music for life...
Welcome to FMR, a place to source LIMITED EDITION VINYL of bands and people I think are very worthy of being spoilt ! The Press runs on these will be small & the DIY factor will be large ! There is also a lot of extra reading/articles/photo's etc..within this site if you feel like spending some time to dig in & enjoy some (mainly) AUSTRALIAN UNDERGROUND MUSIC HISTORY with some of these pages previously housed on the Buttercup Records site. Some of the releases coming up were originally slated for BCR but will now appear here. Buttercup is on the go with John at the helm & shall add to it's already impressive discography.There will also be some mid year collaborations where BCR does a killer LP and FMR tackles a 7" so watch for some of these soon...On the 'About' page I've tried to give a bit of a rundown on how I have ended up here doing what I do and also have tackled a list of my Favourite Songs of all time... which has been no small undertaking and is still a work in progress but you'll get the general idea..It's divided up between Aussie and Overseas and also has a few Video /Audio clips to accomodate it. If only ONE person discovers a song/band/person that they previously hadn't heard and they seek it out to become a fresh fave then it has been totally worthwhile. I trawled my Records/CD's/Cassettes/Pea Brain and had fun making this list I must say. Thanks to you for having a squiz and here's hoping you enjoy picking up some of the records that shall see the light of day via F M R, whether that be a record of a new band currently playing out and about or some ARCHIVAL project where a band /person's songs get put out there & their story told...It's all music & holds strong interest to me & here's hoping that it also perks your interest too.
If you are here right now then I guess it has !
Fantastic Mess ? It's from a lyric from one of my fave UK singer/songwriters (Roy Harper) Scotti Early May 2019.
* FMR Logo's /Original Artwork Hand drawn by Brill Brisbane Artist FAT ANKLE. His Art is available for sale online now
* For more great Australian Underground Music /Culture information, check out the deep archive of www.punkjourney.com sometime, as it is loaded with information, images, videos, flipbook fanzines from the past and more and, just like this website..is an ongoing,organic & ever changing labour of love.
Below : CREEM magazine / Concert Tickets 1980-1984/ Missing Link Records -405 Bourke Street
Photo Left : Myself and longtime Punk buddy IAN - Mooroolbark 1983
Music has always been a major part of my life, with my Mother’s history with singing ( See the articles pages for the full story and photos) and 7” and LP records always being a constant through the decade of the 1970’s. Creedence singles, Oz 60’s records, Magazines, Radio, Television, Fan Clubs & letter writing,and live outings… always something going on.
In or around 1974 /1975 I ( along with my Sis who was big into Oz Rock ) saw AC / DC at Ringwood Eastland Shopping Centre in the afternoon.. I remember vividly how loud it was and as a 7-8 year old peering over the glass ramps looking down to the stage how exciting it was, watching Bon Scott own the stage and look up to our area at times with people losing their shit !
Ol’55 ( on the back of a truck ) and Cash Backman around this time was also influential for both their differing genres and the fact that I knew seeing music Live was something here to stay. In 1976 I won a Kiss competition on the ABC show Flashez hosted by pop idol Ray Burgess and trippy co-host Mike Meade ( who ended up releasing a cult solo record in a crazy small edition ). One of the records I won was the V/A comp the ‘Casablanca Files’ where I should of set my sights on things like the Parliament tracks over the Kiss cuts I already knew but so it goes… The Music shows at the time had a huge impact on my music obsessions with Countdown, Sounds /Sounds Unlimited , Nightmoves, Rock Arena, Wrok all blazing a trail through the mid to late 70’s and into the 80’s before Beatbox, Rage, The Factory etc..took the torch and ran with it.
I was buying Rock Scene, Creem , Rocket, Spunky, and other magazines in 1976, 1977, 1978 etc.. and obsessing first over all the Kiss coverage ( I was in deep writing letters to America and purchasing T-Shirts from the USA, which was no easy feat back then). Amongst those great American Rock mags were photos of Blondie, Richard Hell, The Dead Boys ( I recall looking at one of the members in the band (Cheetah Chrome i think) wearing a chicken wire t-shirt and thinking how crazy that was). It was also pretty raunchy, showing David Bowie Pubic Hair, topless pics of Grace Slick and even full frontal un-circumsized todger pics of Dr Hook ( on the ‘Boy Howdy’ Beer pages ). Some real eye opening stuff (along with that which one can never ;'Un-See'), and easy to soak up, along with some of the ‘under the counter’ reads that I was exposed to, like the Newspaper style Hardcore Porn mag Ribald which just added to the array of culture, humanity & retina rockin’ that was out and about in the mid to late 70’s.
Stood in line for hours at VFL Park in 1980 to see KISS and soaked up all the atmosphere on the day with impersonators, people’s T-Shirts, the sound and spectacle ( still have some Grass in a jar) Got to see The Human League at the Palais in 1982 (my memory is not clear on that one dammit), David Bowie in 1983 ( Serious Moonlight Tour ), Countdown Award nights and more ! Also in the early 80’s I start to explore more indepthly the other worlds of some of those images and names that had appeared in those mags. My father had committed suicide, my stepfather stream were uninspiring losers whose DNA was awash with all the shitty parts of being an Australian Male and I was really starting to ramp up on Anger … all stepping stones for an early teen. Kiss were still there but the bratty stuff I was seeing on TV shone more brightly as did finding 3RRR-FM on the dial in 1982 and immersing myself in the Dead Kennedys in 1983. The outer east where I was from was also lucky to be home to some great local Punk bands…so through my buddy at Skool Ian we started throwing ourselves in deep. I would watch rehearsals under his house by Society’s Victim and Mad Flowers and see their grafitti as I walked the streets. Those bands would later morph of course into Civil Dissident and become lifelong friends and heavy inspiration to directions later taken. Skate bowls were a good hang, BMX mastery became important as did the discovery of some of Melbourne’s great Independent record stores such as Missing Link Records (Pre 262 Flinders Lane with a dude making Studded belts out the back)), Greville Records, Leedin Records (good for import bondage trousers and all sorts of fun punkery ), the early Hip Hop Store which was located under the waterfall in the city square & all the Second Hand shops that were on offer. I was still also invested in top 40 singles and 12”s (Stray Cats to Dead or Alive, The Clash to the Eurogliders) so the desire to buy and discover was wide reaching and diverse.
I won another mail comp around this time on EON-FM where they wanted letters sent in of your fave three songs of all time ( I posted 100 letters with three different songs on each ) Cut to 1984/1985 and I’m into a watershed dual year where I take on a Film Making and Drama course and meet (again) a swag of people who are still heavily in my life 30+ years on which speaks volumes about their integrity as people. Punk gigs left right and off centre, hanging in St.Kilda a lot, getting cars, soaking up fanzines, records, demo tapes, taking photos, and going to as many parties as you could squeeze in along with having all day and nite hangs at friends houses ( who you hoped had gotten rid of their parents for a few days). I’m writing letters like a mad man by this point, all across Australia and all Overseas across the next bunch of years when I start my own Fanzine & extend the families involvement with DIY printing ( The family had a printing biz in Ringwood and would print a lot of the Prog Era posters for Mushroom Records etc..), with my Uncle also heavily into design and hanging with that initial crowd. He gave me the Brian Eno ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ LP which could of led to a diverted world of Experimental and Avant Garde sights and sounds but I was determined to stay the course of Punk and all it’s offerings and pretty stoked on my choices as still discovering new and old music within the genre to this very day and always knew it was to be a lifestyle and lifetime on the invest…
Letters came back from Civil Dissident and pick ups and drop offs were arranged to see them in the city with cool ties to my Mum forged at the same time with the band members (It sure helps to have a supportive family behind your choices). Fanzine assembly, networking, meeting Interstate pen pals, travelling to Sydney and Adelaide to see bands, buying a printing machine, house sharing, all brilliant activity and fitting in as much to your youth as you could ( without realising that this is what you were doing ). Late 80’s and it’s working in a film studio ( editing, helping with commercials and band clips, gear hire and cleaning up the theatrette after the Dogs in Space bunch had been in to watch their daily rushes,& with parts of the Azaria Chamberlain film 'Evil Angels' also filmed here) and then into the world of Au-Go-Go Records for the next 14 years with a week off after leaving and across to Missing Link Records for the following 9 so twenty plus years of deep deep music excitement, discovery, creativity and lifelong inspiration. The tens of thousands of people you meet along the way within a world like that shapes who you are and so many of these people are still in my life today which is simply golden.
Learning so much about music from like minded record store owners, employees and customers has been incredible and also super rewarding to pay experiences forward by replicating what was generously handed to me… whether that be taking someone just getting into that world to their first show, turning them onto records that would be life changing, encouraging them in their DIY endeavours via letter writing across Australia and Overseas and more. So many people from this time I still see now at gigs in small pubs and venues that hold 1-300 people and for them, just like me they’d locked in their subculture for life and there was no desire to turn back or switch across to attending Dance Raves every weekend…. they knew what they liked and they loved what they lived. With such a wide array of humanity on display via the outreaching tentacles connected to Independent Record Store hubs one got to see and experience a piece of everything ( this will be explored more indepthly on the rec store pages on this site over time ) so you saw great bands in their embryonic forms, you were listening intently to walking encyclopedia’s of music, people became your lovers, your haters, your weekly pests…teenagers always found the shops & their Mother’s would thank you for being kind to their child via the lifeblood of Mailorder
(especially if from a isolated town or city ) and you would see them later became adults and have children themselves ( no doubt instilling that cool DIY cycle of thought, action and creativity ) and on it went… round and round, amazing record by amazing record, wild tour by wild tour, inspiring person by inspiring person….
All this activity that I’ve been involved with from a record label perspective ( Death Valley / Afterburn / Buttercup Records and Fantastic Mess Records ) all stems back to the days spent within the walls and out and about immersed in the experiences of those two Record Stores, both of which had deep label history and led to fresh involvement with both stores labels up to their Discography ends so life changing without a doubt and it’s all that which has set me in good stead for what is happening now as all that information that becomes like a whirlpool in your head is still equally as exciting to me now as it was then and as we know, there are still hundreds of stories within the beating heart of Australian Underground Music that are yet to be told so once you are hooked you stay hooked and I would not have it any other way :-)
So what you see here is then a celebration and a visual /audio documentation of a lifetime of Music Nerdism on display for all to see and proud in it’s execution and delivery. As myself and John have found across the past bunch of years doing BCR there are likeminded people all across the globe who share in your passion and desire for a record and story to be uncovered ( along with hearing a new and fine current band going round) so this is an incredibly rewarding experience as the buyer’s enthusiasm pushes you to dig deeper & the enjoyment they get from a good project is real & becomes something you both share and if you were to find out their own story you would see that many experiences are similar in nature across involvement - discovery - DIY Creativity - Networking - Support - and Lifelong love of music so the reason that YOU are reading this right now means that you fly under some of these very cool flags yourself and that is a beautiful thing and across the coming months I will do my best to tell some of these stories from a customer perspective as experiences will be varied and of interest to us all.
So as we know…. the best KISS solo album is by Ace Frehley, the best Black Flag album is ‘Loose Nut’, the 60’s band LOVE are an incredible revelation of what you can achieve in music, The MONKS are part of my DNA, The VENOM P. STINGER track ‘Walking About’ is my favourite Australian song of all time ( followed by AC/DC’s ‘Little Lover’), I have listened to Minneapolis Hip Hop champ PROF non stop for all of 2019, The formats I play most at home are Vinyl & Cassette, The band I listened to most in 2018 was the Sleaford Mods, the track ‘Future Creme’ by TOTAL CONTROL is I think my third favourite Australian song of all time ( that list gets bigger each week ). The STIFF RICHARDS album 'Dig' is one of the best Aussie Garage Rock'nRoll albums of the past 5 years... If you are driving on a dual carriage highway and stay in the right hand lane for a long period of time you will Cop Abuse from me as It makes me lose my shit, the best Dead Kennedys record is ‘Plastic Surgery Disasters’, Australian 80’s Punk still gives me the same buzz as it did when I first heard it, i find that pretty great !, Late 70’s Australian Punk /New Wave is easy World Class alongside anything deemed classic which came out at the same time around the globe, the best Pinball Machine is Evel Knievel or Strikes & Spares, the trick to keeping Multi-Balls in play is to focus only on the flippers and keep them both humming steady… ignore what is happening higher up on the playing field or all the balls will go down the guts, My first Skateboard was a Blue fibreglass Condor in the mid 70’s then I had a mad Brown fibreglass board with sandpaper and big fat red rear wheels called the ‘Eliminator’, I am a Proof Reading nerd and as a result have typo’s jump out at me all over the joint…in Newspapers, Online, in Retail, and in Liner Notes of Records…(there is a single one on the insert of the 1st label 7") it drives me nuts, & I think my 4th favourite Oz song of all time is ‘Laid Back in Anger’ by Jon English & Trevor White. So that’s a lot of comma’s and a kind of big paragraph, so let’s leave it at that and below you shall see some of the bands and songs that have shaped my life and rule my world day to day. Enjoy having a dig through these pages and I hope some of the records that come out are up your alley and you dig the sounds and the history along with the presentation… Music is the great soother, it can give you the ultimate Rev Up and it can soundtrack your life very very brilliantly, thanks for stopping by and for supporting these records as they drop. Cheers, Scotti FANTASTIC MESS RECORDS May 2019
Below : AC/DC -High Voltage LP/ Black Flag -Loose Nut LP/ The Monks /DK's -Plastic Surgery..LP/ Strikes & Spares Pinball ( 1977)