I started off on trombone when I was 16, in the Brighton Municipal Band 'because I liked the sound it made !' The more I practised the more bands and orchestras took up my nights till I was playing up to 7 'gigs' a week. I was 'spotted ' by 2 musicians from the ABC Dance Band and got the job on 2nd trombone. (4 days a week)
I auditioned for the Bass Tromb chair at GTV9 for Graham Kennedy's 'In Melbourne Tonight" TV show. 5 nights a week, 6 new handwritten charts a night and a recording session on Friday mornings to record the special production numbers.
After about 9 years, the show, in that format, finished. There were many casual gigs for commercials, top 40 tunes, film backgrounds etc, in the various recording studios around town. Theatre shows, either full time or 'depping' for the regular players.
In 1973, The Wrest Point Casino in Tasmania opened and the house band was employed 7 days a week, doing 9 floorshows with people like Mel Torme, Buddy Rich etc.
I was also flying back to Melb. 3 days a week to play with Brian May and the ABC Showband and Hector Crawford's "Showcase' a TV talent show.
The scene died down through the 70's after a few tours around the East coast of Aust. with Bob Hope, Johnny Mathers, Rick Wakeman, etc.
In 1974 I started teaching with the Education Dept. and did 4 years study at the Victorian College of the Arts. The music scene since then has been mainly big bands and some music directing. 5 bands over 4 days a week, plus casual gigs. That's where I'm at now.
Born 25th February, 1937 at Hawthorn, Victoria.
Educated at various State Primary Schools, Melbourne Boys' High School and the University of Melbourne (Bachelor of Architecture 1967).
Played the clarinet at school 1954-5. Played with Melbourne Junior Symphony Orchestra 1954-6.
First paid gig in 1955 (three pounds six shillings for 3 hours work when trainee nurses were getting less money for a 72-hour week!), playing a borrowed alto sax and Melbourne High School's clarinet.
1958 joined Jack Banston's band at Leggett's Palladium in Prahran.
The big time at last! My own instruments ;-)
c. 1959-60 lead alto in Johnny Hawker's big band. Lead a double life as an architect.
Around this time I first tried arranging - about which the less said the better.
1960's gigging around the dance halls - Leggetts, Orama, St Kilda Town Hall, Hawthorn Town Hall, Ziegfields etc. I did two years at the once-famous Palais de Dance.
Started working in the commercial musical theatre. Black and White Minstrel Show, I Do I Do, WildCat, Show Boat, Mame, Windmill Revue, Jimmy Edwards Show. (Jimmy Edwards and I played the last night of the old Melbourne Tivoli Theatre.)
Late 60's the Musicians Union recommended me for principal reed in the pit orchestra for "Funny Girl'. I played the Melbourne season and then went to Brisbane with the show. Then played Sweet Charity (great show!). Worked in the pit of every functioning live theatre in Melbourne. Still leading a double life.
After leaving the theatre, joined Max Causon's big band and worked several seasons with him.
1970's Joined Alan Leake's Storyville All-Stars and the associated Melbourne Jazz Repertory Company. Arranged and played all of MJRC's shows while holding residencies and gigging with Storyville. Was part of MJRC's concerrt tour of Queensland with Bob Barnard.
1980's Joined Ian Hellings' legendary Radio Rhythm Orchestra. Joyously wrote, played and recorded my butt off for more than ten years while the orchestra grew from a ten-piece 1920's band to a twenty-five member concert orchestra with a full string section and three vocalists. Finally left the architectural profession for good.
1990's to today. The Groovin' Easy Orchestra. Fun and frolic with the young members of this remedy for old age, playing the occasional tenor saxophone solo and trying to keep up with the rest of the section.