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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - December 2, 2014

books1-1Bobby Keys, the Rolling Stones saxophone player for more than 40 years and famous for that immortal sax solo in ‘Brown Sugar’, has died. Keys who had been unwell for months, was replaced on the recent Australian tour by Karl Denson.

Born in 1943 in Texas, Keys started out playing sax in bands in the 50s and was called on as a session guy for legends such as Buddy Holly and Bobby Vee. Apart from his long association with The Rolling Stones, he has also recorded and performed with George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Humble Pie, Eric Clapton, The Faces and many, many other iconic artists.

Misfortune has plagued The Rolling Stones this year, firstly with the suicide of Mick Jagger’s girlfriend L’Wren Scott.  The original Australian dates were consequently postponed until November. Then a Jagger throat infection lead to the cancellation of the Hanging Rock concert for a second time. Now comes the sad news of Keys’ death. Fortunately, some Australian fans got to see Bobby Keys play with his own band The Suffering Bastards when they stayed behind in Australia after the March Stones tour postponement. Anyone who caught the show at Melbourne’s Thornbury Theatre witnessed an incredible rock show and a great musical history lesson.

Keith Richards left this short but heartfelt message on his Facebook page this morning, “Another good bye to another good friend. I will miss you, Bobby.” In November, sources close to The Stones suggested that Keys was in rehab and doing well, hoping to join the band again in 2015. However, his battle with cirrhosis came to an end this morning.

RIP Bobby Keys, your work will live on with classic album recordings such as Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, All Things Must Past and Mad Dogs and Englishmen.

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - December 1, 2014

middletonOn the surface, an unusual coupling of artists for a tour. However Darren Middleton, former Powderfinger guitarist and now a respected solo artist in his own right, teams up with acclaimed actor, singer-songwriter Guy Pearce to perform in intimate venues around the country from New Year’s Eve.  “Guy and I met a little while ago, hit it off ridiculously and have decided to do a little run of shows together,” said Middleton of his new tour buddy.

Darren has had a busy year, touring his ‘Translations’ album throughout April and May, followed by some dates with Busby Marou. Pearce has just released “Fly All The Way”, the third radio track from his acclaimed album, “Broken Bones”. Having produced the album himself, Guy says of “Fly All The Way”, “I wanted this song to have a pretty lo-fi – and almost petulant – feel, because it’s about growing up, really; being forced to grow up, or even being stuck at an age and unable to grow up.  It also looks at parents who still have a lot of unanswered immaturity oozing out of them, which contradicts everything they’re trying to “teach” their kids.  Kind of fun, kind of scary … who’s in charge here?”

Darren was once a contributor to Australian Musician. In 2009, Powderfinger guest-edited the magazine just before the release of their final album. A search of Powderfinger on will reveal all of those articles. Middleton has also made the top 50 cut in our Best Singer/Guitarist poll. To vote for Darren, view the poll here.

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Posted in Blog, Uncategorized    //    Post Date - November 28, 2014

rialwayGreat to see that the Railway Hotel in Brunswick (Melbourne) at 291 Albert St, has been back in action for a few weeks now, providing yet another quality venue for artists and punters to enjoy.

Next week the hotel will be hosting two record launches; The Horns (Friday) and The Cants and Loose Pills (Syd) on Saturday night as well as a rare appearance from Patrick Donovan’s (Music Victoria) band Cows Muff and John Von Goes legendary band Alloy Head and the Victor Motors on Friday December 19.

Support local music y’all

Friday December 5
The Horns + special guests
Are launching their debut single, ‘Play With Fire’, on Friday December 5th.
It all kicks off at 8 and its just an easy 10 bucks on the door. The single is going gangbusters on JJJ.

Saturday December 6
The Cants/Loose Pills (CD launch)/Barebones
LOOSE PILLS (featuring members from New Christs, The Eastern Dark, Lemonheads, Orange Humble Band, Handsome Young Strangers, The Scruffs….phew!) are headed on down the Hume Hwy to launch their fantabulous new album, “Rx” at The Railway Hotel, Brunswick on Saturday, December 6th.

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 28, 2014


The new lineup of supergroup Kings of Chaos includes: Steven Tyler, Billy Gibbons, Robin Zander, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, Gilby Clarke and Nuno Bettencourt. The band are currently at Sun City in South Africa performing the songs of Aerosmith, Guns n Roses, ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, Extreme and more. The band just posted this pic (minus Tyler, who they say was in the casino) to their Facebook page.

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 27, 2014

by Greg Phillips

John Butler's classy acceptance

John Butler’s classy acceptance

The 2014 ARIA Awards have been run and won and there’s nothing left to do but examine them, so let’s do that. Arguments about how the ARIAs are televised aside (I’ll get to that in a minute), the awards do spotlight Australia’s increasingly important contribution to the world of contemporary music and there were many positives about last night’s show. The international success this year of Sheppard, Sia and 5 Seconds of Summer has been extraordinary and it was great to see those achievements being recognised. The pairing of Sheppard with the Melbourne Ska Orchestra was a nice touch. The induction of Molly Meldrum into the Hall of Fame and his acceptance speech was a heartwarming moment. John Butler was all class in his acceptance speech. Paul Kelly and Neil Finn gave an old school performance and showed that  songs will always prevail over sizzle. Dan Sultan delivered a good dose of soulful rock ‘n’ roll. Chet Faker on piano, accompanied only by cello  gave a chilling performance of his tune Talk is Cheap. Sia’s wins were well deserved and unfortunate that her video acceptance speech was clumsily broadcast. On her Twitter account today she posted that she had made 4 award acceptance videos and only one got used. She also offered her ARIA awards up to any fan who could prove that they have recently bestowed a good deed on the world. Of course, Katy Perry and One Direction were there for the money shots. It’s apt to acknowledge that behind many of the artists performing on the night were a bunch of talented backing musicians who scored a gig and got some fine exposure. The ARIA awards are also a great opportunity for the industry to come together and celebrate a year of hard work. Artists get to meet other artists, network, exchange war stories and maybe even discuss collaboration opportunities. 2014 was a wonderful year for Australian music and at last night’s award presentation, that was recognised.

illy with someone

illy with someone from overseas!

I used to whinge and whine to anyone who would listen about the annual ARIAs telecast and its lack of dignity. Let’s face it, there have been some less than slick productions in the past. Lately, I have resigned myself to the fact that in order for the awards to be televised, and for Australian music to be placed front and centre in the mainstream media, then there has to be a commercial value for the show’s presenters. In order for it to be of commercial value, it has to follow the production aesthetic and philosophies of TV’s most marketable shows, which happen to be things like X Factor, The Voice, Big Brother, Masterchef etc. It also means that to appeal to a mass audience, the awards show has to feature recording artists and TV personalities who have the biggest reach. The fact that those people mainly appeal to the young female teen market is irrelevant to the presenters, it’s a number’s game. So in order for the likes of respected, quality artists like Paul Kelly, Neil Finn, Chet Faker, Dan Sultan, Illy, Hilltop Hoods, Peking Duk etc to receive their due recognition, they have to be packaged alongside some manufactured pop culture icons. It also means that non-music related TV staffers such as Osher G or whatever his name is this week, and Angela Bishop, get to host and present it and slot in subtle cross promotional network references as directed. In today’s fickle, celebrity-driven, social media world, if you want the ARIAs to be broadcast on commercial telly and made a big deal of on the internet, then that’s the equation. At one end of our music spectrum there’s your X Factor/Voice style artists and at the other, there’s the Triple J pool. If only the ARIA award telecast could reflect the fact that there’s a whole other world of quality Australian music in between.

And the winners were:


Best Adult Contemporary Album winners Neil & Paul

Best Adult Contemporary Album winners Neil & Paul

Album of the Year
 Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
Best Group 
Sheppard – Bombs Away
Best Male Artist
 Chet Faker – Built on Glass
Best Female Artist
 Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
Breakthrough Artist
 Iggy Azalea – The New Classic
Best Independent Release 
Chet Faker – Built on Glass
Best Adult Contemporary Album
 Neil Finn & Paul Kelly – Goin’ Your Way
Best Blues & Roots Album
 John Butler Trio – Flesh & Blood
Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album
 DZ Deathrays – Black Rat
Best Rock Album
 Dan Sultan – Blackbird
Best Urban Album
 Hilltop Hoods – Walking Under Stars
Best Country Album 
Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet
Best Children’s Album 
The Wiggles – Apples & Bananas
Best Comedy Release
 Buddy Goode – It’s a Buddy Goode Christmas
Best Pop Release
 Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
Best Dance Release
 Peking Duk featuring Nicole Millar – “High”
Song of the Year 5 Seconds of Summer – “She Looks So Perfect”
Best Australian Live Act 
Keith Urban
Best International Artist One Direction – Midnight Memories
Best Classical Album 
Lior, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Westlake – Compassion
Best Jazz Album
 Paul Grabowsky Sextet – The Bitter Suite
Best Original Soundtrack/Cast/Show Album
 Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Sydney Symphony Orchestra – Gurrumul: His Life and Music
Best World Music Album
 Joseph Tawadros – Permission to Evaporate
Artisan Awards
Best Cover Art  
Tin & Ed – Chet Faker – Built on Glass
Engineer of the Year 
Eric J Dubowsky – Chet Faker – Built on Glass
Producer of the Year
 Nicholas Murphy – Chet Faker – Built on Glass
Best Video *Sia – “Chandelier” – Sia Furler, Daniel Askill
ARIA Hall of Fame Inductee
 Molly Meldrum
ARIA Industry Icon Award
 Denis Handlin (ARIA Chairman/Sony Music Chairman & CEO)

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 25, 2014

gibsonepimacartneyEarlier today we announced news of the sale of The 1.5 million dollar Vault Collection of rare guitars. It’s a private collection of guitars compiled over the years by Allans Billy Hydes/AMI Gibson CEO Con Gallin. It’s a collection of limited edition signature guitars and other rarities, some with very personal connections to some of rock music’s most legendary players.

For instance, there’s the Gibson Jimmy Page Signature EDS-1275 Aged Double Neck guitar made famous by Jimmy in the Led Zeppelin days. There were only 26 of these made and Jimmy owns No. #1 himself. The one in the Vault Collection is #26 of those made and is personally signed by Jimmy. There are three other Jimmy Page models in the collection too including No. #8 of only 11 Signature Les Paul Custom Artist Proof models made.

gibson59pagelespaulGibson Australia’s Con Gallin explains the artist connection with guitars such as this. “What happens generally with the Artist models like these, is that because they are made in such limited numbers, the artist gets to sit down and play each and every one of them. I even have photos of Billy Gibbons with his signature guitars from this collection.”

One of the signed Billy Gibbons signature models in the Vault collection is No. #25 of only 50 ‘Pearly Gates’ model Les Pauls. Another guitar with much historical significance but not directly associated with an artist, is a Robot model Les Paul from that line’s very first production run. If you’re a Les Paul fan, the Angus Young SG Standard Aged guitar might float your boat. It’s number  #14 of 50. The collection is mainly made up of Gibson and Epiphone guitars, however there are also some other rarities and curios from Fender, Gretsch, and Martin. Unfortunately, the guitars are not being offered for individual sale but as a total collection at the asking price of 1.5 million.

gibsonpagesigThe impetus for the sale of the Vault Collection was a burglary at Gallin’s home where the guitars had been stored. He’d just come home from the launch of Support Act’s Bandwagon appeal, in which his company had donated a car, only to find his house had been broken into. None of the guitars in the collection were stolen but it was enough to make him think that this historic collection might best be in the hands of someone who would treasure them and keep them safe and sound.

“Rock music is the new classical music,” says Gallin of the era which inspired these guitars. “There will never be rock bands like Led Zeppelin again and players like Eric Clapton, they were pioneers. Electronic music is becoming super popular now. You can do so much more now with less latent, you don’t have to be Jimi Hendrix or John Lennon. When they recorded Sgt Peppers on a 4 track, you needed a tremendous amount of talent. Now whatever you can’t do yourself, a machine will do for you. These instruments are what that great music from the past was made on and they have become history. That’s the big attraction here.”

gibsonpetetownshendFormer Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick echoes Gallin’s sentiments about the collection. “”Who can deny seeing a Sunburst Les Paul in Jimmy Page’s hands and not feel the power and joy of Led Zeppelin, or imagine the head banging emotions of an image of Slash armed with his ‘Appetite’ Les Paul,” said Kulick. “We can all still hear the shrieks of Beatlemania resonating  through Sir Paul McCartney’s Epiphone Texan when he plays ‘Yesterday’. This collection is impressive as a whole, but each of the instruments will stand on its own. Having such a complete representation of amazing guitars available, with some signed and numbered by our heroes, make this offer a complete mind blowing experience for one happy owner.”

As to who in Australia might be able to afford the 1.5 million dollar price tag, Gallin suggests that there are plenty of music loving CEOs out there who would see the collection as a great investment. “Well there is still a lot of money here,” suggests Con. “You always hear of developers and other people who are doing really well. It might be a retiring CEO who cashes in their shares and is looking to invest their money in something. It’s not just a collection for someone who loves guitars, it’s a collection for someone with plenty of money but also wants a great investment. Who knows, someone like Nicole Kidman might want to buy it for her guitar-collecting husband Keith Urban,” he joked.

gibsonclaptonGallin sees the timing of announcement of the sale of the Vault Collection as a celebratory move. “What we wanted to do was to finish the year on a high,” explains Con. “We’ve just put more money into Allans to expand the range. The stores are looking great. We are not just there to move boxes and take money, we are in the music business.  There are a lot of positive things happening and we thought this would be a nice touch. We are not just people in retail, otherwise I wouldn’t have those guitars to begin with. We are music people and this collection represents music history.”

Interested parties may enquire via email: [email protected] or call 1300255 267

Check out what’s in the Vault Collection here

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 25, 2014

jimmypageAre you a complete guitar nut with a spare 1.5 Million dollars on you? If so, you might want to purchase The Vault, a private collection of some of the most valuable guitars in the world being made available by Allans Billy Hydes. Featured in this collection, which is to be sold complete and not separately, are rare Gibson and Epiphone artist guitars from Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Don Felder, The Everly Brothers, Kiss, Billy Gibbons and other guitar greats.

“The Vault represents a collection of instruments that not only have all the “wow” and “cool” factors, but are a major part of our cultural history of Rock N Roll,” says former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick  “Who can deny seeing a Sunburst Les Paul, in Jimmy Page’s hands and not feel the power and joy of Led Zeppelin, or imagine the head banging emotions of an image of Slash armed with his “Appetite” Les Paul. We can all still hear the shrieks of Beatlemania resonating  through Sir Paul McCartney’s Epiphone Texan when he plays “Yesterday.”

This collection is impressive as a whole, but each of the instruments will stand on its own. Having such a complete representation of amazing guitars available, with some signed and numbered by our heroes, make this offer a complete mind blowing experience for one happy owner.

Australian Musician will bring you an update and further information, including comments from Allans Billy Hyde’s CEO Con Gallin soon.

Check out the collection here

Interested parties may enquire via email: [email protected] or call 1300255 267

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Posted in Blog, Gear    //    Post Date - November 24, 2014

Mall Music’s Macquarie Centre has an amazing range of Maton guitars on display. Ricky Barton, Mall Music’s resident guitar expert show us what they’ve got in stock.

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 24, 2014

Thanks to Joe Bonamassa for alerting us to this historic footage from the American Folk Blues Festival in the early 60s, which has been posted to YouTube. It features some of the greatest blues artists in music history including Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Lonnie Johnson, Big Joe Williams, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Joe Turner, Junior Wells, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

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Posted in Blog, Uncategorized    //    Post Date - November 23, 2014

Melbourne’s George Kalpa is excited to reveal a new self-directed video for his track ‘ksdb’, and in celebration, his debut album ‘Mode’ which saw release this October, has been made available as a free download until the end of the month.

The premise for the video came to George in the studio, after staring at an old mic for a bit too long. Trying to convince an actress to “make love to the mic” resulted in an unintentionally entertaining casting process as George explains:

“The casting process should have been filmed for some kind of reality TV show because seeing girls faces when I asked them to do that to the mic was priceless. To be honest not many actresses got back to me after learning what it is they needed to do. “Noir? Great I’m in!, Mic Loving? No thanks.” Karina and Tom were natural choices for the roles, they both understood the place where the vibe and idea of the video lived.”

The video for ‘ksdb’ was directed by George Kalpa and produced by Gene Kalpa and INAWAY Productions. George’s short films have screened at film festivals around the world. He is currently working on the follow up to ‘Mode’, and has a new film in pre-production.

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