Home Barrie Jan Duo Gallery
The Clefs The Drifters Levi Smith's Clefs Shop Notice Board

The McAskill’s Notice Board:

Hi Folks,

Welcome to our world

 

Jan has now retired from teaching which now given us the opportunity to reform our Duo.

Our Next Gigs Are:

 

To be announced...


 

Prior gigs we've been happy to keep noted are.

 

Levi Smith's Clefs

Barrie McAskill: A.K.A. "Levi Smith" Vocal: (www.mcaskill.com.au)

Jan McAskill: Vocal: (Levis: Topsy & The Bear: Last two Levis reunions)

Les Stacpool: Guitar & Vocal: (Original Levis, The Chessmen & the Browns)

Gil Matthews: Drums: (Original Levis, the Impacts, Billy Thorpe, Richard Clapton)

Billy Kristian: Bass & Vocal: (Max Merritt, Ray Columbus, Last two Levis Reunions)

Warren Morgan: Keyboard & Vocal: (Chain, J.P.Y's All Stars, Last two Levis Reunions)

Photos taken by Patricia Ann Leneghan

My soul went to work and took me along for the ride.
I have never performed as well as this in my entire life! Everything flowed, physically, spiritually, musically and entertainingly. I have had so many magical performances through my 53 years of professional music that they are impossible to count, this one took the cake. Exhilarating!
My heart will never forget this one. My 68 year old body feels so good, the feeling of a job well done. I want more! Please. We musically entertained the patrons, staff and fellow performers and did in fact blow them all away.

We featured my Empty Monkey Album. Thanks Gil, good idea.

A week ago (Monday 25th Oct) Jan and I drove to Melbourne and booked in to the Frankston Motel.
On Tuesday we drove a couple of kilometres to Gil Matthews’ home to rehearse.
Wednesday – a day off. Thursday - rehearsal. Friday - sound check. Friday night - show time 8.00pm.
Saturday - home to Adelaide. (10.30pm): We made it safely home with some money and very happy hearts.

I’ll let Jan tell you her story first as I do tend to chat on leaving her nothing to say: Cheers, Barrie.

Well folks, certainly a good time was had by one & all!
What a great joy and a privilege to share the stage with such lofty company!
It was truly inspirational to see and hear the great music that was played last Friday night by some of the awesome talent we are still blessed with in this country.

Barrie McAskill and the “Levi Smith’s Clefs" performed exceptionally well, I thought. This was reinforced by the excellent reception we received from both audience members and fellow performers, I’m pleased to say!
Barrie looked so handsome in his dinner suit and his ‘Innocenti’ designer shirt. He blew everyone away with his performance and I was so proud to be his wife and so happy for him and his success. He simply thrives on stage and his ability as a band leader is astonishing! No one else sounds like ‘The Bear’! He was sensational! I hope someone got some good photos since we all looked so good!
It was great to work with Gil Matthews, Warren Morgan, Billy Kristian and Les Stacpool again! “Levi Smith’s Clefs" - what a band!
Gil Matthews is an incredibly gifted drummer who never ceases to amaze me every time I have the pleasure to witness him at work. You might remember Gil from Billy Thorpe’s band “The Aztecs” who played at Sunbury Festival all those years ago. He has a wicked sense of humour too which is extremely entertaining!
Billy Kristian, the only overseas member of The Levi’s, a New Zealander, is one of the most creative Bass players I’ve ever heard - you would have heard him with Max Merritt’s band, “The Meteors.” He’s a great singer too! Together, Gil and Billy make an awesome bottom end! Barrie and I are very much looking forward to visiting Billy and his lovely wife, Trish in New Zealand some time soon.
Warren Morgan is the Keyboard player extraordinaire! What a talent! He’s been keeping his fingers busy for the last 15 years as John Paul Young’s piano player and was also an integral part of the Sunbury Aztecs with Gil and ‘Billy Thorpe’. His sense of humour is rather keen too and when he and Gil start to fire off each other it’s very funny! Warren sings very well too and is such a joy to work with. I look forward very much to our next, gig!
Les Stacpool is an amazing and well respected guitar player whose history with Barrie goes back to the early days of The Levi Smith’s Clefs. Les’ creativity and ability to improvise is outstanding. He’s a gorgeous man who spends much of his ‘retirement’ keeping fit and being creatively productive. Les’ vocal skills are not to be sneezed at either! Barrie and I look forward to seeing Les again soon and sharing a meal with him.
I really enjoyed playing tambourine on a couple of songs too – not enough to get too many bruises!
Billy, Warren, Les & I did a pretty good job on backing vocals too. I hope we can do it again soon!

What a pleasure to see Ross Ryan looking incredibly well and happy and performing better than ever! It’s been many years since Barrie and I worked on a show with him in Townsville and he looks great! This is due, I believe, to the obvious joy his beautiful wife, Donna, brings into his life.

I just loved the audience reaction when they heard the first few magical strains of Mike Rudd's harmonica on “I’ll Be Gone.” What a song! He and Bill Putt were fabulous as they always are!
Looking forward to seeing them both the next time they are here in Adelaide.

Good to hear Neale Johns singing up a storm too! There’s no doubt that “Boppin' the Blues” always pleases our Aussie audiences! It was great to catch up with him again and meet his handsome son, Jesse.

How good it was to hear Madder Lake again after all these years. I finally got to meet them! They really played well and it was fun singing the last round of backing vocals for Tony Lake on the song commonly known as “The Na Na Song” with Ross, Bill, and Mike. It’s a long time since those days in Newcastle at ‘Bus Stop’ – the disco where they used to play sometimes back in the 70’s!
What an awesome guitarist is Brendan Mason! He is always a great pleasure to see and to hear and his musical contribution to the show was a large part of its overall success. Not only with Madder Lake did Brendan perform but as a member of The Unnatural Act his outstanding talent shone through! The late Lobby Lloyd would have surely been impressed!

After all these years in the rock ‘n roll industry I’ve learnt that Billy Field isn’t the only one with “Bad Habits”! It was indeed a pleasure to see and hear him perform again. Our last meeting would have been at his Paradise Studios in Sydney, back in the 80’s when he hired me to do some recording with a large group of singers for the ‘Million Minutes of Peace’ project. We could do with a few million more minutes of peace in this world today! It was wonderful to see Billy in action again with the welcome addition of the two competent lads who made up the brass section that joined The Unnatural Act to back him for his performance.

It was a true inspiration to witness the amazing Jim Keyes doing such a fabulous job with his band "The Master’s Apprentices." It was a huge effort for him to undertake this performance and it did take its toll on him physically but the audience and his ‘apprentices’ got 110% of his energy and commitment. It’s no mean feat to come back from such ill health and perform so well. It just goes to show – you can’t keep a good man down!

I loved renewing these old acquaintances backstage as well as meeting for the first time, some wonderful people, some of whom were known to me in name only until last Friday. It was a thrill to see some fabulous friends and supporters having such a good time in the audience too.
Thank you all for coming!

It was especially thrilling to see Jim Sloggett again and meet his lovely lady, Gloria. Jim looks as enthusiastic about life as ever and it was good to reminisce for a few moments on some of the successful advertisement campaigns he produced and hired me to be part of vocally. It’s great that he is still playing his saxophone with a jazz unit in Melbourne and that he is obviously well and happy! I hope it won’t be long before we can get together again for a much longer chat!

It was great to see Julian Cumming again too. Julian was the assistant editor for Juke Magazine and ran ‘Life’ disco in Prahran. He and Barrie have been friends for many years and I’ve always enjoyed our times together very much. He looks really good! I regret not getting out the front quickly enough to meet his dear Mum, June. I’ve heard so much about her but didn’t get to make myself known to her as I would have liked to. I guess we’ll just have to return to Melbourne soon and visit!

The smiling of face of David Flint was a joy to behold! Some of you will know that David owned “The Thumping Tum” also he and Julian owned and ran “The Garrison” together. David looks very well too I must say.
Not to be outdone in the ‘good-looking’ stakes is the indomitable Dominic Barbuto. His artistic talent rises to the surface regularly and his company “Visible Ink Design” gives him an excellent outlet for his enthusiastic approach to life. It would have been good to have spent a little more time with Dom. Next time!

Also, it was wonderful to catch up with our bridesmaid and my long time friend, Linda Morris.
A lot of laughing and general hysteria usually happens when we get together! Friday night was no exception! I wish her luck with her business as a marriage celebrant and her company ‘Yes I Do Weddings.’

It was lovely to meet Tony Buetell and his wife Helen who came over from Tasmania to attend the concert. Tony played drums with Barrie’s Levi’s many years ago and is on many of their recordings. Unfortunately, he is no longer well enough to play drums but I know he and Helen enjoyed the show immensely and it was wonderful that they could attend.

Another strikingly beautiful lady I met was Judy Harris (the late Tweed Harris' wife: The Groove, The Clefs) We didn’t get to spend very much time chatting but I look forward to getting to know Judy a little better some time in the future. It was good to see Barrie enjoying his time with her, no doubt reminiscing on old times.

A real highlight for me was meeting the late Billy Thorpe’s wife, Lynn. What a talented lady!
I wish her all the luck in the world with the sale of her fabulous book of photos and text about Billy’s extraordinary life. It’s a real accomplishment and she’s done a magnificent job of compiling this work.

I can’t believe how fast this week has flown! I must admit friends; it was difficult to get excited about returning to school on Monday morning after such a top time in Melbourne!
After all, the school drama hall doesn’t quite compare to The Palms Room at Crown Casino!
However, never a dull moment with school music and choir performances to organize and prepare
for now. I’m also lucky to have some exciting and promising young talent to work with which makes it a pleasure to tutor and mentor these youngsters.

I’ll hand you back to the ‘Bear’ now or he’ll be left with nothing to say! I’m sure he’ll manage a word or two!
Before I go:– a big ‘thanks’ to Gil, Ted, Adele and the team at Aztec Music for the opportunity to be part of this wonderful Rock of Ages 3 event. Also, I’m appreciative of the good work done by the stage management staff and sound technicians there in the Palms Room. Their work brought out the best in all the performers I reckon and contributed to an excellent night’s entertainment. Much love to all you legendary musicians. I look forward to seeing you all again – hopefully in the not too distant future.
Keep on keeping on and keep making your wonderful music! Cheers, Jan.

It was also good to meet Ian McFarlane at last.

I must say that Jan not only looked great in her fancy stage gear, she also brained them in her feature cameo spot. I could not have been more proud of her. I have never presented my Empty Monkey album live, feeling that it would not work without the original players and asking players to copy other players was not in my vocabulary. However Gil Matthews, the last drummer of The Clefs and the first of the Levi Smith’s Clefs and owner of Aztec Music suggested we play some tracks off Empty Monkey. After two rehearsals I was starting to relax, 40 years later there was only one note that bothered me, I could hit it but it made the breathing tight so I changed the melody to make things more comfortable as I always do. The souls blended, the magic hit, and off we went to muso's paradise, ears wide open and eyes smiling brightly. In this musical mesmeric state of being, Nirvana! Did I have a top time? You bet!

Cheers, Barrie (The Bear)

 

Well here's a surprise that just changed my life.

Jan & I were invited to the 2010 Legends of Aussie Rock Gala Concert & dinner to be held at the Adelaide Entertaiment Centre on Friday the 23rd of July 2010.

 

 

Before the night was over I had been presented with the inaugural

Living Legends Trophy, which certainly changed the colour of my night.

 

 

I ended the show singing with Jon English conducting the Australian Youth Choir and Fiona Boyes, singing (Jon's choice),

 

 

"You Cant Always Get What You Want"

"But you always get what you need"

 

thanks

Tim Kowalick & Team at tk events and touring.

 

 

Tarrin, Jan & Barrie

 

For photos of the night (posted 5th August 2010) please link to:

2010 Legends of Aussie Rock

 

Everyone close to me kept it a secret for 3 months, must have nearly killed them.

I wondered why my phone had gone a little quiet.

The photos of my shock and surprise looks on my face say it all.

(An award for What? Why? from Who?), * a nip of brandy please*


Jan has created a niche in the spruikers market and has been hired to spruik for many varied business houses here in Adelaide; She has also been the voice for the S.A. Education Department's "Learning Centre" for the last 5 years at the Royal Adelaide Show. Jan has developed a large clientele in the Community Clubs & Retirement homes with her singalong and concert shows.

If I'm offered a respectable budget I make a few phone calls and form a band, always a good time had by all. We've played two Drifters Reunions, The Princeton Club Reunion, two Leafy Sea Dragon Festivals, David Day's S.A. Hall of Fame benefit, S.A. Folk Club Festival, Two Levi Smith's Clefs Reunions in Melbourne, two S.A. Music History Hunters fund raisers, (an organization which I founded) and many local venues, Clubs, Pubs, Telephone Box openings... etc....

I personally have become a computer nerd and can now burn and package CDs. I can also take music off tapes and vinyl records and convert them onto my hard drive, edit and burn onto CDs. The next task is to hook up a video recorder and be able to convert tracks to burn DVDs. I now have a six channel Beringer mixing desk and Alesis mini verb hooked into my computer and can record directly on to a Cakewalk program (240 tracks), which allows us to record at home when ever the mood strikes. We have produced and sold jingles, what a pleasure to be able to do this from home. I have been employed to do voice overs for agencies here in Adelaide, this keeps me on my toes, it's a great challenge to be able to create a hit advertisement and one has 27 seconds of time.

I have also created our own website and have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge. There are still a few things to get together but I suppose a website is a never ending project. There are plenty of samples of our songs and jingles and our musical history is straight from the horse’s mouth. We hope to sell a few CDs on the way. I am at the moment learning to take our site up and down and learning the Dream Weaver program with the help of Tim Kowalick (tk events & touring), thanks Tim.

 

Well that’s the story till now, stay healthy and we hope to see you all some where in the future. Keep the force alive. Don't worry be happy.

Our finest regards,

Cheers,

Barrie & Jan.