LOU REED 1974-08-13 Sydney, Australia - 'A Earlier Blonde' (rarity from the Waz From Oz archive)
Basically Uncirculated Recording
Sydney, New South Wales
13th August 1974
01. Intro >
02. Sweet Jane
04. Ride Sally Ride
06. Sally Can’t Dance
07. Lady Day
08. Waiting For The Man
09. Oh Jim
10. Walk On The Wild Side
11. White Light / White Heat
12. New York Telephone Conversation > Goodnight Ladies
13. Rock & Roll
1st Generation Cassette Taken From The Master Reel To Reel Recorded By Christine 16
2018 Cassette Transfer Thanks To audiowhore
Artwork By Waz From Oz
Lou Reed – Vocals
Danny Weiss – Guitar
Michael Fonfara – Keyboards
Mouse Johnson – Drums
Peter Johnson – Bass Guitar
What you are or will be listening to is the first ever concert that Lou Reed performed in Australia, on the 13th August 1974.
Between audiowhore’s extensive research, my ticket stubs plus my recollections we’ve pieced together what we both think are the definitive Lou Reed 1974 Australian Tour dates.
It cleared one thing up for myself, I was under the impression that more shows were added after the tour had started but actually the 2nd & 3rd concerts for Sydney & Melbourne went on sale before Lou landed in the country.
On the early tour posters that appeared pre tour the city of Perth was listed but by the time the tour went ahead Perth was not on the tour but Brisbane which is not on the poster ended being one of the four cities visited on the tour. Obviously behind the scenes something unknown happened & Brisbane substituted for Perth.
In the memory banks of my 62 year old brain I remember I’d seen AC/DC in their pre Bon Scott days but when & where escaped me.
Until now that is, the Bon-less AC/DC were the support act for Lou’s 1974 Australian Tour & apparently according to some reports Bon was recommended to them during the tour.
The 1974 Australian tour itinerary was...
12th August 1974 – Lou arrives at Sydney’s Mascot Airport, where the infamous media conference takes place.
13th August 1974 - Hordern Pavilion, Sydney - The 'A Earlier Blonde' Show
15th August 1974 - Festival Hall, Melbourne
17th August 1974 - Festival Theatre, Adelaide
19th August 1974 - Festival Hall, Melbourne
20th August 1974 - Festival Hall, Melbourne
21st August 1974 - Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
22nd August 1974 - Festival Hall, Brisbane
25th August 1974 - Hordern Pavilion, Sydney – The 'Blondes More Fun' Show
Ticket prices were an outrageous $5.50!
The story behind the 13th August 1974 recording-
I first met the taper (nicknamed Christine 16 as a joke) sometime in mid to late 1972 when I brought bootleg LP’s from him after he had placed ads selling bootleg LP’s in the classified section of a Sydney Sunday paper.
We kept in periodical contact, this usually occurred when a new batch of bootleg LP’s had freshly arrived from California.
I can’t remember now if we even knew each other would be attending the Sydney Lou shows but now I know that we both caught the first Lou 1974 Sydney show.
After it became known that myself & friends taped select Sydney shows he mentioned to me that he’d taped Lou back in 1974 at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion.
He recorded the show on a portable reel to reel deck, the brand of recorder plus the microphone used are long forgotten.
I remember him saying he had placed the recorder either under his chair or under the one in front of him, or was it on top of his chair or the one in front?
The 1974 Lou Sydney audiences were rather sedate & the Tharunka review of the show below also reflects this.
Probably because most of us if not all of us had never (well on stage at least) seen a stick thin, crew-cutted bleach blonde male rumoured to be a junkie / homosexual who sang about various lowlifes & their activity’s.
Most of us stood quietly in front of our seats while we watched somewhat bemused while Lou cavorted onstage & clapped politely at the end of songs.
But by the time of the Lou’s 1975 Australian tour his audiences were far more vocal as you will hear when the 1975 recordings are upped.
The infamous Sydney airport TV interview plus that night's paper & the next morning’s paper both of which reported some of Lou’s airport comments certainly helped gather interest in seeing this Lou Reed person!
An example of this from the Sydney Morning Herald is on the inside front cover & also appears below.
People have asked me if Lou performed his hammer & tack act during the Sydney shows, you know the tourniquet & syringe hitting up scenario during Heroin.
I honestly can say I don’t remember Lou doing so because I think I would remember if he did but on the other hand a friend swears he did.
Having listened to Heroin from both Sydney shows I can’t hear any comments, laughs or shrieks from the audience which I’m sure if Lou had hit up one would hear some audience reaction.
Anyway sometime in the mid or late 70’s Christine 16 lent me his reel to reel tape, I borrowed my father’s SONY tape deck & personally transferred the reel onto cassette.
Since I‘ve had this show I’ve only traded it only a handful of times copied from my 1st generation cassette with some fellow Lou fans in the UK.
Over the years I’ve seen this show on very few Lou trade lists, sometimes attributed to various other dates in August but have never spotted it on any torrent sites.
Thanks again to Christine 16 for his recording & audiowhore for the 2018 cassette transfer & research.
Waz From Oz
PS. The only other artist that I know of whom Christine 16 taped was the Frank Zappa Sydney 8th July 1973 show which has been in traders circles for years.
The Sydney Morning Herald
13th August 1974
Monosyllabic Nightingale Wings In
American underground singer Lou Reed is a bleached-haired pale-faced walking contradiction.
He says he spends money on drugs but does not take them, wants a record collection but will not listen to records and has recorded 5 albums but does not have anything to say.
Yesterday morning Reed arrived at Sydney Airport from America for a two-week tour of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.
After a wait of almost two hours in Customs, he turned his face - pale and hidden by glasses - towards a battery of TV cameras, newspaper reporters and radio interviewers and said “I’m average.”
Reed, a friend of Andy Warhol- “He was everything ... still is”- set out to prove there is no communication between the underground and ordinary people
Question : Why are you popular? - I didn’t know I was.
Why are your Sydney concerts (at the Hordern Pavilion on August 13, 21 and 25) almost booked out? - Probably nothing going on.
What do your songs say? - I don’t have a message.
Reed’s songs - the latest of which “Walk On The Wild Side” was banned from radio until a minute of its four minute length had been cut are about drugs, homosexuality and transvestites.
Does he support drug use? - I want them to take drugs because it’s better than playing Monopoly.
Does he know about drugs? - By proxy....a friend takes them.
What does he spend his money on? - Drugs for friends.
What do you think about life?- Should be fun.
And Death? - When I get there I’ll let you know.
The cameras stopped, the reporters left and Reed went off to prepare for the audience he does not know exists, to sing songs that do not say anything and record records he does not listen to.
A review of the 13th August 1974 concert from the Sydney University Paper Tharunka.
And not for the first time a reviewer mistakes Danny Weiss for Steve Hunter!
Tharunka Magazine, Vol 20, No 19
Just Another Man and His Subway
In the wake of a lot of adverse guffaw from Sydney's media, Lou Reed strutted nervously onto the stage for his first Australian concert on Wednesday night.
Although the audience was mixed there seemed a pre-concert bewilderment at what was in store for us. Reed's history is not well known.
Some eight years ago he helped from a band called Velvet Underground and was closely associated with Andy Warhol through the Exploding Inevitable Plastic Roadshow.
The band, although not greatly influential in terms of record sales, made a contribution to rock so great that it spawned a whole genre of contemporary music now dominated by Mott the Hoople and Roxy Music.
Reed split the band in 1970 and it was only after Bowie legitimized transsexual music and claimed Reed.
The band, after an annoyingly long tune-up, slipped very easily into the intro to "Sweet Jane" and set the pattern for their tight playing for the rest of the evening.
They played black-influenced funk, which is the closest to ethnic New York music you get, with organist Ray Colcord and guitarist Steve Hunter trading riffs against solid bass and drums, played by Prakash John and Pentti Glenn.
Reed approached centre stage apprehensively looking a moment like the cracked actor, wearing large sunglasses, dirty jeans and a black sweater with matching nails.
He peered at Sydney and Sydney peered back, neither knowing what to expect. Some seemed to want for another Bowie. Yet he wasn't.
From "Sweet Jane", a fabled love song between a banker and a clerk, onwards, Reed's profession was rock 'n roll star and his business was pure, real live rock 'n roll.
The early Velvet Underground days were represented by songs like "I'm Waiting For The Man" about the daily frustration of a junkies' uptown journey for smack,
the infamously amoral "Heroin", the only rock song to extol the virtues of the drug and "White Light/White Heat" complete with a flashing row of white lights behind the band;
his solo career by a couple off Transformer and a couple off Berlin and for an encore a splendid, extended version of "Rock 'n Roll".
Through the set the band rocked, Hunter's guitar soloing soared, and Reed moved his ass better than anyone I'd ever seen, including Jagger.
Despite their highly competent performances, no member of the band could or would usurp Reed's stardom.
Almost too tidily they presented a sobering backdrop to the voice and movements portraying degeneracy, violence and hate.
Reed's singing, flat and monotonal conveyed the boring essential self-acceptance that remains a feature of all his songs.
His semi-choreographed dancing added sexuality and vivacity together with who-the-f***-are-you-anyway bitchiness completed him as a true performer perhaps a 1974 Presley/Dylan.
Unfortunately the audience for the most part responded with mild enthusiasm interspersed with lethargy.
Loudest reaction came from the well known "Transformer" goodies, "Vicious" and "Walk On The Wild Side".
The subtle dichotomy between Reed as a parody of a rock 'n roll star and Reed as a star went unappreciated.
Perhaps the concert was marred by Reed's opening night jitters which led to extra-long breaks between numbers and the oppressive conditions in the Hordern, which severely restricted our freedom of movement. But simply I don't think Sydney was ready for the man.
Yet with a bit of luck concerts two and three will be the best we'll see for years.
Reed is loaded. He's an animal not to be missed.!!
While searching for Lou Reed 1974 Australian newspaper tour reports, this mention in the Brisbane press was found below.
Strange, the first I’ve heard of a nude Lou on stage in Melbourne, apart from this short newspaper report no other newspaper of the time collaborates this story.
Brisbane, Courier-Mail 22 August 1974
"The Lou Reed concert tonight should be an experience.
Not since the heyday of the screaming Bill Haley fans and the Beatles have Australian audiences started to tear apart an auditorium.
On Monday night in Melbourne Lou destroyed four microphones while allegedly committing "indecent acts " with them an RCA spokesman reported.
That was also the concert where Lou stripped off on stage - heady stuff.
Stand by for lovely Lou Brisbane!"
Like beer - a good bootleg makes its own friends
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