Formed in 1989, The Fargone Beauties were the originators of thrashgrass, which is the performance of classic rock songs the way they were truly intended to be loud, electric and bluegrass style. The band released three albums, performed on countless TV shows, played all the pubs and clubs, and scared the life out of audiences at every major country music festival in Australia.
In July 1989 the great Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel was about to perform some solo shows and dates with his brother Phil in Sydney. He called a musician friend, John Spence, with a dilemma. “Spencey, I’ve just found out we’re onstage at 11.00 pm tomorrow night and we need a support act. We need someone to play between 8.30 and 10.30 & warm up the punters before we go on. Can you help?”
No problem Tommy. John called his mate James Gillard, who had recently moved to Sydney from Melbourne where he’d been playing bass and singing with Mondo Rock and Broderick Smith’s Big Combo. John & James put a song list together and, without rehearsing, played the show the next night as a duo.
“Hey, that was great, but I reckon we can crank it up a bit,” said Tommy backstage after the first night. “In fact let’s make it a band tomorrow night, and I’ll play drums.” It’s a little known fact that besides being one of the greatest guitarists in the world (Tommy was inducted as a CGP – Certified Guitar Player, by the legendary Chet Atkins, one of only 3 worldwide), Tommy is also a fantastic drummer, and loves playing when he gets the chance.
So John hauled in another muso mate, virtuoso guitarist & Cockney looney, Terry Murray, to join them the next night. Again with no rehearsal, the “band” played a great set and at the conclusion a band agent and venue booker, Tim Kirkland from Peak Promotions, walked out of the audience & said “Who are you guys, what is this band & do you want some work ? I can book you next weekend if you like.”
Problem was, it wasn’t really a band, we didn’t have a name, and there were certainly no plans to do any more shows. But on hearing this Tommy chimed in, “I’m up for it. I’m in Sydney for the next three weeks doing sessions, and I’m in, as long as I get to play drums.” James very quickly added the band name, “we’re called The Fargone Beauties”.
After we all did a double take on the double meaning of the name, we laughed and thought why not, just go out and play a few gigs, have some fun & it’s all over.
- James Gillard – Bass and Vocals
- Mark Marriott – Drums
- Terry Murray – Guitar and Vocals
- John Spence – Guitar and Vocals
- Mark Collins – Banjo
- Tommy Emmanuel – Drums
- Dave Druery – Drums
- Wild Thing – 1991
- Highway To hell – 1992
- Play That Country Music – 1993
- The Fargone Beauties – 1991
- It’s Hard When You’re Ugly – 1992
- Dark Side Of The Moo – 1994
- A Load Of Old Bullocks – 2006