Mike Rudd replies
- ... and we here at Scars thank him very much for doing so!
Let me break the ice - what is your personal favourite Spectrum/
Indelible Murtceps song to perform?
At the moment it would have to be Love's My Bag, which we've just
started playing again. It's such a '60s song, with a very predominant
riff - all we've done with it is play it a bit faster and tack an ending
on it. It's very passionate.
O.K......heres one....what does Bill tune the acoustic to, to get such
a fat solo slide sound when ya do Baby please Dont Go.....
I've passed on your query to Bill. I know it's 'down C' and the fine
details will be exquisitely repetitive and boring, but still it's good
to know, I guess.. Bill never reads his e-mails, so in the meantime I've
dicovered that Bill had actually passed on his secret tunings in Issue
#8 in the Archives. He says: 'My Yamaha classical nylon string is tuned
down to open C (c-g-c-g-c-e) This tuning is great for fretting and
slide. My 1938 Sutton Centurion Lap Steel is tuned to open G (
g-b-d-g-b-d).' Told you it was boring.
Mike...What was the location for the film clip of "I'll Be
Gone"?.....and....if I recall the clip was in black & white?...was it
shot in colour at all ?...it sort of lent itself well to black & white
...thanks...and thanks for your great contribution to the halycon days
of Oz music.
Thanks for the strokes Patrick. The I'll Be Gone clip was shot in living
monochrome by Chris Lofven around Bulla (country road/stream/country
home), Tullamarine (airport) the Melb. Botanic Gardens (moke/mawkish
kissing scene) and one of Bill Armstrong's small studios in South Melb.
somewhere. with Nicky Campbell and an engineer whose name escapes me -
but it might've been Graeme somebody. The victim of the mawkish kiss was
Jill Coffin, and my wife Helen and son Chris were in the kitchen scene.
I hope that's too much info for you.
P: did you play concerts with many international bands over your career ?
MR: Yes - Deep Purple, Manfred Mann, The Kinks, Joan Armatrading, Leo
Sayer and Marc Bolan as well as playing all the legendary Sunbury
Festivals. (I ripped this info off our Bio on the Book Spectrum page,
but it's pretty accurate).
P: Mike,time for a toughie....who are your favourite Oz artists from
the scars era [ 1964-75 ]?.
MR: In no particular order: The La De Das, Chain (with Pig and Glyn),
The Loved Ones, Max Merritt, Doug Parkinson In Focus
I remember attending a Spectrum concert one night at the Union Theatre
of Melbourne University in 1970 or 1971. Lee, Bill and Mark made it but
Mike didn't. Lee announced that Mike had been lost "in the fog" and they
remaining threesome played an interesting session of improvised music.
Does Mike remember this (he wouldn't have missed too many Spectrum
gigs) and what does "in the fog mean"? Does it have a psychedelic
MR: Hell - I don't remember that! I'll have to ask Bill.
DW: Did Mike know "Make Your Stash" was a borrowed melody and did he
gain any influence from classical music in his formative composing
years? He could even be a closet ELP and Yes fan!
MR: I didn't realise for quite some years that Stash had been
'borrowed' from Holst. We lost some of the nuances in our version as a
result of our ignorance, but the similarity is unmistakable - now.
DW: I am also interested in the fact that Spectrum had two exceptional
drummers with very different styles (Mark Kennedy and Ray Arnott).
Perhaps Mike would care to comment on their styles of playing and does
he keep in touch with either of them or Lee Neale.
MR: We see Mark from time to time, and he's playing often and really
well, but Ray has slipped off the radar. We played with him on a tour in
1984, and apart from being perpetually grumpy, he hadn't lost anything
in the playing dept. (See the Rock Arena Show we did round that time for
evidence). I believe he's got something to do with helping out homeless
kids these days, but I don't know if he's still playing or not.
I've come across a relative of Lee's recently in rather bizarre
circumstances, and I've tried to establish with her if Lee's still
alive. Nobody knows for sure, but the general feeling is that he died
some time ago in Qld. i'm always glad to hear from anybody that might be
able to confirm it either way.
How did Manfred Mann get a gold of I'll be Gone - was it a success - and
did you see anything off it or were you ripped off?
MR: Mick Rogers spoke with me about it and Launching Place Pt 2 by long
distance phone, but denied, a bit too emphatically, that he had anything
to do with it. Apparently it was Manfred's idea. He got excited about
Aussie acts (maybe after the tour they did with Deep Purple) and thought
they might be the next Big Thing. I don't think the album did
particularly well, and I don't think I benefitted a lot - I'm not a
stickler for checking my APRA sheets at the best of times - but I got my
own back by purloining their version of I'll Be Gone for the Gonz CD.
Actually, I did ask, but nobody bothered to reply.
Could you ask Mike how much more recorded music of his is still
unreleased? Where there other soundtracks they did for films (with any
band) that could be converted for issue on cd?
MR: Hi Chris,
These questions overlap a bit. There is still some music from the Dalmas
soundtrack that remains unreleased - coincidentally, somebody spoke to
me about that at the Bar Open the other night. There's a (good) song we
found on a tape from the late Spectrum or early Ariel days that I should
put on the new album - thanks for reminding me. We actually re-recorded
it, but it's lost again. I wanted Ross Wilson to sing it I seem to
CS: How is the new Spectrum cd going? Any new songs?
MR: Nearly finished now - but it's going to be 2007 of course.
Mike, what is your biggest gripe as a professional, working musician?
MR: Hi again Ray,
Never having enough money, funnily enough.
Mike, what were your thoughts / feelings when you appeared ( and around
that time ) at the Dallas Brooks Hall for the "Farewell" Spectrum show - way
MR: Hullo to you Chris,
I wished we could do farewell concerts all the time! It was very
emotional and great fun too.
My Question to Mike is Which studio is featured in the I'll be Gone clip
and what did he think of 3AK using I'll be Gone as it's final Rock Song
before changing to a Beautiful Music Format ?
MR: I'm not sure about that studio. I seem to remember it being at the
back of where Metropolis is/was and was a little voice over studio of
Bill Armstrong's. We were chuffed that IBG was the last 'Where No
Wrinklies Fly' track.
DAVID LE ROY:
Hey Mike ... with a career spanning the number of years yours does, what
changes in the audiences have you noticed (if any)?
David, Our audience is exactly the same as it always was - except now
they bring their kids and grandchildren to the gig! Not as much
patchouli oil either.
I'd be interested to know if Mike has any of the footage of the Chants
R&B that was shown in the excellent, but, slightly flawed 'Give it a
whirl' NZ rock & roll documentary.
We love a flawed doco don't we? I did ask for a copy, and I might even
have received it too. I must check.. Anyway, I saw it at the time..
didn't I? there was only about 30 secs ever filmed of the Chants
playing, and that had no sound track.
Mike, critics have compared Spectrum with bands like Pink Floyd, Traffic
and early Soft Machine. Can you comment on what music was interesting
you at the time and if indeed these bands were an influence? I would be
particularly interested to know if you'd listened to any Soft Machine.
Traffic was an undeniable influence - I still like them. The others less
so - I didn't even hear of Soft Machine till well later, and only knew
what I heard of Floyd on the radio.
I've come across some tracks from the Burwood Blues Band, incl an
earlier version of Volcano etc. Were these officially released at all?
They sound like they came from a cassette. Don't suppose you recall
MR: That would be via Chris Spencer? That was the demo we played to
Mike Brady from which the Volcano CD was distilled. We didn't have a
name, just a series of cassettes under the Blues Band monicker. If it's
what I'm thinking it is, then it was just Bill, me and the Casio 500.
MH: Spectrum once played as the Inedible Crumpets - true or false?
MR: False - we had a series of gigs at Sebastians called The Inedible
Crumpets Workshop, which was s'posed to showcase new and interesting
bands. I don't think we used that name for ourselves, but I could be
MH: Similarly, there was the ad for Camel cigarettes c.1970 as the
Camels. Did that happen much at the time as you recall - "head" bands /
"serious bands" doing ads and hoping they won't be discovered? :)
MR: We were asked to do it by Bruce Smeaton (who wrote the music), and
there was a TV ad shot (directed by Fred Schepisi as I recall) and a
poster made. The music survives (on the website at least), but I doubt
the TV ad does, or that there are any posters around. (I'd like one if
you know where one might be).