I still see a band now and then and a few times a year I may get to a music festival. I still have a big soft spot for those bands I first heard in my teens and a lot of the background noise to my childhood was the music played at my parents' parties and barbeques. Some of Mum and Dad's favourites were Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles. Then my older siblings brought in Captain Matchbox Band, Daddy Cool, ZZ Top, Rolling Stones and Creedance Clearwater.
It seemed all of my parents' friends were up for a party most weekends (especially in Summer) and Mum would rustle up a bit of lettuce and tomato or a giant potato and egg salad with a side of canned beetroot and corn on the cob. Dad would char some tiny, thin steaks and sausages on the big, metal plate he had suspended on bricks over a fire, which was his version of the barbie.
There was always loud music, lots of canned beer and cask wine, laughter, dancing and someone with a guitar. Dad would sometimes play the bongos, spoons or the tea-chest-base (which of course he made himself) and occasionally perform one of his party tricks (my favourite was when he would suspend himself in a perfect horizontal line from the clothes line pole, sometimes in his red striped pyjamas - I don't know why - but I was impressed by how strong his arms were).
(this is how I ended up on the Hills Hoist most times)
When I finally got to escape the backyard BBQ (which were actually always good fun with Mum and Dad for entertainment), I discovered live bands (professional ones). My first concert was Midnight Oil on Wanda Beach where even after convincing two of my friends to go with me, they chickened out and I ended up in front of the stage with Peter Garrett's head sweat raining down on me (along with a torrential downpour).
Two of the earliest, and favourite bands were the Radiators and The Sunnyboys. I must have seen the Radiators about ten times over the years and, unfortunately, only saw The Sunnyboys a few times. The first time was at Caringbah Inn with my sister where, once again, I wiggled my way up the front to look at them up close. Not quite a groupie, but I was transfixed.
Zoom forward about 30 years and I was transfixed again watching the ABC special "The Sunnyboy". It was about the life of Jeremy Oxley and his battle with mental illness. Absolutely brilliant film and even if you're not a fan of The Sunnyboys, I recommend you watch it. Jeremy is an interesting man and, in the end, a Happy Man.
*Joining with Essentially Jess*