Mon 09th January 2017
All pictures taken by: Sandra Erdman
Click photo to enlarge
- Read Glenn Fisher's Article Page 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
ARROWS Report from our 60th anniversary luncheon…last Monday 9th January 2107
Hi All - Another great luncheon at Club Cronulla. The Venue is superb, so light and airy, good food, great service and staff so obliging. It’s very close to
Cronulla Station, we can use our PA and they told us,
“as loud as you like”…
Stats on the day
Members attended 79 (Expected attendance 112 - Last minute apologies 20 - Non appearances on day 9)
Virgins attended 5
Total on the day 84
I was informed by the management when I booked the venue last year that they could seat 120, but with 84 attending last Monday in the dining area, it would
have been a stretch to fit another 36 in. Maybe they meant in the lounge
as well…..Anyway all that aside the day went off perfectly. We welcomed 5 Virgins:-
Peter Paki, Adrian Mahony (original 4 Kinsmen), Rod Dunbar (singer – actor), Morgan Kent (UK Rocker), Doug Scroope (singer actor).
We started our official part of the day with me introducing Alan Dale as The Godfather of Australian Rock n’ Roll, a title he fully deserves. Alan then
spoke briefly and introduced our first guest speaker Kevin Jacobsen OAM.
Kevin’s speech focused on the year 1957. He was articulate, honest and extremely
humble, directing lots of admiration to Alan Dale and our sadly depleted Houserockers. The Three Bands that started their careers in 1957,
Alan Dale & the
Houserockers, Johnny O’Keefe and the Dee Jays and Col Joye and the Joy Boys were equally spoken about.
Alan Dale’s response was very interesting, speaking about his entrance to the business from 1952 onward. He also drew our attention to two new Australian
Rock n’ Roll books he’s reading namely Australia Rocks and The
Pioneers of Australian Rock n’ Roll…
Next speaker was ARROWS Associate Pete Graham. I had asked Pete to talk about his knowledge of the period from an outsiders view… (Pete wasn’t there in
57) Well he gave Kevin a fabulous build up reading out all the things he
had been involved with over the past 60 years. We were all gob-smacked at Kevin’s depth
of involvement in our music industry. So many memorable projects he had a hand in was seemingly endless…Pete finished his speech by telling
“It is a honour and a privilege to be in the same room as you”………..
I next made mention of the period prior to 1957 that there were some ARROWS that had had records released. Firstly I invited Mary Schneider OAM to talk about
the Schneider Sisters (that’s Mary and her late sister Rita)
to enlarge on their involvement. Mary revealed that in 1956 they were the
very first Australian recording group to record a self-written Rock and Roll song “Washboard Rock and Roll”
In the absence of Frankie Davidson OAM (not well enough to appear) David Kilby, ARROWS associate and Radio performer, spoke on Frankie’s behalf,
agreeing with me that Frankie’s record of “Rock a Beatin-Boogie” in 1956, 2 months prior
to Mary’s, was arguably the first Australian R n R record,
even though the backing band was a jazz band and the drums didn’t have a back-beat, Frankie’s rocking voice and phrasing had the right amount of grunt to
best rock n’ roll performance. David concurred that other contenders for first in OZ rock n’ roll record are Les Welch’s ‘Saturday
night Fish Fry’, George Assange’s (AKA Vic Sabrino)’ Rock Around the Clock’ and
Richard Gray and the 4 brothers ‘Ain’t that a Shame’ and
‘Maybelline’ were in there also.
Once again Alan and I would seriously like to thank our helpers: Lynne Fletcher as Girl Friday, Sandra Erdman as Photographer, Reg and Alan
Townsend for Sound, Geoff Groth for numbering the
group photo and Noel Clarke as our ARROWS Web Master.
Last to speak was another survivor from 1957 Lonnie Lee who paid homage to his start in the business.
Alan Dale Writes
Another great gathering of musicians and fellow entertainers at Cronulla for a double
celebration. The Arrows are now 10 years of age and Alan Dale and the Houserockers have notched up a musical journey
of 60 years.
While these two events were the focus of attention, it was rewarding to see others given due relevance such as Mary Schneider OAM having her place in
history mentioned as the composer and artist
of Australia's first
rock'n’Roll record "Washboard Rock'n'Roll". Frankie Davidson OAM was also complimented on his
effort with a big band rendition of "Rock-a-Beatin' Boogie". Music historian David Kilby verified these events in
an entertaining manner.
Our special guest Kevin Jacobsen OAM was applauded for his insight into the beginnings of rock'n'roll with some funny anecdotes. 2UE's Pete Graham gave credit to
Kevin and others present for their contribution
to our industry
especially Johnny Devlin MNZM and Lonnie Lee. Lonnie responded by quoting a newspaper article that
summed up the hurdles we had to jump against severe opposition to our brand of music.
A warm welcome was extended to our newest recruits. Doug Scroope from the Colleagues, recording and television artist Rod Dunbar, English singer
and former Womble Morgan Kent, popular
NZ entertainer Peter Paki and Adrian Mahony from the original Kinsmen.
We are eager to see Mike Nolan's video footage. There were apologies from our members who couldn't make it including Graham Webb who was bitterly
disappointed to have to cancel. To all those that did make
the day I want to thank
you all personally especially the many musicians that I have had the pleasure
to work with over my 60 year tenure including John Charter who was there from the very start. And a special thanks to my brain
for storing so many
in an ever changing musical library. We are one big friendly family brought together by our mutual love of music. Let's continue on our journey with our next
meeting at the popular Woy Woy Leagues
Here below are some comments from ARROWS members…..
Kevin Jacobsen OAM writes:
What a good day and what a surprise. I had no idea that I was to be spoken about . Pete’s speech made me extremely proud particularly amongst our old Rockers,
Musicians, and other members of Arrows .
I have always only ever considered myself a ordinary participant in the Australian Music Business , never forgetting where we came from and how we started,
and the experiences of our struggles and delights.
Congratulations to you again John for the gigantic effort by you for all the members of Arrows.
We celebrated Alan’s 60th with those who know and respect him as an important artist in the Australian entertainment industry, and it goes without saying
that he deserves to hold the mantle of Godfather
of our Rock Biz. And it is appropriate that Arrows be the appropriate celebratory way to recognise the
It was a pleasure to be part of the day, thanks John and Alan.
Mary Schneider OAM writes
Top marks for another wonderful Arrows Day on Monday. It's always fabulous and it's
lovely to meet our old friends again. It's great that
you're keeping us all together. We all had the best Day.
Many thanks to you and Alan
Brian Morelli Bandstand Director writes:
What a great day. Many thanks.
Glenn Fisher AM writes
Many thanks for organising another wonderful luncheon.
I mentioned to Lynne about Johnny Devlin MNZN - in 2008 he was inducted into the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to entertainment.
Pete Graham Radio Personality writes:
Hi John, Just a short note to thank you and everyone involved for yesterday !!.
I did a 20sec video and posted it to my face book site, As of 7am this morning (Tuesday) it’s been viewed by 790 people.
It’s an honour and a privilege to be allowed to attend your group.
From Vicki Forrest
Hi John, Another great day thank you.! Was shocked to hear of the passing of Johnny Dick.
When did that happen? He was the drummer with the AZTECS (second wave) when I toured with them for 2 years. Very nice guy. Also was great to
catch up with Rod
Dunbar whom I haven't seen since "Sing Sing Sing" Looking forward to next extravaganza!
From Ruth Marks,
Thank you very much for the lovely day on Monday and all the effort you put into the Arrows Days
And what a good job you do. - It is always so nice to catch up with everyone.
From Bill Cowper and Fran Burden
We love the Cronulla venue, nice and bright, our pork lunch was great. Once again nice to catch up old friends. Congrats to Alan Dale on 60 years and you John
with 10 years of the Arrows.
Billy and Fran.
Shirley Jackson and Jimmy Parkinson.
Jimmy and I both enjoyed the day and once again congratulate John and Alan for a well organised celebration. Remarkable Anniversary.
From Bill Flemming
Nice idea and thanks again. My comment:
Almost impossible to believe that it’s approaching 60 years of playing, singing or dancing for most ARROWS but it is a privilege to be able to celebrate with
people who were there and to cherish those memories.
From Rod Dunbar:
Thank you for the Arrows afternoon. It was at once exciting & frightening! Seeing faces I hadn't seen for 40 - 50 years was a bit confusing and I spent the
afternoon reading name tags! (A necessary & thankful innovation).
Doug (Scroope) and I talked about whether to come or not, then our girls talked us in to it and I’m glad we came.
Luckily the biog I wrote was short, because when I sat down the forehead was quite moist! Isn't it funny that the stage is the most comfortable place to be but
in that situation a bit self-conscious, silly really.
Some faces came easily: Lynne Fletcher is still the pretty little thing she was and still is. Margaret Flanagan, Doug De Koro etc. and finally Vicki Forest.
A great afternoon & thank you.
From Noel Clarke
The ARROWS have grown into a marvellous group over the 10 years. The attendance is also a wonderful achievement continually seeing at the low end 50 up to
around 90+ people from the entertainment industry prior to 1963. I feel very honoured to count myself as an ARROW's member.
Bless you guys John Charter and Alan Dale (The Houserockers) for starting it all rolling way back when....
The day at Cronulla was again excellent.
WE’RE STILL SEEKING NEW MEMBERS SO IF YOU KNOW OF ANYONE LET ME HEAR FROM YOU AND WE’LL CHECK THEM OUT TO SEE IF THEY’RE ELIGIBLE
02 9822 4414
0414 84 9966
02 9822 4414
0414 849 966
Woy Woy Leagues Club
82 Blackwall Road,
Monday 13th March 2017 from 11:00am
Just a short walk from the railway station
02 9449 1816
0411 691 724