The Big Beat: When Sydney Rocked — 1978-1983

The third of the Q&A and book signings to celebrate the release of The Big Beat took place in the heart of the city at Title Barangaroo in Sydney on 21 November 2019.

Over a hundred movers and groovers gathered to hear moderator Mark Dodshon skilfully guide the panel of Buzz Bidstrup (ex-Angels and GANGgajang), Peter Oxley (Sunnyboys, Shy Impostors and The Aints) and author Donald Robertson through their memories and insights into the music community that exploded in the Harbour City during the Roadrunner years.

Former Roadrunner contributors in attendance included Craig N. Pearce, Toby Creswell, Peter Nelson, Deb Doyle, Paul Koff, Patricia Sheahan, Clare Ralph, New York correspondent Keri Phillips, Perth correspondent Michael Mullane and original Roadrunner art director Allan Coop (who drove up from Canberra for the event).

Other scenesters spotted in the audience were Marius and Christine Webb, Andy Nehl, Gill Robert, Chris Moss, Jeremy Fabinyi, Kimble Rendall, Mark Callaghan, David Rowley, Fabian Byrne (Fast Cars), Keith Armiger, Ralph Kerle, Wollongong University archivist Michael Organ and The Big Beat production team Murray Bennett and Jim Paton.

One of the funniest moments of the evening was when Reg Mombassa (Mental as Anything) walked through the door at the exact moment the playlist shuffled to the opening bars of ‘If You Leave Me Can I Come Too?” ‘It’s like ‘Here Comes the Bride’, ‘ someone quipped. (OK, it was me.)

Here is that playlist—well, the Spotify version. Missing are  ‘Girlfriend’s Boyfriend’ by The Passengers and ‘My City of Sydney’ by XL Capris. Because they aren’t on Spotify.

But Toby Creswell did play the first one when I was a guest on his Arts Thursday program on Eastside FM 89.7 that morning. You can listen to the the whole show here.

Budding cinematographer Di Robertson captured the discussion on my iPhone 6 in this series of clips.

Part one (14 mins)

Part two (10 mins)

Part three (8 mins)

Audience Q&A (16 mins)

Title Barangaroo

Title Barangaroo

1 Discussion on “The Big Beat: When Sydney Rocked — 1978-1983”
  • Hi Donald , great launch wonderful night , congratulations on the book , have not put it down ,was great to catch up with a lot of people , cut that I was unable to partake in the post festivities , oh and yeah love the posts.

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