Question: Who were the biggest rock bands being played through the transistor radio of Aussie teenagers in the mid-70s ? Answer is Sherbet, T.M.G, John Paul Young, AC/DC and Skyhooks. Sure you can include other names, but essentially – the years 1974 – 1978 belonged to those five.
All five – with the exception of the Ted Mulry Gang (or T.M.G as they were also known) – have been inducted into the Aria’s Hall of Fame. I will hold back my opinion on the relevance of the Hall of Fame but let’s say I take the whole thing with a large grain of salt….I mean, bands like Radio Birdman and the Saints were very much ignored by the mainstream Australian media back in the day, yet are now recognized as iconic rock n roll ground breakers and get their names on the hallowed trophy ?! Cool man. Who’s next ? That irrelevant little twerp Ben Lee ? Dave Graney ? Tim Freedman ? P-lease. T.M.G were one of the hardest working and most popular live acts which Australia ever produced, they sold thousands of records and to not include them in the Hall of Fame really is an outrage. How can The Dingoes be in the Hall of Fame over TMG ? or The Models and Jo Jo Zep ? Gimme a break. Jo Jo Zep’s biggest two hits – the bland-sounding and retarded ‘Hit and Run and Shape I’m In’ only reached #12 and #22 on the Australian charts respectively ! TMG released 15 odd singles. ‘Jump In My Car’ stayed at the #1 spot for six consecutive weeks. Darktown Strutters Ball hit #3. Yet Jo Jo Zep get into this hallowed club before Ted and the boys ?! Actually let’s take a look at the criteria for being inducted into this elusive club of cool:
The Hall of Fame recognises four categories of music – pop/rock, jazz, classical and country;
OK – TMG clearly fit into the pop/rock category. Next.
The nominees’ careers must have commenced, and ideally achieved significant prominence, at least 20 years prior to the year of proposed induction;
1975/76/77 were the band’s most prominent and commercially successful years. So, since 1997, the band have been eligible for nomination. Next
Membership into the Hall of Fame is reserved exclusively for the creators of recorded music – the writers, the recording artists, and in some cases, the producers;
Got it. That would be T.Mulry, L.Hall, G.Dixon and H.Kovac. Next
The nominees must be responsible for a significant body of recorded work;
I am tempted to include the six single releases frontman Mulry released before TMG (and his great solo album from the late 90′s – but will refrain from doing so. Just file it away – as those amazing achievements deserved to be recognized)
Sunday Evenings / Here we are Mar 1975 Albert AP10689
Jump in my car / I’m on fire Sep 1975 Albert AP10830
Darktown Strutters Ball / She’s for me Feb 1976 Albert AP11004
Crazy / Help me out Jun 1976 Albert AP11118
Stepping out / It’s all over now Oct 1976 Albert AP11241
Jamaica Rum / Wanted man Jan 1977 Albert AP11305
My little girl / You’ve got it May 1977 Mushroom K6811
Sha La La Lee / Naturally Sep 1977 Mushroom K6898
Lazy Eyes / Set me free Mar 1978 Mushroom K7070
Heart of stone / I miss you Jul 1978 Mushroom K7180
You’ve got the devil in you / Disturbing the peace Nov 1978 Mushroom K7315
Save me / How long Feb 1980 Mushroom K7805
Can’t take it all / Home to you May 1980 Mushroom K7925
Captured / I’m down Sep 1980 Mushroom K
Old Habits / Rock and Roll 1990 CBS Albert 656192-7
Here we are Nov 1974 Albert APLP007
Struttin’ Jan 1976 Albert APLP018
Stepping out Nov 1976 Albert APLP021
The TMG Album 1977 Mushroom L36273
Disturbing the peace Apr 1978 Mushroom L36619
Locked In 1980 Mushroom L37178
Fifteen singles – Six albums. I would say that is a ‘significant body of recorded work’. Next.
The nominees work to have had a cultural impact within Australia and/or recognition within the world marketplace.
Hmm (Mr Rockbrat scratches head). A cultural impact ? Would the Models have had a cultural impact ? (cough) or the long irrelevant Saints (name me anything of note which Chris Bailey has released in the last twenty years ?). Would previous inductees like Richard Clapton or Split Enz have had a ‘cultural impact’. Since when does a band formed in Auckland get an Australian award anyway ? Whatever. Mulry emigrated here in the late 60′s – and immediately had an impact on the Australian music scene shortly after his arrival via his radio hit ‘Julia’..followed by ‘Falling In Love Again’ the following year. That is remarkable…..and besides the thousands of 70′s Aussie teenagers who adored TMG and bought their records, there are the thousands of pub goers who took in live gigs in the late 70s, early 80”s and indeed the early 90′s. Tunes like Jump in my car, Darktown Strutters Ball and Crazy are still heard on Classic Rock radio stations around Australia, and there are many younger kids online who are hooked on TMG. Need I also mention that in 2006, David Hasselhoff’s cover of TMG’s Jump in My Car went to #3 on the UK charts ?!. Besides the in-roads which the band themselves made outside of Australia in the 70′s, Hassellhoff introduced that song to a whole new audience. Box ticked.
To summarize, TMG meet every criterion which the people at the Australian Recording Industry Association have laid out for induction. In 2013, there is no reason why this iconic Australian rock band – led by the much missed Ted Mulry – are not in the Hall Of Fame.
There is a petition online which you should sign. TMG’s recognition is long overdue