1968: Paper Grape

Paper-Grape--1968Post Rick and the Bad Boys I had a short stint during ’67, with Sydney blues band  THE SECT, as rhythm guitarist. This experience showed  me to what it took to be in a real band. Of equal importance, it exposed  me to a  style of music I had never considered would, to this day, form part of my guitaring identity.

I then teamed up with bass player Steve Hart from THE OMENS and drummer  Loppy Morris from THE ROADRUNNERS via an audition we all attended to replenish the ranks of the BLUE BEATS, behind original singer/rhythm guitarist Wayne Pohl.

THE BLUE BEATS were managed by popular Sydney disc jockey John Melouney, had released  several singles thru Festival records and had a tour with the Rolling Stones at the head of their CV. All very impressive!

Paper-Grape--KIMThe irony of this is that the band based its entire act on the works of Jagger and Richards and had to rethink  their entire repertoire for that tour!With only one remaining original member and playing yesterday’s music, The Blue Beats days were  numbered. We three newcomers elected to go forward. We added vocalist GERRY ANDERSON also from THE OMENS and went down the Brit Blues road, under the PAPER GRAPE bannerWe secured a residency at The Uptight Disco in George Street Sydney and ventured north regularly to Newcastle( in those pre freeway days, anything up to a one day drive) to play at HENRY MOUSETRAPS and BUS STOP where management opted to advertise us as a Brit Band to whip up some extra interest. Our vocalist’s thick Scottish brogue helped maintain the deception, for a short while at least.

Phoenix-AmpThe EP was recorded at Martin Erdman’s WORLD OF SOUND studios at Kogarah in one 4 hour session. This is the first recording I had been involved with where the end result faithfully represented the sound of the band and consequently, I felt my musical career had turned a positive corner.

Paper-Grape--RECORD-LABEL

In 1973 Martin Erdman produced the world wide mega hit, The Lord’s Prayer featuring Sister Janet Mead.

My gear comprised a white Les Paul SG, (purchased from Ray Columbus & The Invaders), plus a 150 watt Phoenix amp head, running into two 4 x 12″  almost two meter high speaker columns. This had to be the loudest amp on the planet, even running in half power mode!  My Phoenix was one of about four of this model produced. Reliability was not initially a Phoenix forte and designer Gill McPherson soon thereafter switched his allegiance to transistors.

PAPER GRAPE was a solid working outfit that never reached the heights we were perhaps anticipating,  None the less, during it’s almost two year existence, PAPER GRAPE provided experience money could never buy and supplied the foundation for something much bigger, which lay just around the corner. . . . . .

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