Tag Archives: Elvis Costello

Festival Hall Collectables

Festival Hall Collectables

 

Renovate, wreck or ruin? Australia’s Festival Halls (including Melbourne Festival Hall, intended for high-rise apartments) have a chequered history.

They are also part of an emerging movement in Australian poster art collectables. Even tickets are now collectors’ items as museums and private owners snap them up.

1987-12-08_Melbourne_ticket_a36 8157464208_7786b84aed_b Festival Hall BOB DYLAN ETC

Festival Hall Bootlegs

The Festival Halls qualify for among ‘world’s most bootlegged’ as venues, but what’s the story behind the famous chain?

Dylan

Plastered – Murray Walding with Nick Vukovic

It’s becoming a familiar story in Australia, that the books, vinyl, eBay auction items and other memorabilia which celebrates a fast-fading musical history – is increasing in value. Meanwhile iconic venues and their continuing contribution to Australia’s bands, are downgraded in price. In comes the wrecking ball.

Of all the collectable books about music venues, Plastered by Murray Walding and Nick Vukovic (The Miegunyah Press, 2005)  is one of the most valuable.

The silkscreen printing industry that spawned early posters for venues was given a particularly good run by the Festival Hall chain around Australia. In fact, The Johnny O’Keefe Spectacular (part of the Hi-Fi Club) of the 1950s had one of its earliest outings at Festival Hall, Melbourne, promoted on a silkscreen poster.

Jazz acts like Kenny Ball (these kinds of posters are now in private collections or galleries) were also promoted at ‘the Festivals’ (below, from Plastered).

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Boxing and Festival Hall Melbourne

In its time, the boxing at Festival Hall, Melbourne was as big as some of the bands who came later.  Boxing-format posters were copied for the emerging Fifties music industry in Australia. Little or no artwork, derived from fight advertising, they were cheap and basic at the time but are now rare pieces of Australian cultural history.

The Festival Halls

“Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney all boasted a “Festival Hall”, venues all owed by Stadiums Limited. These cavernous stadiums were often all that were on offer when promoters brought touring acts to Australia, and all of them had wonderful colourful histories.”

 

DYLAN 20 APRIL 1966
“Melbourne’s version was originally built in 1912 as a boxing and wrestling venue. After a fire in 1955, it was rebuilt in time to serve as the venue for the boxing, weightlifting and wrestling events at the 1956 Olympics. Like its contemporaries, it was built of sturdy brick, iron and tin.”

The Demolitions

Sydney’s Festival Hall was demolished in 1973. Brisbane’s Festival Hall remained as a venue until 2003 – and Melbourne’s fell to the axe, officially, on Tuesday 23rd January, 2018.  Game over? Australian music collectors will take an interest, whatever happens.

 

ANGELS-CHEAP-TRICK-Festival-Hall-Melbourne-28th-August-1990-Ticket-Stub

Australian Music Plaques

Australian Music Plaques

Australian music plaques are few and far between. Yet, Lygon Street in Melbourne would the  place for a plaque for  Shirley Strachan, who made certain parts of Melbourne his own, thanks to classic Skyhooks songs.

A Plaque For Countdown?

For a small industry, Australian music has achieved big things across the world. It has also lost a lot of people along the way.  Countdown alone, situated at the old ABC Studios in Ripponlea, might deserve the biggest plaque of all – so long is the roll-call of names. Doc Neeson is just one of them.

 

Doc Neeson
Doc Neeson

Unforgettable Names in Australian Music

 

This is just a small selection of the Australian musicians who you might think deserve a plaque. Even if, like Grant McLennan, they already have a bridge.

Doc Neeson and Chris Bailey, The Angels
Greg Ham, Men at Work
Michael Hutchence, Max Q, INXS
Chrissy Amphlett, Divinyls
Guy McDonough and Brad Robinson, Australian Crawl
James Freud, The Models
Steve Gilpin, Mi-Sex
Harvey James and Clive Shakespeare, Sherbet
Dallas Royall, Peter Wells, Ian Rilen, Mick Cocks
Lobby Loyde, Neil Smith, Rose Tattoo
Ted Mulry, The Ted Mulry Gang
Neil Storey, Paul Hewson and Marc Hunter, Dragon
Grant McLennan, The Go-Betweens
Tracey Pew, The Birthday Party

 Australian Music Plaques – one for Tracey Pew? (Pictured)

Tracey Pew, The Birthday Party.
Tracey Pew, The Birthday Party.

 

PAVEMENT TRIBUTES

Powderfinger are part of the Walk of Fame in Brisbane. Little Pattie and other surf icons are celebrated in the streets of Kings Cross outside a lost venue. Cold Chisel are also remembered in Kings Cross outside Sweethearts, which Don Walker made his own in the 1970s.

 

Little Pattie Kings Cross

Little Pattie Kings Cross

 

Sweethearts Plaque Kings Cross April 29 2014
Sweethearts Plaque Kings Cross April 29 2014
Beatles Plaques? Remembering the Australian Tour

 

Beatles Slept Here
Beatles Slept Here

The Beatles slept here. This Australian Women’s Weekly magazine article from 1964 celebrates the group’s stay at The Southern Cross Hotel. Worthy of a plaque? Or should it be outside Melbourne Town Hall, where the band once stopped traffic on Swanston Street? This is the piano Paul McCartney played on, below.

Melbourne Town Hall piano played by Sir Paul McCartney
Melbourne Town Hall piano played by Sir Paul McCartney
Elvis Costello Was Here – at Flinders Street Station
Elvis Costello I Wanna Be Loved Flinders St Station

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should Flinders Street Station, Melbourne receive a plaque for Elvis Costello, as the site for his famous video, I Wanna Be Loved? Or is it more appropriate that a digital plaque be created for Painters and Dockers, who commemorated the place in the classic song, The Boy Who Lost His Jocks on Flinders Street Station?

 

Mulry to Saddington – Gone, Not Forgotten

Let us know on Twitter who deserves a plaque in a place they called their own. Ted Mulry? Wendy Saddington?

TedMulryplaque

MarcHunterplaque

JohnnyRebbplaque

WendySaddington_blueplaque

LynneRandell_blueplaque