Saturday, December 31, 2011
1 X 2 X 3 X 4/Mr. Songwriter/Flying/Yes I'm Glad/Who's Afraid Of You/About Time/Monty And Me/Sailing/Feelings/Sha La La/She's Alright/Shake A Feather
Although Zoot were a popular band during the late 1960s, critics labelled them as teenybopper or light bubblegum due primarily to the Think Pink - Think Zoot publicity campaign devised by their management. After relocating to Melbourne in mid-1968, Zoot signed with Columbia Records/EMI Australia and were managed by Wayne de Gruchy, they recorded their first single, "You'd Better Get Goin' Now", a Jackie Lomax cover with David Mackay producing. By December, management by de Gruchy was dropped in favour of Sambell and Jeff Joseph, who also managed Farnham and The Masters Apprentices.
Zoot's second single, "1 × 2 × 3 × 4" was released in December and charted on the Go-Set National Top 40 Singles Chart. By September 1968, Higgins and Stone had returned to Adelaide to be replaced by Rick Brewer (ex-The Mermen with Cotton, Third Party) on drums and Roger Hicks on guitar. Besides radio airplay, the band appeared regularly on local pop music TV show, Uptight!. Their third single, "Monty and Me" continued the Think Pink - Think Zoot theme and was produced by Go-Set writer, Ian Meldrum (later hosted Countdown), which also reached the Top 40 in June. Zoot was voted Top Australian Group in Go-Set's pop poll published in June, just ahead of The Masters Apprentices and Brisbane group, The Avengers. In July they undertook a tour through the eastern states with Ronnie Burns, The Sect and Jon Blanchfield on the bill.
Hicks left by September for The Avengers, and was replaced by Rick Springfield (ex-Icy Blues, Moppa Blues Band, Wickety Wak). Meldrum had produced Wickety Wak's single, "Billie's Bikie Boys" with Birtles as a backing vocalist. From September, Zoot joined other Australian bands on the national Operation Starlift tour, which was generally a publicity success but a financial disaster. October saw the release of "It's About Time" by EMI, Zoot read about it in Go-Set and had expected to re-record its demo quality.
By early 1970, band members had tired of the garish pink outfits and associated harassment and physical abuse, hence, to rid themselves of the bubblegum/teen idol image, they burnt their outfits on TV music show, Happening '70. Zoot then promoted their fifth single "Hey Pinky", released in April, with an advertisement in Go-Set which featured a nude picture of their bums. Their debut album, Just Zoot followed in July and reached No. 8 on Go-Set Top 20 National Albums Chart.
In December they released a hard rock cover of The Beatles' song, "Eleanor Rigby" which became their most popular single when it peaked at No. 4 in March 1971. It remained in the Top 40 for twenty weeks and reached No. 12 on the Top Records for the Year of 1971. Their next single, "The Freak" / "Evil Child", another hard rock song, was released in April and peaked into the top 30.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Hayride/La La/Run, Run, Run/She Don't Care About Time/The Last Train/All Fall Down/I Remember Jo Anne/3667/Silvertown Girl/Good Night Irene/Giselle/Israel/Kempsey Mail/Turn Away/The Longest Day/Ballad Of Sacred falls/Finding My Way/Early Morning/Shame Shame/Groovy Night/I Think I'm Gonna Feel Better/So You Want To Be A Rock N Roll Star/Twilight Journey/To Put Up With You/You Aint Goin Nowhere
The Flying Circus was a pioneering Australian country rock band who had a number of pop hits in Australia from 1968 to 1971 and then re-located to Canada from 1971 to 1974 where they also achieved a degree of success.The Flying Circus were formed in August 1968 in Sydney, Australia starting out as a country/folk-rock band. They performed "harmony-rich covers of Byrds, Dylan and Dillards country songs". Like The Byrds, a prominent part of their early sound came from the featured use of a 12 string Rickenbacker guitar.
They were brought together by lead guitarist Doug Rowe who had been a member of New Zealand band, The Castaways, before coming to Australia. The original lineup was Doug Rowe [lead guitar, vocals], James Wynne [lead vocals, rhythm guitar], Bob Hughes [bass, vocals] and Colin Walker [drums]. Bob Hughes left in early 1969 he was replaced by bassist Warren Ward, an experienced musician.
The Flying Circus is one of the most misunderstood, overlooked and underrated Australian groups of the '64-75 period. They're mainly remembered these days for their two early "bubblegum" hits, which is unfortunate, Wrongly labelled a pop band because of their lightweight recordings, they were actually a complex and very progressive live act, the first link in Australia between pop and country rock.
In spite of their musical excellence, and a flying start with three hit records, they never really managed to gain a firm footing in Australia. They eventually found a more receptive audience after relocating to Canada, becoming one of the first Australian acts to establish themselves overseas. Many factors -- changes of musical style, frequent changes of lineup (Rowe and Walker being the only constants) and long periods overseas combined to restrict their chances of establishing a strong and lasting identity with the local media and the public.