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Rob Greaves

The Cream of The Crate - Record #7

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From the Cream of The Crate Series – An album in my collection that is irreplaceable, and simply a classic!

Number seven in the series of albums I’m featuring is a real ‘home grown’ ripper. Recorded in Melbourne’s “notorious’ Station Hotel in Greville Street Prahran, in possibly represents a halcyon period of ‘pub’ generated music.

You could be forgiven (except for the photo above) of asking, which album is he talking about? There may be more I don’t know about, but at last count there were five recordings all “Live At The Station Hotel”. Before examining the one I believe is the ‘Cream of the Crop”, let me list the one’s I have identified in order of their recording.
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1. Ariel Live At The Station Hotel: Made at the Station Hotel, Prahran on 11 November, 1975 -- the night of the dismissal of the Whitlam government -- the tape includes a live rendition of a suite of songs from The Jellabad Mutant, and it showcases what a polished and dynamic live outfit Ariel Mk III really was.
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2. Live At The Station Hotel: Captured “Live” in a series of hot March nights, 1976.

3. Live At The Station Hotel: by Flickers Over There in March 1988, released as a digital download (initially released 31 march 1988).

4. Live At The Station Hotel: Dutch Tilders and The Blues Club, a classic album recorded in 1993.

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5. Live At The Station Hotel: The Final Gig, recorded 22nd October 2011. This is a recording of the final show at the Station Hotel, featuring, Barry Charles, Winchester, the Mick Elliott Band, the Pardoners and, Spectrum (With a poem by Robert Lloyd). This was a limited edition release on CD.

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It is release # 2 (the 1976 release) that I believe is the “Live At The Station Hotel” that best captures the spirit and the music played there. While it features some of Melbourne’s then best bands, it is not to acknowledge that almost every artist and band worth anything, played at the legendary Station Hotel at some time.

This album only features four of all the great artists to have played there. In order as they appear on the album:
* Myriad - Carrl Myriad – vocals & guitar: Andrew Pendlebury – lead guitar: Chris Wilson – vocals & organ: Mark Ferrie – Bass: Phillip Smith – vocals & drums.

* Dingoes – Brod Smith – vocals: Chris Stockley – vocals & guitar: Kerryn Tolhurst – guitar: John DuBois – vocals & bass: Ray Arnott – Drums (What a line- up!)

* Saltbush – Bernie O’Brien – vocals & lead guitar: Ross Nicholson – vocals & guitar: Polly Pyle – vocals & bass: Harold Frith – vocals & drums.

* Wild Beaver Band – Snowy ‘Cutmore’ Townshend – vocals: Mick Elliott – guitar: John Brunell – vocals & guitar: Mick Crawford – bass: Noel herridge – drums.

It is arguably an amazing collection of styles among these four groups and now, some 37 years later we can recognise that many of these artists have gone on to become true legends of the Oz music scene! I have included one track from each of them at the end of the article, that track being in my opinion the best from each group, and having said that, there is not a ‘dead’ track on this fantastic album.

If you have not been fortunate enough to hear this album, then you will need to take my word for the fact that the atmosphere and crowds at the Station Hotel have driven these groups to play at their very best. Yet, there is more. Behind the scenes there are some now ‘legendary’ names of the Melbourne music scene at work.

Produced by Keith Glass, himself a musician and singer of note – having been a significant member of the 18th Century Quartet and Cam-pact, later to have sung a lead role in Hair, and part owner and founder of the also now legendary Archie & Jugheads Record Shop. The other part owner of that shop, David N. Pepperell (aka Doctor Pepper), also a man well know throughout the music scene both as originally the lead singer of the short lived Melbourne Group of the 60’s – The Union (notable for their recording of the Thump, a track acknowledging the Thumping Tum disco), and also well known for his music Journalism. Keith is credited as Producing this Album, and David as the “Drunken Producer” (or vice versa).

The third key man associated with both the production of the album, and credited with being the first promoter of the Station Hotel, and member of Cam- pact, notorious in his own right – Mark Barnes. The cover and notes reflect the quirks and skills of these three guys and along with John McDiarmid & Michael Shipley, who engineered the recording, we have been left with an absolute Classic Australian Recording!

Originally released on the Lamington label, my copy is the reissue on the Missing Links label (owned by Keith Glass), and the tracks are:

01 - Myriad - The Ballad Of The Station Hotel
02 - Myriad - Rock 'n' Roll Highway
03 - Myriad - Glenrowan
04 - Dingoes - Marijuana Hell
05 - Dingoes - When A Man Loves A Woman
06 - Saltbush - Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother
07 - Saltbush - Stay All Night
08 - Wild Beaver Band - What Am I Doing Here
09 - Wild Beaver Band - How Come All You Dudes
Look Like Cowboys
10 - Wild Beaver Band - Messin' around

If you do not own this album, but are ever lucky enough to find it, do not hesitate to buy. This is already a highly desirable album and its desirability will continue to grow as the legends of these artists, their music and the Station Hotel, continue to grow with the years.

MYRIAD - The Ballad of the Station Hotel (Lookin' for Love)

DINGOES - Marijuana Hell

SALTBUSH - Stay All Night

WILD BEAVER BAND - What Am I Doin' Here

There are no known film recordings of the performances on this album. However, there are two video recordings of a performance in November 2010.

Part 1. - Features The Mick Elliott Band & The Pardoners (Sam See & Glyn Mason)

Part 2. - Features Stockley, See & Mason and Spectrum

Previous Cream of The Crate Albums

#1 – Howling Wolf: Real Folk Blues

#2 – Otis Redding: Otis Blue/ Otis Redding Sings Soul

#3 – Dr John The Night Tripper: Gris Gris

#4 – Spectrum: ROYGBIV

#5 – Son House: The Real Delta Blues

#6 – Cruisin ‘61
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