Chapter One - I Was A Roadie - Page 2

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Literally everyone smoked dope, pot, ganja, weed, cannabis, bongs, joints and spliffs. Sometimes all at once. LSD and acid were prevalent. Heroin wasn't on the scene, neither was cocaine. Alcohol was part of the mix, but most gigs were in halls that weren't licensed.

There were some discothèque venues that programmed bands, and towards the end of the decade the pubs started to open up in a big way as audiences grew up, coming out of the schools and community halls.

The police were very interested in long-haired hippy rock-types, and would routinely pull us over and search us. There were no breathalysers so we were more prone to drink-driving. Sydney to Melbourne required a bottle of Southern Comfort. We had just escaped the National draft, which Whitlam abolished a few years earlier. Soldiers returned from Vietnam were pilloried as murderers and didn’t go to rock gigs.

Sex was happening everywhere. The worst thing that could happen was you got venereal disease and had to visit the Blue Light Clinic to deal with the riot in your underwear—thanks to Billy Thorpe for that quote. The pill had liberated women and the media was full of free love and desire. Number 96 was a TV soap that featured women taking off their clothes in every episode. If you couldn’t get laid, it was because you were too afraid to ask. Guys virtually did just that: see a girl at a gig, sidle up and suggest a walk outside. Code: have sex.

Girls didn’t think of themselves as groupies. They would simply try and do anything to get close to their idols. Crews were well placed as intermediaries. Pants down, transaction, introduction, and a motel room number.

After load out, of course.

On the road we would pull into a town, circumnavigate the main street, and back up to the rear of the hall. There was always a hall attendant to open up, and usually the place smelled of fresh floor polish. The timber floor was all pristine, and there was usually a plaque above the stage commemorating the fallen.

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