This four-song single and accompanying 10-track CD is a labour of love, a mission completed at the request of the late Chris Wilson, the celebrated Melbourne singer and X collaborator who was claimed by cancer in 2018.
Steve Lucas is backed by a San Diego band on the single, and augmented by Melbourne players on the rest. The majority of instrumentation is by Lucas, The CD includes the vinyl tracks so you're good to go in whatever format you please.
This is the X singer as you haven’t heard him - unless, of course, you’ve been to one of his thoroughly entertaining solo shows where he does away with stylistic boundaries and sings whatever takes his fancy. Mostly-acoustic, largely recorded live but augmented by sympathetic players, it resonates with raw spontaneity.
“By Request” has a distinctly Americana mood to the music. That should not surprise - the EP tracks were recorded with Mexican musicians in America, as Chris Wilson asked. Their number includes Hector Penalosa of The Zeros but they are all accomplished local players.
Foundation Radio Birdman drummer Ron Keeley is offering a rare piece of memorabilia for sale on the UK eBay site, taken from his own collection.
This item is a 24 inch (61cm) diameter painted bass drumhead from his white Rodgers kit. It was hand-painted by the band’s long-serving bass player and their artist, Warwick Gilbert. It saw action from 1976-78. It was re-used by Ron after Birdman broke up and he joined The Visitors, at that point being covered by a cardboard fascia with that band’s logo.
“It was on the kit for ALL the Radio Birdman gigs we played during that time, including all those at the Funhouse, the famous live session at 2JJ Studios, both of the legendary 1977 Paddington Town Hall gigs and many others,” Ron said.
“Condition is pretty good considering its age and the number of ‘skirmishes’ it was involved in…although it’s a bit battle-scarred (and stained in places with splashes of beer and other unidentified liquids.)”
The item comes with a personally signed Certificate of Authenticity stating that the drum face is a contemporaneous item from Ron’s personal collection, and describing its provenance.
Photo from a Brett Allen video.
Damien Lovelock 1954-2019
I first caught the Celibate Rifles a few weeks after my 17th birthday in the upstairs room at the Paddo Green Hotel. They were loud, fast, made me grow long hair. I’d recently bought “But Jacques, the fish”, skipped the first few classes and went into the city; got back to school with that treasure. It was a passport to a different world.
There were a lot of Rifles gigs over the years. It’s remarkable now to think how damn LOUD they were in the ‘80s. Towering amps, double four-way PA, in an average pub or club. It was inspirational too. If they could do it...
Of course, the average teenage punter didn’t know how much time and effort had already been ploughed into that band. Thirty-one years after that first gig I put this together. Read it, it’s the key.