In telling my stories, it seems synchronistic to start with the earliest recording I have of myself performing live.
The original line up of Waves started at our High School. Our music teacher Mary MacDonald was inspirational. She lit the music spark in all of us.
My friends in that band were Ross Hamilton, Mark Hayden, Mark Adie, myself and Andrew Monroe.
I remember our early rehearsals under Mark Adie’s house, painfully pushing our way through ACDC and Stevie Wright songs. I couldn’t play guitar, so I became the bass player. We also had no bass, so I played in on an electric guitar.
Finally I got a bass. Even took lessons at school. By year 12 I won the State Bass Player of the Year Award which was handed out at the legendary Cloudland (before they bulldozed it).
Mark Adie was my best mate at school. We actually met at the Brisbane Cricket trials in primary school. It was there we discovered we would be going to the same high school.
Sadly Mark passed away in the early 90’s from leukaemia and other complications.
I still remember the night when we had been playing at Caesar’s Palace in Ipswich. By the time we did the gig and loaded out is was about 3am. We hung around with a couple of girls we had met, then headed home to unload the truck. I think we got to bed about 8am.
It was about 10am my Mum woke me to tell me Mark had been taken to hospital in a coma. That was the 1st any of knew he had an issue.
One of the comical side complications was that from that time he had to have regular injections. We would be backstage and management would sometimes walk in while Mark was injecting himself - we had to quickly explain the situation.
My last contact with Mark was in ’91. I was about to head over to Los Angeles. He was stuck in a hospital bed looking very skinny and yellow. To get to LA, I had decided to basically sell all I owned. Even my guitar. The plan was to cut down on luggage and buy one in LA. Mark wanted to buy my guitar. Basically it was his way of being part of my journey.
With his money, I bought my Takamine NP18, with the pearl inlay from the Guitar Centre in Santa Monica. Today this guitar has a pile of injuries on her. We share many scars. She has performed 1000’s of gigs with me, and almost every song I have written since ’92, I have written in partnership with her. I love her!
Waves had a few line ups.
Ross and Chris Hutton came on board, and a few others.
I no longer have any recordings of these really early days.
I have tapes - but time moisture, flooding, moving etc have devoured them. Today they are fragile ribbons that will never produce music again.
So when my mate Dave Harden (who is playing drums again with Tuffy and myself), said he had some tapes from back in the day when he played with Waves and Niki Phillips and the Corporation - well he “blew my mind”.
Some of the tapes are in poor condition. And some of the songs suffer from being direct cassette recordings from the mixing desk. But they have allowed me to rediscover some of my original songs I had completely forgotten about. And may I say - some are really good. I am definitely revisiting some of them.
I’m sharing the recording of Roxanne because it comes from the earliest of the tapes - and I think it’s a pretty good version.
I can’t remember - I think this desk tape was recorded by either Brian Kaye or Mick Kirby? Both were awesome sound guys. The road crews we had in Queensland were the best!