 1 Spring St, Melbourne.
The former Hard Rock Cafe, 1 Spring St, Melbourne.
Curator at The Australian Music Vault with Bon's jacket.
Curator at The Australian Music Vault with Bon’s jacket.

 

SYDNEY – THE YOUNGS’ HOME

4 Burleigh Street, Burwood was once home to George, Malcolm and Angus Young. George went on to form The Easybeats and Malcolm and Angus went on to form AC/DC. Burwood is less well-known than AC/DC Lane in Melbourne or Bon Scott’s memorial in Fremantle, but it’s a highlight of the AC/DC Map in New South Wales.

Purchased in 1965 by the Youngs’ father, a migrant from Scotland the house at 4 Burleigh Street was home, after the family left Villawood Migrants’ Hostel. The house dates from 1906. Historian Glenn A. Baker successfully lobbied for its preservation (among with other Australian music landmarks) some years ago.

The National Trust included this house on the National Trust Register in July 2013, saving it for Australia.

FREMANTLE – BON’S GRAVE

You can pay your respects at Bon Scott’s grave in Fremantle, Western Australia. There is a walking trail with QR code available.  In 2006 the grave was listed by the National Trust and given heritage status.

On 19 February 1980 Bon tragically died outside 67 Overhill Road, East Dulwich in London. There is no plaque there, despite a petition by fans – but Bon’s memorial in Fremantle is one of the National Trust’s most visited Australian sites. There is also a  statue.

 

The AC/DC Map of Australia begins in Melbourne with the site of the old Hard Rock Cafe at 1 Spring Street (below) and stretches as far as Bon Scott’s grave in Fremantle. Images: Pinterest/Twitter

 

.ACDC 1 Spring St BON SCOTT GATE FREMANTLE 6LansdowneRdCirca75 ACDCINMELBOURNE DOT BLOGSPOT DOt COM DOt AU BON SCOTT GRAVE FREMANTLE CEMETERY BON SCOTT GATE 4 Burleigh St Pinterest Fremantle Cemetery Heritage Walk Trail PLAQUE DEMOLISHED 2001 Young House Burwood State Library NSW Stephen Thomas ACDC LANE

 

 

Classic Countdown! Music Map

 

CLASSIC COUNTDOWN! MUSIC MAP

 

The Countdown Map
The Countdown Map

An interactive Australian music map, inspired by the old Classic Countdown map, is an ongoing story at AMMP where we add new map pins every month.

NEW SOUTH WALES

Aunty Jack – Wollongong. The entire town. The Aunty Jack album ‘Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong’ features a young Norman Gunston with his Gunstonettes singing ‘Wollongong the Brave.’ Aunty Jack was at the inauguration of colour television in Australia on 1 March 1975. The special beat ABC’s commercial rivals by beginning 3 minutes early, at 11:57 pm 28 March 1975 in black and white and then wiping to colour at midnight.

 

YouTube Farewell Aunty Jack (song)

 

SYDNEY

The Marble Bar at The Hilton Hotel on George Street, Sydney is where Cold Chisel were photographed for their album Breakfast at Sweethearts. Sweethearts in Kings Cross no longer exists but a brass plaque in the pavement marks its location.

Cold Chisel made Sydney their own.
Cold Chisel made Sydney their own.

THE EASYBEATS/AC/DC FAMILY HOME

This before/after shot (Twitter, Pinterest) shows the Young family at 4 Burleigh Street, Burwood.

 

4 Burleigh Street, Burwood (Twitter).
4 Burleigh Street, Burwood (Twitter).

 

THE CIVIC HOTEL, PITT STREET 
Mental as Anything featuring Greedy Smith (below, in a portrait by Paul Worstead) made The Civic Hotel on Pitt Street in the centre of Sydney their own. The old Phantom Records shop was steps away.

The Paul Worstead portrait of Greedy Smith, Mental as Anything.
The Paul Worstead portrait of Greedy Smith, Mental as Anything.

THE HOODOO GURUS
The Hoodoo Gurus are a Sydney band not identified with any one venue, but as Le Hoodoo Gurus, they played The Mosman Hotel, Mosman.

Hoodoo Gurus poster from the brilliant website 1980schild.blogspot.com.au
Hoodoo Gurus poster from the brilliant website 1980schild.blogspot.com.au
MELBOURNE
Skyhooks poster 1970s
Skyhooks poster 1970s

SKYHOOKS
Skyhooks created songs about whole suburbs in Melbourne. Carlton and Balwyn are just two of those namechecked.

HUNTERS AND COLLECTORS
Westgate after the song by Mark Seymour – but also Ormond College, University of Melbourne where John Archer, Doug Falconer and Mark Seymour first met on the way to forming Hunters and Collectors.

ST. KILDA
From St Kilda to Kings Cross by Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls  is just part of the St. Kilda story. So many bands are associated with the area and still play there – like Cold Chisel’s Don Walker – that it has a permanent pin on the Countdown Map.

Time Out

Festival Hall needs no introduction, thanks to Sherbet, Daddy Cool and unknown third support act AC/DC.

ACDC support Sherbet
THE COUNTDOWN STUDIOS, RIPPONLEA
This is where Classic Countdown was filmed and there is a fascinating story on the closure of the old ABC-TV Dream Factory here. Devoted fans including The Countdown Sisters used to make the pilgrimage. Follow them here. (Images: ABC Archives, Twitter, Instagram).

classic coutndown dsisters utndwon club

Ian Meldrum filming Countdown. ABC Archives.
Ian Meldrum filming Countdown. ABC Archives.

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Arnhem Land – Yothu Yindi
Aboriginal members of Yothu Yindi came from Yolngu homelands near Yirrkala on the Gove Peninsula in Northern Territory’s Arnhem Land.

ACT

D.A.A.S. – Canberra
You could use up a lot of pins on Google Maps just trying to follow all the busking spots where the Doug Anthony Allstars put their guitar cases down. D.A.A.S. began performing as buskers on the streets of Canberra in 1984, while they were attending university.

NEW! Chrissy Amphlett Street
Melbourne has Amphlett Lane. Canberra now has Amphlett Street. Divinyls fans, start your engines. (Photograph: Twitter @AmphlettLane)

Amphlett Street Canberra named after Chrissy Amphlett.
Amphlett Street Canberra named after Chrissy Amphlett.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA

AC/DC – Largs Pier hotel, Adelaide
During the 70s and 80s Largs hosted Jimmy Barnes with Cold Chisel, AC/DC, The Little River Band and The Angels. Bon Scott, who later became the lead singer of AC/DC, met his wife at the Largs Pier Hotel after a gig in 1971.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Dave Warner From The Suburbs – The Victoria Hotel, Perth
Watch ‘Half Time at the Football’ on YouTube – Dave Warner – “Half-time at the Football” (1981)

Backstage Passes - Greg Phillips
Backstage Passes – Greg Phillips

INXS – Davidson High School, Perth. Imagine this. After recess, Andrew Farriss convincing his fellow Davidson High School classmate, Michael Hutchence, to join his band, Doctor Dolphin.The rest is history. If not actually a band called Doctor Dolphin.

TASMANIA

The Innocents with singer Charlie Tauber put Hobart on the Countdown map when they appeared on the show. Sooner or Later is a power pop classic.

QUEENSLAND

The Saints – Corinda High School.
Author and journalist Clinton Walker:  “I first became aware of the Saints in 1974, while living in Brisbane. I had transferred to a new school, Corinda High. There, in art class, I met a gaggle of antisocial young long hairs that revolved around an embryonic band called the Saints. Perhaps the strongest common bond I had initially with the guys in art was that we all hated hippies. I fell in with them, and it wasn’t long before I fell in the Saints’ thrall too.”
Read more: Raven Records – The Saints – Wild About You 1976-1978

 

RAM Magazine anniversary editions, photographed by owner Michael Witheford
RAM Magazine anniversary editions, photographed by owner Michael Witheford

 

The Go Between Bridge – The Go Betweens
The Go Between Bridge, formerly known as the Hale Street Link, is a toll bridge for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists over the Brisbane River in inner-city Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Countdown GPO Box Melbourne
Countdown GPO Box Melbourne

 

THE COUNTDOWN MAP ON TWITTER
Follow @ammptv on Twitter and send us your map suggestions.

Classic Countdown! From Twitter @ABCTV
Classic Countdown! From Twitter @ABCTV

Australian Music Walking Tours

 

AUSTRALIAN MUSIC WALKING TOURS

Australian music maps, apps, podcasts and guided walks for fans of everyone from The Birthday Party to Archie Roach are in hefty supply these days. Australian music walking tours offer you Bon Scott or Nick Cave – take your pick.

Brisbane has her Walk of Fame and Go-Between Bridge – and Ed Kuepper will soon have a park, alongside The Saints’ forthcoming mural near their old Club 76 house/rehearsal space.

Melbourne, the Australian music capital, offers video, audio and printable guides to landmarks like AC/DC Lane and Rowland S. Howard Lane in St. Kilda.

SYDNEY – FROM COLD CHISEL TO  BOWIE

Sydney has hosted Bowie and started Chisel on their way.  The city is also on a global rock’n’roll map of early punk, thanks to The Oxford Bar, formerly The Oxford Hotel or Oxford Tavern at 134 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.

This is where Radio Birdman turned an historic pub into the Oxford Funhouse. Bernard Zuel from The Sydney Morning Herald co-created this minimalist map of the city’s key landmarks. That’s Chris Bailey from The Saints standing over Paddington.

 

The Sydney Music Map by Bernard Zuel (Sydney Morning Herald).
The Sydney Music Map by Bernard Zuel (Sydney Morning Herald).

 

SYDNEY – DOWNLOAD FREE ROCK’N’ROLL AUDIO TOURS

SYDNEY WALK

 

Sydney offers wonderful audio guides from members of Mental As Anything, Radio Birdman and The Hoodoo Gurus – around Newtown and other historic music hubs.  This is a free download for visitors to Sydney and locals, too. Tour Festival Records. Meet John Kennedy (the king of King Street). See what Oxford Street was like when rock’n’roll ruled. Go from Surry Hills to Kings Cross, where Don Walker wrote Cold Chisel classics. From Waterfront Records to Phantom to Red Eye, Sydney was once a huge hub for Australian indie bands. Download and start walking to see why. Collector Vanessa Berry even has the old Waterfront bag on her blog.

 

Waterfront Records bag photograph: Vanessa Berry World
Waterfront Records bag photograph: Vanessa Berry World

 

MELBOURNE MUSIC WALKS AND MAPS

St. Kilda also offers visitors and fans of Australian music  a curated, guided tour – with rave reviews. You will need to book well ahead to secure a place, visiting landmarks like Rowland S. Howard Lane (below).  Explore local Sixties garage bands too. This is a five-star rated walk on Trip Advisor.  Find out more here. From the young Nick Cave (pictured, photographer unknown, from the website) to the still-young, Espy, this is a solid local walking tour.

 

Rowland S.Howard Lane poster, St. Kilda 2013. (Elle Russell).
Rowland S.Howard Lane poster, St. Kilda 2013. (Elle Russell).

 

THE MELBOURNE MUSIC WALK

This amazing free music walk is presented by the City of Melbourne and you can download a free PDF map (click on the heading link) and take it with you. The walk takes in AC/DC Lane and the pub and music venue Cherry Bar, halfway down the lane itself – along with thoroughly researched landmarks, past and present. AC/DC Lane graffiti is ever-changing. Like this (below). Cherry Bar is the watering hole for big-name musicians on tour in Melbourne. You never know who you’ll bump into at the bar.

 

AC/DC Lane, Melbourne.
AC/DC Lane, Melbourne.

 

FROM AC/DC TO SKYHOOKS AND ELVIS COSTELLO
The Melbourne Music Walk offers historical venues, rock routes, sticky carpets and music laneways. The walking time is 1.5 hours and covers a distance of 3.5 kilometres.

Melbourne has featured in many music clips over the years including: AC/DC It’s A Long Way To The Top (1975) Skyhooks This Is My City (1976) John Paul Young Yesterday’s Hero (1975) The Mixtures The Pushbike Song (1970) Elvis Costello I Wanna Be Loved (1984) The Meanies It’s A Long Way To The Top (1995) The Cat Empire Steal The Light (2013) Courtney Barnett Elevator Operator (2016). See the website for the map and the scoop on the city.

THE CHRISSY AMPHLETT WALK 2018

 

Amphlett Lane, Melbourne viewed by Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen (Instagram).
Amphlett Lane, Melbourne viewed by Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen (Instagram).

Pictured here are Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen at Amphlett Lane, the laneway off Little Bourke Street named in honour of the late, great, Chrissy Amphlett. The podcast, map and walking tour celebrating key places in her life in Melbourne will be available in 2018. (Instagram). Bookmark this website to stay updated.

TRIPLE J MELBOURNE WALKING TOUR PODCAST

This podcast starts at The Espy in St. Kilda as host Dom Alessio takes you on a music walking tour of Melbourne, meeting with locals Big Scary, The Smith Street Band, Saskwatch and more at key locations around the city. Another good free audio guide to Australian music.

MELBOURNE MUSIC CITY – VIDEO GUIDES
Bruce Milne is the best-known music historian in Melbourne and these free video guides take in some of the city’s most iconic locations, beginning with Archie Roach (below) and Gertrude Street. Don’t miss Bruce’s knowledgeable on-camera tours. All free.

The YouTube Channel is here.

The Models, Split Enz, Paul Kelly, Painters and Dockers, Lobby Lloyd and more are all part of Bruce’s unique, filmed snapshots.

ARCHIE

 

GERTRUDE STREET, MELBOURNE AND INDIGENOUS MUSIC

Gertrude Street, Fitzroy was an important hub for Indigenous musicians like Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach and The Workers’ Club, formerly the Rob Roy, still has bands today.

THE AC/DC HOUSE AT 6 LANSDOWNE ROAD, EAST ST KILDA
Bruce Milne continues this series of short YouTube clips with the 24-hour party house where half the bands in Melbourne would end up late at night. Was Whole Lotta Rosie also written here?

 

 

BRISBANE AND THE SAINTS – WALK THIS WAY

While Melbourne and Sydney are literally streets ahead with various music walk options – Brisbane is not far behind.  Ed Kuepper Park will link Oxley Road and Lawson Street, thanks to a petition campaign begun by Maurice Murphy.

The Go-Betweens’ John Willsteed successfully campaigned for The Saints’ rehearsal space/ house on the corner of Petrie Terrace and Milton Road to be honoured with a mural. This was also the home of Chris Bailey, Ivor Hay and Jeffrey Wegener who went on to drum for Laughing Clowns. The wall was daubed with the legend ‘Club 76’ by Kuepper.

 Everyone knows about The Brisbane Sound.  Let us know if you hear about a Brisbane Walk at @ammptv on Twitter. 

 

Just Keep Walking, Brisbane.
Just Keep Walking, Brisbane.

PERTH – AC/DC AND BON SCOTT  TOURS

Download guides to Perth and Fremantle, stamping ground of Bon Scott, free at this website. The Highway to Hell guide reveals where it all started. Don’t miss it. And – if you’re creating a new music walk of know of one we’ve missed, please let us know in Comments.

 

BON

 

 

The Thumping Tum and Bernhart’s

 

 The Thumping Tum and Bernhart’s

There was once a little Melbourne club which was so groovy it got its own song – and dance. The classic Sixties Australian garage rock single you can hear above, dedicated to the Thumping Tum  was recently valued at nearly $1000.

By 1978 The Thumping Tum had become the Melbourne punk venue Bernhart’s and in 1978 not only The Boys Next Door but also Young Charlatans played gigs there, with Nick Cave and Rowland S. Howard in the room.

This is part of the story. Nothing remains of the historic music venue today. Apartments have been built in its place.

Story – Jessica Adams. Pictures, below, by Henry Talbot.

 

The Thumping Tum captured by Henry Talbot.
The Thumping Tum captured by Henry Talbot. It became Bernhart’s in the punk era.

Henry Talbot The Thumping Tum

Groovy! The Thumping Tum by Henry Talbot (State Library Victoria).

Under the Umbrellas

The groovy Thumping Tum of inner-city Melbourne was the only place to be in the Sixties and Seventies with gigs under the umbrellas, by The Masters’ Apprentices,  Max Merritt and the Meteors, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs.

Wander down Little Latrobe Street in Melbourne today and all you will see is apartments and cranes, but in the Sixties and Seventies, The Thumping Tum (which inspired that $1000 worth of great Australian single, in the YouTube clip above) had queues stretching to Swanston Street.

This is a modern homage poster (below) to The Thumping Tum, below (Pinterest). According to those who were there in the Sixties, it was a place for magic acts, toasted sandwiches, sleeping bags and incense – as well as unforgettable Australian music.

 

Loved Ones at Thumping Tum Pinterest Martinis for Modernists

 

The Thumping Tum was  decorated with inverted umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, a concept dreamed up by Myer window display staff who ran the place.  This is a rare photograph (below) of the Thumping Tum ceiling, from Go-Set.  

This Melbourne gig guide below, shows where it was all happening with gigs by Max Merritt and the Meteors (photographed at The Thumping Tum, below). The David Bentley Trio played there too.  

 

THUMPIN TUM IN GO SET GO SET BLOG

TUM MAX MERRIT BILLY THORPE

Max Merritt and the Meteors (Jordie Kilby) from abc.net.au
Max Merritt and the Meteors (Jordie Kilby) from abc.net.au
The David Bentley trio at The Thumping Tum from nickwarburton.com
The David Bentley trio at The Thumping Tum from nickwarburton.com

Barefoot Drummers

The Thumping Tum was the club where the backdrop kept changing, in pace with the music.  It would eventually become an inner-city punk space for what writer Clinton Walker would eventually describe as The Inner City Sound.

Back in 1971, though,  when Carson were playing at The Thumping Tum, the wall mural had changed from late Sixties flower power and psychedelia to a rising sun. That was one its many incarnations, pictured below.

Broderick Smith, one of the best-known names from that time, has archived this photograph by Harley Parker of Carson at the Tum on his website.

Note the barefoot drummer. The Thumping Tum evolved from being the kind of ‘discotheque’ where bands like The Purple Hearts would spend the night – to a blues venue, home to Wendy Saddington (below) and Chain, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and more local luminaries.

 

1971 photo Harley Parker - Carson at The Thumping Tum Broderick Smith brodericksmith com

THUMPIN TUM NEW

 

Michael Browning

Michael Browning became famous for managing AC/DC but his recent book, Dog Eat Dog, is also a brilliant recollection of what it was like to run clubs in Sixties and Seventies Melbourne.

Thumping Tum advertisement from The Toorak Times.
Thumping Tum advertisement from The Toorak Times.


Myer window-display staffers Ken Moat and Ron Eden
dreamed up The Thumping Tum in 1966 and found an old bluestone factory at 50 Little La Trobe Street, which had been a pub before. They also dreamed up a slogan. ‘Go-go to be seen at this swinging frugging scene.’ It was ten shillings to get in.

The  umbrellas had been bought at a railway lost property auction. There were Tiffany lampshades. It was Melbourne bohemia. Writing in Dog Eat Dog, Browning recalls, ‘The clientele was a mix of very cool and edgy art students, serious music lovers, pill heads and hipsters.’

Chrissy Amphlett

Before Chrissy Amphlett became a rock star she was a hippie, playing songs like St. James Infirmary on her autoharp. This photograph, and her memories of The Thumping Tum, are from her autobiography, Pleasure and Pain (Hodder).

Chrissy moved from Geelong to Melbourne with a friend, Alison Baker, and they became close in the big city. And Alison had connections.

Chrissy Amphlett: “Her cousin, David Flint, owned the Thumping Tum which with its red velvet curtains and antique furniture, vied with Bertie’s and Sebastian’s to be the best Melbourne nightclub of the time.”

Chrissy hippy from autobiography

 

Doing The Thump

David Pepperell is one of the unsung heroes of Australian music. Not only did he sing on that garage-band classic The Thump  in his band, The Union (creating the sound with Trevor Lunn), he also found a choreographer named Antonio Rodriguez to organise the accompanying dance.  A boxer named Leo Young was on the  Tum door, working as a bouncer.

It was a time when you could turn up in a purple velvet jacket to see a band like Baron Burke and the Undertakers. Some crawled out of their boarding school windows and hitch rides to go and see gigs at 50 Little Latrobe St. In  1965 Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs filmed a Coca Cola advertisement there.

Pepperell remembers, “To me, the Thumpin’ Tum was the premier venue in Melbourne’s 1960’s discotheque scene. Although it had live bands and was not, strictly speaking, a discotheque, records were played over a sound system in the band breaks  and it was copied from venues so popular in France in the mid 60’s. The Tum opened in 1965. First group on Saturday night was The Groop, of course, Melbourne’s coolest band.

Across town, Michael Browning was running Bertie’s and Sebastian’s, waiting for Angus Young and Bon Scott to arrive –  but from 1965-1970 David Flint was running the show at The Thumping Tum and tending to inner-city Bohemia.  As he told Peter Barrett at The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘This place was going to be different. Not only was it for young people but it wasn’t in a town hall, it wasn’t a jazz club, it wasn’t a pop music club, it was a club to dance to music.’

 Ian Rilen was also in the Tum crowd watching (and being influenced by) Yuk Harrison playing bass with Max Merritt and the Meteors, according to author and music historian Clinton Walker. This photograph of a Thumping Tum staff member is from the definitive book about Australia in the psychedelic era, 1966-1970 called Tomorrow is Today, edited by Iain McIntyre. Wendy Saddington, who sang at the Tum and also wrote the problem page for Go-Set, was a fixture at the club.

Thumping Tum staff member. From Tomorrow is Today (Iain McIntyre).
Thumping Tum staff member. From Tomorrow is Today (Iain McIntyre).
WENDY SADDINGTON, COVER OF GO-SET
WENDY SADDINGTON, COVER OF GO-SET

Lobby Loyde

Lobby Loyde, speaking to Patrick Donovan at The Age in 2006, remembered “When you came on at 2.00am at The Thumping Tum, the crowd was full of bands, roadies, journos, guys from the business, the fans. You’d never make any money but it was a hell of a night of music.” Loyde would go on to produce albums for The Sunnyboys, X and Painters and Dockers after his own career with Coloured Balls.

What Makes the Town Thump?

This advertisement from the February 2nd 1966 edition of Go-Set shows the iconic umbrellas from The Thumping Tum (which was by then being called the Thumpin’ Tum, dropping the g). The question posed was ‘What makes the town thump?’ The answer was ‘the uninhibited.’ You can see the TUM sign on the left of the photograph, from Harley Parker’s definitive Miles Ago website.

 

Thumping Tum advertisement from Go-Set.
Thumping Tum advertisement from Go-Set.

 

Photograph of The Thumping Tum at 50 Little Latrobe Street from Miles Ago (Harley Parker)
Photograph of The Thumping Tum at 50 Little Latrobe Street from Miles Ago (Harley Parker). The Thumping Tum and Bernhart’s would both occupy the same bluestone space.

Punk

The Thumping Tum eventually morphed into a punk venue. The bluestone building at 50-52 Little Latrobe Street reverberated to the sound of The Blank Generation.  Bands like News dragged their guitars up Little Latrobe Street. A benefit gig for the fanzine Pulp was held here. Rowland S. Howard illustrated the Pulp masthead.

For more on Bernhardt’s/Bernhart’s please see these excellent websites  and don’t miss Punk Journey or Clinton Walker’s record of Pulp (which he set up with Melbourne music historian Bruce Milne)  and fanzines in Australia.

The photograph of The Boys Next Door in 1978 is by Michael Lawrence from the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. Pinterest and social media are also good sources for punk era publications.

News at Bernhart's 50 Little Latrobe St Melbourne.

PULP BENEFIT POSTER clintonwalker com Michael Lawrence 1978 The Boys Next Door www portrait gov au punkjourney com Young Charlatans 1978 The Thumping Tum became Bernharts at 50-52 Little Latrobe St Masthead logo by Rowland S Howard Clinton walker com PULP

Little Latrobe Street Today

Today in Little Latrobe Street, thumping drums have been replaced by thumping cranes.  The City of Melbourne has fixed a sign saying Literature Lane to the laneway coming off Little Latrobe Street, but there is no plaque remembering Go-Set magazine (founded at The Thumping Tum) or the novelist Lily Brett, employed as a writer there. There is no acknowledgement of novelist Nick Cave who played at 50 Little Latrobe Street in its Bernhart’s days.

 

Jim Keays (The Masters’ Apprentices) became a painter in the second half of his life and once said he would like to paint the old haunts of the band. “There was the Thumping Tum in Melbourne where I wouldn’t mind revisiting with my paint brush,” he said.

The umbrellas are gone, but the melody – and the influence of the club – lingers on.

Buy Pleasure and Pain by Chrissy Amphlett
Buy Dog Eat Dog by Michael Browning

 

50 Little La Trobe Street 2017

50 Little Latrobe street in 2017 – the Tum bluestone, demolished.