dave graney - Moodists-Coral Snakes-mistLY-FEARFUL WIGGINGS

dave graney - Moodists-Coral Snakes-mistLY-FEARFUL WIGGINGS
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About Me

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Current album Dave Graney and the mistLY LYVE AT BYRDS. Two albums in 2020, "Dave Graney and Clare Moore In Concert with Robin Casinader" and "Dave Graney and Clare Moore with Georgio "the dove" Valentino and Malcolm Ross". Two albums in 2019. ONE MILLION YEARS DC by Dave Graney and Clare Moore and ZIPPA DEEDOO WHAT IS/WAS THAT/THIS? from Dave Graney and the mistLY. WORKSHY - 2017 memoir out on Affirm Press. Let's get Tight - 2017 CD with Clare Moore. Moodists - Coral Snakes - mistLY. I don’t know what I am and don’t want to know any more than I already know. I aspire, in my music , to 40s B Movie (voice and presence) and wish I could play guitar like Dickey Betts, John Cippolina or Grant Green - but not in this lifetime, I know.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Generations By Jingo - thoughts on Australian music in sequence

 A "generation" in music can be five or ten years. People also tend to stay in their lanes, very tightly.

There were a few recent list in regard to women in Australian music and they mostly had a shamefully narrow window or point of view. Indie rock and the artists indie rock people recognize and crave the attention of - which are always the most mainstream and hugely successful ones. It made me think of my own lanes and tracks and how tightly I'd travelled in them.

In the Moodists we were young people in our twenties who lived and breathed rock music in the village of St Kilda, then we later extended that village to Darlinghurst and then followed tracks laid by others to the UK. Everything in the early days was word of mouth and on the street. No real media let alone social media. 

We thought we were in a different dimension from the surrounding mainstream Oz Rock culture. And we were. Being young, we were severe, sharp  and cruel in our views of the scene. We all watched the Sunday night tv show Countdown and we all howled in disgust at it. that world was so far away. 

Years later I would meet many people from the generation just before me and really treasured any interaction. After a while you realize being musicians, you have more in common with people than any tranistory ideas of cool or fashion.


When I was a teen in Mt Gambier I loved the band Spectrum. Led by New Zealander Mike Rudd.  Their biggest ever hit was I'll be Gone. They had a double/reverse band called the Incredible Murtceps and then morphed into ARIEL. I loved it all. 

Mike was a songwriter in a  scene of great players. There weren't many songwriters who were as distinctive as him. Their classic album A Strange Fantastic Dream had a brilliant illustrated cover with a  gatefold sleeve. The inside of that gatefold had the band in overalls at the Ford factory in Melbourne. This was a nod to a  song called "Garden of the Frenzied Cortinas" which was itself a pun on an arthouse movie called "Garden Of the Finzi Continis.

Ariel carried within their story all the conflicts of Australian music. Handsome guitarist Harvey James left them to join teh pop band Sherbet, a complete betrayal! Just before that had happened they had travelled to the UK to record at Abbey Road and when they arrived they were told that EMI were not interested in them recording the conceptual sci fi set of songsMike had written called The Jellabad Mutants so the band just used their time to re-record all their best songs from their live show, songs from the albums they hd put out over the previous five years in Australia. 

The resulting album Rock'n'Roll Scars is a classic recording of any period. 

Around 1993 when we were flying quite well in the Melbourne scene, Clare and I saw that Mike Rudd and Bill Putt (who had stayed with Mike all the way through the many permutations of the bands they shared) were doing a  show at a theatre in Fitzroy. This was the first sighting of them in many years. We went along and watched them play two long sets of music on nylon guitars, a duo. It turned out they had withdrawn from music in the late 80s and had studied classical finger picking guitars and just wanted to play again. thjey had jousted with punk and New Wave with Mike Rudd and The Heaters and went to a  full video screen type performance (in pubs) with W.H.Y and then they took a breather. I found this kind of withdrawing and renewing very inspiring. Clare Moore and I watched them in awe that night, going through all this material from before our own involvement in music as players. The audience seemed to be a real gathering of old time freaks too, people dancing alone in the wings of the Universal  theatre, a wonderful night.

We asked Mike and Bill to open for Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes at a  few gigs and have kept in touch since. Bill Putt (who normally played bass) lived as a house sitter at that time we met and he basically liked music and karate. Later he settled in a more domestic situation with someone in Marysville outside Melbourne and saved their house from the 2009 bushfires (but losing his lifes collection of recordings ). He was philosophical about it. Then he died one day not long after, chopping wood, a heart attack. We went up to the farm for the wake which was an incredible experience , so many players from the 70s getting up to sing songs and roadcrew people putting together a stage and PA out in the field. Mike continues to play around and maintains a website

He is a brilliant electric guitar player as well as a songwriter with a  fantastic catalogue of material.
In 2016 The Lost Ragas recorded Mikes song I'll be Gone and got Mike to play harmonica .

In 2020 a book about Mike and Spectrum was released. There are some details here.

Mike had first come to Australia with an R&B band from Christchurch NZ called The Chants. 

Soon after arriving in Australia he was in a  band with Ross Wilson and Ross Hannaford called THE PARTY MACHINE (1967).

Ross Wilson is another character who was already involved in music while I was still in short pants (though he was not really that far away from his own short panted period) who still plays music constantly after a lifetime of involvement in Australian music. A ball of energy, his is a great voice for creativity in this country. 

Eagle Rock was a song he wrote while living in the UK in the late 69s and brough to Daddy Cool on his return. I heard him say in an interview he met up with Mike who had I'll Be Gone in his pocket at the time and how exciting it was to be young and suddenly writing songs that then became national hits . Daddy Cool dropped right in Australian denim blues boogie rock of the early 70s with great songs like Hi Honey Ho. A total unit of a band with the two Ross's on guitars and Wayne Duncan and Gary Young on bass and drums. 

In 2016 Ross recorded a song that had been a hit for Johnny Okeefe and later a hit again for Iggy Pop called Real Wild Child.

 The song was written by Johnny Okeefe's band members Johnny Greenan and Dave Owens. 

Johnny is quoted in this Clinton Walker article chasing down the first ever Australian rock'n'roll record.


Margret Roadknight had a pop hit in 1976 with Girls In Our Town and I cannot believe such a bleak and stark song of truth got airplay on am pop radio. An amazing song and a high point in Australian music culture.

Written by Newcastle (Australia) folk singer Bob Hudson , every line drops like a jewel of hard truth. 

"Girls in our town, they just haven't a care

You see them on Saturday floating on air
Painting their toenails and washing their hair
Maybe tonight it'll happen
Girls in our town they leave school at fifteen
Work at the counter or behind the machine
And spend all their money on making a scene
They plan on going to England
Girls in our town go to parties in pairs
Sit 'round the barbecue, give themselves aires
Then they go to the bathroom with their girlfriend who cares
Girls in our town are so lonely
Girls in our town are too good for the pill
But if you keep asking they probably will
Sometimes they like you or else for the thrill
And explain it away in the morning
Girls in our town get no help from their men
No one can let them be sixteen again
Things might get better but it's hard to say when
If they only had someone to talk to
Girls in our town can be saucy and bold
At seventeen, no one is better to hold
Then they start havin' kids, start gettin' old
Girls in our town...
Girls in our town"
 I remember hearing it at school in Mt Gambier and a girl turning the radio off as it was too real. 
Even now, whenever I hear it I start to cry. Reading those words, I started to cry! 
Margret sang the song so well, told the story so straight. She is from the folk tradition and has never written songs, only interpreted those of others. 
We started to go and see Margret whenever we would see her doing a show and they are always wonderful occasions. One time, about ten years ago, we saw her do a  "50 years as a performer" show at Bennetts Lane jazz club. She really commands a show, singing and playing guitar and singing accapella and doing African throat singing. She is also well over six feet in height so that helps with the commanding as well. It was also great to see people from Melbournes indie rock community showing up at her shows as well. Specifically people from It Records and Chapter Music.

In 2010 Clare Moore worked on the Arts Centre project about Australian female musicians called "Rock Chicks". (The title came from the Arts Centre people - all artists involved were embarassed by it really. ) This exhibition opening culminated in a performance by a formidable band she had gotten together to back singers, Margret Roadknight, Jeanie Lewis, Carroll LLoyd, Adalita , Jodi Phillis and Diana Ahnaid. 

More, anon...... 



Murray White said...

We were lucky to have those great players to bring us into to fold of Oz Rock all those years ago. Went to all the gigs, bought the records and treasure the experiences.

Simone Piggott said...

Engagingly written anecdotes about musicians, music and the enigmatic Australian 70's onwards live performance scene.
Decades of industry experience provide a wealth of commentary for the Graney Blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this Dave, I look forward to the next instalment.

dave graney said...

Thanks for commenting!Dont usually expect any feedback. dave

Dave Graney and Clare Moore with Georgio "the dove" Valentino and Malcolm Ross

Dave Graney and Clare Moore with Robin Casinader - In Concert


Starts with a Kinksy groover sketching a 21st century populist tyrant who coasts in power on waves of public resentment at those on the lowest rungs of the ladder (He Was A Sore Winner). Sweeps across a sci fi terrain with nods to songs in the sand at the end of the world (Pop Ruins) and nods to the ties that bind in the underground communities (Comrade Of Pop and Where Did All The Freaks Go?). Songs about intense, long relationships, defunct technology that didn’t answer back, severe social status definition (I’m Not Just Any Nobody), people wandering through your mind as if it was a garage sale, the anxiety of the long running showman (wide open to the elements again) and ends with a song that’s “a little bit Merle Haggard and a little bit Samuel Beckett”. " Edith Grove! Powis Square! 56 Hope Road! Petrie Terrace!.. The Roxy! The Odeon! Apollo! Palais! Olympia! The Whisky! Detroit Grande!” Pop Ruins!"


ZIPPA DEEDOO WHAT IS/WAS THAT/THIS? (The title comes from the chorus of “Song Of Life” ) is a classic rock’n’roll album. Classic if you lived through what has become known as ”the classic rock era” as it rolled out new and even broke onto the beachhead and morphed into punk. That’s the direction Dave Graney and Clare Moore have always been coming from. They have spent their lives schooled by and immersed in rock ‘n’ roll culture. Neither attended higher education and they dived in deep and kept swimming. From the Moodists through the Coral Snakes /White Buffaloes to the mistLY This is an album with their band, Dave Graney and the mistLY. Stuart Perera has played guitar with them since 1998 and Stu Thomas on bass since 2004. MARCH 2019 ZIPPA DEEDOO WHAT IS/WAS THAT/THIS? 2019 album out on Compact Disc - available here via mail order...
If you are from outside of Australia and wish to purchase a Compact Disc copy of ZIPPA DEEDOO WHAT IS/WAS THAT/THIS? please use this button (different postage)



2014 solo album from Dave Graney. *****"If I've learnt anything in my years of writing about music it's that if you are going to do anything of worth in this tough game, you better have your own thing. Today's generic is easily replaced by tomorrow's. And yet you need to be flexible, to follow wherever the songs demand. In the case of this, only the second credited as a solo album among 30 or so Graney releases, it's a curious yet welcoming lane he walks you down, with acoustic guitars, not much percussion, vibes, smooth sounds. At the end of it you feel like you've awoken from a strange yet pleasant summer's dream. As shot by Luis Bunuel. It ranges from off-kilter reveries (A Woman Skinnies Up a Man, The Old Docklands Wheel) through to the softly seductive (How Can You Get Out of London) and the downright arch (Look Into My Shades, Everything Is Great In The Beginning.) This is music that is neither folk, nor blues, nor country, but it's all Graney, somewhere out to the left field beyond Lee Hazlewood's raised eyebrow. It's astringent on the tongue but sweetens in the telling." Noel Mengel Brisbane Courier Mail

you've been in my mind

June 2012 super high energy pop rock album - blazing electric 12 strings - total 70s rock drive. Greatest yet! available via paypal - $20 pp

rock'n'roll is where I hide/- 2011 "vintage classics/ re recordings" on LIBERATION

SUPERMODIFIED - August 2010 remixed/re-sung/re-strung//remastered/replayed comp via PAYPAL

also available as a digital album

Knock yourself (2009)-first ever dg solo set-filthy electro r&b-available via Paypal- $20

available as a digital album too

We Wuz Curious (2008)-blazing R&B jazz pop album available via paypal-$20


Keepin' It Unreal-(2006)-minimalist/lyrical vibes,bass and 12 string set - digital or as CD

Hashish and Liquor (2005 double disc by Dave Graney and Clare Moore) available via Paypal $25

Single album HASHISH available as a digital release

Heroic Blues- "folk soul" set from 2002-Availableas a digital album via BandCamp

UNAVAILABLE ! Completely sold out!

It is written,baby-book released 1997- available $10 via paypal