Tag Archives: You Am I

Legendary Australian Venues

 

Save The Palace rally, November 2014.
Save The Palace rally, November 2014. One of several legendary Australian venues

Legendary Australian Venues

The campaigns around Australia, saving Australian music venues from demolition are part of an ongoing mission to preserve ‘living museum spaces’ which once gone – are gone forever. The Palace Theatre on Bourke Street, Melbourne (above) attracted over 30,000 people to its Save the Palace Facebook page. All ages and generations turned up to chalk protests about the destruction of the venue. In its place, developers plan a high-rise hotel.
Through petitions, crowdfunded legal battles, rallies and more, Australians are pushing back against the demolition of music venues in favour of high-rise inner-city apartments where once stood a ‘local’ with its own local bands. Pictured below – Australia music fans at The Esplanade (The Espy) in St. Kilda in the summer of 2016.

The Espy (Jessica Adams)
The Espy (Jessica Adams)

IMG_1313

 

Relaunching the Espy

The Espy, or Esplanade Hotel, St. Kilda, is an Australian institution, and in Melbourne – which many argue is the musical capital of the nation – it has become a symbol of everything musicians and music fans want to save. From the ceiling down. Locals celebrated the return of this sprawling venue, ripe for recreation. Heritage issues in Australia go beyond the bricks-and-mortar historic value of a venue, many argue. We’re talking about memories. Cultural and social living history. The Espy has been a Melbourne institution for generations.

 

The Espy Ballroom Ceiling
The Espy Ballroom Ceiling – saving Australian music venues, one chandelier at a time.

 

Andrew Street and Sarah Taylor on Venue Destruction

“The march toward transforming all of our nation’s cities into a Jenga-block landscape of apartment buildings has a lot of unexpected costs. They change airflow of our streets and recirculate car exhausts. They put massive localised strain onto sewerage systems. And they destroy rock’n’roll.”
Andrew Street, The Sydney Morning Herald.

Andrew Street is just one of many writers, academics, historians and music lovers around the country who have argued for the priceless investment in people and music – as opposed to the pricey (and polluting) cost of ‘Jenga’ development. Sarah Taylor is another.

SARAH TAYLOR

In the 1990s, Sydney was entering a well-documented decennium horribilis. By the late 1990s even the unofficial home-town booster band, The Whitlams, was singing (sadly) about their hometown more than in it. Speaking on radio in 1997, lead singer Tim Freedman commented that Melbourne had ‘a bigger sense of community, in pubs and being part of a crowd’, while inner-city Sydney had been ‘scattered to the wind’ … In addition, a variety of contemporary accounts point to a negative feeling in Sydney live music in the 1990s, depicting the city as a tough place to get a gig or find a friend…”

 

The Corkman Hotel Melbourne

The Corkman pub in Carlton, Melbourne became a symbol of the battle between developers and music fans when it was turned into asbestos dust after an illegal and shameful wrecking operation.

A long-standing home for Irish music in Victoria, The Corkman was also the occasional home of Ned Kelly’s judge and the local legal community – and a classic example of a piece of Melbourne history which has been trashed for apartments.

It is hoped, as the banners around the site proclaim, that The Corkman will rise again. The pink netting over the emergency fences erected to protect the asbestos-riddled, illegally-demolished pub remains – while in Victoria, a legal battle is set to be fought that will hopefully start a serious approach to the preservation of Australian history – and the conservation of the musician and music-lover’s natural habitat; the Great Australian Pub.

The Corkman will Rise Again.
The Corkman will Rise Again.

The Corkman Brick by bloody brick 24-10-2016 at 5.45 PM #2


Saved! The Landsdowne Hotel, Sydney

After years of uncertainty, The Lansdowne Hotel – home to generations of Sydney University students and their favourite bands – is coming back. (Images: Pinterest, Twitter, Rock Brat, ABC).

The Preatures plaque. Part of the #KeepSydneyOpen campaign on Twitter.
The Preatures plaque. Part of the #KeepSydneyOpen campaign on Twitter.
The Dubrovniks poster from Rock Brat.
The Dubrovniks poster from Rock Brat.
The Landsdowne Hotel (ABC)
The Landsdowne Hotel (ABC)
Photographs at Pinterest chosen by Narelle Kempton.
Photographs at Pinterest chosen by Narelle Kempton.

 

 

Resurrecting The Lansdowne in Sydney

The Lansdowne is an Australian hotel worth preserving and resurrecting. Steve Pavlovic, a Sydney promoter who would book Nirvana for an Australian tour –  before Nevermind  hit the charts – famously began his career as manager at The Lansdowne, on Sydney’s Broadway

The Living End, Mudhoney, Hard-Ons, Died Pretty, Go-Betweens and You Am I all played the art deco Lansdowne,  built in the 1920s, designed by prominent local architect Sidney Warden. Its state heritage listing describes it as a “prominent landmark”. Other pubs around Australia have not been so lucky and have met the bulldozers, ending memories – and sometimes, musicians’ careers.

The State Heritage listed Lansdowne had a history – like the ill-fated Corkman and Palace – of being much more than a music venue.  At times it was an occasional haunt of the Sydney Push, a group of young left-wing intellectuals that began congregating in the 1940s.

Without The Lansdowne – there would have been no Half A Cow. Swirl played at an open mic night at the Lansdowne Hotel, and attracted the attention of Nic Dalton, founder of  Half a Cow label (who was mixing all the bands that night). They were part of the “new breed” of Sydney bands that came in the wake of the success of Ratcat and The Hummingbirds.

You Am I and The Landsdowne


Why did Australia have such a healthy music industry as recently as the early 1990’s? Partly because musicians and their fans could afford to rent shared houses within stumbling distance of great pubs, with empty stages.

New Zealand-born Andy Kent (You Am I) was one of them.  A short walk away in Sheppard Street, Chippendale, was Tim Rogers. They spoke about the area to Triple J.

Tim Rogers –   It was pretty fortuitous that you (Andy) just lived up the road, actually. Talking about the soundtrack to a house, Mudhoney were a massive band for us when I was in that Sheppard Street.
Andy: And Bleach was huge.
Tim: That was a big one, my brother Jaimie loved it – he used to live there, and he’d either wanna be Andy’s best mate or suddenly have a turn like us Rogers boys are known to do… it happened all the time.
Andy: I remember he chucked everyone out once! I lived up the road, about 300 metres just on the left, and there was the Lansdowne, the Phoenician… all these great venues that had music happening. Everyone was living around here then; Annandale was far out in those days. You’d go to a pub here and they’d be people you know; you’d go to the Lansdowne or the Phoenician and there’d be people you know.

You Am I released their first EP Snake Tide at the Lansdowne Hotel on 3rd June 1991.  

The Palace Theatre – It’s Not Over Yet

The Palace Theatre, Melbourne, is still boarded up, ready for demolition, years after the first protests to save her, began.  Kate Ceberano is among many performers to have headlined at the venue, who has spoken out about the loss of heritage architecture. Patricia Amphlett, whose cousin Chrissy has a lane named after her, ending at the stage doors of The Palace, has also made a public statement. What’s next? Who knows. But as the campaigners behind Save the Palace say “It’s not over yet!”

“What a tragedy to have to lose such an iconic building with memories that can never be replaced.
It’s too easy to demolish and simply put something up in its place, but you can never replace the investment that has been made in that space. Every note, every ounce of sweat produced on that stage all forgotten…. “like tears in the rain”!  I’d like to think that Melbourne is a city that knows why it invests in its arts and culture…. Why stop at its heritage architecture, especially a building steeped in so much history?”


Kate Ceberano

Kate Ceberano Kensal-Road

 

Every great city of the world has great theatres. Like the Lyceum Theatre in London, The Palace has been an opera house, and a venue for rock bands – including Divinyls, featuring my cousin Chrissy Amphlett – and some great theatre. Like the Lyceum in London, The Palace has also gone through many incarnations. Unlike the Lyceum, sadly, it is not a listed building. As a member of the ARIA Hall of Fame together with Chrissy, I would like to note the number of other ARIA inductees who have performed at The Palace. Perhaps most importantly, The Palace has always been there for the people of Melbourne and the people of Australia as an icon spanning the generations. For the sake of generations past, present and future we should preserve it for music, art and theatre – which it has housed since 1912.

Patricia Amphlett OAM:
National President of Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and former Vice President of Actors’ Equity. Member of the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Patricia Amphlett

Collecting Australian Music

Naomi Dinnen's musical memories.
Naomi Dinnen’s musical memories.

Collecting Australian Music

Thanks to AC/DC but also obscure Australian artists like Leong Lau (his 1977 album is currently selling for $1574) the backstage passes, tickets, vinyl and other collectables from Down Under are now seen as a good investment.

Naomi Dinnen, part of whose personal collection was kindly  photographed by her for AMMP, had more than a decade in the music industry, successfully publishing an independent music magazine. She was a columnist for Rolling Stone, Drum Media, 3D World and Juice Magazines, worked for EMI Music and PolyGram Records.  Not everyone has a collection of laminates but they can and do turn up at street markets and garage sales – and on eBay.

 Collecting Go-Set Magazines

Go-Set magazines retail for around AUD$50 online. They are already preserved at The State Library of Victoria on film archives and at the National Film and Sound Archive. A copy of Go-Set bought in 1973 for 25 cents has increased in value 200 fold.

 

GERRY ON TV BILLY THORPE amazing_west_coast-lr_ruqkrmi

 

Collecting Nick Cave 

Nick Cave is one of the few Australian musicians to have crossed the threshold from ‘muso’ to sought-after museum, art gallery and library name. This famous photograph by Bleddyn Butcher (below) appeared in an exhibition on Australian Bohemia, presented at The State Library of Victoria.

Euchrid’s Crib, a gelatin silver photograph, taken in West Berlin on 3rd August 1985 captured Nick Cave when he was writing his novel And the Ass Saw the Angel  and Butcher’s title identifies the character from Cave’s book. This was both Cave’s  bedroom and study, complete with human hair.

When Australian musicians cross the line from gigs to galleries, libraries and museums, prices tend to rise accordingly.

This photograph of Nick Cave with Rowland S. Howard (and unfortunate cat) taken by Peter Milne was part of his superb Juvenilia exhibition at the Strange Neighbour gallery in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

Ballarat painter Casey Tosh captured Nick Cave in a portrait which has also found its way onto T-Shirts. He has also drawn Warren Ellis, a former Ballarat resident. The fact that Tosh has also created a whole laneway of street art dedicated to Rowland S. Howard in Ballarat may one day make his paintings and T-shirts collectable.

 

NICK BLEDDYN SHOT MILNE PHOTOS NICK CAVE BY CASEY TOSH WARREN ELIS BY CASEY TOSH

 

Paper Investments

What to watch for –
Australian magazines and street press that has a) vanished and b) escaped household recycling bins could be tomorrow’s Go-Set.

Bon Scott (seen here pointing to Juke magazine) has left a paper trail which is worth collecting.  On the Street, Drum Media and Ram are also worth watching out for.  Tony Mott, the Australian photographer who has exhibited widely and also produced a number of books, has helped to make what used to be free street press, collectable (below).

Australian music posters are best represented in Plastered  by Murray Walding with Nick Vukovic (The Miegunyah Press, 2005) which is now, by itself, a collectable book. The Hair and Masters Apprentices posters, here, are from Plastered.

 

HAIR AT METRO JUKE BON SCOTT SMASH HITS INXS IMG_5636 RAM JJB OTS OOO MOTT DIVINYLS

The Masters Apprentices at Parramatta Town Hall.
The Masters Apprentices at Parramatta Town Hall.

Vinyl Investments

 

A copy of the Masters Apprentices 1979 album Now That It’s Over signed by the late Jim Keays sells for $80 online. Meanwhile, the Taman Shud Evolution LP is valued at $150

Australian pressings of British punk singles and albums are worth watching. The Clash put out London Calling in a Down Under version in 1979 which is now worth $100.  Looking for an eclectic selection? Try Vicious Sloth. This online store is a good source.

From Radio Birdman/Iggy Pop cancelled tour posters to mint-condition box-sets you may find that your Australiana ends up becoming far more valuable than stamps or coins to collectors.

Most people know that The Beatles Yesterday and Today is worth a lot of money (about $995 as we head towards 2020).

 

Who knew that a Tasmanian Christian folk group called The Ascension Four would put out an album worth $65 today, though?

Age and obscurity are not always the keys to a good investment, though. Famous, recent names like Magic Dirt are worth watching. You can buy a poster advertising a gig with Magic Dirt and Rowland S. Howard at The Corner Hotel on 29th October 2008 for $124.99

The poster was free at the time. So was the poster advertising a Nick Cave story in The Monthly magazine – now worth $84.99.

Nick Cave posters are highly collectable.
Nick Cave posters are highly collectable.

 

Start Small or Start Big?

Start small or start big? You don’t have to have a huge outlay to start collecting and vinyl is easily stored and portable.

Artists within bands – who contributed to memorable sleeve art – include Mental As Anything. Vinyl singles with iconic Australiana may help you to up your investment one day. Try  the Mental as Anything ‘Creatures of Leisure’ single for $20.

Sometimes mysteries occur in the marketplace and That Rongeng Sound by Leong Lau is one of them. Asking price? $1574.62 online.

The Beatles in Australia

There are two redesigned Antipodean Beatles covers – Beatles for Sale (tour photographs) and With the Beatles.

An Australian promotional copy of The White Album on eBay is $6000. One of the reasons for this is the censored photograph of a naked John Lennon on the poster which came with the album.

What to Watch

Bands like The Sunnyboys who found their career revived with a television documentary are now seen as an investment. Their self-titled, limited-edition, yellow vinyl album is now $325.

The Sunnyboys on yellow vinyl $325.
The Sunnyboys on yellow vinyl $325.

Midnight Oil posters are worth a long look as the band’s touring exhibition  and its important place in Australian political history is bound to make them desirable to the investors of the future. Blank Canvas Australia sell this poster (from Noosa, below) for almost $250.  It’s also strange but true that a mere flier, from a band like INXS, is now worth $49.99 online.

It is worth trawling eBay, record collectors’ fairs, secondhand shops and open-air markets to see what you can find.

Should this single (below) turn up in a car-boot sale, though, you’d better snap it up. This is God Save the Queen by The Sex Pistols on A&M Records and it’s currently worth $24,411.

Do you have a photograph of your Australian music memorabilia you’d like to share with AMMP? Please let us know. Thank you.

The Sex Pistols' famous single $24, 411
The Sex Pistols’ famous single $24, 411

 

 

This Oils poster is worth $249.99
This Oils poster is worth $249.99

INXS Flier 49 99

Collecting Australian music – this INXS flier measures up.