Welcoming the new music of Mystery Bay article



Welcoming the new Music of Mystery Bay

August 9, 2018

As the sun set on the touring days for indie rock band The Lime Spiders, Richard Lawson dreamt of heading to Tuscany to live as a peasant farmer. Instead he settled in Mudgee in the Central West of New South Wales, which offers a lifestyle closely aligned to the Tuscan experience. There he established one of Australia’s first certified organic olive farms with the Figtree Food Company. He also began taking music students with the Lawson School of Music.

Although the connections to Mudgee have remained strong for 25 years, Richard and his partner Elizabeth are now based at Mystery Bay, where they have planted over 100 fruit and nut trees to continue the Tuscan experience by the seaside. The pair attend weekly growers markets up and down the coast, including SAGE Farmers Markets every Tuesday, Bermagui growers market as well as Tilba markets on Saturday mornings with their hand made produce.

But it’s not just the food that hungers this musical couple. “For me, the full experience of life has always centred around both food and music,” Lawson says. “In many ways it’s exactly what our culture is crying out for – a return to the simple pleasures of life, like good local food, and real music,” Richard said.

Richard and Liz teach a variety of instruments, with Rich focusing on performance and rock music, whereas Liz takes a more formal approach teaching classical guitar, piano and improvisation.

Richard’s experience was gained on the road touring the world as original drummer with the Lime Spiders, whereas Liz has taken the formal approach to studying music at the University of New South Wales and Sydney Conservatorium. Liz has been teaching private piano and guitar groups at many public and private schools in the Central West. “We have students from kindy to HSC and many adult students as well,” Liz says.

The pair bring their musical talents together in their band called “Honey”, symbolizing a substance that is pure and real that makes the world go around. The band plays as a duo at events and night clubs, swelling the ranks with other musicians for a full line up at larger music festivals throughout New South Wales, and featured on ABC radio.

Rich and Liz also run rival drumming groups – with Richard’s snare and Tom Tom based outfit Kings of Congo Congo featured as the headline band for many Mudgee events in recent years, and Liz’s African drumming band Bella Djemballa bringing a different style of groove to street events and festivals too.

Richard is now taking rock guitar, vocals and kit drums, students on the south coast, and Liz is taking classical piano, classical guitar, improvisation and African drumming classes on the coast as well.

When not teaching or playing, they can be found pottering around as they work towards establishing their new food garden at Mystery Bay.


Above: Liz and Tim Holt on @abcsoutheast

Heading North to drum

I’ll be heading North to Townsville Qld on the June long weekend with my old friend Ben Fowler to play drums for Benji and the Saltwater Soundsystem. We have 3 shows at the Palm Creek Music Festival and the friday night is the QLD launch of their new Coming up for water EP. I thought for a bit of a laugh Id put this photo of a facebook conversation between members about volume might explain a few things LOL

Richard Lawson I bet Bean Jamin Chookand Steve Russonello are worried about how loud Im gonna be at Palm Creek Folk Festival June Long Weekend Mick Elderfield ???

Mick Elderfield  I know it will be loud, and I’m not the least bit worried about it 😎

Steve Russanello  hahahaha I am bringing the spaceship and you will need earplugs for my 15 minute feedback solo based on Neil’s Rockin in the Free World…you’re not going to mic the kick are you Richard?

Richard Lawson   dunno…up to the soundies i suppose…jamming with Bean Jamin Chook this weekend at the new Mystery Bay garage studio

Ben Fowler    What??? You’ll have to speak up!

Eno’s 70th birthday

Brian Eno turns 70 today. He is still as relevant today as when he stalked the keyboard in his flamboyant precursor to the glam era in his groundbreaking work with Roxy Music way back in 1971.

He is best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to rockpopelectronic, and generative music. A self-described “non-musician”, Eno has helped to introduce a variety of unique conceptual approaches and recording techniques into contemporary music, advocating a methodology of “theory over practice” throughout his career. He has been described as one of popular music‘s most influential and innovative figures.

4 of his solo albums in the 70’s/ Here come the warm Jets, Taking Tiger mountain by strategy, Another Green World, Before and after science were predominantly Pop/rock albums. These were commercially successful to varying degrees but it is also his work with his ambient/electronic albums which are just as fondly remembered and influential. Its like he was working in 2 streams at the one time.



Eno’s biggest mainstream successes have been as a member of Roxy Music and, more recently, as the producer of U2 and Coldplay, but his most enduring music may well prove to be among his many solo and collaborative recordings. These span glam rock, art rock, avant funk, electronica, ambient, fourth-world and generative music. Eno self-deprecatingly describes them as “little ships floating on a sea of indifference.”

Eno has also produced over 50 albums for other artists, from U2 and Coldplay to Laurie Anderson, Seun Kuti, Devo, Talking heads, Daniel Lanois, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Grace Jones.

His ambience dovetails his pop work but seems to have had its genesis in Ambient 1 Music for airports




Ambient ambient ambuen ambience ambien etc etc etc

The ambient series

The 4 pack of Ambient albums….collect the whole set, swap with your friends, compare ambient notes

There are so many more things to say about him. His restless artist energy, his witticisms and quotes [my favorite being …”the problem with success is its own momentum”]. The Oblique strategies set of playing cards for studio use founded on the i-ching principle [its still functioning on website]

I will have an explosion radio show soon on the best of him but for now there is a fantastic selection of 10 of his best albums/collaborations on the web from an English store called the Vinyl Factory…ranked thus

  1. Here come the warm jets [Island 1974]
  2. Fripp and Eno  No pussyfooting [Island 1973]
  3. Another green world [Island 1975]
  4. Ambient 1 Music for airports [EG 1978]
  5. Brian Eno David Byrne My life in the bush of ghosts [Sire 1981]
  6. Harold Budd Brian Eno [Editions EG, 1984]
  7. Eno Cale  Wrong way up [Land, 1990)
  8. David Byrne Brian Eno Everything That Happens Will Happen Today [Todo Mundo 2008]
  9. Fripp and Eno The equatorial stars (Discipline Global Mobile, 2014)
  10. Eno Hyde High life [Warp, 2014]



[Definition Wiktionary]

A person who makes money by passing the hat (soliciting donations) while entertaining the public (often by playing a musical instrument) on the streets or in other public area such as a park or market.

Wow. I feel bad now soliciting donations. Its a funny thing but I look at people who don’t put money in the hat/ or guitar case/ or whatever I happen to have out and get a bit peed off but then I think about what reaction I would make to a busker.  If they are good I will gladly leave money and if they are good they brighten up the area where they radiate music.

I now officially love busking. It frees you up to play a looser style , experimenting with songs and generally having a chilled out time

I can remember the first time I did it down the South coast of N.S.W. at Milton outside Pilgrims vegetarian cafe. A really cool hang for the hipsters and tourists. It was July school holidays and Lizzie and I had our time off from our students [I had nearly 40 at the time and was finding it exhausting] so what do I do….go and play music. I asked them with much trepidation if I could busk, [the cafe that is] and next thing you know I grab the guitar from the car and off we go.

I made a lot of money that day and noticed a trend for people paying if you played lots of Bee Gees, Simon and Garfunkel and Beatles.

That was back in 2014 and now I think I’ve racked up over 50 busking gigs…with or without Honey. At one stage I was helping raise funds for the Gulgong Folk Festival by busking every Friday morning outside 3 different locations in Mudgee. It was freezing and temperatures were around 3 degrees Celsius which is really hard on your fingers

It is an instant gig and Honey sometimes did Flash mob gigs or Pop up gigs promoted on Facebook but still they are basically busking

I love it and now down the coast I am planning where and when. I would love to busk at least once a week to keep my chops up and earn a little side cash and just get out there, get amongst it and have fun


Live and Local Mudgee / 4 bands in 4 hours !!!

I think I must have set a new record for performances in 1 day. At the Gulgong Folk Festival in 2015 I played in 7 bands over the course of 1 day but this was intense…4 bands in 4 hours. First a background brief on what Council was trying to do on the day

An exciting FREE live music event will transform Mudgee’s retail outlets and eateries into temporary live music venues on Saturday 17 March.
From 4pm to 8pm musicians will perform in unconventional music venues as part of Live and Local on Church Street.
Grant funded through the Live Music Office, the program promotes live music in local communities and creates opportunities for employment and cultural development.
Eight businesses and 17 musicians will participate in this free event to coincide with the Mudgee Food and Drink Trail.

I approached council about the curators job at a few peoples insistence stemming from My festival directorship background but I didn’t get the gig. I did though secure performances for 4 of the acts I perform with including a solo spot

First was my solo spot at Simply Fresh at 4 pm. I had a little cheer squad and all went well…Then onto the Juice bar for Lizzie’s African drumming outfit ‘Bella Djemballa’. They are highly rehearsed and very intricate only playing hand drums , Djembes, Dun duns. It was 32 degrees already and the heat was on….then straight onto ‘Kings of Congo Congo 2 doors down the street at Subway.

It was really hot now and I was feeling it. We were playing in direct sun with the heat from the bitumen shining straight up at us. By now it was about 7.00pm and we had to hightail it down to the Mudgee Brewery for our last performance of the night to a packed house as Honey

What a great initiative and day. The crowds were plentiful and the atmosphere fantastic. I hope they do it next year

A life well lived

Tony Cahill
20-12-41 – 13-8-14

Tony Cahill, who has died in Sydney aged 72, is best known as the drummer in two of Australia’s legendary bands of the 1960s, the Purple Hearts and the Easybeats.

Tony Cahill, musician and former Easybeat.
Tony Cahill, musician and former Easybeat.

When the Purple Hearts broke up in 1967, Tony travelled to England with all his possessions stuffed inside his bass drum. After playing with Georgie Fame for a couple of months, he auditioned to replace Snowy Fleet in the Easybeats. Harry Vanda told me that they chose Cahill because he was the only one with the “chops” to cope with the complex musical territory that the songwriting team of Vanda & Young were venturing into. “We gave him drum beats that no sane man with two arms and two legs could play,” he said.

Because the members of the Purple Heats and the Easybeats were mostly British immigrants, it was widely assumed that Tony Cahill also fitted this description. In fact Tony was born in the Melbourne suburb of South Camberwell. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the Cahill family had played a pioneering role in Queensland and the Northern Territory.


Tony’s early life included a stint entertaining on cruise ships. During the day he played dance music and ran the bingo, then at night he played ’50s rock.

When the Easybeats finished up in 1969, Tony was broke and hooked on heroin. He was so weak and emaciated he couldn’t lift a drumstick. Even so, he was offered the drum seat in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers on the condition that he get straight. So he shut himself away in a room in Ealing and while going through cold turkey withdrawal taught himself to play the bass guitar by listening over and over to a Marvin Gaye record. He never played the drums again.

Instead, he started playing bass with an Australian band based in London called Python Lee Jackson. They had a hit called In a Broken Dream using an unknown and uncredited session singer by the name of Rod Stewart. It peaked at number 3 on the UK charts in 1972, higher than any of the Easybeats singles ever reached.

After this Tony was doing session work in London, Spain and Paris when he got a job working with four upstate New York musicians. They were sailing around the Mediterranean playing weddings when they received the surprising news that a demo they had cut in France had become an international hit. The song was called Dancing in the Moonlight. In their absence the studio had released it as a single and made up the name King Harvest for the band.

On the back of this success Tony found himself in Los Angeles where he lived for virtually the rest of his life.

He studied at UCLA and worked as a session musician. Some of the people he played with included Ray Charles, Ike Turner, the O’Jays, Martha Reeves and Donna Summer. In the late ’80s, with the coming of the digital age, his lucrative session work began to wane. Studios weren’t using bass players or drummers any more.

So Tony started his own record label recording blues and world music from Cuba, the Caribbean and Africa. These bands were not commercially viable nor was there anywhere for them to play. Needing a place to showcase these acts, he opened an eclectic club downtown called the Flaming Colossus which became a huge success… until it burnt down.


A few things people would not know about Tony’s career include him playing with Screaming Lord Sutch on a cruise ship, surfing with legendary Australian surfer Michael Peterson and jamming with Jimi Hendrix at the Speakeasy club in London. He was married to singer/songwriter Sharon Robinson. When the Easybeats were inducted into the ARIA hall of fame his name wasn’t even mentioned.

When I tracked Tony down a few years ago, I found him living on a boat at the famous Venice Beach in LA. He was living out his passion for the ocean by surfing, delivering new boats to millionaires, coast-guarding and organising events. On the day of our interview he had taken a group of young offenders out of juvenile detention, to give them the experience of a day out on the ocean away from their troubled lives.

In 2013 Tony had a brain tumour removed, but the cancer returned this year. After living in LA for 40 years, he was keen to come home to the country of his birth and he passed away at the Sydney home of his cousin. He is survived by his sister Robyn.

John Tait is the Easybeats’ biographer.

Crowd surfing and stage diving


Long before the word was invented, public stagediving took place during the first Dutch concert by The Rolling Stones at the Kurhaus of Scheveningen on August 8, 1964. There had been riots with such acts as Elvis Presley, PJ Proby and of course Beatlemania and Easyfever. What sets this apart is the band members are now joining in. There is footage of the Pretty Things actively causing a riot in you guessed it the Netherlands not long after the Rolling Stones incident

Many musicians have made stage diving a part of their stage act. Jim Morrison was an early performer known for having jumped into the crowd at several concerts. Iggy Pop is often credited with popularizing stage diving in popular rock music. Initially seen as confrontational and extreme, stage diving has become common at hardcore punk and thrash metal performances.


Iggy Pop may have invented crowd surfing at 1970’s Cincinnati Summer Pop Festival (Midsummer Rock Festival). Bruce Springsteen appears in the first documented video of crowd surfing in his 1980 Rock concert at Arizona State University, in Tempe, Arizona during his live performance of “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”. In early 1980 Peter Gabriel was reported to have crowd surfed during performances of ‘ Games Without Frontiers’ by falling into his audience “crucifix style” and then being passed around.[2] [3] During a later tour in 1982 Gabriel also crowd surfed during performances of ‘Lay Your Hands on Me‘. The rear sleeve of his 1983 album Plays Live,recorded in during Gabriel’s 1982 tour, features a photograph of him crowd surfing, although the image has been rotated 90 degrees so Gabriel appears to be standing.

“Iggy Pop had jumped into an audience prior to me,” Gabriel explained to Mark Blake, “but he hadn’t done that thing of lying on the hands and being carried around by the audience. I had the idea from a game you did with a therapy group where you had to fall backwards. and trust the person behind to catch you. I was always interested in closing the gap between the performer and the audience. At an open-air show in Chicago I was passed around and returned to the stage minus every piece of clothing except my underpants. There was an edge to doing it and part of you was praying you’d get back to the stage in one piece.”

The first official video release to depict Gabriel crowd surfing was POV, a concert video released in 1990 and produced by Martin ScorseseWhen Billy Joel crowdsurfed in a concert during his 1987 concert tour of the Soviet Union, bandmate Kevin Dukes described it as the “Peter Gabriel flop”.[7]

Jim Morrison famously would jump into the crowd and writhe onstage when he went into one of his shamanistic trances. There is very funny video footage of an escorting police officer onstage wondering what the hell was going on whilst watching Jim writhing in seeming agony at his feet. There is also the infamous Miami University gig when he joined the audience for a dance around the auditorium before allegedly flashing his penis onstage. Here is the original Rolling Stone account of the incident



“While Collier was rapping, Morrison was in action, pushing people around the stage, bellowing, and acting as if he were masturbating, Collier recounts; but Collier did not see Morrison liberate his penis, he stresses. Other observers told Collier that Morrison had exposed himself, but Collier himself missed it. Between shoving matches, Morrison would grab the mike and shout out more about revolution. But the rest of the band, organist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Rob Krieger and drummer John Densmore, were playing at such ear-bending volume and intensity that little could be heard of the rap.There was some more tug-of-war with the microphone, then Morrison went one way, shoving more people around, and Collier went the other, ripping out amplifier cords (“the lead guitar was mesmerizing the audience”) and kicking in drumheads to silence the music. Morrison managed to push Collier’s brother off the stage into the audience, according to Collier. Then the vinyltrousered singer made the mistake of hitting on a colleague of Collier’s named Larry Pizzi who holds a black belt in karate. As soon as Pizzi felt the rock-singer grab at him from behind, he grabbed Morrison by the arms and flipped him head over heels in a perfect are off the front edge of the stage into the audience, who scrambled out of the path of the falling star.”

Some stage diving and crowd surfing went awry. Kurt Cobain would often not end up in the crowd but on Dave Grohls drums. I personally ended up in hospital in 1991 in Brisbane when the crowd didn’t catch me and I ended up almost breaking my collarbone. Jimmy Barnes broke his front teeth at Newcastle Workers when the crowd parted just before he landed. The front cover of the Lime Spiders Live at the Esplanade 2007 release features a stage diver at the the Espy

There have been serious injuries and death as well and it is a touchy subject with a lot of authorities. Personally in the Lime Spiders we saw some horrendously stupid stage diving. Laughable but terrifying at the same time

On 20 August 2010, Charles Haddon, the lead singer of English synthpop band Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, died after a performance at Pukkelpop, Belgium. He committed suicide by jumping from a telecommunications mast in the backstage artists’ parking area. Haddon was reported to have been distressed after he feared he had seriously injured a young girl earlier after a stagedive.

In 2012, singer Randy Blythe of American heavy metal band Lamb of God was indicted on (and later acquitted of) charges of manslaughter relating to the death of a fan in the Czech Republic after the fan was injured after being pushed off the stage.

In February 2014, federal judge Jan E. DuBois ruled that Fishbone had to pay $1.4 million to a woman who broke her skull and collarbone during a 2010 concert in Philadelphia when Angelo Moore stage-dove and landed on top of her.

Another fatal stage diving incident occurred in May 2014 in New York City during a performance of the metalcore band Miss May I. Although the fan was able to walk away after falling from the stage, the concert was cut short after he fainted. He later died in the hospital