Sweethearts – Stardust Hotel Cabramatta
Sweethearts in the Stardust Hotel at Cabramatta was my “home turf” so to speak. I grew up in Cabramatta & turned 18 in 1980, right when Pub Rock was hitting its straps. It was a venue that had bands on at least twice a week & they were some of Australia’s best acts.
We went pretty religiously every Friday & most Saturday nights no matter who was on, but it was usually good. I saw bands like Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil, Flowers, Dee Minor, Hoi Polloi, Cockroaches, Daytime Actors, Dave Warner’s From The Suburbs, Ol ’55, The Bushwhackers, Captain Matchbox and many, many more.
I only remember working there a few times, with Bandanna & Stairway To Heaven, but I have very fond memories of Sweethearts. Let me know yours in the comments section below.
Sweethearts opened on Thursday 21st June, 1984 with the legendary Radiators as the headline act. Over the next 6 years most of Australia’s biggest and best played Sweethearts. Sweethearts first “Disco” weekend Friday 22nd & Saturday 23rd June, 1984, and over the next 6 years we had some fabulous Guest DJ’s.Tony Wilkinson
Reopening in late 1991 lasting only 17 weeks before someone burned it to the ground.
More Gigs here
There are so many things I remember about this place in 4 bands I was in …Mad Gorilla, Strange Heat, Beatnix and Generation….the funniest memmory was a “gimick” that Stix and I used to do were I jumped on his shoulders….if you remember, the LOW stage ceiling was made out of the same stuff the western suburbs school buildings were made out of (very rough textured cement)….crack!!!! nasty scrape a bit of blood, I’m madly trying to tell Stix to stop, and he’s jumping around while Ime “rag-dolling” on his shoulders…hahaha.
That’s a classic Frank, just the sort of thing Sticko would do!
I remember seeing Midnight Oil there & Peter Garret had drinks stored in the holes in the ceiling. Someone his height could easily reach that high.
Wow loved going to sweethearts was the time there in the 80s I remember going to c dee minor there also good memories 🙂
FUCK MAN! “SWEET HEARTS” ROCKED! HAD MANY GIGS THERE! AS “DAYTIME ACTORS” ROB POTTS WAZ OUR MANAGER! I PERSONALLY HATED OUR FARWELL GIG! @ SWEETHEARTS! all that work gone 4 nothing! WELL NOW! I HAVE A NU PROJECT! “THE MIDDLE TREE”
Gday Robin.I remember Daytime actors well from the old days.We saw you at a few venues, but always liked the home turf gigs the best.I still see Dave and Jackie from time to time,and i am still good mates with his brother Tony.Also caught up with percussion man Cunio last year at a Cabra Reunion.Are you still singing mate?
Neil Cuneo… now there’s a name I haven’t heard for a while. I grew up in the next street to him & used to hear his drums from my house. Years later I was the sound man when he played in the Booze Brothers. Great drummer & lovely bloke.
Hi Mark,thanks for giving this old Canta boy a rap! I feel proud to part of that pub rock era, especially doing gigs at our hometown haunt ‘Sweathearts’ . When I open my drum cases, the smell of those smoke filled & grog soaked rooms comes wofting out like a time warp.Ahhh! Still have the same mahogany finish Tama superstar kit , still doing gigs with old Booze bros mate T j smith on sax & vocals. But I’ve gotta say mate , all those gigs couldn’t happen without you guys , the sound & lighting crews.Thanks for the hard yards you guys put in to make live music happen. And the for the Memories of ‘Sweathearts’ cheers, Neil.’
Hi Neil, great to hear from you. I still remember hearing you practice from over the back fence. Great to see you’re still playing. I have very fond memories of my time with the Booze brothers. Lot’s of fun indeed.
Cheers mate, Mark 🙂
hi Glen……heee been a while dude…..i never stopped singing…..dude. just took a long break away….hope urr well….man…. Robin Stark on facebook. rock on . starky.
i remember seeing Motorhead there……..they could only fit half of the PA in. LOUD…..
Here’s a link to a video of the Lonely Hearts at Sweethearts (or the Stardust Hotel) http://www.thelonelyhearts.com.au/video3.html
1983 Feb Fri 25th Lonely Hearts + Peak Hour
1984 Feb Fri 10th Lonely Hearts
Thanks so much Michael, I’ll add those in today.
I’ve actually started adding a few Lonely Hearts gigs into the list. Not many yet, but I’m getting through them.
Thanks again, Mark
You old rocker you.
Does anyone know where Tony Wilkinson is?
Email address and website above.
Just wondering what you and all the rest are doing these days. Dad (Herb) was the one who kept me all up to date. Haven’t seen you since your fathers’ funeral. Hope all is well with you and yours. Jan
The first gig I did there was fairly early – it was still called The Stardust, and we’d only been together maybe six months, but the buzz was on for us in the northern beaches, so our agent thought we’d best crack the west. It was rough. I kid you not when I tell you yobs were throwing chairs at us because we talked too much between the songs (and they’d never heard any of them). I also kid you not that within six months we were back, and the place had become Sweethearts, and The Zarsoff Brothers were as popular as all fuck everywhere (well, maybe not Vaucluse …). The room was jam-packed with people demanding that we insult them between songs, and they lapped up everything we did. Every gig we did there after that was like that. Go figure …
Worked there many times and it was always a great gig. With Mad Gorilla supporting Sunnyboys one time and got our gear packed away and went up to FOH to watch the Sunnyboys. The place was packed. Just as I got settled a huge brawl broke out behind us and we spent a couple of songs stopping the FOH desks from being trashed. Never a dull moment. Last gig I did there was in the early part of the 20,000 watt RSL tour with Midnight Oil & The Whitlams as support. Michael Hutchence had died not long before, only a few days. When it came to the last song of The Whitlams set they did a version of Benny & the Jets with the words changed to “Michaels at the Ritz” the crowd loved it, Midnight Oil were not amused. Stuff ’em.
Worked there as a bar maid from 1987 to 1989 the place rocked. My Dad said I ever catch you at Sweethearts I’ll kick your arse home, imagine his face when I said I have a job at Sweethearts!!
Loved Joe the Bar Manager grumpy bastard but a heart of gold. When it closed Ross shouted all the staff to a farewell dinner at a swish italian restaurant in the city then onto the Cross.
Those were the days =)
Ahh yess those werethe days 🙂 I remember Andre and Dayle at the front with bouncers Andy , Harry ,Ilhan .. Dennis doing the bistro , Phil doingthe hotdog stand “I lived there too :)good to see us as lively as ever
Sweethearts had the best Bar Maids !!! I remember the awesome bands and a lot of good memories .
went to Fairfield boys high school ( early 70s) and loved Sweetharts saw many a great band and had may a great drunken night, I remember being in love with this girl who also went there on many an occasion who had a deformed arm, didn’t want a bar of me. great memories would love to do it all over again and wouldn’t change a thing. Bertie
Hi Guys ,I played there heaps of times with a band called Young Hearts. also did a fair bit of sound work there with a band called Just like that , Great Gigs , I thought of it as my home away from home. If I remember correctly Young hearts opened for a fiew of the Shows mentioned at the beginning of the thread , & some with the Zarsof Brothers & Daytime actors, great memorys.
Hi I’m looking for a copy of Sweathearts 1988 album if anyone knows about it that would be great.
I have a copy for you 🙂
I worked the door there the last half of 1989 after going there for many years prior
If you didnt go there you missed the 80s
Mark Baldy was the lighting guy who i still see from time to time and John Alsop was the DJ
Have so many great memories from those days
I even have some pics of some old shirts from those days, how can i put them up here?
Remember dj John Alsop , great dj on Tuesday dance nights. Rip . Pasted away a few years ago
“If you didn’t go there you missed the 80s”
So true, especially if you lived in the western suburbs. We’re lucky to have experienced it.
I played there in 1985 in a band called Silent Running supporting uncanny x-men the guys were great they let us us all their light show fun times.
I remember seeing Sherbet but they called themselves Highway then and also Flowers when the band leader was electrocuted on stage and had to have a 1 hour break.
Many fond memories of this venue back in the early 80′ s. Me and many of my old Army mates religiously went there every available opportunity
Just lived there back in the 80’s
Another great memory Killing joke loved them there the night the place got shot up chisel I think too many vodka/ oranges .
WOW… if they were open on sundays id have been there 7 days a week… the mauri bouncers were the gods of security and gave me and my mohawk privledged entry… everyone remeber mollie meldrum from triple m emceeing every other saturday night it seemed and also were any of you there for the REdisigning of the place when they had a pool next to the bistro we basically destroyed doing cannonballs into whic i still have a scar on the top of my noggin from hitting the way toooooooooo low ceiling… and the FREE tshirts of the upcoming artists theyd give away so you could advertise for them at “high school”… funny thing is i showed my id to the bouncers on my 18th birthday and they said : huh ya just turned 18??? youve been coming here for 4 years… i was banned that night dammit!!!
I saw so many bands at Sweethearts,best place in the West,I lived in Cabra all my life,frequented every pub around Cabra,livo and Fairfield,but Sweethearts was the nightclub that almost every band in it’s day played at,one night I will never remember was when Molly was DJing and the place was packed to the seams,and no one looked like leaving,it was past bar close n management left the drinks flowing,I jumped up on a table rocking to the music and Molly climbed up on the table with me and we danced,the man could party like a Rock God,the bouncers left me up there on the table and it was a blast,thought for sure I was going to get pulled down to earth with a thud,but lucky for me Molly was dancing with me and I was let be..Great night of many,those were hellish years of fun times,and the best music in Australia in a little old place called Cabramatta,I live in WA,been here for 18yrs,Im now 53yrs old and when I speak of Aussie bands of old to friends here and of the nights I got to see them live in a pub in my OLD hometown,they are blown away that we had all that on our doorstep.
It was an epic period in my life,one I will never forget…Thanks to all those bands and the staff and management of SWEETHEARTS,you all rocked my world..
I grew up in Cabramatta west and walked past the Stardust hundreds of times on my way to and from the pool.
I saw Jimmy Barnes there I think around 1984?
Does anyone remember that ?
I’m sure he was singing all his classic songs from Bodyswerve so I don’t think it was Cold Chisel? Not sure but the sound was very good so it could have been them?
I remember waking up to the toilet door being kicked in by this big bouncer scruffed me and told me to get out I walked out the toilets to a Smokey hazey room and nobody in the club lol got out side to a big crowd gathered apparently there was a fire ? in the kitchen .. 1989/90 mayb
We were so lucky to have Sweethearts on our doorstep.
The eighties…when any night of the week you could see bands like Divinyls, Sunnyboys, Oils, Flowers, Jimmy Barnes, Dragon, Richard Clapton and the list just goes on and on..
Some of the best nights where spent at Sweethearts..under age and not a care in the world. You could crawl to the bar and still be served. I miss those days of freedom!!
There will never be another venue like it….❤❤❤
The best place to go to ever loved it the best night I had there was when mtv was there with Richard Wilkson
I am pretty sure I saw Crowded House at Sweethearts in 1986. Spent many nights there. Great live Aussie rock.
Those were the days. I am pretty sure I saw Crowded house in Sweethearts in 1986. Great venue for Aussie rock. Sweethearts along with many other venues of the time all showcased Aussie rock. Tiffany’s (Blacktown), Stallions (Parramatta), Castle Hill RSL, Parramatta leagues to name a few.
OCTOBER 1982 Stardust Cabramatta Humble Pie. I am a cockney OAP living east London. I lived with a local girl across the tracks from the Stardust. I was allowed backstage to meet Steve Marriot ex The Small Faces. This is a treasured memory, but I have never as yet found anything that will back me up on this can you help out Dan
I was there that night, I went there with a mate who turned 18
I couldn’t believe how good Marriot was on guitar and vocals, totally blew me away, I play guitar and am still inspired by Humble Pie all these years later
Awesome night I’ll never forget
Hi, Daniel. I saw Steve and Humble Pie (actually Packet of Three with Jim Leverton on bass and Fallon Williams on drums), at the Millers Manly Vale at around the same time. He (Steve) was interviewed on Donnie Sutherland’s Saturday morning show ‘Sounds’ after arriving in Sydney from Melbourne. He also guested on ‘After Dark’, which was also usually hosted by Sutherland, but on this night was taken over by Glenn A. Baker. He stayed in the studio as a guest for the duration of the show, along with author Douglas Adams. I caught their show at the Manly Vale and was intending to see them again the following week at the Strata Motor Inn in Mosman, but when I rang to book, they told me that the band had suddenly cancelled and left the country, no-one knows why. I was later told by someone in the music business that they had been ripped off (again!) by a promoter and left in disgust. The show, by the way, was exceptional. I have read a lot of books about Steve Marriott’s career and have never seen this tour mentioned, even in passing.
I saw Pseudo Echo there a couple of times in 1986 as a teenager. I’ve been to scores of rock concerts since (including Alice Cooper 4 rows from the front), but nothing has ever come close to the ear-splitting volume at which this band played their music. My ears would be ringing for days after and it was AWESOME. Great live band. still going.
I remember seeing Dragon, Gangagang, Dear Enemy, Rose Tattoo and Jimmy Barnes at Sweethearts. I’m in a wheelchair but I would never have any trouble in navigating myself to the front. Smoke filled rooms. Fantastic times.
Sweethearts at Cabramatta gets mentioned in a song by Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes.
The song is Morrison Floorshow,and the mention is around the four minute mark.
You can hear it on YouTube.