Tag Archives: Painters and Dockers

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.


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)



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.


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).


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 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
Skyhooks poster 1970s
Skyhooks poster 1970s

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

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.

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
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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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


Follow @ammptv on Twitter and send us your map suggestions.

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

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.