richard lane - The I-94 Bar

Friends and fans dig deep for Richard Lane's family

richard lane greenFriends of the late Richard Lane (The Painkillers, ex-The Stems, The On and Ons, Rosebuds and The Chevelles) have rallied to raise money for his family with a fund-raiser now active on Go Fund Me.

Tributes are pouring into the page for the talented musician from Fremantle who passed away the weekend before last.

The founding member of The Stems ran a local music school and was heavily involved with his community. He is survived by his wife Cathy and daughter Penny. 

You can leave your message and donation here.

Oldest Friend - The Painkillers (Off The Hip)

oldest friendOf the four albums by The Painkillers since 2006, this is the first to feature a full band. It also reprises five of its nine songs from earlier recordings. 

The Painkillers were formerly a duo - guitarist-singer Joe Bludge, a bluesman, and drummer James Baker, a man who surely needs no introduction. 

Coming from Perth (yeah, yeah, the most isolated capital city in the world) kept them a secret from the rest of Australia. I remember rushing across town one Saturday night, after an opening spot by Wrong Turn at The Empire (RIP), to catch a rare East Coast Painkillers show at Sydney’s Excelsior Hotel (RIP again), and finding the band barely outnumbered by punters. 

Trade Winds – Johnny Casino (Citadel/La Villa Nova)

trade windsJohnny Casino albums are a treat for the converted and a revelation for those less fortunate. If you’re one of the latter, “Trade Winds” is as good a place as any to start.

It’s been way too long between records for Johnny - both this album and its predecessor "Time and Time Again" are old recordings woodshedded for later release - but well worth the wait. The big fella from Sydney’s Northern Beaches makes Spain his home these days, where he plies his dual trades of tattooing and playing music.

“Trade Winds” was recorded before he emigrated a couple of years ago with a crack band in North Fremantle, Western Australia. Drummer Warren Hall (The Volcanics, Datura 4, The Drones), a longtime Casino sideman, joined with Martyn P Casey (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds /The Triffids/Grinderman) played bass. That’s as fine an engine room as you’ll find. 



Vale Stems co-founder Richard Lane

richard lane ripAustralian underground elder statesman and co-founder of The Stems, Richard Lane, has passed away in Fremantle. An announcement has been made via The Stems’ Facebook page.

Richard had lately been a member of The Painkillers, the hard-rocking garage outfit formed by James Baker, and rehearsed with them last Saturday.

Richard and Dom Mariani formed The Stems in 1983 and went on to have a fruitful if tumultuous musical partnership. Lane was a driving musical force behind the band’s early garage sound, epitomised on their early singles. He also played guitar and keyboards on the debut album “At First Sight Violets Are Blue” and the 2007 reformation record, “Heads Up”.

The band dissolved in 1987 but has reformed a couple of times. Richard was not a part of the line-up that was reconstituted in 2013.

Richard spent time living in Perth and Sydney. He formed a small record label,  Idaho Records, in Perth in the 1990s and played in a number of other important bands including The Chevelles, The Rosebuds and The On and Ons.

Richard founded Penny Lane’s Music Workshop in Fremantle in 2003 as a community-based outlet to teach music. He is survived by second wife Cathy and daughter Penny.

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