Dispatch from Johburg

As a bred (if not born) Queenslander with a long memory of the Joh years, I can never quite recapture the feeling of relaxation that used to wash over me driving over the NSW border into the land of Wran in 1985 and 1986.

I was having a beer with a couple of friends on Saturday night at the Pavilion on Boundary Street. Boundary Street is the main drag of West End, a suburb once removed from the City which up until, say, ten years ago, could accurately be characterised as a free anarchist commune in a semi-permanent state of secession from Brisvegas. The booths around there recorded the lowest One Nation vote in the 98 state election. Despite its inevitable gentrification, the “colourful street life” is still not precisely what the developers envisaged, and West End plays host to perhaps the oddest local rag in Australia, the innocuously titled Neighbourhood News.

Disappointed with the dust-blown West End Festival, my friends and I leafed through the latest edition to update ourselves on the views of gay Marxist cultural studies lecturers, Indigenous activists, anarchists and Catholic Workers. I came across an article which called for donations towards placing an ad in the Courier-Mail calling on Premier Pete to deny Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen – Premier from 1968 to 1987 – a state funeral.

This got me thinking.

It’s hard to recapture the sense of what life in Brisbane in the dying days of the Joh era was actually like. It’s been tried a few times in fiction, perhaps most successfully by Andrew McGahan in Last Drinks and a few of his short stories. It was an interesting time to be a teenager. Some random memories came to mind – the smile on Russ Hinze’s face when he announced on tv that there were no illegal casinos or brothels in the Valley because the Police Commissioner had driven him round the night before and shown him where they weren’t, working by candlelight during the Seqeb strike, observing the Transport Minister (and former Special Branch D), Don Lane, hiding behind the bushes taking photos at Albert Park of the Labour Day march crowd, watching a priest in alb and stole and a young one-legged woman on crutches being bundled into a paddy wagon at a demo. Socialist subversives enslaved by the alien Canberra, all.

A number of veterans of those years, including anarchist and former tennis player Brian Laver, and Greens Senate candidate Drew Hutton, among others had initiated the call to Premier Pete to deny Joh a state funeral. No doubt they were there banging on the glass walls of Mayne Hall when UQ gave Joh an Honorary Doctorate (of Law!) in 1984. Our current Premier and multiple honorary doctor, Mr Beattie, famously played himself in a dramatic reconstruction of his dash to Bethany to try and negotiate a temporary alliance on the floor of the House with the deposed Joh to abolish the gerrymander in 1987. Odd things happened in Brisbane in those days. More recently, Premier Pete has both embraced Joh publicly, and taken a leaf out of his book in some of his political tactics. It helps Labor win the rural vote up here.

I don’t want to dwell here and now on Joh’s many political transgressions. But nor do I think they should be forgotten. Even though it’s hard to recapture exactly what life felt like back then. But I think the move to deny him a state funeral (which as I understand it, just means the state pays) raises an interesting question – what is the difference between a politics of justice and a politics of revenge? Or, as Brisvegas prepares for the somnolent slumber of a steamy summer, should we “not worry about that”?

About Mark Bahnisch

Mark Bahnisch is a sociologist and is the founder of this blog. He has an undergraduate degree in history and politics from UQ, and postgraduate qualifications in sociology, industrial relations and political economy from Griffith and QUT. He has recently been awarded his PhD through the Humanities Program at QUT. Mark's full bio is on this page.
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Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

The good thing about a state funeral would be that we could appoint officials to make sure the bastard was dead, nail down the coffin good and tight, and drive a stake through it at chest height.

Alan
Alan
2022 years ago

This is probably the only time in my life I will ever endorse the views of the late and unlamented Vince Gair. In the Gair eulogy, Killen said: ‘Christ commands us to love our enemies. Vincent Clare Gair was a man of the Old Testament.’

observa
observa
2022 years ago

Given the high esteem with which many pollies are held, it may be a great idea to dispense with State funerals. I think there would be huge public support to plonk them all in one place, a bit like Arlington USA. “Joh for Canberra”, (or at least the Australian Capital Territory) to the very end!

mark
2022 years ago

Golly, no, observa! The last thing we want is Zombie Joh terrorising Gungahlin!

Jim Birch
Jim Birch
2022 years ago

…again.

Guido
2022 years ago

Not all bad things came out of that period.

My understanding was that one of the bands that helped Australian Rock to evolve in the late 70’s: The Saints, were a direct result of the oppressive atmosphere in Brisbane at the time.

Peter Murphy
2022 years ago

Since no-one of us wants Joh to raise from the dead, I say we take off and nuke the entire funeral from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure. If that’s too politically dangerous, we could make a special lead-lined casket for him, like they gave to Mad Cow’s Disease victims. We don’t want the groundwaters to be infected.

So where are they going to bury him? I opt for the A.C.T. Finally, Joh for Canberra – 6 feet by 3….

pb
pb
2022 years ago

I was perusing same rag at a sleazy Vietnamese restaurant a few weeks ago, nursing a hangover and contemplating how West End was in a perpetual time-warp. It’s like you step into a worm-hole every time you venture over there, and even the yahoos, dingbats and pixies haven’t aged (except for some sad old gits with thinning hair tied into ponytails and a paunch protruding out of their land rights t-shirts, trying to pick up spectacularly ugly feral girls). I suppose even the most retrograde have to live somewhere, but surely it’s about time they got a little hip; here’s a tip to the publishers of the Neighbourhood News- there’s a thing called the internet around now, and you can publish your gibberish for the whole world rather than a few dingy neighbourhoods full of lesbians, and give away the flares for fuck’s sake. It’s like the item PJ O’Rourke wrote about returning to the campus of his old student activist days and finding the population uniformed in tie-dyes, beads, flares, cheesecloth etc- like if when he first arrived there all the hep cats were getting around in zoot-suits, snap-brim fedoras and long dangling keychains. West End is hilarious.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Guido, I’ve just been to the city and bought the excellent new UQ Press book – Pig City by Andrew Stafford. Stafford intertwines the political history of the Joh era with analysis of a changing Brisbane and how all this was reflected in the Brisband scene and independent radio and media efforts like 4ZZZ and Cane Toad Times. I just started reading it on the bus, and a bloke in a tie who was reading over my shoulder, mentioned that the book looked interesting and as a law student, he’d been at the infamous Springbok demo in 1971.

It looks to be an excellent read for anyone interested in Australian popular music and/or the eccentricities of Queensland politics and Brisbane culture.

Here’s a quick excerpt –

By the 1980s National Party campaign billboards featured the benign face of the premier accompanied only by the words ‘Joh’ and ‘Queensland’, so synomymous had the two become. Thus, when the government finally fell in 1989, it marked a divorce that could only be read as a metaphor for broader changes… As it happened, the state election of 2 December 1989 coincided with that year’s Livid Festival. Away from the bands, a crowd of punters gathered around a single black and white television to watch as the results poured in. The city’s youth had always reserved a special place in their hearts for the National Party: when it was announced from the main stage that the government had been overthrown, the answering roar was about the loudest thing heard all day.

I was there that day and remember it well!

Oh, and don’t forget the Go-Betweens, Guido!

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

PB, sure you’re not channelling the spirit of John Birmingham?

West End now also caters to the chrome coffee shop crowd – and I can reccommend the barbie head chandelier at the Lychee Lounge for those who want to hang out with polo shirts and Paris Hilton clones outside of the usual rowing/rugby bar decor. But I prefer the Pavilion across the road – feel much more comfortable having a beer among hippies and lesbians than aspirational yoof.

VegiePlus
VegiePlus
2022 years ago

Hey Mark/Guido add the Riptides to the list!

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

How could we forget, VegiePlus? I’d also add (going with the West End thing) – that excellent early 90s jazz quartet Black Cat Circle who wrote original songs about Brisvegas politics and life. (I should disclose that I was an occasional doo-wop boy for them some nights at the old Sitting Duck Cafe…) Bris has always had some great original improv jazz musicians – anyone visiting or local should watch out for Kafka, the Trevor Hart Quartet, the West End Jazz Collective (naturally), and Phoebus. Good venues are the Press Club, the Bowery, and Rics (all conveniently located on Brunwick St or Ann St in the Valley.

VegiePlus
VegiePlus
2022 years ago

It’s fair to say that as a counterpoint to the politics of the “Great Peanut Farmer” we saw many great bands emerge, and quite few catchy indie ditty’s that underscored the times:

Pig City by the Parameters
SEQEB Scabs by La Fetts
Cyclone Hits Expo by Choo Dika Dika
Brisbane Blacks by Mop & the Dropouts

Picking up tickets for concerts, and discs from RockingHorse and Skinny’s….ah it all comes flooding back.

PB
PB
2022 years ago

What about “Fish and Chip Bitch from Ipswich” for a bit of a political statement? Not to forget Razar (the Inala Koalas), the Leftovers, the Hard-Ons (which I was a member of), Mystery of Sixes, Pineapples from the Dawn of Time etc. Brisbane still has a fairly vivid music scene- the Jube on St Paul’s Terrace has fat ska bands on Sunday arvos. Brisbane hip-hop, however, is worse than Adelaide hip-hop; something one would think a physical impossibility.

Niall
Niall
2022 years ago

Ska? Hip-Hop? Let’s just applaude the coming of Joh’s last moment and leave it at that, shall we? On the subject of making sure, I’m with Ken. Let’s nail the bastard into his coffin, weight it out of sight and bury him at the bottom of some dis-used underground site at Moura. In concrete.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Andrew Stafford in his book wants to argue that the vibrancy of the Brisvegas music scene in the age of Joh wasn’t just down to resistance against the “great peanut farmer”, as VegiePlus so evocatively calls the living zombie…

I think I’d like to write something more about my opposite view on this topic… at some point… but I’m going to content myself at this point by reproducing the lyrics of ‘Pig City’ for Troppo readers:

If you go downtown, just beware
There’s a demonstration in the square
The boys in blue are everywhere

See the blacks in the park
Hear the doors slam, hear the dogs bark
They’re keeping the city safe after dark

The minister for corruption’s working late
He wants a piece of the action in race eight
No SP here, he’s ringing interstate

The blacks at Aurukun have to go
To keep big business on the go
While Joh gets shares in Comalco

Who was the bagman, who was the hit man?
Who were the front men, who were the big men?
In the National scam

Hello, hello, is that you dear?
What’s that clicking noise I hear?
Walls have eyes and phones have ears

Go to a dance to have some fun
Here come the boys with their dogs and their guns
They don’t like punks – run, Johnny, run!

Who’s that knocking at the door?
At six am it must be the law!
‘Right, you know what we’re looking for’

State of emergency for the ‘Boks
And then to show the workers who’s boss
If you think you’ve got rights, they’re already lost

So you don’t want to know, you’ve heard it before
But if you cop this lot you’ll sure get more
Where to now from ’84?

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

PB, you should get hold of the Andrew Stafford book – he has a chapter named after “Pineapples at the Dawn of the Time”. Does anyone else remember Loves e Blur. Haven’t been to the Jube for about a hundred years – since a mate worked there in the bottle-o, but I remember well St Paul’s Tavern where I saw Club Hoy in 92…

pb
pb
2022 years ago

The sad thing is, I think Beattie and his buck-toothed Eygore are as authoritarian, patrician, arrogant, duplicitous, corrupt and venal as the worst of the Joh cabal, but seem above criticism because they are titularly from the left. Where’s all the punk bands slagging off the Cheshire Cat and ol’ “I Can Eat A Baby’s Arse Through A Wicker Chair”? At least when the Kingaroy Kommisar was running things, everything worked (including the ETU, eventually) and state charges were cheap; this current crop are using state revenues as a personal fiefdom, and can’t even run a power grid in a state with the greatest resource of coking/high quality coal in the world- what a pack of spastics.
BTW, I think Captain Goodvibes (aka Tony Edwards) came up with the best moniker for JBP- the Peanut Clone of Banananoia.

drgreg
drgreg
2022 years ago

who are you guys? I stumbled on this page looking for anything on an old bris band called the girlies, anyway
i wrote this a few years ago after coming back to bris for a visit after nearly 20 years away

THE PRODIGAL WALKS BRUNSWICK ST

A bit of Labor Government and everyone’s eating olives, eh?
Groovy antiques, outdoor cafes and bruschetta,
you smug latte-drinking bastards
strolling around your mini-Montmartre
I suppose you should be envied.
You probably never knew the fear.
Did you see your parents; decent law-abiding citizens,
cowering when pulled over by the blue dragoons?
What were they doing?
Nothing.
You were a longhair in the car, that was enough.
Did your mates spend months in jail,
getting bashed and fucked for one seed in a rollie-packet?

I grew up in the lost sub-tropical port of David Malouf’s dreaming:
lazy palm fronds and ornate balconies,
shabby steamers unloading at the endless timber wharves near the Vic bridge,
ancient trams trundled down cobbled streets
as burlap Eskimos pushed trolleys of fish into the freezer rooms.
Cold misty caverns beckoned the small boy out of the blazing sun.
Mountains of fruit at the Roma st. markets.
Steam trains darkening the morning as they pulled into the yards at the Gabba.
All gone,
crushed by the steamroller of Calvinist brutality.
The Mango Stalin and his greedy cohorts ranted from the pulpits of progress,
while beneath the starched priggishness,
the boongs were bashed,
smiling constables procured little boys to suck the evil cocks of National party bigwigs,
detectives sold the smack,
and those who didn’t play ball,
ended up going for a long swim down the mouth of the river.
The hypocrisy, the blatant fucking hypocrisy.

You probably haven’t got a clue.
Was he overthrown?
Yes,
but only by his own,
but then who am I to talk
I was one of the Bjelke diaspora,
I ran.
Too far to ever go back.
Chatter on.

alphacoward
2022 years ago

wow PB is a negative individual –


can’t even run a power grid in a state with the greatest resource of coking/high quality coal in the world

HUH? Do you think power distribution has anything to do with power generation?

We have plenty of power, just some old suburbs don’t have new transformers to deliver it.

Give me Beattie any Day

George
George
2022 years ago

I grew up in that god forsaken place now referred to as Brisvegas. Since 1985, when I migrated from the arse end of the (whole) world, the dozen or so trips back to s#itsville/brisvegas leave me with feelings of such repressed anger & anxiety that I still wish it was just blown away into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. BUT, some of the best music DID come from there back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Why aren’t the Pinapples from the Dawn of Time released on CD yet? Is there anyone who remembers the 474 club with regulars like the 31sts (?) & The End. Those were the days……

George
George
2022 years ago

I grew up in that god forsaken place now referred to as Brisvegas. Since 1985, when I migrated from the arse end of the (whole) world, the dozen or so trips back to s#itsville/brisvegas leave me with feelings of such repressed anger & anxiety that I still wish it was just blown away into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. BUT, some of the best music DID come from there back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Why aren’t the Pinapples from the Dawn of Time released on CD yet? Is there anyone who remembers the 474 club with regulars like the 31sts (?) & The End. Those were the days……

George
George
2022 years ago

I grew up in that god forsaken place now referred to as Brisvegas. Since 1985, when I migrated from the arse end of the (whole) world, the dozen or so trips back to s#itsville/brisvegas leave me with feelings of such repressed anger & anxiety that I still wish it was just blown away into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. BUT, some of the best music DID come from there back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Why aren’t the Pinapples from the Dawn of Time released on CD yet? Is there anyone who remembers the 474 club with regulars like the 31sts (?) & The End. Those were the days……

Canetoad
Canetoad
2022 years ago

there is great news re: Brisbane’s punk rock years…An english? label has released a full compile by the Vampire Lovers…anybody remember the anthem Buzzsaw Popstar? that 4ZZZ used to play heaps!
I’ve also heard via a punk forum the same label might be doing a Mystery Of Sixes comp , fingers crossed they had some angry killer tunes..’Mystery Of Sixes , Skull In My Cave , Azaria

George
George
2022 years ago

I remember the Vampire Lovers. Great little number……more interestingly is a compilation of the Mystery of sixes (esp. their anthem namesake).Don’t recall they did Azaria….wasn’t that World War xxiv? If you know when & where this stuff gets released, share it with others.

canetoad
canetoad
2022 years ago

the Vampire Lovers comp is available @
http://www.magic-monster .com , its all the 7” re-mastered with an awesome 24 page colour booklet.
Mystery Of Sixes might be happening depending on if masters for their recordings can be found…it depends on the band members time.
Mystery Of Sixes did do a song called Azaria which was not officially released but the track has been played on 4ZZZ.

Yeah ..World War XXIV did do a track Azaria which was their first 7” and appeared on the lp.

Sydney band Box Of Fish would make a well deserved compilation.

rod mcleod
rod mcleod
2022 years ago

Hello kiddies! Well, this is an interesting little site for a forum ain’t it? Good to see some vibrant disscussion,good or bad,on the blessed/cursed Brisvegas. (I hate that name, I always prefered Brisneyland)
Anyway..some gossip.The Pineapples album maybe coming out on CD soon. Deals are being dealt and re-mixing is underway, Also, look out for the very soon to be released comp of the Savage/Shake Music label on Dropkick records. Features late seventies punk reprobates The Young Identities and Just Urbain.

Luvs e Blur? Wendy from the band now co-habitates in Brissy with Mick from the Pineapples…The Girlies? Unfortunately, their vocalist Tony Brassington passed on several years ago from a typical Brisbane blight, heroin overdose.The amount of wonderful people who have been lost like this deserve their own chapter in Stafford book.
And I think the name of the club where the 31st & The End boys use to congregate was the 279 club, otherwise known as The Exchange Hotel.
If anyone has heard the recently released Leftovers CD, the live material on the album was actually recorded on a hand held cassette player 10 ft from the stage at the said same venue…circa 1978.
See, there were some thing even the ‘Hillbilly Dictator’ could not stiffle!

rod mcleod
rod mcleod
2022 years ago

Hello kiddies! Well, this is an interesting little site for a forum ain’t it? Good to see some vibrant disscussion,good or bad,on the blessed/cursed Brisvegas. (I hate that name, I always prefered Brisneyland)
Anyway..some gossip.The Pineapples album maybe coming out on CD soon. Deals are being dealt and re-mixing is underway, Also, look out for the very soon to be released comp of the Savage/Shake Music label on Dropkick records. Features late seventies punk reprobates The Young Identities and Just Urbain.

Luvs e Blur? Wendy from the band now co-habitates in Brissy with Mick from the Pineapples…The Girlies? Unfortunately, their vocalist Tony Brassington passed on several years ago from a typical Brisbane blight, heroin overdose.The amount of wonderful people who have been lost like this deserve their own chapter in Stafford book.
And I think the name of the club where the 31st & The End boys use to congregate was the 279 club, otherwise known as The Exchange Hotel.
If anyone has heard the recently released Leftovers CD, the live material on the album was actually recorded on a hand held cassette player 10 ft from the stage at the said same venue…circa 1978.
See, there were some thing even the ‘Hillbilly Dictator’ could not stiffle!

ruby pearson
ruby pearson
2022 years ago

Can anyone please tell me where I can get a copy of pineapples from the dawn of time album-To much acid? I have been searching for this album for almost ten years and cant seem to find it anywhere.Any info would be much appreciated.

Marc
Marc
15 years ago

Well, this little thread has certainly got me all misty-eyed! I hope people continue to find it just as I did and keep adding to it.

I was actually searching for Luvs e Blur and this is where I ended up!

I moved to Brisbane in 1983 and immediately immersed myself in the local “scene”. Sure, I missed a lot but most of what I missed was in fact the worst of the Joh era in town. I have strange feelings about it all – on the dole, bumming around, going to protest marches, hanging around ZZZ, wanting to change the world.

It didn’t happen.

I had a house at Ashgrove and the woman in the flat next door told me her son was looking for somewhere to live. I had never clicked about her name but when Warren Lamond came around to see the place, I felt like I was really blessed. We hit it off straight away and had some great times together. Through Warren I got to meet some great people: Tex Perkins, the Pinapples (well, minus one who was “otherwise detained”). Warren had some original cassette tapes of Leftovers practices and gigs.

Unfortunately Warren also fell by the way of a drug overdose and this single incident changed my (and my girlfriend’s) life forever. That was October 1989 and Warren was buried at the Albany Creek cemetery.

Brisbane was such a small place really. I lived next door to a hairdresser who did Wendy’s (Luvs e Blur) hair. My girlfriend worked in a dress shop with another girl who was going out with Wendy’s cousin. There was always barely two degrees of seperation. How quaint it all was.

December 2 1989 – I spent the morning handing out HTVs for Beattie then took off to Livid. What a night… I remember the crowd exploding when TISM announced that the Nats had lost the election. Ron Hitler-Barassi did the “when Derryn Hinch goes to jail” diatribe but changed it to “when Russ Hinze goes to jail”. I was just the best day/night ever!

I moved to Highgate Hill a few years later and watched West End slowly but surely turn in to a yuppie paradise. Everything changes but some of this change is just a bit sad so I left Brisbane, had kids and now live off in the hills.

All this has made me remember that I have a load of Luvs e Blur audio that Wendy gave me on a hi-fi video tape… somewhere.

Marc
Marc
15 years ago

Heh, I could write all day but there is work to do!

My memory is kicking in to gear now… clear memories of being “assisted” off George Street while marching with the Women’s Abortion Campaign in 1984, watching George Georges and Anne Warner get arrested during the ETU protests in 1985, walking out of the IS meetings above Elizabeth Arcade and having our photos taken by spooks in suits over the road.

Oh, and the couple of days of driving up and down Mt Coot-tha with food and drinks when Victoria Brazil effectively kicked ZZZ out of the studios at UQ. Once again, the two degrees of Briso seperation came in to play: I was wearing my favourite ZZZ T-shirt of the time when my landlady came to collect the rent. She seemed so proud as she jabbed my chest with her finger saying “that’s my son”, pointing at the announcer with his hands up as the “Joh clones” march in to the studios at 4:30AM. I had no idea… she seemed so prim and proper, how could HER son be one of the ZZZ collective?

clu caton
clu caton
13 years ago

Well I’ll be darned, Marc! Two years later and I too was searching Luvs a Blur and entered into a world of acidic memories – the good acidic… or was it? Is it possible for questionable, even negative, memories to evoke a powerful sense of sentimentality? One thing we all agree on: da moozic woz GOOD!! Does anyone still have a copy of the tape “Queensland in Quarantine”? Or even recall it? (If anyone’s still reading). That had many of the bands mentioned above. It would be triffic to see a similar compilation for us aging enthusiasts. Maybe we could dig up Joh, slam some headphones on him and hit it high volume just for our own gratification. Then again, it’d be too good for him.

I may be a bit behind but i thoroughly enjoyed reading back some shared memories! Yep, the 4ZZZ state of emergency was interesting. My sister was one of those relaying from Mt Cootha, while i had moved away but returned on holiday with some Brindabella mushies, of which we partook before strolling down to the station… radio station that is. My dad was a much (deservedly) despised figure in Uni life back then and i noticed ceremoniously burnt copies of his pamphlet ‘Feminism and the Family’ in the Zed bin. He had also ran for the National Party Presidency against Robert Sparkes at which point i ensured that the divorce papers between us were thoroughly in order. However, one of my fellow trippers just couldn’t resisit telling the ZZZers who my dad was. At this point the tone completely changed and i was reminded of just how fearful and suspicious Brisbane culture was. It needed to be, but that was the end of my participation between raids on ZZZ… and nearly the end of the friendship with the Judas. Aaaah, the good ol’ daze!!

shane
shane
12 years ago

Hello fellow passengers of the Joh era and the music scene of these days. Obviously, I was attracted to this site from a self fascinated search into my past musical exploits. However, I too have finally returned to Bris after a 20 year hiatus living in Sydney. Reading this brings back many fond and not so fond memories of Johs reign. My personal adventures into the time started whilst being privileged to a garage jam with the Young Identities. From here I met Gavin, Clayton and then Rod McLeod of the Kicks then Pineapples fame and wed all pile into one of their work station wagons and go to little underground gigs all around Brisbane and Ipswich. Many times these gigs or practice rooms were raided by Johs thugs. Just walking the streets looking a little different attracted attention by the then constabulary and many times I was mistaken as a vagrant and locked in the watch house for short periods until they realised I was just a funny looking kid from suburbia. I too almost met my demise by the hands of Johs thugs being taken to the Brisbane River Serpentine, beaten and dumped there. I was also part of group that went to Stradbroke Island and again we were separated and detained males/females and the Cops really gave the girls a hard time from the stories they revealed. Many years later, my mother sent me down a Courier Mail story backing up my story of these Islands Cops and their sorted antics.
I and fellow members of a band were later harassed as prime suspects in a murder investigation, of which was absurd. We had obviously upset Joh and his henchmen by having our photo taken inside a Valley Brothel and advertising it as such. This contradicted Johs earlier news statements saying that there were No brothels operating in Queensland. The Band then packed up and headed south over the border to freedom and the rest is history. There was no persuit by the Cops after we crossed the border.
Dont get me talking about the bands that Ive seen, of which cover all that have been spoken about on this thread and I hold good memories of all of them plus many more. Good Thread/Blog whatever well done for sparking this Mark. Carry on and I hope to see you all out and about again someday soon.

Cookie

Evan Nunn
Evan Nunn
11 years ago

I want say how much of great time I had in Brisbane from 82 to 87. I lived in ten different suburbs with dozens of different people with connections that criss crossed the city( and the age group we thrived in ).

I met the best people, funny, witty, happy, sad, angry, like we all should be. Set aside believing we were repressed and under the influence or control of authorities. If we were, we still got around the rules, made our own fun and basically survived to live and learn and love and maybe got arrested and tailed a few times.

I went to so many fantastic shows. Real underground punk and alternative gigs, noisy crappy sound but lots of raw energy , plus the really fantastic bands that floated in from other places. The DK’s night a real highlight.

I sang in a band for a while , the DHT’s , and we sucked (Pig city refers to “the Lame” bands, well we were probably one of them), but we really did not care that much , we were just getting into it and we still do , over 25 years later , we have had 2 reunion gigs in the Grampians in the middle of nowhere , so no sane person can hear us and we are having another near Perth next year , same purpose really , to live life to the fullest and bust out and have some fun, we now think we sound OK but you know no-one really cared or cares when you pay $1 to get in the door per band.

I propose that if we did not have something to rebel against in Brisbane in the 80’s , we would be different people. I would not have learned so much so young about politics, I would have not understood how to judge what was spin from real so quickly and easily as I do now. I would not have seen and learnt about what was illegal and had to be fixed or tolerated.

I would rather have lived in that la la land with a bunch of control freaks than in Melbourne or Sydney at the time, they did not have what we had, they did not have the same experience . Think about it , is it better now or was it better then, being part of the underground, the rebels and the deviates ? We were young and it was a great period of our lives.

Cameron Hunt
Cameron Hunt
6 years ago

Oh what great times they where the fear made life exciting. I started working in george st at 16 in the dept mapping and surveying photo branch everyone was drunk. I drank at that little whole in the wall between treasury and whitechairs it was the only pub that would serve me. I looked about 12 and the only customets where my over 60. workmates and the jacks.i got to pissed one lunch and a jack just said how old is that kid everyone said old enough so i was cool.the jacks let me play liar poker with them the. knew i only made 150. a fortnight and they had money to burn they never mentioned me nodding off all the time. They really thought i was 12 haha, i could make 3/4 hundred a week from those jacks it was nothing to them. The hilariously named police complaints tribunal was downstairs in my building now a casino hotel. I met the assistant police commisioner their one morning when got in the lift looked at me in my punk tshirt a foul look then he smelt the scotch on my breath asked what i drank johhny ofcourse then invited to his office for a heart starter i said i had to go to work he said no you dont your coming for a drink he rang my bosses boss who was next door and told him to sort it and then join us. Fuck that was a strange day geoge st pub crawl with two old dudes one in uniform from then on he would pass the word down that i was required so no work just free booze and a fancy lunch, as you know nobody complained against the jacks if you wanted to keep breathing or out of jail my workmates were jealous as fuck to bad .i had a wallet full of his buisness cards he had no work so drank all the time he was not in on the joke as he was a drunk and lewis didnot like him so he bought his drinking buddies sad bugger. As time went

Cameron Hunt
Cameron Hunt
6 years ago
Reply to  Cameron Hunt

Cont. As 79 turned into 80 the old cop retired and i had to go to work everyday good thing i took up commodities trading with a few trusted public setvants.they gave me money and i gave them whatever they wanted most were poly abusers like me so the money rolled in life was pretty good under joh if you accepted corruption was just govt practice. The special branch and taringa jacks where my main worry i had a govt camera at one off the right to march rally lunchtime king george sq when it was ripped out of my hands the jack was going to smash it i said it was govt property so he just ripped out the film i was photographing everyone. including sb thugs bashing people lucky i didnt get one myself that though they soon caught up with me many times embatassing when freinds from childhood where doing the bashing sorry mate but we have as my head goes through another wall even when i was in a body brace fractured spine they would still flog me bastards . Still life was great beutiful punk women cheap quality drugs and great music saints go betweens union blues band were residents at that underground join. In george st near pig hq joint efforts everyweek brit punk as well out every nigh. and at the r.e. for saturday mornings and