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Some Local Music and Local Venues

Remember Bev Harrell, The Twillights, Masters Apprentices, and Jimmy Barnes with Cold Chisel? Do you recall the Hi Fi Club, Princeton Club, The Palais on North Terrace, or the Octagon at Elizabeth? Remember Big Bob Francis in his gold suit or Ron Tremaine’s pop music magazine about the local pop music scene, Young Modern?

Here are just a few scattered memories of the glory days of pop music in Adelaide from the 60s to the 80s…..I’m sure you will have your own, which we would love you to share with our readers.

The Twilights in 1967 were Laurie Pryor, Glenn Shorrock, Terry Britten, Paddy McCartney, John Bywaters and Peter Brideoake. Source: The Advertiser.

The Twilights in 1967 were Laurie Pryor, Glenn Shorrock, Terry Britten, Paddy McCartney, John Bywaters and Peter Brideoake.

The Twilights

The Twilights formed in the 1960s in Elizabeth with all the original members born in Britain. Drawn together by their common origins and musical interests, singer Glen Shorrock, and his friends Mike Sykes and Clem “Paddy” McCartney formed an a-cappella trio, eventually joining forces with another Adelaide group, The Hurricanes, to become the six-piece, fully electric-and-vocal group, The Twilights.

The Twilights quickly gained a strong reputation for their dynamic live shows in Adelaide, and travelled to venues all over South Australia but after recording some Top 40 chart success, eventually moved to Melbourne in late 1965.

Bev Harrell publicity photograph 1968. Source: Milesago: Australasian Music & Popular Culture 1964-1975.

Bev Harrell publicity photograph 1968. Source: Milesago: Australasian Music & Popular Culture 1964-1975.

Bev Harrell

According to her official website ‘Bev Harrell is a tiny 4’9”, six stone bundle of dynamite. Bev began her career when she was six in “Kangaroos on Parade”, a radio programme on 5AD in Adelaide.

By the end of the 60’s she had become a household name. Her first recording “What am I Doing Here with You?” was an instant national No. 1 hit, as were her two following records “Come on Over to My Place” and “One in a Million”. In 1966 & 1967 Bev was awarded “Australia’s best female vocal” and “album of the year” at The Major Network Awards (Now called the ARIA Awards). From that moment her career skyrocketed with many other music awards and tours with many international names including Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Winifred Atwell, the Rolling Stones and Roy Orbison.

The Masters Apprentices

In late 1965 an Adelaide surf music group called The Mustangs renamed themselves as The Masters Apprentices and by early 1966 they were one of the most popular beat bands in Adelaide, regularly selling out concerts in the city, as well as making visits to Murray Bridge, Mt Gambier and Whyalla. Their first TV appearance, on the Good Friday Telethon Appeal on Channel 7, hosted by Ernie Sigley, encouraged them to enter the South Australian heat of Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds, conducted that year by 5KA, where they finished third behind The Twillights,

Later in 1966, The Masters Apprentices shared a gig with pop star Bobby Bright, also originally from Adelaide, who was so impressed he recommended them to his label, Astor Records. Their debut single “Undecided” – “Wars or Hands of Time” was released in October and gradually climbed the Adelaide charts, thanks to strong support from local radio stations.

Their popularity spread all over Australia and like the Twillights they moved permanently to Melbourne in 1967.

The Masters Apprentices, from left, are Glenn Wheatley, Jim Keays, Doug Ford, and front, Colin Burgess. 1969 Photo: Fairfax Archives

The Masters Apprentices, from left, are Glenn Wheatley, Jim Keays, Doug Ford, and front, Colin Burgess. 1969

Cold Chisel

Originally starting out as a group named Orange, Cold Chisel the band was formed in Elizabeth in 1973 as a heavy metal cover band by Les Kaczmarek, Don Walker, Ian Moss and Steve Prestwich.

Seventeen-year-old singer Jimmy Barnes — known throughout his time with the band as Jim Barnes — joined in December 1973. The group changed its name several times before settling on Cold Chisel in 1974 after writing a song with that title.

Cold Chisel with Jimmy Barnes were an immediate hit both with live appearances and as a recording group.

Their wild on-stage antics and behaviour endeared them to the pub crowds all around Adelaide and the state and it wasn’t long before they were lured to relocate in Melbourne in May 1976.

There have been many talented artists and groups who started out playing local venues in and around Adelaide, built a strong following, enjoyed chart success and then went on to achieve national, and some even international success.

What are some of your memories of the pop music scene in Adelaide? Where was your favourite venue and who was your favourite group?

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36 Responses to Some Local Music and Local Venues

  1. Walter December 8, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Seeing Fraternity at The Princeton Club, Burnside Town Hall. The lead singer was Bon Scott!
    A dry venue, brilliant music. I think it closed at 11.30 and we all went home to bed. What a difference now.

    • Kath Grant November 3, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

      It may have been a ‘dry’ venue but there were many bottles of Barossa Pearl consumed in the car park.
      I have fabulous memories of Burnside and The Princeton Club in the city on Thursday nights.

  2. Wolf Ebert December 9, 2014 at 4:03 am #

    So many great bands but the standout for me was ‘Five Sided Circle’ at the ‘Beat Basement’ in 1966/67. They have reformed a couple of times and still do gigs at the Old Mebourne in North Adelaide every month or so to packed houses.

  3. ian douglas December 10, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    i remember Headquarters and going to see Daddy Cool perform live

    • Alan Carmichael January 15, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

      Is that Ian Douglas ex of Lionel Ave Blair Athol who lived across the road from of Brian Morgan, down the street was Steve Coulter and around the corner Derick & Phil Manning. What a football star in those late fifties, sixties Jaffery St.football matches you were Ian and the proud wearer of a Number 8 Collingwood footy jumper obtained by your Dad, we all thought it was a Port Adelaide jumper gone wrong. Hey chooka if that is you call me on 83965778. By the way Gepps Cross Primary School (red & green colours) was tops for a kid. Kilburn Footy club was good for Junior Colts footy, some of my best and starry memories which I took to the winter footy matches for Pulteney Grammar, it was compulsory.

      My love of music took me to the Scene Discotheque in Pirie St. Adelaide, as a DJ from 1966-1969. Thurs, Fri & Sat nights and Sunday afternnoons. Ten Bob a gig plus my income at Channel 7 Strangways Tce., North Adelaide.. Then radio in Victoria from late 1969 (October) to mid 1975. Back to Adelaide in 1981 with Mum & Dad both deceased having time with our girls. In arriving back in Adelaide ran Mobile Discos, private shows, weddings, 21sts. etc until 1999. Community Rdio DJ 2006-2012 (indefinitely suspended at WOW 100.5 total framed. Accepted by Coast FM for their training schedule in February 016., it should happen but doubtful at the moment.

      Worked with the CES from 1978-1999 (honorable and a job finding organisation) and then crappy do nothing to find people work the Job Network, a fraudulent group of Employment companies, claiming fees for people they did not put into work. Therese Rein amassed a near $200 million fortune getting bed time info from her partner Kevin ( Mr Sheen,cheat) partner!

      So if it is you Ian I would love to hear from you if it is another Ian Douglas, and I cannot imagine that just flick me an email and let me know, thanks for that.

      Regards

      Alan Carmichael

      ex 19 Lily st., Blair Athol
      I still drive the streets down and around Blair Athol, I really miss it
      with old ghosts and the past generally.

  4. Marjorie December 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    I still have a copy of the Young Modern Magazine which I’ll treasure always.

  5. John McGregor December 29, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    Remember the ‘Cellar Jazz Club”? It was in a little street running off Rundle Street (Union Lane?) and featured (what was termed by the Advertiser) “Live, Dark Music”. John Howell was the proprietor and the ‘House Band’ – ‘ The Bobby Gebhardt Trio’. There was another, too, in Grote St, also in a cellar, called “THe Jazz Workshop’. They featured various local jazz groups including ‘The Roy Bates Quartet’,
    ‘The Peter Beagley Trio’, and many others whose names escape me. These were indeed ‘wicked places’ for the time but strangely precluded alcohol, drugs and all the things that these days are taken for granted as part of the club scene. This was the 1960’s and Adelaide was coming of age as Australia’s cultural centre.

    • Bill Clark July 28, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

      How about Twin Street?? I spent many happy hours nursing a cup of coffee (1/6) and dozing off. Good times.

    • Steve Wray, now in England September 1, 2017 at 1:22 am #

      The Cellar was in Gawler Place, South of Rundle Street, on the West side of the street. It had Bob Bertles’ quintet when I used to go there, in the late 1960s. Bob was a superb alto saxophone player, and often had a tenor saxophone player called Keith Barr with the group. The drummer was Billy Ross, but I don’t remember who the pianist and bassist were. The repertoire was hard bop, including such pieces as “Green Dolphin Street” and “Isle Of Java” (from Jackie McLean’s Blue Note album, “Jackie’s Bag” – Bob was a fan of Jackie McLean). I think that that was on Sunday nights.

      It really WAS a cellar. The room was very dark, and they had a light over the players with cellulose filters to change the color. There was no alcohol or weed. The smoke density was so high that it made your eyes sting badly, and we had to go out into the street to get relief. I remember that Keith Barr’s tenor saxophone had a strut under the neck, and he would park his (lit) cigarette there when he played.

      The excellent tenor saxophone player, Bob Jeffries, also played there – with Bob Bertles’ group, I think.

      In later years, they altered the layout and my friend Sylvan Elhay played there with his quartet. Sylvan went by the name Schmoe and is a fine tenor saxophone and flute player. I sometimes sat in with that group on alto saxophone – there and at other venues.

      (In the early 1970s, I saw Bob Bertles playing in a pub in London, England. It was a real dump, and I felt sad to see such a fine musician playing in a joint like that.)

  6. Helen Maurovic January 5, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

    The Twilights were the resident band at the Salisbury Youth Centre in
    1964/65. Then the Octagon was built in Elizabeth where we saw some great bands, like Billy Thorpe and the Aztects, Ray Brown and the Whispers, Masters Apprentices and heaps more. Aaah those were the days my friends, we thought they’d never end……… Then get this…… in 1975 the Angels who were the “moonshine, jug and string band” played at the Modbury hotel every Tuesday nite. It was great.

  7. rosalee osuchowski April 15, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    I remember the scene and snoopy hollow, with great Adelaide bands, The Track to name one with Bernie, Dave, Alan, and Fred, no alcohol, but a great night had by all.

  8. Dave C April 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    As a Baby Boomer born & bred in Adelaide, I love Remember When. My kids gave me the book for Christmas & I read it all that day. So many great memories. I loved the Adelaide music from that time. In the late 60’s/early 70’s, most Australian music originated from Adelaide. 1 Band not mentioned is The Vibrants. I still rank “Something About You Baby” as 1 of the best Aussie songs ever.

    • Leonie Howells October 4, 2016 at 1:14 am #

      Hey Dave C, thank you for remembering The Vibrants. Yes, I remember “Something About You Baby” too. I use to watch them jamming and practising in my Auntie’s front room as the drummer Rick Kent is my cousin.

  9. Kate July 14, 2015 at 12:11 am #

    Miss the Masters we followed the group for yrs loved the music miss Jim terribley

  10. Joan September 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

    Does anyone know the name of the big band that played in the Hotel Australia I think it was in North Adelaide in the late 60’s early seventies. They had sax, trumpet, guitar drums and were an amazing band.

    • Steve Wray, now in England September 1, 2017 at 1:33 am #

      The Hotel Australia WAS in North Adelaide, on the main drag – the road that carried on from King William Street. It had a high dollar restaurant. I ate there once with a friend – about 1970 – and there was a small group playing there that included Bob Jeffries on tenor saxophone. The job called for schmaltz, and I jokingly sent Bob a note asking them to play “Straight No Chaser”. Bob glanced over at me and played a few notes of it softly.

      There was a jazz venue just along the road from the Australia on the same side (the West side), where my friend Sylvan Elhay used to play once a week with his quartet, on a weeknight. I used to sit in with them for the last set. I don’t remember the name of the place.

  11. Cheryl September 24, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    I saw bon and used to hang out with him at largs and glenelg hotel pier st.I was girlfriend of tony faeshe from the village band played at the cellar and then jo jo zep.I was with joe cockers band when came to adelaide and wild partie.I was very young when billy thorpe came to adelaide and ended up at after parties.Iwas akso going to the ac dc club in adelaide and was there when don dunston came in also there when lou reed came down and my girlfriend and i who he thought were drag queens got to sit with him and he then asked us to meet him there next ngt on sat and word got around and place was full.so like a female forrest gump i have akways been there on the periphery and not realised the significance ..I have been in bons mini cooper and carried into a party by him as i was sunburnt.who would have thought he would die so young,so sad,such a great guy.

  12. steven December 28, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    Has anyone got photos of Myponga. I was there taking photo and it was
    great. I lost all my photos and gear in a fire and I have nothing.

    • Peter June 12, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

      myponga music festival has its own Facebook page cheers

  13. Jae April 17, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

    Who remembers ‘stomping’ at the West Beach Surf Club? Didn’t Big Bob DJ that one?
    Twilights at the Salisbury Youth Centre will always remain my favourite!

    • Maddie June 13, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

      Yes Jae the Salisbury Youth Centre was brilliant! I was still at high school but never missed a Saturday night there (parents not too happy about it lol). Twilights my favourite too and the place was always packed. Great days!

  14. Richard September 10, 2016 at 8:18 pm #

    I can’t find reference to the dance venue “The Kamara Club” that the Twilights ran and performed at anywhere online. John Perry sang there too – and the Cliffmores. Have I got the name wrong? I don’t remember where it was. North-western suburbs somewhere, I’d say.

  15. Richard October 25, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    Does anyone remember Joe’s Café in Rundle Street or the Glenelg Town Hall in the early 60s (1963/64) and bands who played there.

  16. Richard October 25, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

    I believe that Joe’s café became the Beat Basement in the mid 60s. I recall a band called the Tornadoes, of which Terry Britten was a member. Carol Sturtzel used to perform at the Glenelg Town with her band, the Axemen.

  17. Jack Sullivan December 14, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    As the singer of Dust ‘n Ashes we frequently played at Salisbury Youth, Octagon, Pennington Hostel, Hideaway, Scene, Big Daddys and the Beat Basement of course..

    The best part was the comradeship between band members, both local and interstate. Some friendships made forever.

    What at time and place.. In Adelaide.

    • Alan Carmichael May 3, 2017 at 11:38 am #

      Hi Jack and Hilary. Just discovered an email you sent. Jan and yours truly Alan Carmichael wish you both the best. We go to the Lord Melbourne every last Sundayof the month. Five Sided Circle play then and other bands on the other 3 Sundays. You may or may not have heard it but John Thornton (Hergs & Five Sided) passed away, date unknown but in the last two weeks. John Rose knows the details. All the best.

      Alan Carmichael

  18. Dorriene December 16, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    I remember the Hideout at Elizabeth on a Friday night. Zoot Valentines Music Express and so many bands.

    • Janet Christopher July 8, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

      Oh my goodness, I used to go to the Hideout too. The St Peters Mission Hall in Elizabeth Way. It was fantastic and so was the Octagon. So lucky to have been young in those times and in that place. I have nothing but fond memories of being raised in Elizabeth!

  19. Kate Philips February 8, 2017 at 2:38 am #

    Loved Dust and Ashes was a regular at Beat Basement Loved Y4 Masters both constants at Beat Basement along with so many other bands.Wow! what the kids miss out on these days they have no idea all they want these days is Booze get as drunk as you can Never needed booze back then and we appreciated life much more

  20. Rod white March 15, 2017 at 11:44 am #

    Loved bent beaks and twilights at the Caledonian hall King William st , Fahrenheit 451, lots of r and b bands going through big daddy’s at Gawler place, swingers at hotel Australia, fiesta villa at findon hotel and whatever it was called at Norwoods redlegs club rooms.
    Folk music at the catacombs in hackney cellars.

  21. Kerry Hammill April 5, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    Norwood Redlegs was called Sam’s back in the day. Loved it – Sons of Fred were great entertainment. And Hackney Cellars on a Sunday night had a jazz trio with the lead guitar being Kevin Peek of John E Broome and the Handels and Sky fame.
    We lived through a wonderful time.

  22. Phill. Chinner May 9, 2017 at 1:08 am #

    Still have my Princeton club membership card.

  23. Graham Bettany May 24, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

    Played bass in Fahrenheit 451, Buffalo Drive, and Pegasus from 1967 to 1973. Great venues, Fiesta Villa, Multiplication (both at Findon Hotel), Abergavenny (Victoria Hotel), Sarah Bernhardts (Richmond Hotel, Rundle Street), Winston Charles (Tollgate), Sergios (Tonsley Hotel). Comperes John Vincent, Bob Francis (‘Hound Dog in C’), Neil Humphries, Jim Slade (‘Cincinnati Fireball’). Great days, still playing in Travis Wellington Hedge, Rockdoctors, Boomers and enjoying every minute!

  24. William S June 9, 2017 at 10:10 pm #

    I remember the 4y dances every 2nd Sunday at the Payneham Town Hall great bands like The Hearts,Inkase, Travis Wellington Head,Farnheight 451who can forget the Miniskirts and high boots and the guys with their Flares and platform shoes MEMORIES

  25. Peter Beavis June 20, 2017 at 11:54 pm #

    Well what about Shindig at Glenelg town hall and Beachport at the old Pioneer Hall on Sturt Road (where the Salvos store is now)? and bands like Johnny Broom and the Handles with Kevin Peek (later in Sky) playing lead finger style, and The Hergs? The Vibrants played at Beachport often with Bev Harrell. Jeff Skewes (keyboards) lived in the next street to us at Warradale and the Vibrants used to practice sometimes in our local Congregational church hall, where our band The Relics (later The Sidewinders) used to play at a dance called The Pad. Our second drummer Greg Plimmer ended up in Fahrenheit 451 when our band split up. He’s been playing with the JPY All stars for many years. And I’m disappointed to not see Mick Bower’s name listed in the Masters line up given he wrote many of their big hits.

  26. Jane Stillwell August 28, 2017 at 10:48 pm #

    What was the name of the residentband at Fiesta Villa?

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