McAskill and the Fabulous Drifters
Barrie: Russell: Alan: Peter:
Barrie McAskill (lead vocalist), Bobby Hunter
(vocals & piano),
Russell “Walker” Job (lead guitar, vocals & electronic
Alan “Walker” Fehlberg (rhythm guitar, vocals &
Peter “Mason” Mazurek (bass & vocals)
Drummers: Rod Wicker, Vinnie Jones, Doug Johnston & Tony
cover notes were written for the C.D. by Russell Job
and amended by Barrie McAskill.
McAskill and the Fabulous Drifters
the Wild Rocking Bobby Hunter
Album 1962 -1966
Saturday night Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance came to suburban South Australia
in the late 1956/1957. Brian Penglaze and the “Penny
Rockets” and Sydney itinerants Ray Hoff and
the “Offbeats” developed pop and rock music which helped
encourage the musical transition from 60/40 to Rock & Roll.
Walker from the Offbeats used a Gretsch
guitar to demonstrate the real possibilities of Rhythm n' Blues
for the dancing audiences. Jazz and Country
music bands condescended to play a few rock songs later in the night
and the electric guitar, very rare in those days, emerged
as a driving force as rock and roll began its rise in popularity.
the 60s began in South Australia, a lot of rock bands became the Saturday
night suburban phenomenon. Bob Hunter, Clark Laidlaw and
the "Rockassins", Barrie McAskill, Dave Everson
and the "Rockalongs", Trev Pridham,
Rick Detker and the "Mocassins",
Johnny Mac and the "Mac Men",
“The Hurricanes”, Pat Aulton, Glenis
Shearman, the Viscounts with the "Clefs",
Graham Bartlet and the "Keytones".
Bobby Bright, Hayden Burford, Doug Ashdown
and the "Beaumen", The “Tornados”,
the "Taymen", the "Hurricanes",
the "DelAirs", the "Twilights",
the “Vibrants”, the "Vectormen",
John E Broom & the Handles all played dance tunes
that were less oriented to jazz and 60/40 music. But wild rock
music was considered to be illegitimate by the snobs and taboo to the
Palais Royal was presenting Ball Room dancing;
promoted by Hughie Carmichael, due to a lack of people
the old style dance could not make a profit any more and eventually
closed. Special functions only were held on some Saturday nights. The
“Palais’ lease was taken up by Aubrey Hall
a well known Ballroom Champion, dance teacher and promoter
of The Sea Breeze Ballroom (Glenelg Town Hall), the
Kings Ballroom and the Windsor Ballroom.
grand opening of the Teensville Casual Club at the
Palais Royal brought big time Saturday
night and Thursday night Rock & Roll
to Adelaide on July 14th 1962.
McAskill, Bob Hunter and the Drifters
Alex Kris and the Hi Fis with
Rick (Detker) Adams
Bobby James and the Esquires
Trev Warner, Carole Sturtzel and the
groups provided nonstop Rock n' Roll to huge crowds, 2000 people on
Saturdays, 1000 on Thursdays, jiving on a spring-loaded tropical hardwood
floor which would bounce up and down, portraying an unforgettable vision
to the performing musicians. "The message was to make it
dance". There were always two bands a night and when the
bands changed, two bands would join together playing a change over song:
hence non stop music which would allay the more boisterous patrons who
didn't know it at the time but this era became the golden age
of avant garde dancing.
this period we became the head-line band and our stage
introduction developed into: “Adelaide’s King of Rock and Roll,
Barrie McAskill and the Fabulous Drifters”:
also became the backing band for all of our guest
artists who came from all over Australia,
the likes of:
Cantrell, the Bradley Sisters, Patti Monroe, Robby Royal, Dig Richards,
Lee Sellers, Wayne Cornell, Jerry J Wilder, Johnny Chester, Teddy Bennett,
Judy Cannon, Barry Stanton, Carolyn Young, Paul Wayne, Noelene Batley,
Del Juliana, The Bee Gee’s, (the twins were eleven and Barry was fourteen,
their first tour), Sandy Scott, Judy Stone, Digger Revel, Roland Storm,
Booker Hyland, Lonnie Lee, Ian Turpie, Malcolm Arthur, Betty McQuade,
The Deltones, The Allan Brothers. (Yep, Peter Allan): “Fanbloodytastic”.
Marlene Atchison, George Karon, Mary-Jane Boyd, Jimmy Little, Vicky
Simms, Lucky Star, Frankie Davidson, Rob E G, Little Patti, Jay Justin,
The Same Day Twins, Ricky and Tammy. These artists were being
presented to us on TV, “Johnny O’Keefe’s: “Six O’clock Rock”,
“Sing Sing Sing” and Brian Henderson’s, “Bandstand”.
Palais was so big that amplification was a problem. Two of the Drifters
(Russell and Alan) custom engineered their self-designed amplifying
equipment to interconnect with each other and also serve as a vocal
P.A. system. This technique involved a preset mixer. The Drifters
designed and built 100-watt (RMS) amplifiers way before
they became available in the commercial arena. A tape
recorder was added by direct wiring. Some of the following tracks were
taken from this 'live' diagnostic recording process and were not intended
for release. But they do represent the only
live sound recordings made in the Palais Royal when
Rock became King in Adelaide.
The amplifiers were directly coupled to the tape recorders in the studio
studio tracks are the first recorded by Max
Pepper in his hot-wired studio in Moger Lane;
They were presented on "Action" and "Seventeeners",
Adelaide television shows screened in 1964-1965.
Palais Performance: CD.
unless otherwise stated.
Could Be As Two:
was Russell Walker's Rock Blues arrangement of a song by "Them".
by "Them" recorded by the Drifters when it was rising up the
She's a Better
heard of by, the Sir Douglas Quintet: (Russell featured
organ on this track).
A Medley of
songs from the current hit charts, both Rock & Blues.
Louie Louie (Richard Berry)
My Generation (Townsend)
Smokestack Lightning (Chester Burnet)
King Pin (Fanes)
Hoochie Koochie Man
Dixon Blues classic)
My Baby Left Me,
(Arthur Crudup): vocal by guitarist Russell
Don't Ask Me What I Say
Mann): vocal by guitarist Alan (Stretch) Walker.
stretch between his thumb and little fingertip on his left hand that
was truly awesome.
Loves Gonna Live Here
(Buck Owens). An instrumental recorded in radio station 5KA, engineered
by David Flatman and Dean Reynolds,
in 1963. This recording used an inline compressor on the main amplifier.
This consisted of a resistor limited thin filament globe across the
speaker line: The globe lit a light dependant resistor in the feedback
loop to reduce the gain. This allowed Stretch such
sustain on the acoustic guitar sound that it had to be recorded. John
Crossing played the organ.
and Freed): an original version of the song from the same session as
the previous track. Although deeply influenced by the "Shadows"
sound, sustain was produced in a little light-tight box called the 'Disney'
developed by the Stretch & Russell, it gave the
power amplifiers the ability to be incapable of overloading. The amplifiers
from overseas did not have the same clarity and control. A field effect
compressor was also added to the lead guitar amplifier in 1964. This
gave more dynamic control to the envelope of the note.
You No More
An original song written by Barrie McAskill and Alan
Walker recorded by Max Pepper. Sound production engineering was by Russell
Little Girl Of Mine.
Another song written by Barrie and Alan recorded at home on a (seven
and a half inches per second tape speed), quarter-track
(Collins and Pennyman). This track which features Bob Hunter
was recorded (three and three quarter’s inches per second), live
at the Palais in 1962 and was carefully mastered by
an EMI Sound engineer: Paul Bryant. Bob Hunter plays
an instrumental celebrating the purchase of a Fender Stratocaster guitar:
This model was the first 'Strat' with tremolo arm. Its wiring was crude
and unshielded; therefore we lined the electronics with cigarette packet
metal foil. The tone controls were replaced with switches to give combinations
and Phase changes. To add an edge to the increased harmonic content,
four stages of treble equalization were used. The crossover frequency
of the amplifiers ranged from 500 Hz for the bass amplifier to 800 Hz
for lead guitar. The boost was so much (45 db) on the treble end of
the bass amp that it was not suitable for guitar. They called it the
"click bass”. Peter Mason played bass for all
of these recordings.
recorded on stage at Miami Club, a first-generation fuzz box sound from
Baby Please Don't Go
recorded at Milton Ingerson's Studio in 1964 by Max
Pepper for "Seventeeners" TV: Program.
Some Kinda Earthquake
song was used as a 'chaser' to play on and off artists at the
Boomerang Club and the Palais Royal. Recorded
live in 1962 was kept for sentimental reasons by Russell, who first
heard it played live by the "Off beats" guitarist Terry Walker.
It demonstrated the harmonic content of super-thin string technology.
These harmonics were emphasized before the echo-send, a 300-foot
endless cassette of graphite-backed tape fed a six-head full track tape
echo machine. (Built & Designed by Russell & Alan).
Lovin’ Up A Storm
(Jerry Lee Lewis).
This track features a good tom-tom rhythm for our drummer, Doug
Johnston. This drum provided a contrasting counterpoint to
the sound of the sharpest rhythm amp made. Stretch not only built this
equipment, he also customized equipment for other bands.
A fundamental innovation was the 75-ohm coax cable patch cord.
High School Confidential
(Jerry Lee Lewis). Both raw and live, was recorded at the end of the
first marathon 'Rockathon' during the first New Year
celebration of Rock and Roll at the Palais Royal. The
show ran from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Despite breaking a string near the end,
Russell kept the tape for its raw value. It is hoped that some of the
thousands of people that jammed the dance floor of the Palais will purchase
a copy of this commemorative C.D. It will take them back, guaranteed.
As the band gradually played quieter everyone slowly sank down to the
floor clapping their hands in time with the music. This also included
John Dungey the rotund manager of the Teensville
Casual Club. Russell can be heard telling him to also get down
as well. The audience participation was tremendous. Then everybody would
leap up shouting.
Oop Oop A Doop
(Jessie Hill). Here, Adelaide's King of Rock does the crowd response
favourite that was also popularised by Johnny O'Keefe. (J.O’K.). also
starred at the Palais along with many of the great Eastern States artists,
including those lovely little lads in short pants that came from their
temporary home in Brisbane, the Bee Gees on their first
tour. Big brother Barry Gibb had a stage stance just
like Ray Hoff. This version was recorded live at the
Miami Club just before Barrie McAskill
left to join The Clefs at the Princeton Club.
The Benediction on the end was from 5KA compere
Stuart Jay. It is intended to release this
C.D. at a Palais Commemoration with a lot of artists and band members
to give continuous-impact music. The Palais management liked all the
bands to play together at once regardless of the consequences. This
spawned a huge range of ad-lib musical comedy. The Hi Fis'
guitarist, the late Jeff Hudson, played the most hilarious
style possible, especially for Bobby James and Pat
Aulton. Rick Adams and the Hi Fis
were based at the 60/40 dance, Sea Breeze
in the Glenelg Town Hall. They would rush up to Adelaide
and play while a support band from the Palais played Glenelg. The comedy
was also a good antidote for the cultural cringe that was attacking
the Rockers who were pioneering the music of the new era. From an arcane
obscurity, electronics had brought the guitar to an
unexpected prominence. The Beatles made it ubiquitous. The blues had
now become a universal currency brought out of its ethnic roots through
the medium of Rock n Roll.
of the band:
McASKILL - Vocals
HUNTER - Vocals & Piano
WALKER - Guitar, Organ and Vocal
WALKER - Guitar, and Voca
MASON - Bass, Backing Vocal
JOHNSTON – Drums
Compilation C.D. was collated and produced by Montemazula Records
has been presented in two Palais Reunions in 2002
with Barrie McAskill and the Fabulous Drifters:
Job, (guitar): Allan Fehlberg, (guitar): Wayne Cheary), (bass): Doug
Johnston, (drums): The Girls: Carole Sturtzel; Elaine Moore: Jan McAskill
Links which may be of service to you