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The Big Beat: When Sydney Rocked — 1978-1983

The third of the Q&A and book signings to celebrate the release of The Big Beat took place in the heart of the city at…

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The Big Beat – reviews and reactions

The reviews are coming in. And people seem to like the book. 'The Big Beat is a heavily illustrated, beautifully presented year-by-year history of Adelaide-based punk…

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The Big Beat – where can you get it?

I have just published an anthology of articles from Roadrunner. ‘The Big Beat: Rock music in Australia 1978-1983, through the pages of Roadrunner magazine’ is a 544 page, A4…

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Articles and posts

A selection of published and previously unpublished works

When Sydney Rocked – Audience Q&A

Part four of the discussion about the Roadrunner anthology, The Big Beat at Title Barangaroo. The audience gets their chance to quiz the panel of Donald Robertson, Buzz Bidstrup and Peter Oxley.

When Sydney Rocked — The Panel Q&A (part three)

Part three of the Q&A about the Roadrunner anthology, The Big Beat at Title Barangaroo. Mark Dodshon asks Donald Robertson about the decision to put unsigned young Aboriginal band No Fixed Address on the cover and Peter Oxley recalls how things got out of hand for Sunnyboys when they weren’t being listened to.

When Sydney Rocked — The Panel Q&A (part two)

Part two of the Q&A at Title Barangaroo. Peter Oxley and Buzz Bidstrup talk about the boost a live review or single review in a magazine would give to a band and Mark Dodshon asks Donald Robertson about the significance of Roadrunner running all original material and the importance of it having an Australian point of view.

The Big Beat: When Sydney Rocked — 1978-1983

The third of the Q&A and book signings to celebrate the release of The Big Beat took place in the heart of the city at Title Barangaroo in Sydney on 21 November. Over a hundred movers and groovers gathered to hear moderator Mark Dodshon skilfully guide the panel of Buzz Bidstrup (ex-Angels and GANGgajang), Peter Oxley (Sunnyboys, Shy Impostors and The Aints) and author Donald Robertson through their memories and

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When Sydney Rocked — The Panel Q&A (part one)

In this first clip from the Sydney launch of The Big Beat at Title Barangaroo, Mark Dodshon offers a Welcome to Country, Donald Robertson (eventually) agrees doing Roadrunner was the best job in the world, Buzz Bidstrup recalls The Angels cracking Newcastle by playing the Doyalson RSL every Tuesday for a year and Peter Oxley remembers how his Australian music education began when he lobbed into Sydney’s post-Radio Birdman inner

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How Roadrunner recorded our noisy history

By Nathan Davies SA Weekend magazine, The Advertiser (Adelaide), 4 October 2019 To flick through the pages of The Big Beat – a bound collection of rock magazine Roadrunner – is to be transported to an Adelaide that no longer exists. An Adelaide of smoke-filled, sticky-floored band rooms still a decade or two from being transformed into soulless pokie dens. An Adelaide of photocopied band flyers sticky taped to Stobie

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The Big Beat in St Kilda – part three

In the third and final clip from the launch of The Big Beat at Readings, St Kilda, Donald Robertson fondly remembers the Accountants, the Dagoes and the U-Bombs (the St Vitus Dance Package) as he winds up the event. And here is the Spotify playlist mentioned on the night—one song for each of the 48 issues of the magazine. Video by Di Robertson on iPhone6

The Big Beat in St Kilda – part two

In this second clip from the launch of The Big Beat at Readings, St Kilda, Guy Rundle asks the panel (left to right, John Dowler of Young Modern, author and publisher Donald Robertson, Phill Calvert, ex-Boys Next Door/The Birthday Party and Pierre Sutcliffe, ex-Models) to nominate a song or or act or band from the Roadrunner years that has been totally forgotten and that deserves to be remembered. And here

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The Big Beat in St Kilda – part one

In this first clip from the Melbourne launch of The Big Beat at Readings, St Kilda, Phill Calvert calls the book a ‘fantastic journey’, John Dowler remembers Adelaide in 1978 and Donald Robertson plugs the index. And here’s the Spotify playlist mentioned on the night – one track for each of the 48 issues of the magazine. Video by Di Robertson on iPhone6

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