2SM Concert of the Decade 1979
If you grew up as a teenager in Sydney in the late 1970’s as I did, you listened to 2SM. They were THE station to listen to for all the latest rock & pop. They were also famous in the late 70’s for their concerts in Victoria Park & at the Sydney Opera House. Those concerts lead the way for one of the biggest ever held at that time, the Concert Of The Decade on the 4th of November 1979.
It featured a host of classic Australian acts from that time, some of whom re-formed just for that concert. I’m still looking for a complete list of acts but if you think of artists like Hush, Sherbet, Marcia Hines, Blackfeather, Stevie Wright, Ol ’55, Dragon, Colleen Hewett, Captain Matchbox, Jim Keays, Ted Mulry Gang, Mike Rudd, Richard Clapton, Doug Parkinson, Split Enz, Jon English, Jo Jo Zep, Russell Morris, Max Merritt, The Mixtures, Stars, Kevin Borich, Skyhooks you’ll get the drift.
The culmination of the event saw Stevie Wright giving the performance of his life with Evie parts 1, 2 & 3 & a tribute to Johnny O’Keefe from an all-star cast.
The show was recorded and bit’s of it have been televised but I’m not sure if it is still available so following is all the clips I can find of that wonderful day. If you were there I’d love to hear your memories & recollections of the day in the comments below.
For a bunch more great stuff regarding 2SM please check out Debbie Krugers wonderful site.
hey, checkout Tommy Emanuel with Doug Parkinson. What a hoot!!
Awesome day – so many firsts. First beer, first time to see The Radiators (a count which now approaches 40), first time to hear a guy unashamedly say to a chick in a bikini “nice tits”.
As a 16 yr old amongst a large group of his school mates with a great position in front of the stage, this concert was monumental, probably the concert of a lifetime, not just the decade, and that’s not to say there haven’t been some significant ones since, including seeing Roger Waters perform The Wall in Berlin in ’90.
I still think of this fabulous event when I’m at the Opera House, and was glued to the telly when it was broadcast, reliving every smashed guitar by Skyhooks and feeling special to have been there.
I was only 16 and was my first ever concert and our last year of school. I remember getting lost coming back from the loo, could’nt find my school-mates so I just partied with strangers. I eventually found them again and they said alot of people just peed where they were and poured bottled water over themselves to disguise it. LOL
I do remember 2 bands that hav’nt been mentioned though, I remember The Motels, Chrissy Hine, (I think thats where people got the idea that if it was ok for Chrissy to wet herself on stage, so could we!) LOL
And a 2-girl band with big permed hair called Cheetah.
I miss the 70’s and the music was just the best…….
There were more groups not mentioned. Ted Mulry Gang for one.
As a girl of 14 seeing my first concert so close to the left stage I have wonderful and precious memories. Its a shame this concert isnt avail on DVD. I would love to show my kids what a fantastic time it was back then. Seeing all the best Aussie bands for 12hrs? straight was an epic feat and one I’ll treasure forever.
Wendy it is on YOU TUBE
It was an a great day,such amazing aussie tallent,didnt see one fight
Just saw Stevie Wright performing Evie parts 1,2,3 on Max at the concert of the decade, sensational, wish it was available on DVD, the 70’s best time of my life.
The best clip (in my opinion is TMG singing Jump in My Car! You can view it on youtube easily enough. You get a real sense of the band and their apparent ease being on stage and having fun.
Kelly just a little note regarding the performance of TMG at the Concert of the Decade.
We all know 2SM at the time was owned by the Catholic Church and we all know that TMG performed a song called Dinah as part of their live song list. Well Dinah didn’t meet with much approval by the Catholic Church. In order to be part of the Concert of the Decade, TMG had to sign a document guaranteeing that Dinah would not be part of the live performance on that day. The reason both Les and Gary are in fits of laughter is because unexpectedly Ted dropped the “F” Bomb during Jump In My Car which incidentally went unnoticed on the original broadcast on Channel nine but was beeped out on the replay. It is in the line “Why where the F*** do you live” should you want to try and find it.
Prior to University, I worked for a soft drink company in Canberra. I understood the Southern Cross Club was owned by the Catholic Church. The Southern Cross Club was one of the biggest clubs and money makers in Canberra. The Catholic Church appeared happy enough to make money from alcholhol sales and poker machines. If they still own the club, then they would still be making money from those means. It seems ironic that they would take offence to a song that they considered unsavoury.
I was just talking about Newy bands and mentioned your name as we both went to Belmont High, I was more friends with Bobby, we were talking about Belmont North Disco so I thought I would google you and bugger me here you are. Is Bobby still around, if so and you talk with him mention me to him, I lived in Tingira Hts ( Violet Town )
is this the gig where someone got up the sails and chucked a browneye? Mark, I was at the Wall gig in 90, still can’t believe the Hooters played “Peace, Love and Understansding” and the world did not end!
Mi-Sex and Mental as Anything along with the Radiators were the first 3 bands on stage. This was at a time that these bands had only just released debut albums. I remember it was a very hot day and there was no shade to be had. Still this was the most memorable concert I have been to in Sydney.
Not true the first on stage to open the concert after a warm up from misex
Was Broderick smith vocals toivo pilt (keyboard) Paul wheeler bass , Tony Doyle drums ,Kirk lorange ( guitar) bill Ogrady (second guitar)
Lori and Teri baller ( backing vocals)
We played the jingle that we all had played on (celebrate) the 2sm jingle an aboriginal boy climbed up the front of the stage and Broderick pulled him up which got an enormous reaction from the crowd, do you remember I have a backstage pass to prove we were there
I was there and remember wandering through the crowd in a bikini, much to the dismay of my boyfriend at the time! I won’t forget the sound and feel of MiSex – Computer Games as it echoed around the harbour – awesome day!
Went there with three mates – I was thirteen, first year of high school, but I’m sure at least two of us were only 12! I seem to remember there were free buses in to the city (from Epping) – but I also remember getting chatted up by some older girls on a train – on the way home, maybe? One of them pinched me on the bum when we said goodbye – I was positively chuffed! I think I really only went to see Mi-Sex, the Mentals and the Radiators – I was really into New Wave, and anything that was pre-1976 was ancient! We found ourselves about 25m back from the front of the stage, surrounded by very friendly old folks (they were probably only 18 or 19) all smoking dope and drinking – they kept an eye on us, I’m sure. Looking at Debbie Kruger’s site I’m amazed that I remember every band – except Sherbet! Everyone went nuts for Stevie. Jo Jo Zep was great, Split Enz … Stars’ “Mighty Rock” seemed to last about a hour – I can still hear it! (So THAT was the legendary Andrew Durant)
That day really sums up what Australia used to be, to me. Gone forever now, and pretty much forgotten. TONS of girls in bikinis! What an easy time it was – if you were white, of course. And was it ever winter in the seventies, or does my 47 y.o. memory fail me?
Imagine parents allowing their pre-teen kids to go to something like that these days! Would I? I wonder. It’s almost difficult to believe that I was actually there – but I was!
GORLASSAR, I went to Sunbury ’75 (obviously on Australia Day weekend of 1975), and one of my mate’s girlfriend’s girlfriends, had brought along her 13? year old brother with her, with the full approval of the parents…., and I guess that it just showed the innocence and trust of the times; and so whilst our “camp” and group were fairly benign in our activities, it is without a doubt that there were all sorts of “temptations” out there at Sunbury, similarly to Concert of the Decade, if one chose to seek them out.
Does anyone know which network or channel screened this? I’m trying to track down the original footage for a documentary.
thanks in advance for your help,
Hi Marcus Palmer. This Concert was shown as a 1 hour special on Channel 9 simulcast with 2SM, which is why there are only limited artists doing 1 song only. It was repeated on Channel 9 several months later.
It was released on a double LP in a gate fold cover, it was later re released on CD by Mushroom records but failed to sell, but was never released on DVD or VHS due to extensive copyright problems. There are many people who have the concert on DVD, me being one of them, and I am at the moment in the process of tracking down the full six hours of taped concert footage.
Hi Ronald – Thank you for getting in touch. I work with Marcus and I was just wondering if the DVD of the footage you have features DRAGON singing APRIL SUN IN CUBA. Would be great if you can flick me an email and can could discuss getting access to this footage.
Thanks heaps Lauren
AAV held the original footage down in Melbourne. AAV have since been bought out by another company which still has the Concert footage in storage.
Fancy seeing this. Yep was there. Remember it was too hot to bake in the sun so wandered up the back and set ourselves under the Morton Bay fig trees. The band members looked like ants but you had no trouble hearing them.
Had no sleep the night before [might have been some drugs that caused that] and caught the train in and met a mate in the city can’t remember where and lobbed here. So many great acts all for free. Think we missed the first few acts but it sure was good times for a couple of 19 year olds. Everyone was so happy and carefree
Was unaware it was shown on TV so have no info that one. Thanks for the memories
I was 19 and it was my first ever concert. Absolutely amazing…nothing compares today….I recall drinking wine poured into a can that had been torn in half…….don’t know how I didn’t cut my lips…..also my boyfriend at the time offered a policeman, standing near the porta loos, a joint……….His reply was…..not while I’m on duty….lol…Best day of my life….p.s…..my brand new man was there as well, but our paths never crossed until very very recently….we are now officially together…..I am 54…he is 57….
What an awesome story Julie!
Thankyou, Mark. A DVD would be awesome.
Is there a DVD of this concert available?
Is there a Blueray version of this concert on the Opera House Steps available?
I remember I purchased the records of this concert but there is also no CDs of this available.
If so, where can you get it and how much?
Yes I want to know too Mark,, I was there that day at the age of 17,, Id love to see it,, can anyone help???
There are a lot of clips on You Tube of many of the Acts. You can search under “Concert of the Decade 1979”
I was there,, I was 17 and very close to the front, I remember people jumping into the harbour to cool off,, I still think those free concerts were the best,, nothing compares to it today!! Id love to see the DVD,, does anyone know where you can buy a copy??
I was there to, 17yrs old, I was about 15 metres in front when someone threw a can of KB and hit Doc Neeson in the head, he got his back…lol, then I moved over to the left where the boats are…..
The Angels did not play this concert. I think you are referring to The New Years Eve Concert where The Angels headlined. Cheers.
As an unashamedly huge Dragon fan, I was there at the age of 14 with a friend who’s name is also Donna, but for me, Stevie Wright owned it that day. I remember being in total awe of his performance. it was an absolutely fabulous day, sun shining, people singing along. a DVD would be great!!!!
I was 17. Went there very early in the morning with the rest of our group from Bankstown Rollerskating rink (now gone) guys like Phil “Porky” Godwin from Riverwood, Don Dent from Peakhurst. You could actually see us in the opening of the footage as we were skating passed at about 6am, just shadows gliding through the shot. Always thought they should have used Skyhooks “party to end all parties” instead of ELP’s “Fanfare for the common man” to start the film of it. It was a bloody hot day so I paid one of my mates $20 just to buy a carton of coke from one of the stalls, it took him about 40 minutes to walk about 50mtrs to the stall get served and walk back and naturally the carton was hot! I remember Jo Jo Zep throwing his jacket into the crowd as it landed about 10 feet from us, some guy caught it so I yelled at him to check the pockets, lol, hey! you never know… but there was nothing in them 😉 It was amazing how with the tens of thousands of people there and the heat that I can’t remember even one fight, ahhh the good ol’ days. Loved every single act not a bad one among them. I have tried to track down the footage and have not been able to find it, there is no DVD or BluRay available there may well be a copy of the film at the National Film Archives
Yes I was there when I was 15… met up with some other friends, it was truly the experience of a lifetime, I went mainly for Skyhooks as I was insane over them. I remember alcohol in soft drink bottles being passed around, it was very hot that day. I got up on a guy’s shoulders and I remember thinking I saw myself in the footage at one point as I was to the left of the stage pretty close to the front. What an epic time that was, those were the days! The highlight was definitely Stevie Wright and Skyhooks for me.
I was also close to the stage and to the left. A young girl in a bikini kept asking me if she could get on my shoulders so I obliged much to my girlfriend’s anger who was also got on my shoulders several times , Brilliant concert I will never forget it ,I am in the process now of converting the album to mp3.
It is funny, isn’t it? I was there drunk at age 15 too about 75 metres in front of the stage, dead centre. Some random chick in a crocheted bikini asked if she could get up on my shoulders and I obliged. After what seemed like an hour I patted her knee and she slid off before I crumpled, I can’t recall her name (Danielle maybe??). Never saw her again, but it ranks as one of the best days of my life. I’m 55 now and still play in a band around the pub circuit. Let’s just say it left an impression on me 🙂 !!
I’d missed Rocktober ’78 a year earlier with Thin Lizzie and was determined to get to this one. I was 15 and got the train from the Blue Mounains that arrived about 10am. Kids were climbing out the train windows at central. Stinking hot day with a hundred thousand unsupervised teens. I got shitfaced early though still managed to have a good time though too many bogan f*ckholes wanting to go the knuckle. My mate got hit in the chin by a stubbie thrown from 20 metres away. I remember Marcia Hines sounded great and was one of the few performers who knew how to work a big crowd.
Hi Peter, we we’re on the same train, I got on at Springwood, I will never forget that day, it was awesome, I was 15, wearing tight shorts a bikini top a straw hat & sandals, I told my parents I was going to the local swimming hole (3 hour walk) they didn’t think I was old enough to go. No fights or drama just awesome music, I got so sun burned. I was elated when I got home, the atmosphere on the train home was electric, mum was sus about where I had been but my dad whispered “did you have fun” in my ear when he hugged me so he knew.
Callie were you the girl laying on the ground with fly undone and no underwear bargain
WHAT A DAY, its up there as one of the best ever. I loved it all but my highlight (unexpectedly) was Coleen Hewett’s, Day by Day, it sent shivers. Then of course there was Stevie Wright. I saw girls and boys crying.
I tell my kids about this concert all the time. Thanks for posting these vids, Great Memories. Regards Baz.
I was there with Stevie wright. What a day great hash plenty of cash to be made was a great day
Great reading these comments. They pretty much sum up my memories of the the day. It was a hot day, with 1000’s and 1000’s of people streaming into the Opera house. There was Westies, Surfies, Inner city trendies, punks etc in the crowds of people. I was 16 and this was my first concert ever! The bands on stage were awesome and for me it created a love of seeing Aussie bands live on stage. On this day Stevie Wright stole the show with singing Evie…. A very special era in Aussie music, which will never be repeated again.
I have memories of singing ,dancing along with my best friend We were under the Large rock wall at the back and I remember the hot day we didn’t take any drinks.
Stevie Wright was awesome and had the audience in his hands
If only we could turn back time to this event. To appreciate what we had back then in Sydney it’s all a great memory
Great of Aussie bands .
Loved that day it’s etched deep in my memory and often comes up in conversation
Life was so simple and uncomplicated
I will always remember Stevie Wright as he was this day, a great performer and an amazing singer. RIP LEGEND.
1974 Sydney Opera House 2SM free concert in the Comcert Hall. Could only accommodate 2,700. Stevie Wright/Evie fans. Thought George Young’s “young” brothers got to be the support band. No? Anyway, Stevie ended his set by shooting a gun in his mouth and burst a blood capsule. 2SM powers (that is, 2 ‘Saint Mary’s’) were appaulled. Ah well.
As far as I am concern the concert was the greatest live show that Radio 2SM ever staged and it was great to see many of the great artists come back and reform for this show but my highlight of the concert was Stevie Wright coming out on stage singing the full version of ”Evie” great memories and will never forget that great concert as long as I live.
Unbelievable,my first major gig that I ever attended with all my mates at 19. Stevie, Skyhooks, Stars, Mentals, Marcia, Mi-Sex. What a day!!!Just about got burnt to a crisp but the one thing for me that was the highlight of the day was the knowledge that this country produced music that l wanted to listen to and was not just the equal but better than anything else the rest of the world was releasing. LONG LIVE AUSSIE ROCK AND ROLL! !!
That was one of the best concerts I have ever been too, anyone that was there may remember a big food fight that started later on on in the day……well I admit to being the instigator of that, the other thing I remember was when Mental as Anything were performing ” The Nips are Getting Bigger” all the young ladies who were on guys shoulders…yes and I had one on mine – were lifting their tops and flashing their boobs and singing the tits are getting bigger, great memories of my youth
The other thing I remember about that day that it was stinking hot and that we bought a carton of torino orange …they dont make it any more – and we drank it all in about 1/2 hr…. I never touched the stuff after that. Went swimming in the harbour near the Opera house steps till the coppers told us to get out of the water.
I was Fifteen & a half years old, It was EPIC! I lied to my parents about where I was going, jumped a train with my first ever boyfriend to go to my first ever Rock Concert, & it was worth every second of the one month grounding I got, when I got home, a week for lying, a week for going to a concert, a week for having a secret boyfriend & a week so I would never do it again. It didn’t work I spent a lot of my misspent youth going to concerts.
Who was in Stevie’s band that day? I think I recognize Cheetah and a couple of guys from Sherbet…???
Yeah it was Cheetah, Warren Morgan, Kevin Borich and Tony Mitchell from Sherbet
I was 16 and i took my girlfriend with me, great times I will never forget
I was a student nurse and got burnt to a crisp in that sun and heat, I took a photo of every band as they came on, they look like ants, but I can tell who is who by the clothes they had on and the memories burned in my brain..Marcia Hines had a leopard striped jumpsuit, Split Enz in their coloured suits and so on. Going back to work 7am the next morning I was half dead and a red like a lobster. I got in trouble from the matron for getting burnt…but it was so worth it!
Was at this awesome concert of the decade was 3 back from the stage went to see dragon at bondi lifesaver later that night
hi there sheryl .i was the venue entertainment booker from 1977/8 i lived next door on top of the club ! Along with bernadet o’connor the club manager !! without doubt the best years of my life ! i booked some great bands it was a time when all the great oz bands were just taking off ! in 78 jim barnes and his mum .john swan his step bro .and Alan barnes came to live me upstairs next to club ! chisel played regular some great concerts were put on every week 5 nites a week with 10 to 15 bands a week ! i still have my booking book and prices of the bands in those days i left to go on tour in late 79 to front my own band to go giging accros to perth with chisel and the oils !i missed the closure jimmy said he wanted to be the one to drive the bulldozer througb the wall !! when i got back it was demolished ! however ower red toilet seat was sticking out of the ground so sureal ! cheers al roberts
Trying to find the line up when Stevie Wright performed.
Have Warren Morgan on keys, Tony Mitchell on bass,
Chrissie & Lyndsay Hammond backing voc. The rest is a guess
Rockwell T James (Ronnie Peel) & Kevin Borich on guitar
Geoff Cox on drums ? Can anyone fill in the blanks please.
I think it’s Ian Miller on guitar.
And Warren Morgan on keyboard
Think it might be Alan Sandown from Sherbet on drums
Definitely not Alan Sandow
I believe the drummer was Ray Arnott
Friends and I went to all 2sm free concerts:)) and of course this one:))
Also a Billy Thorpe concert, it was I think at capital theatre? A 2sm concert,half way through Mr Thorpe let us teens know what he thought of 2sm, as u said it was catholic ran station so they would not play their songs, I also remember at another concert opera house some people throwing full cans of drink at bands I think that was the last free concert
Watched every single concert at victoria park. Lived at marrickville at the time so bus stop was near my mums house and it was a 20 minute ride,,,,, those where the best years of my life, sometimes when i drive down city road i allways allways glance over the pool and reminisce of those glory days of australian rock
I lived in Marrickville too and went to all the 2sm concerts in Victoria park
A lot has been said about this great concert, but what about the one on New Year’s eve at the Opera House two months later that got right out of hand? All manner of cans and bottles were pelting the stage throughout the night until the Angels came on and John Brewster their bass player was felled by something pelted on stage and shortly after Doc Neeson (R.I.P.) copped it in the back of the head and was floored. Molly Meldrum then came on stage to announce they were pulling the plug on the gig and told certain members of the audience how disgusted he was with them. ‘Go home’ he told everyone. At the gig my mate, Geoff Selby (who later went on to play for Saints – the football team not the band) was run over by a car just near the Opera House (sadly Geoff died in a car accident at the height of his football career – rest in peace, Geoff). It certainly was a time for gigs going pear shaped. a year later I was at the last 2JJ concert at Parramatta park with Midnight Oil headlining – that one had quite a floorshow in the form of two rival bike gangs going at it mid concert – the blood flowed and not a cop to be seen. Heady times in Sydneys wild west.
Hello Peter, I remember the NYE concert too, I have no idea what was going on in some peoples minds, I was having a great time, just the dreaded grog I guess. I am from the Moutains so I remember “Selb” well, he played footy with my brother, he was a good fella and a bloody good footy player. Thanks for bring up his memory, its good recount the good people from your past!! All the best!!
I was 17. It was a blistering hot day. I remember Stevie Wright looking pretty out it when he did Evie. So glad to have been part of it.
My very first gig was handing out 2SM stickers at the Victoria Park show, two different types, cloth and paper, then a while later taking my first wife to the opera house gig, by the time Steve Wright was due our supplies were gone and we were leaving dehydrated and worn out to the fading sounds of Evie part one beginning as we strolled to the key to catch the train back home.
does anyone remember checkers on pitt street in Sydney sat arvo bands watched inxs every sat round late 70s? or early 80’s was a under 18 venue
Amazing event and very well recorded. Kudos to the engineers who saw to this. Out of interest, what were the ticket prices?
I was only talking about this concert the other day to Mal Eastick, he was the guitarist for the Stars, now living in Yamba NSW. My greatest recollection of the day was the girl on my shoulders, I was 15, and I suffered, but I tried not to show it 😂
I was 14 when I went to this concert. A group of us travelled up by train from Thirroul on the south coast. My friends big brothers mates looked after us, we thought we were so cool. We were holding on to each other to get through the crowd, it was crazy, loved every minute. I will always remember Split ends playing I see red as I was wear a red skirt and someone in the crowd lifted me up in the air.
Skyhooks were amazing, I often think about this day, great memories.
Went to Red Hot Summer tour last Saturday, this love the outdoor concerts. Thanks for your page, love it.
Fantastic concert all my friends & I were there for my 18th birthday. Stevie Wright WOW
This was published on a 2CD set around 1989-92. Maybe someone can post it here or elsewhere? Sometimes you will see old copies being offered on ebay for $150. So the 2CD set exists.
The video of the concert is preserved on two inch master videotape at the National Film and Sound archive. It also exists at TCN9 Film Library too. But how about a nice flac 2CD copy somewhere to start?
20 year old me was there was some mates…We saw a band in the city the night before (can’t remember who tho ) but we went well prepared at a time when you could actaully park nearby for free! We took gas bbq and escky full of eggs, sausages bacon, bread rolls … there was a reasonable crowd camped there over night … I remember a couple of young guys getting in a scuffle with security guards after ligting a small campfire (several times) with timber they had clearly collected from the botanical gardens. Not long after first light we fired up the bbq and the smell of bacon, eggs and sausages wafting through a very hungry crowd almsot started a small riot ! haha .. the food was quickly consumed and BBQ equipment returned to the nearby car before and awsome day of live music front and centre of the stage I think I may have spotted a blurry me in the crowd in one of the clips as I had an attrive young lady decide that sitting on my shoulders was a great vantage point …I lasted about 2 hours before conceeding to my 20 y/o ego that I couldn’t last any longer. Great day and they mystery girl vanished as quickly as she appeared. lol.
This was my first concert at the age of 19, it started my love of live music obsession. I remember I was stuck up the back with the bikies because my boyfriend at the time only trusted his bikie mates to look after me. I remember being in very hot conditions and luckily was kept well hydrated and getting ice poured on me as I was cutting loose dancing, I tend to do and still currently do at the age of 62!! I still have vivid memories of this concert and all of the artists and bands that played, great times were had!!