Thursday, July 15, 2010

#204: The Rise And Fall Of Fingle Bunt

Give the man his due, he may indeed be a fat, loudmouthed borderline bigot who specialises in calling little old ladies names these days, but back in the day he was trim and lean, and now you can understand why.

These rare documents are actual running sheets for two 1964 ‘Variety Shows’, one of which was hosted by Fat Francis. I love the first one posted, they got away with playing Yakkety Sax early on in the show, hopefully that resulted in a pile of people chasing buxom girls about the place and slapping any bald headed little old man rather vigorously on the head. Probably a good idea to get that crap out of the way early. No names on the running sheet leap out at me as being of any importance, but that’s what happens. You could easily grab any form of a concert sheet or gig guide from any point in time and sit there going, “Who the fuck was Brenton Roberts?” We can’t all be Exploding White Mice.

The second sheet is incredible. A 1964 5AD ‘Variety Show’, this one would have had Chubby Daks running around like the proverbial blue arsed insect. Starting at 7:50pm this show took in an amazing twenty six plus acts before Bob told everyone to put down and piss off into the night air. Some classic Adelaide acts are represented there, the Penny Rockets, the Mark Men, The Viscounts, the Clefs, the Del Airs, Chess Men, Tony Worsley, the Blue Jays and many more, hell, even the University Jazz Group, at that stage, would have had Mr South Australia himself on drums. No Yakkety Sax though, but you did get one of those God-Awful Shadows instrumentals. Someone should have broken Hank Marvin’s hands.

You can see towards the end of the night they were cutting songs out of the act left, right and centre. It must have been horrid to see your act go from three songs down to one, at best, and perhaps just down to standing on the stage singing God Save The Queen as a pack of bodgies went out beating on the widgies and skinheads. Still, there’d be worse ways to earn two shillings and eight pence.

I sometimes wonder if Fat realises that the same people he’s now making a living out of abusing were probably the same people that came to his gigs? I’d still love to interview him though, but his memory is probably shot to Swiss Cheese by now.

Twenty six acts? Amazing. These days that qualifies for official ‘Big Day Out’ status, with or without Metallica. Still, if I were on that bill I’d be tempted to come out and sing “Hellhound On My Trail,” “Ever Loving Man” or “You Need Love” just to gauge the reaction. What I also love about these sheets and the flyer for an earlier, 1963 gig, also hosted by Guts Almighty, is the fact that each show features the same acts, endlessly. Hell, I think the Penny Rockets are still gigging about the place, although they might get more than a pound per show. What it did mean is that if you had a liking for a certain band, or thought that your girlfriend was giving the bassist of The Clefs blowjobs, then you’d be easily able to catch up with them and cheer them on, or land a bottle to the side of the head, whatever your pleasure was.

I am impressed that such documents still exist these days, and I have to keep digging through the little archive that I’ve got going and post some more crap one of these days. Oh, and Peter Millen, drop me a line matey, and I’ll get some good scans and/or photocopies to you.

No comments: