St Kilda Music Walking Tours

St Kilda Music Walking Tours

Walk the walk, hear the talk
Fred Negro
a rough history by Rob Wellington
Pre History     The 60s     The 70s     Punk Arrives    
Crystal Ballroom     Prince Of Wales       The Espy       the Venue      

Around The Clock to Pub Rock


Johnny O'Keefe (AKA Jay OK) has Australia's first Rock and Roll chart hit with "She's My Baby".

Johnny O'Keefe
Johnny O'Keefe

Local TV shows broadcast into Australia's expanding suburbs and featured live performances of local artists. The demand grew for home-grown music. But Australia had more talent than the new music industry could cope with. Talent shows sprang up, shows like Johnny O'Keefe's Sing, Sing, Sing, with prizes that sent the likes of Helen Reddy and Olivia Newton-John overseas, where they found international success.

Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs - 'Poison Ivy'
Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs - Poison Ivy

Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs released a cover of 'Poison Ivy' pushing the Beatles from the top of the Australian charts.

Jimmy Little's hit Royal Telephone makes him the first indigenous Australian to smash the national charts

A band called the Easybeats form

The Seekers
The Seekers


Bobby & Laurie release Bobby And Laurie
the 'long-haired' pair appeared on the ABC's Teen Scene television show , where they were famously dragged off the stage by screaming female fans

Go-Set Rock magazine is launched, publish the first national Pop charts, and are soon hosting their TV Pop awards show - the Pop Poll

Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds begins

Russel Morris, 18, begins gigging with Melbourne group Somebody's Image

The Throb hit the charts with Fortune Teller

Masters Apprentices are Undecided but Australia loves them thanks to DJ Stan Rofe

The Easybeats hit the charts with I'll Make You Happy

The Easybeats
The Easybeats


The Zoot move to Melbourne, thanks for all the great bands South Australia!


The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band form

Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band
Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band

Russell Morris releases his epic The Real Thing (written by Johnny Young, produced by Ian Meldrum, engineered by John L Sayers and performed by members of Melbourne's the Groop, the Chiffons, The Cookies and Zoot) and we're ready for the 70s!

Adrian Barker, in the Masters Apprentices' van, coming home from a hard night's work
Adrian Barker, in the Masters Apprentices' van, coming home from a hard night's work

Though I was pre-pubescent when I listened to these bands on the local AM radio stations, their influence still resonates, the legacy is alive. Jim Keays describes what they did as 'Garage Punk' and you can clearly hear Grunge and Punk in the raw and gutsy performances of many of the bands, something that evolved into Melbourne's incredible Pub Rock scene.


Frank Ifield's I Remember You tops Australian, UK and US charts

As Johnny O'Keefe's Rock Around The Clock TV show came to an end, Australians were Twisting and Stomping to American Rock, especially Surf music. This wave peaked when the Beach Boys toured in 1964.

Olivia Newton-JohnOlivia Newton-John


The 'British invasion' hits in 1964 with the Beatles Australian tour and is cemented the following year when the Stones tour. Australians dabbled with being 'Mods' and Australian bands are very much British influenced by the time Bob Dylan toured in 1966.

Jimmy Little - Royal Telephone
Jimmy Little - Royal Telephone


The Masters Apprentices and The Loved Ones form

The Seekers begin their chart domination with I'll Never Find Another You and The Carnival Is Over

Bobby and Laurie, 1966 TV Guide
Bobby and Laurie, 1966 TV Guide


The Loved Ones' release their incredible first album Magic Box

Normie Rowe wins the first Go-Set King of Pop Awards

The Groop release their hit Woman You're Breaking Me (Cadd/Wright) and win a trip to the UK on Hoadley's National Battle of the Sounds

Masters Apprentices

Masters Apprentices move to Melbourne, fill venues, release their first LP and turn on to psychedelia

A picture tells a thousand words. For me, this photo of The Masters Apprentices roady Adrian Barker, speaks of the times, the life and connects the dots. Glenn Wheatley took the shot. Adrian must have been 'wrecked' as he says he normally drove the van. Adrian went on to run the Drum agency (set up by The Masters), manage many bands, run venues and eventually become part of my world as the manager of Models. Thanks for the pic Adrian!