Newcastle Music Directory

Archive for July, 2007

The Marones 20th Anniversary Show

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

The MaronesIt was the 80s. Mullets, massive perms, fluro and lycra ruled the fashion world (in Newcastle anyway…) and the music was safe, sanitized, saccharin and completely boring! Live bands still had a strong hold in the pubs and clubs and you could go out any night of the week and watch real people playing real crap all over town. You wanna hear a slick, note perfect Boz Scaggs tune? Would you like that with acid wash denim? BRRROORRRAWK! Has anything really changed?

Then, in 1987, something wild and wonderful emerged from this cultural sludge-pit, dressed in leather, ripped jeans, sneakers and very bad wigs. As their immortal heroes had in New York City back in 1974, four rock’n'roll brothers in arms made a stand. Their mission was to liberate anyone with any real passion for rock’n'roll music as it was always meant to be – fast, furious, thundering energy and excitement!

The venue was an unlikely and unassuming suburban pub in Lambton called The Marquis O’Lorn. The band was The Marones. Yes, it was twenty years ago almost to the day when Johnny, Joey, Tommy and Dee Dee taught the band to play and Newcastle to say ‘GABBA ABBA HEY!’ The Ramones have since been recognised as one of the most influential rock’n'roll bands to ever strike a chord (sometimes as many as three or four!). Their musical formula was simple – a sonic jet-stream of droning, overdriven guitar underpinned with a relentless, pounding blitzkrieg of bass and drums. Joey Ramone’s emotive, adenoidal voice provided a melodic counterpoint to all this raw power – yin and yang – music to balance the universe! Songs of social alienation, lost love and lobotomies, freaks and chainsaws – ‘The Bruddas from Queens’ had it all! Tragically, the world has lost Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee, but the deceptively simple genius of their music will never die.

The Marones were formed by Harry and Donny, who had previously played with The Mansons and The Ramjets. Guitarist Pucko, another veteran of Newcastle’s punk rock scene, was soon recruited to thrash Harry’s beloved Mosrite guitar. Pucko suggested a bass player called Tommy. The named sounded right, and The Marones were born. The Marones had one purpose – to share their passion for The Ramones by recreating the magic of a live Ramones show and…two purposes! Sex, drugs and rock’n'roll. Four purposes. THE MARONES HAD FOUR PURPOSES! After a couple of rehearsals a date was booked and The Marones debuted to a huge and appreciative crowd of 20 or 30 of their friends and relatives. Newcastle alternative music promoter Jim Duncombe, who had been responsible for the hugely successful North Leagues Club venue in the early eighties, booking bands like The Birthday Party, The Sunnyboys and The Johnnys, had dubbed The Marones debut ‘The Take-away Pizza Tour 1987′ and pizza was distributed to the crowd as the band played their set.

Countless gigs followed in venues like The Airforce Club, The Uptown Circus, The Great Northern, Tats Club, The Congo Club, The Lass, The Lucky, The Hunter, The Cambridge, a battalion of bowlos… trips to Sydney and Brisbane, parties in livingrooms, garages, on boats and beaches, paddocks and patios. Members came and went and sometimes came back again. Paulie, Tony and Bee Bee (RIP) on bass, Cammie and Humpy on guitar and Deano on drums.

The current Marones line-up, Harry, Humpy, Tommy and Donny, will be joined by as many past members as they can locate, as well as their legendary pinhead mascot Buckee, at their 20th Anniversary Showcase Spectacular on August 18th at The Lucky Country Hotel. Support bands will be Melbourne’s Murder Meal Combo and local band The Hannigans. Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!


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