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The Big Beat—reviews and reactions

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…

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A hundred years ago: great John Maclean comes home to the Clyde—part 1

On the morning of Thursday 28 November 1918, the Imperial War Cabinet met at 10 Downing Street in London.  Outside the weather was wet and…

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1966 and all that

It started in the shires of the English midlands and finished in the arid saltbush of Whyalla, South Australia. It was the year my life…

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Articles and posts

A selection of published and previously unpublished works

Sex Pistols at the Stowaway Club, Newport

My first published article. From Street Fever, the punk fanzine produced by Stuart Coupe and myself in Adelaide in December 1977. I was on a train from Darlington to Bath in 1976 when I first heard of the Sex Pistols. I had been away from England for six weeks working in Libya for a surveying company. I was on my way home after delivering some maps to head office. I

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Stiffs Greatest Stiffs Live

Just before I left the U.K. to return to Australia after two and a half years away, I was fortunate to catch this remarkable concert. The venue was Bath University, the date 7 October 1977 and it was the third date on the Stiffs Greatest Stiffs Live tour. This review was my second ever published article, in the Adelaide punk fanzine Street Fever (December 1977). Nick Lowe bounds on stage and

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Street Fever issue #1 – December 1977

CONTENTS 4. Moist 5. Radio Birdman/Young Modern/Elvis Costello/Pizza review 6. Sex Pistols – live in Newport, South Wales 8. Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers 9. A Bunch of Stiffs live – Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Larry Wallis, Wreckless Eric and Ian Dury. 11. Psycho Surgeons 13. Rock’n’Roll – No Future? 14. Record Reviews.

The Owls and the Blades

The full moon shines balefully over the land of the Morlocks South Yorkshire throbs with mancreated power Steam hisses In the floodlights’ glare Molten steel casts its unholy glow into the night The mighty metallic conurbation procreates In an iron girdle from Mersey to Humber The Eloi slumber on in their pleasant southern land Living in a northern dream Of green fields and blue skies But who digs the coal

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Walking down the Road; Split Enz in the U.K. 1976

The first interview I ever did was with Tim Finn of Split Enz, in Bath, England in October 1976. I sent the piece to Nation Review, but never heard back. Thus it is published here for the first time. ‘Split Enz are on the road becoz travel broadens the mind’ blared the full-page ad in Sounds last week. ‘Surreal Maoris’ Hair Raising Tale’  ran the headline in New Musical Express.

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