Sunday, November 13, 2011

#285: Seasons Of Change

Back in 1971 you could have gone out to see some fantastic bands, for peanuts really.  If you doubt me then check out these two handbills - Fraternity giving a two hour concert, with free Coke, at John Arnold's Jean Joint at Marion.  John Arnold's Jean Joint is now gone, long gone, but I'm sure that somewhere, someone remembers that gig.  Why would you have gone?  Because Fraternity were good, damned good, and were headed by none other than Bon Scott, as this was his band between the pop band The Valentines and the hard rockin' legends AC/DC.  It might not have gotten any better really. 

Fraternity were formed in 1970, so this September 1971 gig would have been one of their earliest gigs.  I spoke to drummer John Freeman a fair bit in the late 1980s when he was gigging around Adelaide playing delta blues guitar(!) and I always found him to be a good guy.  When it came time to do a formal interview he walked in and said, "Before you ask, yes, I have no problems talking about Bon Scott."  That broke a lot of ice indeed, and through John I got a great insight into what Bon was like as a person back in the day.  Mind you we had our own encounter with Bon Scott in the mid 1970s involving a tour bus, our clapped out XP Falcon and my own allergic reaction to a track suit.  In short we were stopped on the side of the road in the middle of the Hay Plains as my mother tried to work out why I was all red and blotchy.  A bus pulled up, out leapt Bon and another guy, both of whom asked if everything was alright.  Once they got the story they insisted on waiting until we were back on the road.  "This ain't no place to be broken down," said Bon.  Very well spoken, polite and, well, as AC/DC were on the verge of something massive of the time (this was in around 1976-77) he didn't need to be either.  I'll carry that with me, and I tell that story a lot when people tell me what a fucked up druggie Bon was as it always changes people's minds.

"What the fuck are you lookin' at?"
And in September, for a mere $2 you could wander over to Ashton's Big Top Circus in the West Parklands and see Glass Web, Langford Lever and Music Express.  I know a bit about Glass Web - each time I had their single or EP on the Nationwide label I was offered, and took, good amounts of money from Melbourne based dealers and historians, but, stupidly, I never once taped it so I could listen to it.  As I'm becoming (re)acquainted with a lot of classic Aussie rock from the era, if anyone has a handle on Glass Web recordings then let me know.  Until then, check out the handbills and wonder what was, and enjoy the ultra cool psychedelic grooves of that Fraternity ad, which could hold it's own with anything that came out of the USA for design.

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