Chartbusters

What's hot

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…

Continue reading...

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…

Continue reading...

The Big Beat – where can you get it?

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…

Continue reading...

Articles and posts

A selection of published and previously unpublished works

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

Continue reading…

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

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

Continue reading…

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 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

Continue reading…

The Big Beat comes back to Adelaide

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

Continue reading…

The Big Beat – where can you get it?

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),

Continue reading…

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

Continue reading…

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 windy and the temperature struggled to reach seven degrees Centigrade. It was the American holiday of Thanksgiving; but Americans were definitely not alone in feeling thankful. The armistices signed by the Allies on 30 October (with Turkey), 3 November (Austria-Hungary) and 11 November (Germany) had

Continue reading…

A hundred years ago: great John Maclean comes home to the Clyde—part 2

Two days before the Imperial War Cabinet meeting of 28 November, George Barnes drafted a memo suggesting the Cabinet (imagined above in a painting by Scottish artist Sir James Guthrie) authorise John Maclean’s release, ‘along with any others who might be in like plight for similar offences.’ ‘The continued agitation about John Maclean constitutes a serious danger for the government,’ Barnes wrote. ‘Mass meetings have been held in many places,

Continue reading…