Rockbrat News Flash: Blood, Sweat & Beers : Oz Rock From The Aztecs to Rose Tattoo

Blood, Sweat & Beers : Oz Rock From The Aztecs to Rose Tattoo by Murray Engleheart

It is an honor to be the first person on the internet to review this book – the latest penned by the highly acclaimed Australian music writer Murray Engleheart. ‘Blood, Sweat and Beers : Oz Rock From The Aztecs to Rose Tattoo’ is just that and so much more – and it’s been in the works since the late 80’s. Engleheart mentions in the book, that since that time – Peter Wells, Mick Cocks and Ian Rilen – all key subject figures – have sadly passed away, giving the ending of the works a somewhat ‘memorial’ feel. Wells, Cocks and Rilen were the genuine article – the real rock n roll deal my friends. If you don’t know who they are, then for goddsake purchase this book and learn. The tales from Billy Thorpe (also sadly gone) are told straight to the author as is – and are truly fascinating. So too the Rose Tattoo and Angels stories – like Pete’s final gig at Narara – where the Tatts walked on at 12.30am after Cold Chisel’s marathon set and went about blowing the roof off. This book covers much territory and contains some truly rare and remarkable photographs. There is a great live shot of Duff McKagen on a Melbourne stage with the Tatts from early 1993. When you mention ‘Australia’ and ‘rock n roll’ to someone they most likely think of AC/DC – and rightly so. But they are only just scratching the surface – on an amazing era in the history of Oz Rock. When I  saw this on the book shelf sitting next to Vince Neil’s ‘Tattoos & Tequila’ I nearly laughed aloud. It’s like parking an E49 V8 Charger next to a Commodore – I mean – gimme a break ! Guys like Ian Rilen, Micks Cocks, Peter Wells and Lobby Lloyde were more rock n roll than Neil will ever be – and they left the world largely unknown – an injustice.  Their amazing lives and rock n roll tales are contained in these pages and this book goes a long way to righting that wrong. ‘Blood, Sweat and Beers’ is informative and well researched and is without a doubt one of the most important titles  ever written on Australian rock n roll.

2 thoughts on “Rockbrat News Flash: Blood, Sweat & Beers : Oz Rock From The Aztecs to Rose Tattoo

  1. I finished the book the other day; it took me a while as I was trying to savour all the events; as a minor contributor, I’m very proud to have had some archival material included, as a fan/friend of the Tatts since @ 1979 (& of Murray since, who knows?) (also as a frequent punter at Angels gigs, a Buffalo & ‘X’ fan) it was an honour & a pleasure to provide Murray with as much info as he needed, through magazine articles, flyers, tour info & best of all, first hand conversations with most of the band; I was especially chuffed when he included a few quotes of mine in the text; just to have my name on the same pages of rock history with the likes of the mighty Pete Wells & Mick Cocks is truly unbelievable. I can vouch for many of the events in the book, as I was there myself; such as the St Valentines day brawl in Wollongong, the last ‘real gig’ at the Lifesaver, Hordern Pav in 82, Sydney Ent Cent (Axl’s rave), Selinas (Rick Brewsters smashed window), to name a few; plus, sadly, all the benefit shows, funerals & wakes;
    Reading this stuff had me laughing out loud (thanks to Robin Riley), shaking my head in disbelief & getting misty eyed as well;
    I found it a good idea to play relevant music while reading it; the first Tatts album (& some dodgy quality bootlegs), got a flogging; as did the first Angels album, then ‘Face to Face’ etc – perhaps a compilation CD should have been included with the book?

    A fantastic journal of the ‘real’ rock n’ roll history of Australia, Murray has done an incredible job!

    cheers; David

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