ROCKIN’ MU­SIC ME­MORIES

MOOLOOLABA PUB AND THE GALAXY NIGHT­CLUB WERE MUCH SMALLER THAN OTHER ICONIC VENUES FUR­THER SOUTH BUT SPACE WAS NEVER AN IS­SUE

Life & Style Weekend - - TUGBOAT TALES - WORDS: ASH­LEY ROBINSON

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.”

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