First heard of Rod thru Ross aka Rooster McBlurter every week he would send me a 'Beachhead' video from Youtube. I received an email from Rod himself and we organized to meet at the Gosford Blues Festival 2009.
From: Rod Jeffery Subject: Greetings Date: 2009
"Your 'Taylor Square' pages are very interesting and there are a great number of old friends there including Peter Anson, Al Meadows, Al Ward, Wally Mudd, 'Mort Fist', Dave Allen, Barry McGloin, Tony Burkys, Jim Jarvis .
I used to go to PACT Folk at the old Corn Exchange building in Sussex St as a kid of 14-15 to see people such as Starlee Ford, Marg RoadKnight, Jeannie Lewis, East Neasens, Stovepipe Spasm, usually after getting shit-faced at the Maitland & Morpeth and a little later used to drink in the downstairs (Day St) bar on the Fridays at the 'Limejuice Tub' Folk Club and hung with Lynn Harrison, who married a mate of mine from school, John Cutler. We all knew Barry McGloin and his cousin, Chris, Kerry & Ian Cantlay, John & Max McGrath and Bill Morgan way back then.
There was a bloke named Ray Young who sang and played guitar at PACT back then along with another mate, Warren Stewart. There was also Al Head, Graham Lowndes .... Ray was a member of Bullamakanka don't have a clue what's happened to Warren Stewart, or Al Head. Bumped into Al early '80s when I was gigging around the nthn beaches and in the 90s came across, Graham L, Doug Ashdown and Jimmy Stewart when working with Tony Barnard's ALL HAT JAZZ at the Unity Hall in Balmain.
I know Peter Anson from the '80s when I lived in Balmain and often send him jokes, Pete and Roger Janes played at the Unity Hall and I used to sit in with them every weekend I met Wally Mudd at the Alley Cat Wine Bar in Nth Sydney back in the '70s when I was running the Mon. night jam sessions there and he turned up a few times. I had a feeling that Mort Fist had died in the early '80s as I was watching Harvey Fisk's band at the Cat & Fiddle one Sat. and someone came in to say he was dead. Though maybe I have that arse about and it was Mort who came in to say that Wally had died.
I've been sitting in with the Layabouts since around the time of the Hilton bombing as well. I never did see the Battersea Heroes, although I did know of them and of Terry Darmody. I think the head Layabout, Brian Wakefield may have been in the band at one time. I met both Mick Leiber and Shane Duckham at times sitting in with the Layabouts - not long before Shane died. Tony Burkys is an old friend. There are many names in Terry's story about the Battersea Heroes that I either know or know of (I'm wondering if Warwick K is Warwick Kennington as a matter of fact).
Many of the other names I do know from the days when I knocked around the Folk Music Circuit between about 1967/8 and the early 70s. I stopped around the time that White Nelly disbanded.
Here's a link for you of Burkys, Meadows, Al Ward and Jim Jarvis playing as Duck Soup in our backyard at West Ryde on June 18, 1988:
Bob 'n Head Beach and the Convention Band at the 1988 Jazz Convention
Rod Jeffery: When the 43rd Annual Australian Jazz Convention was held in Sydney in Dec. '88 the late jazz vocalist Bobby Scott and I decided to have a bit of fun and put a band together in which we would do something we'd not until then done - sing duets. This we did and jokingly called the band BOB'n'HEAD BEACH after a regular picnic haunt in Sydney, Bobbin Head. We enlisted the aid of most of the ALL HAT JAZZ band and a few other friends and had a ball on the days we played together.
I had been co-opted less than a fortnight out from the convention to organise the drum kits, P.A. systems and piano tuning and was also roped into doing much of the stage managing, along with bassist, Peter Gallen on the same day as Bobn'Head Beach did its first spot I was back on stage again with a thrown together crew of friends that called ourselves The CONVENTION CLEANHEAD Band when a band just didn't show. The boys that I tracked down in the upstairs bar agreed on the proviso that I sang with them.
Fortunately, both sessions were recorded and I managed to get a hold of the tapes before they were spirited away.
As an addenda to the tale of BOB'n'HEAD BEACH - I was speaking with Bobby's wife, Val and we were laughing about that particular time he'd had an argument with a Bougainvillea bush and bloody near didn't make the gig when his hand blew up like a balloon. That and the fact that at a house-warming party at our new home in Katoomba a couple of years later he had been out back tearing branches from a 'plum tree' and I had abused him for wrecking my tree. They were truly funny times! That conversation had taken place on Friday - October 16 this year. Just on a week later I received this email message and my world was shattered:
"Dear friends of Valerie's, Funeral Details: Next Thursday 29th October at 2.15pm. Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park at the South Chapel (see map attached). Wake to be held at Newtown (Jets) Rugby League Football Club from 3.30pm. Holbeach Ave. Tempe."
.. the following day (Sat.Oct 17, '09) she died in her lounge-room after suffering an abdominal aortic aneurism. I am told that she hadn't been able to speak much about Bobby since hisdeath in June 2008I had just emailed her the photos from the convention ..