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‘Two Cabs to the Toucan’—Roadrunner 1981

To view and download issues, click on thumbnails below Roadrunner's first issue of 1981 (Vol 4 No 1) signalled some changes. First, the cover price…

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‘We Have Survived’—Roadrunner 1980

  To view and download issues, click on thumbnails below Roadrunner's 'End of the '70s' double issue in December 1979 made a few people sit…

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‘The Nips Are Getting Bigger’—Roadrunner 1979

  To view and download issues, click on thumbnails below Roadrunner's first national issue hit the newsstands in February 1979. The cover story on the…

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Articles and posts

A selection of published and previously unpublished works

The Big Beat: going, going … gone

The Big Beat is sold out. At various times during this exercise in self-publishing, people have stressed that producing a book is one thing, but marketing and selling it is another thing completely. For thanks in helping in its production, I included two pages in The Big Beat (pp 493-494) so I won’t repeat that here. But for help in sales and marketing, I want to particularly thank my long-time

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Roadrunner singles 1978-83

A playlist of singles reviewed in The Big Beat: rock music in Australia 1978-83, through the pages of Roadrunner magazine. The playlist, first published a year ago on this site—and updated in the past few weeks with new tracks added to Spotify in the past 12 months—contains 583 songs and runs for 35 hours and 17 minutes. The Roadrunner years were a golden age for the single and The Big

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The Big Beat—ask a librarian

The following Australian libraries have a copy of The Big Beat. Australian Capital Territory: National Library of Australia; National Film and Sound Archive; National Museum of Australia Research Library. New South Wales: State Library of NSW; Bankstown Library (Canterbury Bankstown Library Service); Bathurst Library; Chatswood Library; Northern Beaches Library Service;  Southern Cross University Library (Lismore Campus); Macquarie University Library; University of Wollongong Library. Victoria: State Library of Victoria;  Brighton Library (Bayside Library

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1970: Goodbye Beatles. And so long Janis, Jimi and Jim.

1970 saw the end of many things. The sixties of course. But also The Beatles, who announced their split in April. And Jim Morrison of The Doors, who was found dead in his bathtub in Paris, France on 3 July. Although accounts about the precise circumstances vary, it is generally agreed that he suffered a heart attack after taking heroin. And Jimi Hendrix, who was found unresponsive by his girlfriend

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1969: Armstrong, Biafra, ‘Hair’, Stonewall, ‘Tommy’ and Woodstock

I’ve been having fun pottering around in 1969 to put together the Spotify playlist below. It’s the fourth in my ‘Back to Schooldays’ series and again a roughly chronological selection of singles that charted on Australian radio stations (in this case, 2UW Sydney, 3UZ Melbourne, 4BC Brisbane, 4IP Ipswich and 6PR Perth) sprinkled with a smattering of significant album tracks. The soundtrack to my fourth year at Whyalla Technical High

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1968: From ‘Voodoo Chile’ to ‘Goody Goody Gumdrops’

I think the Spotify playlist below does a pretty good job of capturing the swirling crosscurrents of the Australian airwaves in 1968. From the psychedelic soul blues of ‘Voodoo Chile’ to the frothy bubble of ‘Goody Goody Gumdrops’—via country, Motown, soul, blues, sunshine pop, California harmonies, folk, British invasion groups, the ‘underground’ sound and a myriad of other styles and sub-styles—it was a year in which the musical spectrum really

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Andrew ‘Greedy’ Smith: It’s just too sad

Losing Greedy Smith this year was a big shock. A shock that reverberated through the Australian music community. A shock that reminded everyone from the late 70s/early 80s glory years of Australian rock of their own mortality. If Greedy has gone, who’s next? It’s enough to send a shiver down your spine. The massive turnout at the Macquarie Park crematorium on 9 December to celebrate Greedy’s life was testament to

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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 Title Barangaroo on 21 November 2019. 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 insights

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Four dudes banging on about The Big Beat at Readings in St Kilda

There was a lot of love in the room for Roadrunner magazine and its anthology The Big Beat at Readings book store in St Kilda last night. A crowd of around fifty gathered to hear Pierre Sutcliffe (ex-Models) lead Phill Calvert (ex-Boys Next Door/The Birthday Party), John Dowler (Young Modern) and myself discuss the Australian post-punk scene and the role that Roadrunner played in it. Among the former contributors in

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