Bombay Rock – October 81
During our residency we were having a ball. Spent the days hanging around surfers then a soundcheck in the arvo or if we were doing a support that night help the main band load in mid afternoon, soundcheck and come back for the show. It was pretty cruisy. In between doing supports when we were the main act they had the dreaded disco and the room was always full. It helped that the band did different sets but they loved the stage patter as well and sticko had ‘em in the palm of his hand.
One night everything was buzzing, everyone had “the vibe” and the band was cranking. I was at stage right and Peter George came running through the audience. I knew something was wrong but there wasn’t any fights or other trouble I could see. But he looked like his head was about to explode. He was heading straight for the 3 phase power & I headed him off “ What’s the matter mate” I asked in my most helpful voice. “The fucking Vice squad is here, From Brisbane!! Get out of my fucking way!!” He was going to pull the plug on us. We wrestled a bit while I tried to negotiate with him. It turned out they had heard the band had been talking on stage about things that they didn’t like in Joh’s Qld.
Things like sex & drugs & free speech wasn’t encouraged either back then. A couple of car loads of them had come down from Brissie and sure enough looking at the bar there was 3 blokes in bad suits drinking free piss. I s’pose the rest were in the room somewhere. I pleaded with Peter “Look mate i’ll go and talk to the band and make sure they behave themselves. But don’t turn the power off, we’ll have a fucking riot, OK?” He looked at the crowd. “It’ll be cool mate i’ll talk to the boys and explain. You take care of the cops,OK?”
The band were just finishing a song so he went to talk to the pigs. I raced around the front of the stage and got the attention of the band, Sticko & Zac came over and I told ‘em what was happening. In the little time I had I told them about the pigs & how the owner wanted to pull the plug. “OK cool, No worries” said Sticko. My thinking was if they can just be cool until the cops left we could go back to having fun.
Sticko had another plan altogether. I can’t remember the exact wording but it went something like: “Well ladies & gentlemen we have some special guests here tonight, they’ve come all the way from Brisbane let’s hear it folks for the Qld Vice squad, yeah that’s them up at the bar in the suits. Their mates are here too so say hi if you meet one, give ‘em a big hand folks. Glad you like the band fellas. Now listen up all of you, if you’ve got any drugs on you throw ‘em up here on the stage OK and we’ll get rid of ‘em for ya!” The crowd was going nuts by this stage, but Peter George hadn’t come back so that was good. Sticko went on “ So if you do happen to have any drugs on ya, or even if you don’t, this could happen to you” They launched into Framed which if you haven’t heard it is about getting set up by the cops! SHIT ! Visions of what they’d do to a hairy bunch of smartasses like us were flashing through my brain. The crowd loved it, they were going ballistic! Then after another rant it was into Cocaine and on they went. Thoughts of the infamous Bogga rd goal were going round in my head. And then I remembered the house we were staying in was covered in fingerprint dust! WE’RE FUCKED! He was sticking it right up ‘em! I was just about to have my 21st & I didn’t want to have it in a cell with a new friend Bluey.
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“SHUT UP FOR FUCKS’ SAKE!” But he kept sticking it to ‘em , anything he could think of with a reference to sex, drugs, drink driving or corrupt cops was on the menu. The punters were loving it, no one stood up to the Qld coppers. It was certain if they tried to stop him there would definitely be a riot. They gig kept going and we finished the night. Unbelievable.
Peter George wasn’t happy but between the outing the cops got and whatever he did (publicans know how to handle this stuff, maybe a bag of snacks for the drive home ) they were gone. We had a chat & were all sure if they were going to hassle us it wouldn’t be at Bombay it’d be back at the house, where we didn’t have a few hundred drunken punters to back us up. There was always uniformed cops hanging around outside of the venue after that, but the house didn’t get raided.
What did happen was everyone in Surfers heard about it and even though we had good crowds before that, afterwards it was packed. And if we went to get lunch at a pub in town everyone wanted to buy us a beer they loved us. And it was all good from then on especially after Ned made Peter George a big jar of Gulab Jamun which he loved. He couldn’t believe that we could cook! But Ned was a special, he wasn’t long out of the Krishna’s but he could cook anything not just Indian. But that’s another story.