The British Invasion followed and I did get to see a few like Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Searchers, The Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, The Hollies etc.
But here in Australia the bands were on the increase following in the footsteps of Britain. The first band I really started chasing around Brisbane was Tony Worsley and The Blue Jays, they played at The Bowl in South Brisbane. Then along came Mike Furber and The Bowery Boys, they too played at The Bowl I remember the girls screaming at the front of the stage just to get a bit closer to their idols and to just touch them.
From there we moved onto a new venue called Prinz Alfreds, Tony and Mike would play there as well as Graham Chapman, Marcie and The Cookies, Ross D Wyllie and The Escorts.
A band I hadn’t seen before started playing there too, they were called The Sect, I liked the songs they played so I started following them around the venues too. Back in those days a band usually played one set at one venue then moved onto another. Imagine packing up the gear, driving to another venue, setting up again and the playing another set! Us girls used to hop on a tram and head off after them to their next gig!
There were three bands that my girlfriends and I used to follow each weekend The Sect, The Avengers and The Hands Down, to me they were the best bands ever and following them around all the time we got to know them pretty well, we were what they called “band friends” because we were “friends without benefits”! We were young and very innocent back then!
There were so many great bands in Brisbane but then we started getting bands coming up from down south, we were in music heaven, bands like the Town Criers, Iguana, Masters Apprentices, the list goes on it was amazing to us young girls. I remember we always danced in front of the stage and if guys asked us to dance we would always say no, we were too into the bands and the music.
Now it comes to the best fun ever, Hoadley’s Battle of the Bands held at Festival Hall they were just the best, we got singers like Ronnie Burns (my favourite), Normie Rowe, Jon Blanchfield, the line up for these shows was amazing! The stage was high at Festival Hall but the best fun was attempting to jump it and grabbing onto the singer.
I remember once the devious John Hannay , I must admit I did get on well with him, asked me to jump stage when Hands Down came on and make a run for the singer Chris Kite, well I went above and beyond just jumping stage, I got an old pair of jeans and painted “Hands” down one leg and “Down” on the other, well it went down a treat with Hannay, I climbed up grabbed Chris with my back to the audience and then security got me and threw me out, Hannay sneaked me back in but I had to change clothes first, so much fun, I would have been about 17 around this time!
One time Ronnie Burns was on stage, I was right down the front screaming with the rest of them when it got a bit crazy and Ronnie was pulled into the audience, I was thinking he was going to get hurt here so I got my friends to help me push him back up on stage, now that is what I call true love!
There were so many more venues around Brisbane by now like Uncles, The Scene, Adam and Eves, Snoopys Hollow, some had a few name changes so it gets a bit confusing. Adam and Eves was my favourite, all the bands from Melbourne and Sydney played there. We got to know a few bands quite well when they were in Brisbane and we even had a few of the guys come around to our flat, Town Criers and Iguana mainly but like I said we were “band friends”, I remember one of the Sect called us that, we were fans as well as friends!
So, I think it was 1969, The Sect, we were now great friends with the guys, won Hoadleys Battle of the Bands and won a trip and recording contract in Melbourne and off they went, well guess what we followed them down, what loyal fans were we! That was all part of the fun of having favourite bands and being young and free, I loved those years the memories are just awesome!
I have been to 100’s of concerts which started with The Beatles in 1964, and have been lucky to meet many great musicians through the years, music is my life, without I’d be lost!
I’d like to finish my story with my most exciting memory! My 60th birthday party was a Beatles themed party with my favourite tribute band The Beatlegs playing, (I’ve been following them for 13 years now) everybody dressed up, it was magic. Anyway a week after the party I was told that Ringo (my favourite Beatle) was touring, me thinking Australia got very excited but then found out he wasn’t coming here but was playing in Liverpool, so instead of getting disappointed my son Michael told me I had to get on a plane and go see Ringo. He helped me get concert tickets, got the flights organised and then he told me we have to tell someone so he wrote to the Liverpool Echo, they met me at the Hard Days Night hotel in Liverpool to do an interview, they then gave the paper to Ringo, he read the story and wanted to meet me! Yes I got to meet my idol and it was freaking amazing! If you google Ringo Starr/Maggie deKort the story will come up! That was 10 years ago on 18th June, 2011! Dreams can come true! I have been very lucky meeting Ringo and also having met Ronnie Burns many times!
I hope you have enjoyed reading my “Groupies” side of the music industry!