With Lee Simon and John Paul Young

BY SIMON SMITH

Satin, tartan and blue denim returned to the big screen when the NFSA presented a curated program of rarely seen 1970s Australian music television moments at the 2018 St Kilda Film Festival. 

Following the screening of our program, Right There On My TV, special guests Lee Simon and John Paul Young entertained the audience with stories from the era.

Unseen since the 1970s

The event opened with Soundcheck, a never-before-seen 30-minute TV pilot made at GTV 9 Melbourne in 1977. Hosted by 3XY DJ Greg Evans, panellists Frankie J Holden, Debbie Byrne, Keith Lamb and Stan ‘The Man’ Rofe reviewed the latest 45s, including new discs by Air Supply, John St Peeters and Marcia Hines. We also inserted music-related advertisements from the 70s into the vacant commercial breaks giving the pilot episode its premiere public screening, 41 years after it was recorded!

Collage of 4 TV hosts including Lee Simon, Donnie Sutherland, Ian Macrae and Daryl Summers.

1970s TV music hosts featured in Right There On My TV: (clockwise from top left) Lee Simon, Nightmoves, Donnie Sutherland, Sound Unlimited, Ian Macrae, Thank God It’s Friday at the Zoo and Daryl Somers, Bandstand ’76.

The NFSA compilation that followed, Right There On My TV, featured excerpts from music TV shows from the commercial networks including Nightmoves (7), Sound Unlimited (7, later Sounds), Bandstand ’76 (9) and Thank God It’s Friday At The Zoo (10) plus clips from forgotten variety shows, telethons, news reports and live concert specials.

Some had only been seen by local audiences in Adelaide, Canberra and Perth. AC/DC, Renee Geyer, Sherbet, Stevie Wright and John Paul Young were some of the artists featured in rarely-seen TV studio performances.

Also included was a selection of 1970s colour promotional music film clips, digitally scanned from surviving 16mm film components. Among these was Chris Löfven’s clip for ‘Walking In The Rain’, a 1978 Aussie Top 10 hit for vocal powerhouse sister act, Cheetah.

Close up of two women singing.

Cheetah singing 'Walking in the Rain' (frame capture), 1978. NFSA title: 45766.

The rarely glimpsed 1976 Hush promo clip for one of the band’s hardest rocking 45s, ‘Too Young To Know’, was recently digitised from a surviving film workprint, complete with rough edits and chinagraph markings.

We also showed a lost clip for ‘Things We Did Last Night’, found in a film can simply marked ‘Marty Rhone’, which became the singer’s follow-up to his No. 2 smash hit from 1976, ‘Denim and Lace’; and Peter Lamb’s 1977 clip for Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons ‘(I’m In A) Dancing Mood’, the only single extracted from the band’s second album, Whip It Out.

Lee Simon and John Paul Young interviewed

Following the screening, Lee Simon, the host of Nightmoves, and singer John Paul Young reflected on their experiences of the Australian music scene during the 1970s.

Lee Simon discussed the flexibility Nightmoves had over other music television programs and some of the overseas acts the program helped to break locally:

John Paul Young recalled how he got his first break and the role of the Harry Vanda–George Young production team in his career:

 

Right There On My TV will have its Canberra premiere at Arc cinema at the NFSA in September 2018.

With special thanks to Paul Harris, St Kilda Film Festival. Thanks also to Les Gock, Jeff Joseph, FremantleMedia Australia, Milton Hammon, Hammard TV Productions,  Peter Lamb, Chris Löfven, Andrew McVitty, the Mushroom Group, Network Ten, Nine Network, Marty Rhone, Seven Network, Lee Simon and John Paul Young OAM.

If you hold any rare 1970s music television footage, we’d love to hear from you. Please email collection [at] nfsa.gov.au