i noticed that in the history of red mckelvie there is no mention of him going to england between the starving wild dogs and the quill. he played with the pretty things while he was there.
i was too young to have experienced much of what went on in that scene. during that period while red was in england [leonie was in england then as well] it was the summer of 68/69 i had just turned 16. i had the new white album. i travelled from seven hills where we grew up to a place where terry was living in south dowling street. he asked me to bring the white album. he was in a band at the time with daryl mckenzie and gulliver called A Love Supreme [named after a coltrane tune if memory serves]. they wanted me to bring the album because they were trying to work out how to play "happiness is a warm gun". daryl told me later that there was a musical communication breakdown between the rock players in the band and the horn players who were approaching the whole exercise a little more academically. so i never actually saw the Starving Wild Dogs or the Quill. just that rehearsal of the band with gully. it wasn't until the flying circus that i started to see terry's gigs regularly, because by then i was a little older and there were more opportunities to see him out in the suburbs. because of the sharpies i was terrified to travel into the city and come home by public transport late at night. after terry had joined the circus and they tended to dress like pop stars he got beaten up in railway square one night. i don't know what he was wearing at the time but he did tend to dandy up somewhat. i think he got beat up by some army guys.
it's funny but i never started performing music until after terry had left the country. in many ways i am glad of that because he is such a pushy fucker and having him out of the country left me free to develop what i do without him telling me what i was doing wrong. i did my first gigs at the pact folk club in the basement of the ywca in liverpool street in 1972. i was heavily influenced there by the regular weekly friday night performances by terry hannagan and john j francis.
also at the same time there was a folk club down at the elizabeth hotel where i used to see the east neasden spasm band with al meadows, andy george and his wife julie, richard ruhle on washboard and a double bass player whose name always escaped me. i just googled the band's name and there is a recording in a library in canberra. i might ask al meadows about how to get hold of that.
anyway, in the corridor of the elizabeth hotel one night in 1972 when i had only been playing guitar for a few months i had a five minute blues guitar lesson from ian young. that became the corner stone of much of my guitar technique for the next few decades. i still teach that same trick to young players. great value. ian played in a duo with wally later in the 70s. ian died recently. i will send you a song i dedicate to him.
when i first started playing on the street it was down by paddy's market on fridays in 1973. at the time wally and wheelchair jeff used to make good money with jeff holding out his cup in his wheel chair. they would make about 50 bucks there. that was a lot of money then. i was lucky if i made 5. i believe they used to put the proceeds in their arm. one day wally told me how he was outside a concert and decided to do some busking to the crowd there and he did quite well. this provided me with the inspiration to adopt that as a lifestyle for quite a few years busking outside gigs at the hordern, the state, capitol, regent, sydney town hall, melbourne festival hall, dallas brooks hall, newcastle civic, canberra, adelaide, perth. i hitch hiked a quarter of a million miles in the 70s. drove me pretty crazy but i survived ok and eventually got to use those experiences in my lyrics. i'll send you some of that some time too.
on a completely different tack. i saw a girl duo the other night at "notes" which is a new venue in enmore road newtown. it was arlo guthrie's daughter on ukulele and willy nelson's daughter on guitar. they are called "folk uke". not great musicians but their harmonies are great and they have three of their best songs on their my space page. go and have a listen. i particularly like one, sung in their sweet girlie harmonies called "motherfucker got fucked up because he got in the way". hilarious.