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IS BON, IS GOOD
Nick Barker will always remember where he was when he heard
that Bon Scott had died. "I was sweltering in a tin shed
during my failed mechanic apprenticeship in Springvale,"
Nick recalls. "The news came on the workshop radio. I was
gutted." Thirty-one years later, Nick is starring in Hell
Ain't A Bad Place To Be, The Story of Bon Scott, which runs
at the Athenaeum from July 12 to 24.
"It's delicate subject matter," Nick admits. "I was a little
reticent at first because Australians feel a real ownership
of Bon and AC/DC. But I'm doing my own version of these
songs, I'm not trying to be Bon." Rehearsals have taught
Nick a new showbiz adage: never work with children, animals
or bagpipes. "Long Way To The Top is definitely the hardest
song to do," he smiles. "You can't change the key because
of the bagpipes. I don't think people realise what an amazing
singer Bon was. He had such a high voice."
Nick became an AC/DC fan when he saw them on Countdown on
a black and white TV in his sister's bedroom. What's his
favourite AC/DC album? "For sheer one ballsy track after
another, it's hard to beat Powerage." Fave Bon song? "Ride
On sends chills up my spine."
Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be comes from the creators of
The Man In Black, The Johnny Cash Story. Directed by Brian
Nankervis, it also stars Doug Parkinson as the narrator,
while Nick is backed by a band featuring The Casanovas'
Tommy Boyce and Electric Mary's killer rhythm section. Nick
hopes that Bon's family will attend the show when it travels
to Perth later this year.
BALL … YES!
Twenty-five years ago, Died Pretty released their debut
album. Now, singer Ron S. Peno is finally releasing his
debut solo album - Future Universe is out on Friday. Ron
and The Superstitions are part of Charles Jenkins' blockbuster
Winter Ball at the Corner on Saturday, which clashes with
Boom Crash Opera's 25th anniversary gig at Crown (with Sean
16 QUESTIONS FOR HENRY WAGONS
Wagons launch their new album, Rumble, Shake and Tumble,
at the Forum on 16 July, so, to celebrate, we put 16 probing
questions to Henry Wagons:
When was the last time you cried?
On the toilet this morning. You don't want to know about
Whose posters did you have on the wall when you were a kid?
Kiss, AC/DC and Noiseworks.
What's the most rock thing you've ever done?
Geez. Shoved a fish up a woman's vagina. No, I made that
up. It's the only rock 'n' roll thing I could think of.
I must have done something rock 'n' roll. I bought a leather
Tennis. I love playing tennis and basketball. I don't do
enough. I need to lose that poached eggs and latte gut.
Poached eggs and lattes.
Adam Green's Bluebirds.
Nicknames at school?
"Hen". "Hen-duras" after the country Honduras, that's about
it. Got "Fat" and "Fatty" a bit.
Were you happy at school?
Yeah, I was, but I'm a pretty happy guy. I think I was happy
coming out of the womb, which is strange because I write
these crazy, depressing songs. Just my way of keeping the
What would you call your autobiography?
The Sump Bandit. Is the sump a plumbing thing on the toilet?
No, The Sump Lord.
No lace-up shoes when you're in a hurry. But I'm not a superstitious
Pre-gig rituals for Wagons?
Me getting a little bit grumpy about the band showing up
on time. I get a little bit grumpy and snappy before the
gig, but loveable after the gig.
Have you ever asked anyone for an autograph?
Which '80s band would you like to see re-form?
Haven't they all re-formed?
Ghostbusters 2 - the slime under the sewers. And I'm a big
fan of Dr Strangelove.
Name of your first band?
Dworzec - free-noise Melbourne band. The name means "train
station" in Polish; a suitably wanky name for a wanky band.
What do you put on the stereo when you're planning a night
I've got a great plucking banjo instrumentals album - 20
Banjo Instrumentals, which really gets the ladies in the
Sneaky Sound System leap from 41 to 32.
We Run The Night HAVANA BROWN (number eight)
Loud STAN WALKER (11)
From The Music THE POTBELLEEZ (29)
We Love SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM (32)
Been A Long Time WES CARR (37)
Just four Aussie albums in the Top 40.
Seeker Lover Keeper SEEKER LOVER KEEPER (number 10)
Roy DAMIEN LEITH (17)
Secret Rituals THE GRATES (25)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (30)
I Blew It WAGONS
New Blood RON S. PENO
So, Let It Go THE TIGER & ME
You Can SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR
Hell Sux NICK BARKER
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