Nostalgic night in with rock n’ Bowl legends
RocKwiz Salutes the Bowl 9.20pm, SBS
ASK Melburnians to name their favourite Sidney Myer Music Bowl moment, then duck while everyone argues. My mother would say the Seekers in 1966. Our gang has a vast repertoire of memories, from seeing Neil Diamond with their parents to Christmas Eve’s Carols by Candelight with their kids, and all the bands and dance styles in between.
RocKwiz co-host Brian Nankervis recalls sitting in the rain at one of Bob Dylan’s 1978 concerts. The 50-something Nankervis has aged with the Bowl; so have many audience members. RocKwiz critics maintain this older demographic constrains the show’s thinking. But let’s face it, who else is at home on a Saturday night watching television?
Reluctantly, we admit our best Bowl days are behind us. Let us have fun, then, with this one-hour tribute.
Tonight’s RocKwiz Salutes the Bowl was filmed on Friday, February 13, at the end of a hot and gruesome week of bushfires and tragedy. These events may explain why the audience was primed for a collective musical hug.
The Bowl opened in February 1959. Named after the great philathropist and retailer Sidney Myer who died in 1934, it was paid for by the Myer Foundation and given as a gift to the people of Melbourne.
‘‘ Ladies and gentlemen, folkies, sharpies, hippies and punkers. True believers united under the stars and this graceful canopy,’’ Nankervis says at the start of the show. Kram, of Spiderbait, now out on his own, belts out Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs’ 1972 classic Most People I Know and the place is ready to rock.
But let’s not forget this is a quiz show. During the next hour Julia Zemiro fires questions about the venue’s history. In which year did iceskating begin? Who played this famous riff?
The RocKwiz band — Peter ‘‘ Lucky’’ Luscombe, James Black and Mark Ferrie — meet Zemiro’s every challenge. So do the contestants ( keep your eye on Nicholas).
And a line-up of local artists belts out the big Bowl sounds. Jet’s Nic Cester sings Maybe I’m Amazed and brings to life Wings’ 1975 concert. Kutcha Edwards does great things with Yothu Yindi’s Treaty. Paul Kelly, Madder Lake’s Mick Fettes, Stephen Cummings, Ross Wilson, Ross Hannaford and other Bowl pin-ups remind us of a rich rock history that thrived beyond the Kings Domain.
‘‘ In 1977, $ 12.50 would have bought you quite a lot of Chiko Rolls,’’ says Zemiro. ‘‘ It would also have bought you a ticket to ABBA.’’
Enter, stage left, Kush’s Jeff Duff singing Dancing Queen .
We’ll keep quiet on the identity of the final performer. ( And it’s not Dennis Walter; he’s on earlier doing a very good Diamond.) Suffice to say, my mum will be happy.
Ross revival fever: Ross Hannaford and Ross Wilson on SBS’s