Rock­ing on af­ter knock-backs

Sunday Mail - - CONFIDENTIAL -

ROCK LEGEND and cre­ative force be­hind The An­gels, John Brew­ster, re­mem­ber the days when the band couldn’t land a gig in sub­ur­ban Ade­laide.

Sacked by a Sus­sex Ho­tel pub­li­can for in­spir­ing too many fans to break glasses, John re­calls hit­ting North East Rd in search of a gig back in the early ’70s.

“I was des­per­ate to find a gig, just kept stop­ping at pubs,” he says. “A lot told me to bug­ger off un­til I got out to the Mod­bury Ho­tel.

“He gave us a Tues­day night. Within weeks we were pack­ing the joint. We put 400 peo­ple in that room.”

It was at the same ho­tel where his­tory was made in 1974. With the band then known as the Moon­shine Jug and String Band, John re­calls their first ten­ta­tive foray into a whole new mu­si­cal realm – rock – and the cat­a­lyst be­hind the change in style, a song he wrote called Keep You On The Move.

“It did quite well,” he says. “But es­sen­tially it was a rock song. We needed to start a dif­fer­ent kind of band. It took me all night to get (singer) Doc (Nee­son) to agree.”

The band’s name would also change to The An­gels on “mu­si­cal ge­nius” Ge­orge Young’s sug­ges­tion.

John also re­calls his fi­nal con­ver­sa­tions with the late, great Doc, who died in his sleep in 2014 af­ter a bat­tle with can­cer.

“While we went through some tough times to­gether, we weren’t ac­tu­ally war­ring,” he says. “Peo­ple like to think it was fight­ing, but it’s just not true.”

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