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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A selection of published and previously unpublished works

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

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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 in the post-punk period of

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How Roadrunner recorded our noisy history

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

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The Big Beat – the soundtrack

The soundtrack to the book of the magazine. One song from each issue of Roadrunner magazine, as featured in the book, The Big Beat: Rock music in Australia 1978-1983 (Roadrunnertwice, 2019).

‘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 went up from 60 cents to 80 cents. We attempted to offset this by a bumper subscription offer—two free albums (Vinyl Virgins, a Virgin Records Australia sampler and Tactics’ My Houdini) plus a year’s subscription (12 issues) for $15. The offer snared 61 new subscribers,

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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 up and take notice. One of them was Paul Gardiner, publisher of Rolling Stone. Gardiner used to play the occasional game of squash with Stuart Coupe in Sydney and asked him if I might be willing to sell the magazine. He had just started a

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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 riots and run-ins of Elvis Costello’s summer tour was by the hard-hitting Ross Stapleton, whose fascination with the behind-the-scenes machinations of the music industry was to yield a series of lengthy features over the following twelve months. As well as being engrossing exposes in their

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‘One More Boring Night in Adelaide’—Roadrunner 1978

  To view and download issues, click on thumbnails below When I returned to Adelaide in late 1977 after two-and-a-half years in the UK, I came back with 25 singles—Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric, Tom Robinson Band, X-Ray Spex, The Rezillos, Slaughter & the Dogs etc. I moved into a small cottage at 14 Donegal Street, Norwood, owned by my old Adelaide Uni friends Larry

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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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