Tag Archives: Clinton Walker

Rowland S. Howard Lane



Rowland S. Howard Lane is now on the map in St. Kilda, Melbourne thanks to a campaign by Nick Haines and Rowland’s friends, family and fans.  

Rowland’s blood-stained guitar is in the archives at The Australian Music Vault. The rest can be found around the city of Melbourne and as far away as Ballarat.

Remembering Rowland


A number of photographers and painters have captured Rowland S. Howard over the years.

Top: Rowland S. Howard with The Birthday Party, photographed for the NME in 1981.

Artist Casey Tosh created another lane for Rowland in Ballarat, home town of Warren Ellis.

A Day in the Life of Rowland S. Howard appeared in photographer Peter Milne’s exhibition, Juvenilia, at Strange Neighbour in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

The laneway sign is the only typographical tribute to Melbourne’s most famous guitarist. Seen here being carried across St. Kilda with Nick Haines and friends, ahead of the official opening by Minister Martin Foley.

The February 27th-March 28th 2015 Juvenilia exhibition by Peter Milne at Strange Neighbour in Fitzroy highlighted the life and work of Rowland S. Howard, Nick Cave, Tracey Pew and other members of The Birthday Party’s inner circle, at the start of their career.


Rowland S. Howard with The Birthday Party NME 1981.
Rowland S. Howard with The Birthday Party NME 1981.


Rowland S. Howard Lane – one of many ways Australia remembers him.

Rowland S. Howard on Studio 22

This clip shows Rowland introduced by  Australian music journalist and author Clinton Walker on the ABC-TV program Studio 22.



An Interview with Nick Haines


How does Rowland fit into the Melbourne and particularly St. Kilda music scene?

Nick Haines: In the late 70’s when the “new music” was sweeping the world St Kilda became something of a hub for this new sound. So much so that it earned the nickname Berlin by the sea.  Rowland’s contribution to the originality of the Melbourne scene at this time is a matter of record.

A fan who signed the petition lobbying for a laneway in his name, said Rowland was ‘One of the greatest guitarists in rock ‘n’ roll, anywhere in the world.’ Why do you think his guitar work mattered so much to music and musicians?

I’m not a guitarist so it’s hard for me to answer from a musician’s point of view on why his work mattered, but in my opinion Rowland showed other guitarists that you create your own sound and stick with it. But like I said, it’s hard for me to answer from a musician’s point of view.

What have been the highs and lows involved in the process of getting the lane way up? Where do things stand right now?

It’s been a long battle but I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. The low is, I never imagined that an unnamed laneway with no street address on it couldn’t be named with two names as it was too difficult for emergency services. To me it just seemed like bureaucracy gone mad. Almost like something out of an episode of Yes Minister. I mean seriously…. “Rowland S. Howard Lane” as opposed to the “unnamed laneway between Jackson Street and Eildon Road opposite the Jackson Street carpark!?” Which is more difficult?

The high, without a doubt, has been the hugely moving global support for a tribute laneway for Rowland, from noteworthy musicians through to fans in Asia, Europe, UK, USA and Australia. Their words and measure of love for him and his work motivated me to persist through the red tape and to keep going.

Here is another petition comment from a fan of Rowland’s – ‘Even though the St Kilda that Rowland impacted is mostly painted over by jeans shops and fancy restaurants, his influence is still strong between the cracks and in the shadows and makes perfect sense to name the street after him.’ And Shannon Rowe wrote, ‘Roland was a regular customer at our cafe, Miss Jackson in Jackson Street. Who was the Rowland S. Howard you remember and what was he really like? How did you get to know him and how did the friendship continue through his illness? And for fans visiting St. Kilda, are there are any other cafes he frequented?

Rowland was a regular fixture with his daily strolls down Fitzroy Street. Many locals knew him well by these without knowing of his background in music. I know Rowland frequented Miss Jackson a lot also he and I spent more hours together talking and drinking coffee than I care to admit at the Pelican.

Did you ever discuss a laneway memorial with Rowland?

I never discussed death or dying with Rowland, because he wanted to live and work and play forever. The idea of a tribute laneway occurred to me on my way to his funeral, not before he died. I wanted him to live and play forever too.

Your thoughts about Autoluminescent, the documentary about Rowland made by Richard Lowenstein? Is that the Rowland you knew?

Very much. The later one-on-one camera interviews with him I found very hard to watch as that was the Rowland I knew best. My wife and I got very teary during those shots.

Watch the Autoluminescent trailer again from Ghost Pictures, here, posted at YouTube.

What is your favourite Rowland S. Howard music?

My top three would be Exit Everything (off Teenage Snuff Film), Hyperspace (off the These Immortal Souls album – Never Gonna Die Again and Golden Age of Bloodshed (Off Pop Crimes)

Anything else you’d like to say here? Thank you Nick.

Considering the rich musical and arts heritage that Melbourne has I hope this sets a precedent for other musicians and artists who have made a significant contribution to be honoured similarly.

Rowland S. Howard Lane, Ballarat created by Casey Tosh.

Rowland S. Howard These Immortal Souls II









SONGS – I’m Stranded




“It was our first adventure in a recording studio. 
I recall it all felt rather natural. Drink and go to work”

Christ Bailey, 2001 speaking to MOJO

(I’m) Stranded is the first Australian punk single.  Speaking to Andrew P. Street at Faster Louder, Chris Bailey said:

” I know that years ago I refused to play [debut single] ’(I’m) Stranded’ because I thought it was the most boring song I’d ever heard – well, that’s not strictly true, it’s actually an OK tune – but people even had t-shirts printed up that said “Play Stranded, You Bastard” [laughs]. But I remember there was one tour and there were all these Hitler Youth looking kids going “play ‘Stranded’! Play ‘Stranded’!” so we did, and nobody noticed.”

Chris Bailey on Triple J, 1985

 “With Stranded I was chuffed because it was a record and it had my picture on it. I was young and I didn’t know any better.”

Andrew Stafford, in The Guardian

“Then there was the video, which begins with the unintended metaphor of drummer Ivor Hay kicking open a door. The band are playing in an abandoned building on inner city Petrie Terrace, Bailey singing in front of a fireplace with the words “(I’m) Stranded” daubed above in red letters, which would form the backdrop for the cover of the Saints’ debut album of the same name, released in February 1977.”


Rat Scabies, The Damned:

“One of the things that made punk very valid was, when you consider The Saints were doing the same in Australia at the same time and the Ramones in New York, it was obvious that people wanted to do it all over the world. The Saints were totally removed from everything going on anywhere else. They couldn’t get Sounds or NME in Australia. The synchronicity was amazing.”


“I got the single, released on the band’s Fatal label, the next day and I wish I’d bought twenty and was now slowly selling them on eBay.”


“The Saints had a genuine gut level contempt for everything going – it was very Australian, it was very different from the English punk thing. (I’m) Stranded gave me and a lot of people around me a kind of soundtrack to the way we wanted to live, it gave us a licence to behave in a certain way.’

DAVID NICHOLS : Dig: Australian Rock and Pop Music 1960-1985

Ed Kuepper: “I was working at Astor Records as a storeman and noticed boxes of private pressings – mostly country tunes by truck drivers. Having our own label seemed like the sensible way to get a record out. We conducted a poll among our fans as to which songs would most likely become a hit and ‘Stranded’ got the most votes. I can’t remember if we rigged the poll.’


SONGS (I'm) Stranded by The Saints on Fatal Records.
SONGS (I’m) Stranded by The Saints on Fatal Records.


All The Punks Bought It

The Clash in the NME. Bernie Rhodes bought (I'm) Stranded in bulk.
The Clash in the NME. Bernie Rhodes bought (I’m) Stranded in bulk.

BARRY MILES “All the punks bought it. Bernie Rhodes, the manager of The Clash, had a box of them and gave me one just two weeks after release. “ (London Calling: A Countercultural History of London Since 1945)


“The Saints had been developing in near-isolation for three years but it took just one review in Sounds to make their career.”

Jon Savage in Hero Magazine: 

“I came out of university, and into a recession. I couldn’t see how I could have the life I wanted to have. Anybody that was into rock music in around 1975 had a real sense that something was going to happen. When the first Ramones album came out in 76 I thought, “Whoa, this is it.” I was obsessed with them, and The Saints’ record, I’m Stranded. It’s a great record, the singer just didn’t give a shit.”


SONGS (I'm) Stranded by The Saints reviewed by John Ingham.
SONGS (I’m) Stranded by The Saints reviewed by John Ingham.


Rock historian Glenn A. Baker records how Boomtown Rat Bob Geldof told him: “Rock music in the ’70s was changed by three bands—the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and the Saints”.

Ed Kuepper to Joe MateraAustralian Guitar, 2004

JM: You actually did two sessions for I’m Stranded. Did you use the same gear for both sessions?

EK: “No, the first session we did at Window Studios in Brisbane, was for the single ‘(I’m) Stranded’ b/w ‘No Time’ in June, 1976 about six months before we did the rest of the album. For the single, which was engineered by Mark Moffat, we went in, set-up and recorded it and mixed that same night. Everything was done in about five hours and it’s the original single which appears on the album. On the first session, I used a Fender Twin amp and Gibson SG with no effects whatsoever, I just cranked the amp up.”

CLINTON WALKER – “When Kid Galahad and the Etemals became the Saints back in Brisbane in the mid seventies,there wasn’t even a scene they could crash into. Eventually, with bassist Kym BradShaw in tow, they wound-up playing at parties they would throw themselves.”

MARK MOFFATT “In London, I worked in a guitar shop and people would bring in their amps to sell for cash,” Moffatt recalls. “I could hear this thunderous noise upstairs so I went to see what was making it and bought the amp that afternoon.”

Moffatt, a guitarist in the Carol Lloyd Band, had recorded in Sydney, where he picked up tips about microphone placement.

“There was a cement hallway at the studio, so for The Saints I put a microphone in there. You can hear that in the chorus of No Time where it takes off. I still hear that now and go ‘Wow’.”

Great Australian Albums – I’m Stranded


Chris Bailey in the famous Petrie Terrace house.
Chris Bailey in the famous Petrie Terrace house.

Great Australian Albums – I’m Stranded is free to watch on YouTube.
With interviews with Chris Bailey, Ed Kuepper,  Nick Cave, Rob Younger (Radio Birdman), Damien Lovelock (The Celibate Rifles) and many more, this is the definitive documentary on the band, the single and the album.  Written by Toby Creswell ; produced by Toby Creswell &​ Larry Meltzer ; executive producers Martin Fabinyi &​ Michael Gudinski. Originally screened on SBS-TV.


Songs - (I'm) Stranded on Apple and Amazon
Songs – (I’m) Stranded on Apple and Amazon

Songs – (I’m) Stranded on Apple and Amazon





The Brisbane Music Trail

The Saints’ Brisbane Mural


The Saints are to be honoured in a $60,000 mural on the north side of Upper Roma Street in Brisbane, near the band’s Petrie Terrace share house and rehearsal space, nicknamed Club 76.  Rented by Ivor Hay, the original Saints’ house stood opposite the local police station. Ed Kuepper supplied the iconic red graffiti.


Chris Bailey in the famous Petrie Terrace house.
The Saints founding Australian punk rock in Brisbane.


The Brisbane Music Trail

The Saints mural will be part of a new Brisbane music trail, including former George Street rock venues (Brisbane’s Curry Shop) and be developed over a decade with  venues, practice rooms, apartments, homes, galleries and, of course, musicians – with digital place markers, according to  The Brisbane Times. 

It could have stories from Cloudland, which was flattened for developers.

Fans of The Go-Betweens will recognise Dr John Willsteed as the man behind Brisbane’s new music trail.

Years ago, he was John E, an artist and musician in some of Brisbane’s most inventive bands; Zero, then Xero, then the Go-Betweens and now, Halfway.

Today, Dr Willsteed is the senior lecturer in the Creative Industries faculty at the Queensland University of Technology.

I’m Stranded on the Brisbane Music Trail

The Saints’ famous  DIY single, I’m Stranded,  laboriously sent out by mail-order by singer Ed Kuepper, sells for $1881 on eBay although it was recorded for around $200 in 1976.

The single – and the site of Club 76 itself – officially makes Brisbane the birthplace of Australian punk, something the Queensland government seems happy to recognise these days, though it was very different when Joh Bjelke-Petersen was Premier.

Former Go-Betweens bass player John Willsteed drove the campaign for The Saint’s Brisbane mural in 2017, persuading  Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to put the band on the map.

The Go-Betweens have already been honoured in the city, by the Go Between Bridge, which links Hale Street in Milton to Montague Road in South Brisbane.

The launch of Ed Kuepper Park, also announced recently, at Oxley Road and Lawson Street, was successful after local fan Maurice Murphy drove a petition.

Kuepper’s parents’ garage was the band’s first rehearsal space – and his parents’ home in Oxley provided the contact address for the vinyl. As he was later to suggest on a solo release, the young Kuepper was in fact a Mail Order Bridegroom, giving birth to Australian punk in Queensland. This photograph  (below) of the young Saints in North Sydney is from Kuepper’s Twitter feed, photographed by Violet Hamilton.

Ed Kuepper I Was a Mail Order Bridegroom
Ed Kuepper I Was a Mail Order Bridegroom
The Saints at Berry Street, North Sydney photographed by Violet Hamilton (Twitter - Ed Kuepper)
The Saints at Berry Street, North Sydney photographed by Violet Hamilton (Twitter – Ed Kuepper)

Petrie Terrace, Brisbane

The Petrie Terrace area of Brisbane is also part of the history of The Go-Betweens, who played Baroona Hall in an early $5 gig. This poster comes from the excellent Live Delay website. Baroona Hall at 15 Caxton Street, Petrie Terrace is now heritage listed. The Saint’s Brisbane mural will now add to that heritage.




June 12th, 1976 and the Brisbane Music Trail

The June 12th, 1976 recording of I’m Stranded  makes it the first punk single ever released in Australia and one of the first punk recordings anywhere in the world.

Kuepper played through Mark Moffatt’s 1960 Fender Super amp, purchased in London. A microphone placed in a concrete hallway helped the sound, according to Moffatt.

The single was recorded at Window Studios in West End, owned by Bruce Window, in  Brisbane. Only 500 copies were pressed. The State Library of Queensland now owns one of them.

The mixing desk upon which I’m Stranded was recorded,  was sent to a tip in Tasmania. It’s a sad story all too typical in Australia.

The 24-channel desk was purchased by Nick Armstrong and placed in Hobart’s Spectangle Productions in the late Seventies. He paid $4000 for it. Later, it was given free to anyone who wanted it and this piece of Australian history was driven away in a Kingswood by Hobart ABC staff Steve Jay and Graham Himmelhoch-Mutton. It was pronounced ‘rooted’ and was then gutted and sent to the local tip.  It remains dormant in Hobart. A punk rock volcano.

The Country Connection

The Saint’s first album was produced by New Zealander Rod Coe who had 40 albums with Slim Dusty to his credit.

Andrew Stafford gives indispensable background on The Saints’ presence in Queensland, in his Brisbane music bible, Pig City.

Kuepper was working at Astor Records as Sales Representative for Northern Queensland, which meant receiving tapes of country and western music from amateur musicians, and turning them into vinyl. Before that, he had worked in an abbatoir.

It was only when he’d left Astor that he realised that The Saints could do exactly what unknown country and western singers in Queensland were doing and take a DIY, hands-on approach.

Some copies of I’m Stranded would go to Rocking Horse and Discreet Records in Brisbane. Others would be posted to England, notably Sounds, which gave them one of the best-known reviews in music press history (below). John Ingham made it SOUNDS SINGLE OF THIS AND EVERY WEEK on October 16th, 1976 so the stamps from Brisbane had been worth every cent.

Kuepper printed his parents’ address in Oxley as The Saints’ mailing address. Cash envelopes arrived, for the single which had been mastered and pressed in Melbourne at Astor Records, probably cut by Frank Hulbert, according to Kuepper’s source Donat Tahiraj.

Send 90p to Eternal Productions

Anyone in Britain willing to send a 90p postal order to Eternal Productions, Oxley, 4075, Queensland Australia back in October 1976 was making a great investment. Robert Forster, writing in his autobiography Grant and I, was an early Brisbane purchaser (and Saints fan) and says he wished he’d bought multiple copies, if only for the eBay returns.

I'm Stranded by The Saints. Sounds Single of This Week and Every Week.
I’m Stranded by The Saints. Sounds Single of This Week and Every Week.

Kid Galahad

David Nichols writes – anyone who ordered a copy of I’m Stranded by mail-order in 1976 also received a request to write back, if they were interested in either The Saints – or Sixties bands.

This interest in the Sixties and Fifties was a hallmark of Seventies punk rock, all over the world. The Saints began life as Kid Galahad and the Eternals – a reference to the Elvis Presley Film, Kid Galahad, according to  author Clinton Walker. Eternal Productions of Oxley also nodded to the film.


Ghost Ships

It’s now four decades since Club 76 in Brisbane. A map of The Saints’ old stamping ground is now etched on limited-edition effects pedals.

The work of Chris Bailey (in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints) gives people who are new to the band a second-wave experience.  The clip below, from Rockarena, is a reminder of a band whose individual members sailed on, having launched their ships all those years ago at Club 76. Buy The Best of the Saints here.


Effects pedals with a Stranded map.
Effects pedals with a Stranded map.

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.  




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



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).

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.


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.