I was driving the rockbratmobile recently and the Cure came on the radio. Naturally enough I slammed some Twisted Sister in the tape deck and killed off that depressing whining of Robert Smith. But then the ol’ brain flash-backed to the 80’s, and a time I recalled when some ultra-hip university students started a ‘we want a Cure tour’ campaign. Then I started pondering about all bands who’ve never toured downunder and there are quite a few (oh and the granddaddy Goth used to regale me of the time he once met vocalist Smith – so that means they must’ve toured here a couple of time – but alas, that is not a world I understand).
Sometimes it took years for an act to hit our shores – like the Eagles – who finally flew our way in the mid-90s – though surely a tour was warranted in their 70’s heyday ? What about Klaus Meine and the Scorps ?! Their big ballad from 1990 ‘Wind Of Change’ would hit #7 here, yet they’ve never toured Australia’. Which leads to me to the legendary Michael Schenker….nope, he too has never brought his Flying V our way (happy to say I saw him live in Tokyo in 2012 – he ripped !). Which indeed leads me to the equally legendary UFO. I don’t think they’ve toured here either. I know Girlschool never jetted downunder – though their was a club tour locked in sometime in 1986 – which never happened. How is it that the Nuge – the motorcity madman – Ted Nugent has never been here ? Plenty of Nugent pinball machines made it to milk bars here in the late 70’s but never the great man himself ?! Did Nazareth ever make it here ? Melanie Safka (who I have been devoted to for years – what, not ‘rock n roll’ enough for you, dude ? Can’t I like the Carpenters AND Venom ? Keep on truckin there friend) toured Australia in 1973 and also 76 and 77 – and in fact – she was one of the first artists to perform at the Sydney Opera House, but I digress. I’ve given up on her touring here.
I know Rush have never been here – nor Bob Segar. The King – Wally…err Elvis Presley never toured Australia – though I think he never performed out of his homeland. Fear of flying ? Why oh why the great Lynyrd Skynyrd have never announced an Aussie tour is beyond me. What about the Pistols ? Ahhh who needed ya – we had Birdman which woulda wiped you little London boys off the
stage anyway. Ringo Starr only recently toured, yet it had been nearly five decades since his last stage performance – as a Beatle – get off my stool Jimmy Nicol. Guitarist Ross The Boss would finally tour with The Dictators – though his former outfit Manowar are yet to tour. They have a loyal following and you would think they woulda been here once in thirty odd years of existence. Britain’s perennial prog favourites Marillion have toured the world, but again, not Australia. Rockbrat-faves The Bangles were locked in for a tour in 1989 but it fell through from memory – due to a domestic arline related strike ! They would eventually make it here in 2005. The list is endless – and what about bands who pretty much ignored the Australian live circuit for some time. I mean, Def Leppard were huge in the 80’s – Hysteria sold bucket-loads of records right ? But, although gracing us with a quicky club tour in early 1984 (one gig at Selina’s, The Venue in Melbourne and at the Narara Festival (!) – they would not return until 1992 in suport of the overblown Adrenalize album. It made no sense. Favourite sons AC/DC would last perform in 81 – and return in 1988. Was it the low Aussie dollar ? Maybe. Kiss build up a solid fan base of non-makeup believers in the 80’s, yet would not tour here for fifteen years (1980 – 1995). Blackie Lawless made a quick promotional visit to Sydney and Melbourne in late 1985 – yet his band W.A.S.P failed to make good his promise of a tour which he mentioned during the press interviews. He would tour about two decades later and play shitty clubs. How long is it since Macca toured ? 1975 with Wings – and then 1993 as part of a massive world tour. I saw him a couple of times and all but nodded off. Play Beatles and Wings and nothing else – definitely avoid the temptation to self-indulge by avoiding latter day material. To think I shelled out big dollars from my small pay packet to hear Hope of Deliverance belted out. Anyway, time for another tour Paul. Not time for another Beach Boys tour by the way – seems we can not keep the evil ginger wizard and his band of faceless beach boys away from here. Enough already. Van Halen never toured back in the day – their first visit was with Cherone which is an event to forget. Ozzy, Krokus, Dokken, Quiet Riot, Cinderella, Ratt – all of these acts never toured here back in their hey-day and they would’ve attacted an audience ….even the plump Swedish meat ball managed to tour here in the early 1990’s – and he had no hits to tour on either ! Looking back – someone like Judas Priest really should’ve toured before their first visit in 2001 – and that was with Ripper Owens and not Halford. As you can see, the list is never-ending…. Australia is a long way to fly if you ain’t gonna make a profit – though Stryper toured here twice in three short years and pretty much played to half-empty concert halls. But I digress. Mr Rockbrat is seldom wrong – well, at least when it comes to all things rock n roll – so please send amendments if my recollections are indeed wr…wr..wr – see, it wasn’t only Fonzie who had trouble with that word. Your memories of bands who’ve never made it here are most welcome. I wonder if those self-important, university-educated, now late 30-something – (and no doubt) wealthy, executive-types still pine for a Cure tour ?!