In 2009 I held the first TAYLOR SQUARE REUNION. I had been absent from the Sydney music scene forty years.
I arranged to meet at the Manly Wharf Hotel around midday. Dave Miller, his sister Judy Miller and her partner, Philby, were the first guests to arrive. Comfortably seated we eagerly awaited further arrivals.
Peter Anson had informed me that he had a regular gig there, entertaining as a 'wandering minstrel'. The last time I had seen him was at The Greenwood Tree with Jeff St John and the Id, forty years ago! He and his merry band were made an appearance; Jude and Philby went up to greet him. I froze on my stool, a gal doesn't forget her first teenage crush. I met Pete outside Raynors, Kings Cross around 1963 he was playing in a band called the Missing Links, they were billed as the 'Great Unwashed'.
Pete promised to meet us around a back lane, parallel to the Corso. 'Good I thought, the reunion is beginning to take shape.' It was great meeting Philby and I hope he will excuse me for asking him what band he was in.
Day two and it was no show for Deiter, Phil Wood and Cass, Terry Darmody appearance soon cheered me though. My dear, what a fabulous entertainer he was. Up front of his band, on vocals, harp and kazoo, The Original Battersea Heroes along with Dennis Burke on washboard and Pete Nehill, tea-chest bass and occasionally Ross J on fiddle,A much admired jug-band. Their repertoire were brilliant covers of Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur material.
Terry wandered off, Dave, Ross and I headed towards the back lane-way. True to his word, there was Pete and his New Orleans Wanderers! The sun had decided to shine. I was getting quite anxious as Terry hadn't returned, I felt he was an important component in this mix. He eventually showed, excitingly, informing us he had been watching Phil “Philthy Dunny Seat” Donnison (National guitars and ukuleles), and MarcusHolden ... I had stopped to watch them earlier but had failed to recognize them.
There is no snap of me jumping onto the table top.. I 'm not sure whether Terry had met Chris and John, but he certainly knew Peter Anson, their paths had continued to cross well after the days of Taylor Square.
Why was I on the table you ask? One minute I was watching smiling as Pete and Terry did "Just a Closer Walk with Thee", the next, I was overwhelmed, something strange happened, hard to put into words, the lady next to me had been also hit with a force.
'What's happening??!!!' she enquired. 'These boys were in different bands when they were young, and here they are playing seemingly where they left off!'..'I knew something was happening' she added.
My head took a moment to absorb what my eyes could see. it was round about then that I leapt onto the table-top. The energy was so strong it felt like God had touched us Terry put away the harp and whipped out his kazoo. People stopped and stared. The magic continued ... glancing up the lane I became aware of a group of people moving in unison towards us, led by a tall, fine figure of a man, a-strumming his guitar, as if on cue, for an instant the Pied Piper came to mind. As he approached his smile broadened. It was Tonnyyyy, Tony Burkys ...good Lord. He slotted straight in. The expressions that followed were priceless. Peter Anson was beaming
G'day Lynette and thanks for the info about the "wally tapes". A big thanks for being at Manly and for the bringing together of such truly good people. It made my day to see such warm and friendly faces and then to touch everyone. The photos are wonderful. It was a day that will live with me until I die. all the best....Pete
Classic snap of Ross J Waters and Dave Miller braving the weather for the first Taylor Square Reunion!
We made our way up the Corso towards the beach and and found a great little pub on the corner with piped blues music. Long gone was the milk-bar that had stood on this very spot, now just a memory of salt, sand, hot chips and ice-cream
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I took quite a few shots and then wandered up to see a familiar face around the traps in the sixties, Mr Bobby Gebert, I met him moons ago with Lesley 'Mindless' Armstrong .... doubted that he would remember me
Terry then turned his attention to the minstrels. Dropping his jacket and rucksack, he leapt into action. Kicking off with a blast on his harp .. see here, all eyes upon him, I feel very tempted to put a smiley face up. This was grand this was. I was smiling to myself, a warm feeling to see these boys that I had so admired playing together
I might not be showing it, but this would have to be the happiest day of my life.
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