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ROCK IN A HARD PLACE an independently produced ROCK DOCUMENTARY has received a "South Australian Screen Award"
"THE INDEPENDENT VISION AWARD" and was also Nominated for a BEST FEATURE.
"Rock in a Hard Place" receives "BEST DOCUMENTARY" at the 2016 MELBOURNE UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL (MUFF)
30 odd years of South Australian underground original music. 1978 – 2015.
Celebrating over 90 musicians, their bands and many other local music supporters who have helped make the SA music scene what it is today.
This film is a celebration and a tribute to South Australian original music, from the perspective of Adelaide's underground pub rock scene. The stories are memories told through the eyes of the musicians themselves and other local music supporters. This film intends to acknowledge many of the much loved and well respected underground Adelaide bands from the late 70s to the present day. We pay tribute to the DIYers who’s continuous efforts over the past 30 years to support, encourage and celebrate this particular music scene, has helped make it the rich & thriving scene it is today. Its about a generation of musicians who grew up in Adelaide South Australia and those people who embraced the "do it yourself" Attitude and were inspired as youths by the punk movement back in the late 70s. This punk DIY ethic was often the driving force behind many teens of the times throughout the world to want to start bands, set up public radio stations, record labels and their own music fanzines. Here in Adelaide after 30 years we meet some of these same people who are now in their 40s and 50s, and still playing in bands, volunteering at the public radio station and churning out their local music fanzines. The sheer longevity of the commitment and the efforts made by these people who are driven by their passion for local music has helped create the vibrant and rich scene it is today. It is those local legends that have created our music history.
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Thanks to all who donated through POZIBLE. We reached our pozible target for post production and the film is now complete.
We listen to the memories of members from many unforgettable SA bands such as :
Fear & Loathing, The Ubombs, Accountants, Dagoes, The Beavers, Bloodloss, Repo, Love Fever, Screaming Believers, Acid drops, Skunks, Primevils, 22 sect, Pure purple, The Verge, The Plague, The Lick, Super fly, Weirdos, Nuvo Block, Brats, Billion Dollar Bums, Blood sucking freaks, Spikes, Perdition, NFI, Iron Sheiks, New Rose,Zippy and the Boneheads Gacey's Place, King Daddy Agent Orange, Sudafed, Glen and the peanut butter men, Toyland, Hot Tomatoes, Bearded clams, Meatbeaters, Devils Cabaret, Exploding White mice, Purple Vulture shit, Ugly Ugly Ugly, Iguana Twins, Raw Sex, Dead popes of the Vatican, Fiendish Cavendish, Back Seat Romeos, Wheres the Pope, Skunks, Belial, Kamikaze, Peterhead, Glamville, Meat, Guns of Krishna, Leather Messiah, Toxic shock, Roadside Slasher, Red Rascal, Raw Spud, The Toss, The Crazies, Where's the Pope, Vegans in leather, Hack, Grong Grong, Operation octopus, Screaming Jennies, The Mark of Cain, The Avant Gardeners, Raw sex, Colostomy bag lady, Backseat Romeos, Gravel faced racer, Grot, Sumpgrinder, Meat tray, White Tiger, Kamikaze and many more..
We have interviewed music supporters such as Doug Thomas of Greasy Pop records, who financed and produced vinyl records for many of Adelaide's emerging bands during the late 70s and 1980s when no-one else would. We've spoken with many Three D Radio announcers, volunteers who have been supporting and playing a massive amount of local music since it began back in 1978, (known back then as 5mmm) Three D Radio have played a huge role in helping make the Adelaide music scene the unique and vibrant scene that it is today. Adelaide may be a small city but it has a strong, passionate and very unique music community.
Harry Butler, Paul Gilcrest, Dave Manning, Mark Hayes , John Scott, Frank Woogie, Andy MacQueen, Karl Melvin, Hermann Lauss, Chris Wiley, Gerry Masi, Chris Cashel, Ewan Cameron, Renestair EJ, Andrew Bunney, Mike Bareniac, Suzie Ramone, Dave Gray, Jo Herbert. Milli, Paul Slater, Ben Parkinsn, in Laud, Andrew Steel, Dave Mason, Mick Morris, Pete Christopher, Darren Auchenlonie, Pete The Stud, Tony Grudge, Dave Williams CBL, Mike Wilczek, Nesta Michell, Nazz - Paul Oldham, Alan Bindig, Pange Neiamoller, Ken Sykes, Johnny Cavuto, Arna Eyres White - DB mag, Belinda McQueen, Jessica Thomas, Harry Butler, Dick Dale, Anton Becker, Ross Martin, Dave Omsby, Andrew Piper, Mark Gilbert, Julie Graham, Dave Kennedy, Damien Kelly,, Dorothy Polawoski, Nathan Dale, Michael Tohl, Jay Young, Mark Lewis, Aaron Hewson, Tim Kelton, Johathon Crouch, Hew Francis, Chris Morley, AJ Morley, Tony Gray, Chris Eddey, Jodie Peterson, Anna Crouch, Rebecca Jane Lyons, Andrew Foley, Doug Thomas - Greasy Pop, Roy Erzinger, Stephen Atkinson, Justin Butler, Rod Archer, Gerry McCaffery, Sam Hartshorne, Shep, Shane - Inzone, Terry Rowe, Jess Fisher. (VICTORIA) Jim Selene, David Crease, Lisa Clemments, Nick Haines, Liz Dealey, Chris Wilard, Kelly Hewson, Tom Deckert, Peter Read. NEW YORK USA Stu Spasm and more...
DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, CAMERA unit one, AUDIO OPERATOR, EDITOR, Audio MIXER : Todwina J Moore
HISTORIANS : Harry Butler / Simon Butcher / Mike Baraniac / Mark Hayes / Todwina J Moore
EXTRA CAMERAS : Hugh Freytag / Nick Robinson / Michael Wilczek / William Adam Russ
MASTERING : Simon Rose of Coalescent AV
COLOUR GRADING : Michael Chenery
INTERVIEWERS : Pat Moore / Mike Baraniec / Mark Hayes, /Chris Cashel / Mike Wilczek / Andrew Bunney
ROCK IN A HARD PLACE : REVIEW By Ian Bell HIFIway The Pop Chronicles : https://hifiwaythepopchronicles.com/2017/11/14/rockinahardplace/
Adelaide. Little old Adelaide. How often have you heard people bitching and complaining about how nothing ever happens in little old Adelaide. We embrace the tall poppy syndrome.
We take things for granted.
We are often apathetic, unmotivated, entitled and lazy.
We are always happy to look further afield to the bright lights of Melbourne or Sydney for our aspirations.
How many times have I seen people tripping over themselves (and each other) to go and see the latest big thing from Melbourne or Sydney, or London or Detroit while local musicians get no respect, no loving, no audiences and no money? Why, oh why, does nothing ever happen in Adelaide?
Except that isn’t true.
It has never been true.
Adelaide has traditionally often missed out on national tours and the expense of getting here with the tyranny of distance, means often when tours do make it to Adelaide tickets are expensive and suffer as a consequence. Partially because of our isolation has been a thriving subculture of music, bands and creativity that has spawned hundreds if not thousands of bands playing everything from hard-core punk to funky disco, metal to folk. Many people got their start here, The Masters Apprentice, The Angels, Cold Chisel, Bad Dreams, The Mark of Cain, Hilltop Hoods, Twilights, even multi-mega-International Super dooper star Sia started off, in Adelaide’s Crisp. Even given those more well known examples, there are kazillions of bands that in the seventies, eighties and nineties and right through to today are out there doing it, and doing it well. There are a myriad of genres and sub cultures and there is something for everybody. Adelaide’s dance music scene was a world leader, with it’s own promoters, magazines, artists and record labels for instance.
“What’s so special about Adelaide is that is so irrelevant. Here we are on the edge of the desert and nobody else in Australia really gives a shit about Adelaide. But here we just have a ball!” Nathan Dale Hack/Grong Grong
Some of these subcultures have been recognized, and documented, the Greasy Pop era created a whole scene and a catalogue including Exploding White Mice, Lizard Train, The Dagoes, Screaming Believers and more. A now legendary label with many of those records highly sought after all over the world. There is a new book about Greasy Pop coming out early next year from Perth’s Starman Books. But Adelaide has also birthed The Clowns of Decadence, Numbskulls, Young Modern, Blood Sucking Freaks, The Accountants, Fear and Loathing, Irving & The U-Bombs, Devil’s Playground, Grong Grong, Testeagles, Green Circles, The Spell, Juliette Seizure & The Tremor Dolls, Sputniks, The Moodists, Devils Cabaret, Kamikaze, Almost Human, The Garden Path, Iron Sheiks, The Skunks, Perdition, Spikes, Meatbeaters, Toyland, Where’s The Pope? King Daddy, Mad Turks, July 14th, The Gels, Reckoning, Primevils, Brillig, The Saucermen, Speedboat, The Seen, Pro-Tools, Lipstick Killers, Baby Doll, Repo, Toxic Shock, Les Goolies, The Acid Drops, Bearded Clams, and countless others. Tex Perkins cut his teeth in bands like Bumhead Orchestra. Just the most cursory look at a list like that gives you a hint of the rich history and fertile fruits of the underground music life of the City of Churches.
Last year saw the release of Todwina J Moore’s fantastic documentary about underground Adelaide music, . With no financial help from any funding bodies, this labour of love was put together on the smell of an oily rag, with some crowd funding support from people in the scene. Put together over a period of almost a decade it covers a lot of ground. Moore is well placed to document the scene as she has played in bands for many years. Involved in the Rim of Hell crowd she played with The Flogging, Wife Trouble, Lumpsucker and the fantastically named Alain Prostitute. Later she was in Operation Octopus, performed solo as Miss Appropriation and since 2005 has been a member of Meat Tray. It may have been made on an extreme budget, like many of the bands covered here, you’d never know it. It is quite simply one of the most important documents of Adelaide’s rich music history ever produced. Along with Tim Kelton’s excellent Underground in the City Of Churches book (published in 1986) it is an essential documentation of this exciting era of Adelaide pub rock. It is testament to the talent, the musicianship, the resilience and love from the people in those bands and their audiences.
Moore has gone with a really clever device of not having a central narrator, instead she lets the people in various bands tell the stories of their own bands, their mates bands, the bands they loved and were inspired by. So you have band X raving about how they were inspired by band Y. How band Y joined forces with band Z. There are battle stories, a lot of memories, a lot of humour. There is a lot of ground covered of the 30 years covered in Rock in a Hard Place. The earliest days of Adelaide punk scene, art rock, the down South surf bands, the hard-core bands, grunge, Greasy Pop. Anybody in and around live music in this town will be familiar with many of the faces testifying in this movie. Suzy Ramone, Harry Butler, Doug Thomas, The guys from The Gels, The Mice, Liz Dealey, Nazz, Pete The Stud, Dave Manning, all turn up and their stories and knowledge is shared in a conversational and personal way. Making you feel you are just at the pub with the people, having a chat about this Adelaide band from years ago, or that legendary gig you both saw or played at.
There is a lot of archival footage, much of previously unseen. Hundreds of gig flyers, band posters and photographs that help set the tone and time for each section. It pops along at a good pace, not racing through things with too much haste. While it’s impossible to cover every single band that was involved in all of the disparate scenes in SA over three decades, she has done an excellent job of capturing the essence of each significant scene.
I was really happy, for instance, to see a section about Rim Of Hell Records. Rim of Hell were almost the alternative to the alternative scene. With more avante garde/arty bands like Ugly Ugly Ugly, The Purple Caesars, The Iguana Twins, The Johnsons, Guns of Krishna, many of whom I spent a fair bit of time going to see at the time. In the same way it’s good to see Dominator Records get some props for releasing some of the more hard-core Adelaide bands. Also very well deserved praise from all quarters for Harry Butler, the man behind the D.N.A. fanzine. The longest running fanzine in Australia and quite possibly the entire world. His passion and enthusiasm for local music stretches back close to forty years and he has been in bands like Fear & Loathing and Hack, and even run his own record label (EC Productions) the thing he is most known for is his chronicling of the scene. He is a good egg. In fact there are so many good eggs in this documentary, you’d think you were at a (free range) egg place.
Dave Manning, who started out doing fanzines, played in some bands and has been a mainstay on Three-d radio for decades, showing his encyclopaedic knowledge of Adelaide punk bands. Karl Melvin, who likewise has been on three d radio forever, as well as running a record label, playing in countless bands (Tupelo/Truck Train Tractor/Bleeding Hearts) and who these days is in ownership of an extremely impressive beard. Suzy Ramone, Three D announcer, bass playing Ramones loving all round top ace person. “
My entire personality was formed by pop music. All of my morals and ethics, education and anything that was important in my development actually came from listening to the radio, reading rock magazines, playing records and going to see bands.” Suzy Ramone.
These are all people I’d happily share a drink in a bar with to talk music. And I don’t even drink. It’s a pretty long list and even Pete The Stud Howlett and Dick Dale are surprisingly well behaved during their interviews!
The over riding feeling you get from Rock In A Hard place, and quite possibly the thing that makes all of the people in it so engaging, is the punk rock ethos of participation and involvement being more important than any conventional talent, skill or knowledge. Time and time again we hear people talking about starting punk bands in the 70’s when they literally had never picked up an instrument. This lack of virtuoso chops was not seen as a deterrent in the slightest. In fact, it was seen as a badge of honour. The joy of being in a band, or making a zine, or making a documentary about bands you love, or indeed writing about that documentary, is in the doing. It’s a participation. It is pushing yourself and your friends in directions you were unaware you wanted to go. A recent experience I had in the UK, very clearly defined this idea for me. You can be a passive bystander, a static audience waiting to be entertained. Or you can throw caution to the wind, decide you don’t care what other people are going to think, and just flippin’ go for it. Participate, create, make and build. Even if those things are completely transitory. Even if they are silly or objectively stupid. Your band doesn’t have any music degrees and you are just making a hell of a racket. So what? Some of the best nights I’ve ever had have been with a bunch of people in dark rooms making a hell of a racket. Participation is the key. Would you rather look at a picture of an ice-cream, or actually eat an ice-cream? It is a valuable thing to consider in all aspects of your life.
Todwina J Moore’s documentary in now available on DVD through the project website, and they are looking to have it in select music stores shortly. Available from http://www.artsendup.yolasite.com/SHOP-NOW.php
Review by Ian Bell
check out the trailer HERE: https://youtu.be/mbZwJ9c8rmI
Special thanks to : Valiant Designs, Oz Music & Books, Greasy Pop Records, Three D Radio 93.7 fm, Pachyderm Studios, Coopers Brewery and all the individuals who have donated towards this project. This film has been made without the help of any funding bodies. Its a MIcro Budget film funded by the director and also through donations via a pozible campaign from a few passionate and generous people who wanted to see this film happen.
www.youtube.com/artsendup Check out 200 + SA band Clips in Artsendup's playlist " Adelaide Bands
ARTSENDUP's "ROCK IN A HARD PLACE" has been supported by the very generous personal efforts of people from DNA Fanzine / Oz music & Books / 3D Radio / Valiant Designs / Pachyderm Studios / Rotten Peach Studios / Smash it up / Mellow Scream / EC Records / Right Eye Media. Thanks For all your support.
LIVE ADELAIDE BANDS
Live at the Enigma Bar :
- ROADSIDE SLASHER
- LEATHER MESSIAH
Live at the Jolly Miller Hotel :
- IRON SHEIKS
- THE TOSS
- RAW SPUD
- FIENDISH CAVENDISH
Live at the Crown & Anchor :
- NFI - Marks 50th
- Dead Popes of the Vatican
Live at the Squatters Arms Hotel :
- FEAR & LOATHING
- PETERHEAD (CD LAUNCH)
Live at the Jetty Bar :
- DEAD POPES OF THE VATICAN
Live at Jive :
- Back Seat Romeos ( 4 songs Only)
- Blowfly (from USA) whole show
- Van Cleef & Kill Devil Hills
Live at the Exeter Hotel :
* Van Cleef and many more.....
Raw Spud @ The Jolly