5 legendary rock‘n’roll moments on the Northern Rivers
With its position on the east coast pub rock route, and home to three major music festivals, the Northern Rivers has been the setting for many a legendary rock and roll moment.
It’s also been the birthplace of some great rock and roll talent that have honed their musical chops in this region and then moved on.
And now it’s like the retirement home for some absolute legends of the rock industry.
Because of Bluesfest, Splendour and Falls, plenty of musical greats get to play here and many seem to stay on, or come back because of the ‘vibe’ of the place.
But here are five of the juiciest rock and roll moments we considered memorable and worth mentioning again.
1: You can’t come into the club wearing your school uniform:
Legend has it that Divinyls lead singer Chrissy Amphlett turned up for a gig at the Lismore Workers Club dressed in her stage costume at the time, which was a school uniform.
But the club’s doorman was having none of it, and told her she couldn’t come inside the club dressed like that as she was not the required age.
Once he had the error of his ways pointed out, Amphlett played to a rowdy mob inside the Workers’ auditorium.
At one point she was hit on the head with a full beer can, knocking her to the ground.
She got up after a few moments, and the band stopped playing, as the house lights went up. “Right,” she told the crowd. “We are not playing anymore until I find out which one of you c--ts threw that.” Everyone pointed their fingers at the culprit, who was duly escorted from the club, as the band played on.
2: The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind:
It’s hard to believe now, but music legend Bob Dylan had a few problems getting a gig around here.
Fans of the legendary folk singer may remember back in 2001, Dylan was forced to move his concert to Ballina.
Fickle people in angst-ridden Byron Shire raised objections to a development application to hold the event there.
Instead he performed at Ballina’s Seagulls Rugby League Football Club at Kingsford Smith Park.
There’s a set list of the songs he performed at Ballina floating around on the internet as well as a live recording of a few songs from the concert of YouTube.
3: Rapper lives up to his name:
US rapper Joey Bada$$ was arrested after performing at Falls Festival in Byron Bay in 2015.
Mr Bada$$, whose real name is Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott, was charged with assault after breaking a security guard’s nose at the summer festival.
The then 19-year-old was about to go on stage on the closing night of the festival, when he was stopped by a security guard who wanted to check his credentials.
The rapper was reported to have punched the security guard in the face before going on stage to perform.
He was arrested by police after the show finished and taken to Byron Bay police station, where he spent the night in custody.
4: Little old Lismore launches one of Australia’s best:
As a region we are very proud that we launched the career of Grinspoon.
The Grinspoon alumni were all buzzing around Southern Cross University in the 1990s with Phil Jamieson on vocals, Bangalow resident Pat Davern on guitar, Joe Hansen on bass and Kristian Hopes on drums.
On their Guide To Better Living 20th anniversary tour four years ago Jamieson and his cohorts played a gig at Lismore City Hall.
“We wrote the majority of the songs (on the album) around the corner in Park Street, at Pat’s old house,” he said.
“This album and the North Coast are inextricably linked as most of the songs was written and was also recorded there.”
The band played regular gigs at the Gollan Hotel in Lismore and broke big around Australia in 1995 when they won Tripe J’s Unearthed competition.
5: Crowded House gets a little too crowded:
There’s a great documentary series called Great Australian Albums which was released several years ago and you can check out some of them online.
One of the albums featured was the making of Crowded House’s classic Woodface.
For those that remember, Woodface saw the Finn brothers, Neil and Tim, reunited for a short time in the one band following the demise of Split Enz.
Anyway, on the doco Neil Finn recounts a funny indident which happened when the band played a gig in Bryon Bay.
The two brothers had a bit of a fight and Neil took himself off to the band vehicle in the carpark to cool off.
As he recounts in the documentaty he was followed out by a hippie woman who kept knocking on the car window promising to repair his “chakra”.