ROCKIN’ MUSIC MEMORIES
MOOLOOLABA PUB AND THE GALAXY NIGHTCLUB WERE MUCH SMALLER THAN OTHER ICONIC VENUES FURTHER SOUTH BUT SPACE WAS NEVER AN ISSUE
There is a certain letter writer/blogger who hates me writing about Mooloolaba Hotel or growing up in Eudlo. He writes under a nom de plume and sometimes gets a bit personal about my nose and my IQ. It used to bother me but I guess I am fair game if I want to have an opinion. So Bob (or whatever your name is): sorry, buddy, but this is another column about the ’70s/’80s/’90s entertainment scene. Last Sunday night, I watched a show called Icons on Channel 9 which was about Festival Hall and the old Playroom at the Gold Coast, which certainly brought back some memories for me about seeing acts such as Elton John playing at Festival Hall one week and going back a few weeks later to see Hector Thompson fight for an Australian Title in boxing. The Playroom was iconic for live music on the Gold Coast and I remember seeing The Angels there back in the day, getting refused entry to Bombay Rock and also getting thrown out of the Cabbage Patch and Jet Club at Coolangatta in the one night. The ’70s and ’80s were like the Wild West at the Gold Coast and pretty much the same on the Sunshine Coast. Getting back to The Playroom, the story the other night was a fair bit about the lady who ran it and what a legend she was: Beryl Carnell, who I actually met back in the day when I was working in the pub game and live music was so important. It also reminded me once again about pioneers I worked for in Roy Thompson at Mooloolaba and Stan Elson at Surfair, as well as Bill and Ted Glasson at Stewarts and Alan Carroll who used to run the Galaxy Room for them with all the touring bands. Watching the show the other night
reminded me, with all due respect to all the operators back in the day, there wasn’t much regard for regulation – particularly patron numbers and room capacities. There were feet sticking to the carpet, nowhere to put your empty drinks but on the floor and rather loud music which may have contributed to my poor hearing these days. I remember after Roy sold Mooloolaba Pub, Power Hotels ran it for about nine years. I was in charge of booking all the live music, which meant local musos plus touring acts. On the show the other night, one of the operators was talking about crowds just pouring in wherever they could – whether it was full or not – and it reminded me of one of my not-so-finest hours. The Galaxy Nightclub had a far bigger capacity than Mooloolaba Pub and I remember they were renovating and couldn’t take the Hoodoo Gurus. I was asked if we would fit 1200 in. “No worries,” I told them. “All good.” The fact was, it should have held about 900, but my boss told me to do it. On the night, we had to turn off all the coldrooms and the air-conditioning so the power didn’t blow. Thankfully, it went off without any drama and possibly a few more than 1200 as well. Sounds dodgy and it was, but they were great days and so was the news that they are going to have an awesome live music venue in Roma St. I hope the air-con works.
“THERE WERE FEET STICKING TO THE CARPET, NOWHERE TO PUT YOUR EMPTY DRINKS BUT ON THE FLOOR AND RATHER LOUD MUSIC WHICH MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO MY POOR HEARING THESE DAYS.”