Rocking on after knock-backs
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.”