The Local Rag


phone 02 4784 1950 Fax 02 4784 1335 Mobile 0407 891 466

Vol 7 no 2 Apr/May/June1999


April 1999


4000 Not Out!!!!


My Opening concert at the National Folk Festival in Canberra on April 2nd ,1999, this year may well be memorable for many reasons; but for me it will go down as the day I hit 4000, not out (to use a cricket metaphor)

It will be my 4000th professional concert. In an incredible but fitting coincidence it will also be my 47th birthday. To put this in some perspective it means that I have averaged 178 concerts a year (or 3.5 shows a week) every week non-stop without a holiday for nearly twenty three years.

I began my professional career in 1976. I have been lucky enough to have managed to survive, support my wife, raise and educate my children and buy my house; whilst travelling over most of Australia as well as bits of New Zealand and Japan...without ever having had a 'real' job.....or the benefit of any kind of government grant, Arts Council assistance, multinational endorsement or social welfare handout.

In the Australian live music scene, which has, since the mid eighties, been dominated by 'tribute' copy bands, it has also been amazing that I have for the majority of those years now made my living as a performer of original work, most of it written by myself or my brother, Geoff. This has been an wonderful privilege; one which I have never, and will never, take for granted and for which I am deeply endebted to, you, the fans.

Although I have never been given much in the way of media support, I have nonetheless sold tens of thousands of LPs, CDs and tapes and my following has grown year by year into one of the most successful and long lived direct-marketing operations in Australian music. The last of my eight CDs 'Through the Cracks' recouped it's full cost in twelve weeks while the album, 'Laughter Like a Shield' received 4 Final Nominations in The Australasian Golden Guitar Awards including 'Best Song' and 'Album Of The Year' against all the 'big budget' entries of the major labels.

There have also been some very special memories for me. I think especially of emotional public response at the demise of my 11 year residency at The Rest Hotel in Sydney in 1988 which was, at the time, unprecedented.

Except for a successful five year association with Tim and Maree Kirkland-Morris from Peak Promotions and a pivotal initial period with Robert Wood, I have never had a manager or an exclusive agent and the overwhelming majority of my gigs were organised by direct negotiation between myself and individual venue managers.

The astonishing full list of those gigs ( Think before you hit this takes ages to download!!!!) is now here on the Website.They have included everything from small bars and pubs in the seventies and early eighties, through to the concert and festival stages in last ten years; and they occurred everywhere from the vast expanses of the Simpson Desert and the wilds of North-Western Australia to the Concert stages of Victorian Arts Centre and The Opera House. On the way, I have played to audiences of 250,000 at the Sydney Domain and to audiences of 15 or so in small rural Community Halls in outback Australia .....and everything in between.

Most of these gigs were three hours in length. Most of them were performed solo. For a great many of them I drove a truck or van for six or seven hours before the event, traversing the enormous distances that Australia routinely demands and, in the course of which, I wore out 6 Ford vans, a Ford TC Cortina and a Hillman Minx.

Without minimising in the slightest the fabulous assistance that my various crews have given me over the years it should be said that very often, when they were not available or when I was travelling alone, these gigs also involved setting up and dismantling the lights and a full concert PA unassisted; something some people seem to think I should find demeaning, but of which, on the contrary, I am proud. Because in my experience, it has been one of the great strengths of the Australian music industry that where a job needs doing; people leap in..... whether it 's their designated area of responsibility or not. Most Australian musicians and sound crews will 'have a go' at anything when it's necessary and that's been a trait that has made our film and sound crews sought after all over the world.

And, to tell the truth, it's always necessary. The mastery of these simple and often tedious tasks is what makes it possible for independents such as myself to survive; so I take a deal in satisfaction in the fact that I do them and try to do them well. On even an average working day I spend about three hours driving, three hours assembling and packing P.A equipment and about three hours playing. On 'deep outback' road tours the driving component is much higher...and then there is the story gathering and the songwriting which is the whole point of the exercise in the first place.




All of this means that I have had to learn to pack a truck properly, repair a PA., program a light desk, recone a horn, patch a radiator and restring a guitar in front of a crowd while keeping people entertained. I have had to be able to pitch camp in a National park after dark, to maintenance a Web site, to run an interview, to prepare the graphics for a CD booklet and to oversee all the mastering and manufacturing processes in the production of an album. I have had to be able play guitar, write songs, read charts, and program midi files. I have had to be capable of compiling festival submissions, folding newsletters, stuffing envelopes, organisimg finance, scrutinising contracts and typing endless promos and press releases.

In short, I 've had to master that myriad number of mundane tasks that I, and those of my contemporaries who have actually survived in The Australian Music Industry over the last twenty three years, needed to master in order to live out our lives as independent Artists.

It has been tough from time to time but I wouldn't have missed it...not for quids! Because along the way I have made so very many friends.

To all of those who ever came to my gigs, bought albums or played them on air, to those who ever recommended me to a mate, booked my shows, shared a house with me or bought me a drink (and carried me out to the car later); to all who built my guitars, serviced my gear and maintained my vehicles, to those who have collectively made the last twenty three years possible; I want to take this opportunity of thanking you for the incredible experience it has been just to have been me.

On behalf of my wife, Carol, myself and the other members of my very large extended family, I especially and publicly want to thank the following people who have been particularly important to us on the journey.

For The Music we shared together: my brothers Ron, Steve, Danny and Geoff, my sons Peter and Matthew, and my daughter Meghan. Glen Barwick, Michael Smith, Dave Scotland, Aldo Civitico, Chris Phantom, George Faithful, Andrew Clermont, Marcus Holden, Chris Soulos, Jim Conway, Allan Caswell, Grant Luhrs, Ralph McTell, Ted Egan, The Wongawilli Bush Band, The Bushwackers, Redgum, The Dead Ringer Band, Malcolm McCallum, Trevor Knight, Karen Lynne Frencham and Jeanette Wormald.

For the professional support; Robert Wood, Tim and Maree Kirkland-Morris, Narrel Brown, Warren Fahey, Ian Maher, Phil Haldeman, Ian Macnamara, Nick Erby, Richard Porteus, Barbara Morrison, Martin Cass, Nash Chambers, Bruce Brown, Brian De Gruchy, Brian and Mary O'Connell, John Hamilton, Alison Tanner, Wayne Ehsmann, Denise McCumstie, Rod from Journey's End; Tony Brown, Nigel Stiff and The Reynolds Family from the Rest Hotel; John Hunter, John Roberts and Staff at Dr. Redbirds Medicinal Inn, Doug at The Vicar Of Wakefield, Terry at The Wiseman's Ferry Inn, Ross and Jamie at The Jamberoo Hotel, Paul and Ron Mack at The Mt Kembla Pub, Peter Scott, Andrew Grahame and The Dubbo South Rotary Club; Len and Joanne Knight, Tony and Vicky Page from the Galston CM Festival, Steve Ahern at AMT; Gerard Andrews at Sony (CBS) Custom; Vince, Ross, Jess and Mark at Lombardo Music Stores; Norm Lurie and all at Music Sales International; Andrew at Technoserv; Ian at Ramtech;The Sales and Service staff of SInclair Ford, Katoomba (particularly David) and all the new team at Penrith. To all at Extradigital and Electric Art; to Ian, Brian and Michael at Electro Voice, Australia ....and the staff of The National Australia Bank at Lidcombe and Katoomba.

Last, but never least, I would also like to thank the various crew members over the years, Wayne, Ron, Paul, 'Brooksey', Malcolm, Jane, Chris, Robert, Warren, Darren, Kylie, Rod, Ian, Fiona, Mouse and Woody who, as friends, employees and travelling companions gave more than I could ever have wished for.


The Road goes ever on


Pat Drummond


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Album Order Form



Cut & Paste; then fax to 02 4784 1335 (61 2 4784 1335 for Overseas callers) or use email facility below.

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"Through The Cracks- Live at The Clarendon" @ $30.00 

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"Laughter Like a Shield"@ $30.00 

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Also available again the 7 track compilation 

CD "Canowindra Means Home" 

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Also available with Jeanette Wormald

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