Category Departures

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 Band

The first time I saw Martin Armiger was onstage at Meadows Technicolour Fair on Saturday 29 January 1972. Meadows, on the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide was South Australia’s second pop festival, after 1971’s Myponga, and Martin’s band Toads, Nightly opened the event. Martin moved to Melbourne shortly afterwards and fell fruitfully into the Carlton band, drama and poetry scene captured so vividly in Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip. The first

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John James Hackett: more than a passing acquaintance

It was early 1975. I remember warm summer nights and nude swimming in the backyard pool of the house on Nottage Terrace. There were a few Adelaide locals but mainly twenty-somethings evacuated from Darwin after Cyclone Tracy struck on Christmas Day. A mix of English, Americans and Australians, more than a few fresh from India and the Asian hippie trail. They had been part of a little Darwin scene that

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Russell Handley (1953-1985)

When Russell Handley, my deputy editor at Countdown Magazine, died at Easter 1985, I wrote the following obituary. Countdown Magazine‘s publisher declined to publish it, preferring a brief notice, so here it is for the first time. Although always camera-shy while working on the magazine (he claimed he didn’t want little girls to recognise him and kick him in the shins after he made a cutting aside about Prince or Duran

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Brian Johnstone (1950-2015)

Eulogy delivered at Brian Johnstone’s funeral, 4 February 2015, Norwood, South Australia. My name is Donald Robertson and Brian was my friend. Our friendship went back nearly forty years and actually started less than a mile south of here, in Donegal St, Norwood. It was the late 70s. I’d come back from two and a half years in the U.K. with a rabid enthusiasm for punk rock and new wave

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1946 Army kilt
1946 Army buddy
1948 Kinloch Youth Club
1949 Kinloch football two teams
1949 Kinloch rock
1952 Dinner
1952 Mum & Dad
1952 Wedding
1952 Bridal party
1954 Kinloch Lochaber Cres
1954 Kinloch with Donald
1963 Skegness
1965 Skegness
1966 Fairsea
1971 Family
1976 Carol Chris engagement
1978 long beer
1984 Mum & Dad
1985 One Steel
1986 Edinburgh
1986 Ben Nevis
1986 Albie
1987 Eucalypt St
1988 Dad
1989 Mum & Dad
1990 Donald Di wedding
1991 Dad playing
1992 Referee Swandel Park
1999 Mum Dad Donald Calum
2002 50th anniversary
2004 Bondi
2008 Tooby wedding
2008 Tooby reception
2009 Christmas
2012 Family

Ian Robertson (1926-2015)

A selection of images from the slide show put together by my sister Carol and her daughter Zoe Tooby and played at my father’s funeral in Whyalla, South Australia on 20 January 2015. Thanks for everything dad and as they say in the Highlands: Gus am bris an là agus an teich na sgàilean (until day breaks and the shadows retreat).

Epitaph for a working class hero

It was mid afternoon on Tuesday 9 December 1980 when the news hit. John Lennon’s been shot. And killed. We were working on the December 1980—January 1981 edition of Roadrunner: Geoffrey Gifford, Richard Turner, Kate Monger and myself. In Geoffrey’s studio up the east end of Rundle Street in Adelaide. We stopped what we were doing of course. And just talked. And after a couple of hours I went home and wrote

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