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
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
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.
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The reviews are coming in. And people seem to like the book. Print reviews ‘Roadrunner was the Chrysler of the Big 3 R rock magazines in Australia at the turn into the 1980s, trailing the GM and Ford of RAM and Rolling Stone, and like the Hemi-powered Plymouths and Dodges, it was wild and untamed, and it’s a blessing that there’s now a permanent record of it, all 500 pages of it and bound
Around eighty people gathered at The Howling Owl in Adelaide’s East End last night to celebrate the release of the Roadrunner magazine anthology, The Big Beat. Deftly marshalled by ABC Radio Adelaide producer Suzy Ramone, a panel of Dr Collette Snowden, singer and songwriter John Schumann and myself was invited to ruminate and reminisce about the South Australian music scene and the impact of Roadrunner magazine in the post-punk period
In October 2019, I 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 size (210x297mm), hardback book with colour throughout. In the book, a year-by-year history introduces a selection of over four hundred fully indexed pages from the original magazine. Featured artists include: The Angels, Australian Crawl, Boys Next Door (and the Birthday Party), The Church,