Chapter One - I Was A Roadie - Page 4

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There were no faxes, we used telex machines that fed out typed telegram-style messages—or we sent a telegram, and presumably some kid on a bike would deliver them. The last telegram I ever got was from a girl. “I hate your guts,” it read.

We wore denim, and tee-shirts, and running shoes. Our long hair was greasy and the food was too. McDonalds had just opened at Yagoona in Sydney, and Kentucky Fried, as it was known back then, had been going a while. Fast food was more commonly made by a Greek guy in a blue coat at a suburban takeaway and washed down with a milkshake.

At the gig there was no three-phase power, which is the safe way to run lots of electrical equipment. We scrounged single circuits from around the place, running long leads. Soon we needed more. The Miniset 10 dimmer and the new Jands dimmer needed three-phase, so we made our own single-phase to three-phase adaptors. But to get real power, you needed to tap into the switchboard at the gig. We did it live, with the master switch on, screwing bare wires into the back of the porcelain fuse holders.

There was no FM radio, only AM with the radio station names printed on the tuner dial. 2SM, 3XY … those radio stations had immense power, and the DJs would routinely turn up at gigs in their tight denim flairs and walk out with a gorgeous woman. We wore platform shoes, men had perms. We all had too much hair, everywhere.

Bands would be paid maybe eighty bucks as a support act through to a couple of hundred bucks for a headline show. Crew got about ten dollars a night each. The Sydney Harbor Bridge toll was twenty cents.

Legends were born, but some were killed off early.

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