the Zorros. melbourne music

Mister Crisis do you have any fun stories for our audience, long pause….well ummmmh, takes deep breath “here goes,0000tooOLD

 first “One for the Road” after a long 1000 yard stare, yeah for those that need an explanation none is possible, for those that know no explanation is necessary. I am thinking of non compus bentus or Memories From a Blackout, thank you Mister Crisis, footsteps retreat down the hallway, door slams…music starts.

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Nic lead singer Ackland St St Kilda 2016.

This is my night, this is my life. Zorros an Australian rock band, popular in the Melbourne music scene of the early 1980s, playing 500 gigs at venues such as the

Crystal Ballroom, St Kilda.
Paradise Lounge, St Kilda.
Exford Hotel, Melbourne City.
Sydenham Hotel, Richmond.
Pier Hotel, Frankston.
Sorrento Hotel, Sorrento.
Piccadilly Hotel, Kings Cross.
Le Tote, Fitzroy.
Royal Derby Hotel, Nth Fitzroy.
Katunga RSL, Katunga.
Wilderness Hotel, Numurkah.
Macy’s South Yarra.
Prince of Wales, St Kilda.
Duke of Edinburgh, St Kilda.
Roxy, South Melbourne.
Hunt Club Hotel, Merrijig Victoria.
475 Club Spencer St, Melbourne.
Tiger Lounge, St Kilda.
Bombay Rock, Phoenix St Brunswick.
The Champion Hotel, Fitzroy.
Barleycorn Hotel, Collingwood.
The Club, Smith Street Collingwood.
Hearts Polaris Inn Hotel, Nicholson St Carlton.
Marquee The Stockade, Nicholson St Carlton.
Corner Hotel, Prahran.
The Central Club, Richmond.
Bananas, Esplanade St Kilda.
the Market Hotel, Prahran.
Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong.
The Rehearsal Room Hotel, Redfern.
Hotel Mosman Sydney.
Floyd’s, Canberra.
Australian National University, Canberra.
The Stockade, Canberra.
The Manzil Room footpath Kings Cross
Bridge Hotel, Mordialloc.
Port Melbourne Park.
Princess Hill High School, Carlton.
Brunswick High School, Brunswick.
The Door Field Hotel, Arthur’s Seat.
La Trobe University Amphitheatre.
Gold Top Hotel, Mt Macedon.
The Peak Hotel, Hanging Rock.
the Venue, St Kilda.
Hotel Max, Commercial St Prahran.
Perseverance Hotel, Brunswick St Fitzroy.
Builders Arms, St Kilda. (the only gig I ever missed, I was on a bus from Sydney.)
The Esplanade, Gershwin Room St Kilda. (final show)
and many more that I cant remember the names of. (Hotel Motel make you wanna cry!)
PARTIES  (if you can remember you weren’t there)

Suzy Moon’s Richmond

Wellington Street Squat Prahran

Vivians Ashburton

Brians Coburg

Managers West Brunswick house

Managers House Coburg back yard

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When I was 15 I would sneak out of the house after midnight and ride my push bike to my friend Henry Vaninni’s house a couple of K’s away, he introduced me to the final Doors LP and I was hooked by Riders on the Storm.  The same push bike my grandfather Ralph Morris had ridden from Melbourne to Brisbane in the great depression.

PUNKATMOSPHERE  1977

We start in 1977…two years after Australia’s government is thrown out of office by the Queen of england’s representative, Say no More!!! god save her..not. Had my last Haircut with Paul Cronin aka “Mr Sullivan” in a Barbers Shop then left “home”….

1977TROTSKYISTmonashUni

Thats my 4th International Flag at Monash Uni Demo against prime minister Malcolm Fraser we had an adrenaline pumping riot and trapped him in a toilet.

1977melbRally

Melbourne City Square Swanston St 1977 Trotskyite banner, Victorian praetorian police
 1978DEMO

Note the torn jeans, leather jacket with badges apparently I looked like Joey Ramone so I checked out their LP and the rest is history.


I was manning the barricades against the monster F-19 Freeway one night when some one took a firebomb to it. A fellow barricader Maoist and me raced after the culprit I was expecting to reach his house only but this guy with me had other ideas. As we saw the house the Fire bomber ran into we followed and this guy in front of me raced foot first straight through the glass front door and into the house, he went down into the house and I stayed at the front door, he started punching the fire bomber and someone came out of the front room with a Double Barrel Shot Gun and Loaded it in my face hitting me with it and I was in reverse as he punched at me out the smashed door! The police eventually assembled a huge contingent to break the barricade, it wasn’t Eureka Stockade but we lost and the Northern Suburban punk people of Donvale came rolling into town!

“The SAINTS”

1978saints

The Saints performance on Countdown in 1978 was a shock for Aussies. Ed Kuepper played faster than anyone i had ever seen, it was blistering and from then on Australia had something to inspire us. Close to home I had seen and heard this band practicing in Petrie terrace in 1976, me and Indian Comrade Eugene of the Trots We were motorcycling around Brisbane and we went the wrong way up a one way Street. Petrie Terrace happened to have BeJelke Petterson’s police HQ and the Saint’s House. I met Chris Bailey their singer a few times he’s a real sort. Chris Bailey and me stood gawking at a new multi level shopping mall in Melbourne in 1992 and he commented “the mind boggles” this man knew his product!

PUNK GUNK 1977-1978

1978punkgunk

Found myself outside a gig on New Years Eve at the Alma Rd St Kilda Church that was hosting “PUNK GUNK” as it was banned at the last minute….I jumped in a Taxi with this guy called John Murphy and we trundled off to Farraday St Carlton where his bands practice room house was the make do venue.

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“John Smith from the Suburbs” aka John Murphy drummer News ( Whirlyworld, Slub etcetera )

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1977-8Punk

This was my first punk gig, and was to set a new course for me. And lots of FUN. Punk had just kicked the bucket in england and here was an antipodean version sprouting…calling adam five! come in adam five! julie jordan, jarryl wirth, john smith from the suburbs! punk gunk outside Gavin’s “NEWS” house Farraday St Carlton Melbourne new years eve 77-78.

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John smith from the Suburbs with the broken leg at Bernhardt’s playing drums for the young Charlatans, we hung out like junior punks for a few laughs, he went overseas became pivotal in the sub junky music of the mid eighties that went through the Melbourne inner city like a corrupt system, Ollie Olsen was also a driven artist from”Little Charlatans” to these BLOB bands SLUB , WhirlyWorld and “MaxQ” “third Eye” and so on.

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SWINBURNE COLLEGE

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I was at Swinburne and as President of the Student Union organised a concert with the Boys Next Door (Birthday Party),News, Young Charlatans, I had my own 3SW radio Punk Hour which would really throw some of the straights off. They would be outside the Studio during my lunch hour show wanting to beat me up! Boys Next Door LP UK “Missing Link” bootleg LINK77, 1988 The LP was recorded on 9th of June 1978 at Swinburne College in Melbourne, it originally came out in 1983 on cassette. Made a dubious friend in Gary Foley if he had been drinking he would be avoidable. He had a radio show in which he would deride me as the trot and play “the Great Pretender” for me

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MOTORCYCLES

Living in Bowen St Hawthorn and I was in the Swinburne Bike Club and we would drink at the local where I met and would visit an Acquaintance by the name of Ball Bearing he was the President of the Hells Angels, He had a son about my age and I think he was worried about him going off the rails, Ball Bearing explained to me that he and his Outlaw MC were going “Legit” even though I rode a Japanese Suzuki GT250 he would invite me to his place, I lived one street away, maybe I could have been a prospect? For me the music was flowing like a harley on shrooms. As it turned out I would be in a gang of Lone wolves who worshipped the 617 RAF Squadron aka Guy Gibson’s Dam Busters. Australia was a much friendlier place back then even the Angels were chilled and friendly, where did it all get so heavy?

1978ROADIES

1978NEWSdirtyLIES

I remember screen printing the inner labels in fluro yellow for NEWS a slightly more tasteful cover than previous incarnation BABEEZ abortion cover.

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Julie Jordan Bassist from the NEWS

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COLLINGWOOD

Moved out from Swinburne in debt at 17 to Derby St Collingwood lived next to Phillip Brophy of Tsk Tsk Tsk fame worked for news, we would ride our motor cycles through the house ( Mark Christfield on an RD Yamaha and me on my GT SUZUKI ,Mark Entwistle on his Bultaco and Mick Williams on his White r80 BMW )

Nic and Darren had done an impromptu surreal street performance in late 1977 outside the Last Laugh Theatre Restaurant in Collingwood. At Mid night that gathered a large crowd a hundred people watched us stand still. I had all leather and a white feline mask and a black motorcycle helmet Darren stood by in torn jeans and a leather jacket holding me on a leash.!.

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Nic 1978- NthFitzroy 611 Brunswick st-Photo by Julie Jordan


There were mushroom parties around melbourne, uni gigs with the Proles, I pogoed all the Proles gig on magic Ms, talked with their drummer Wayne Smith after the gig, he said he was over the band and it was a matter of time before he moved on. And Darren Guitarist would be without a band like a fish out of water.

1978Bernharts

I was working as a roadie for 70’s punk band NEWS and as Doorman at the “Bernhardt’s Night Club” formerly the “Thumping Tom” of sixties fame in Little LaTrobe St Melbourne

PROLES Melbourne
Police / Underaged 7″ no label SF382, January 1980 SS

1978ProlesBruce Milne: “The Proles were a short lived politico punk group that often played on the same bill as News.” They also shared News’ love for pop. Police
is great punk-pop, Underaged doesn’t reach the same heights but doesn’t suck.
Sleeve is screen printed and includes poster insert. Also comes in plain
white sleeve with pasted on labels. Recorded December 1978. Mark, Paul, Wayne and Darren’s band ” the Proles “

1978ProlesNews

 While working as doorman at Bernhardt’s I would hear Rowland S Howard skyting to passers by about how his doctor would ask him how he had all these holes in his arms,snigger snigger? He was 18 at the time. Give you the Shivers. Now they have a lane named after him in St Kilda great place to OD?

1978MelbFLINDERShatters

1978 BRUNSWICK

Blood boiling? good lets continue to the streets of Brunswick in Melbourne. Seen at the Brunswick Unemployed Group (BUG) is Joe Zammit who introduces me to his brother Alex. Alex is a power steering mechanic left school at year six and self educated and medicated from then on. Special talents in electronics and building circuit boards for amplifiers and poonefef good greek food munchie heaven and many mates who all seemed to work at the post office. Alex said to me if I could sing “Death and Night and Blood (yukio)” by the Stranglers then I could be the singer in his small outfit. Turns out to be a really good song and I was in the band, Harry Lindsay was the guitarist we wrote TV Depression together. We auditioned various drummers but none were punk heavy enough to make us into a real band.

1978SingleNews

I ran into Darren again at the RMIT punk gig in Swanston St and we hung out all night together and wrote lyrics to “Search for Love” on the front steps of the hall in the morning on the basic premise Darren asked me what are all these people doing here? the reply had to be and we were going to start a band…. We both happened to be working at Ford Motor Co. in Broadmeadows but I was on afternoon shift so I never bumped into him there. I told him of my little outfit in Brunswick and he was all ears. Soon enough his unmistakable talent and formidable creative genius was brought to bear on us. Harry would leave and be replaced by Daz! So it was starting to feel like a real band we wrote songs and hung out together. My house was 108 Wilson Street and we had a practice room. Once we were practicing in the back yard with Wayne drumming and a neighbour hurled bricks across the fence. This representative of neighbourly love would chase me around the street and I was lucky to escape this anti punk heavy. We spent many an hour at Alex’s place in Allen Street Brunswick we would always get so high. His mates like Bruce Thornton and Les and Steve Cunningham were great company, specialising in stirring us. Darren fell in love with Maureen, Alex’s sister.

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Darren 1979 Allen St Brunswick Alex’s House.

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 I was working afternoon shift in the Ford Motor Co plant at Broadmeadows. 1979 steps up a gear Motor cycles purchased and I have a house rented with a practice room one neighbour works in a big record shop in town the other throws bricks over the fence when we play seminal primal punk music out in the back yard.

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1979 STREET GANG -ON THE ROOF of 108 Wilson St Brunswick, Paul Stoledja, Darren Smith, Nic Chancellor, Wayne Smith.


Got beaten up during Stranglers Gig at Bombay Rock Brunswick , I was dragged by the hair from the front of the stage through the crowd and down the stairs and then punched in the face a few times. I said to the bouncer is that all you’ve got? I’d had some South American pure coke, I would score after my Afternoon shift at the Ford Motor Plant in the 7-11 store corner of Sydney Road and Brunswick street. A very convenient way to pick your self up after a long week in a car factory, Listen to the song lyrics to “this is my Night” thats about that seven eleven store.

1979brunswick1” Remember Z ” some graffiti in back streets of north Brunswick

-to me Z was the End not the Greek Z ” he Lives”
I had this sense of doom for society as it was I came up with the name outside the underground record shop Missing Link  Must have been Flinders lane or Collins St, could Alice in Wonderland explain? Whats in a name ,begins with the end and tags on Zorros as a Front for the Liberation of California.

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Sid Vicious passes into Punk Heaven

Z Mobile Man going to see god! we used to drive Alex’s HQ KINGSWOOD ( the Z Mobile ) up the F-19 to Donvale listening to the Angels first album. Met Chris Bailey backstage at Hearts in Carlton.

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Bought an XZ 360 Yamaha put 250 side plates to fool the law for my first year of Licence.

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The Black Masks ….a little band December 1979.

We did our first band performance at a little bands night at the Champion Hotel in Fitzroy.

While Alex, Darren and me were waiting for a little bands night at the Champion in Fitzroy we saw three chairs on a stage and thought thats what we want to do, be on stage!!! We will be bigger than the chairs!

Being bent this surrealist image of chairs being an imaginary band inspired us to turn ourselves into “the Black Masks“, borrowed a drummer from the audience and Alex, Nic and Darren got up for the first performance an impromptu jam. Possible three songs were performed such as the Stranger, the Director cant be sure.

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In late 1979 Champion Hotel Fitzroy used to be a real violent place surrounded by commission flats care of the Misery of Housing ( Ministry of Dousing ), had changed for the better as the eighties came on. Put an add in the Juke Mag….we needed a drummer and we got one!

1980 BLACK WIDOW SPIDER and the POST PUNKS

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Poster produced by Darren Alex and Nic at Brunswick Unemployed Group

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THE BAND out side 108 Wilson St Brunswick 1980-Alex Zammit, Darren Smith, Greg Pedley, Nic Chancellor.

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1980 Alex Zammit Bass, under the coloured lights, Exford Hotel Melb.(photo Sony king)

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Right – Murky polaroid of our first ever gig as four piece at Suzy Moon’s Party near the MCG

1980-ZORROS-pracGreg
Greg Pedley original drummer/ Auditioned on new years day 1980 played from Jan 1 1980 – September 1981. Drummed on Single “too young” Go the Black Falcon and the Falcones. Listen for the roll he would play in Circus of anarchy!!!! Helped engineer drum sound natural echo on Too Young Single. Went on to play in Wires, Real Life, Phantom Band and more.

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 First gig at the Champion Hotel Fitzroy January 1980, home of the little bands.

inner city sound 2210 cd
the Zorros
live Champion Hotel, Melbourne 28 January 1980
(first gig)
The Director
The Stranger
Children
Why
Black Widow Spider

February 1980 beloved Bon Scott dies.

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Bombay Rock Imagine playing the night after Bo Diddley ? Bo Didley plays the night after the Zorros, I would meet him four years later in sydney.

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Gibson Explorer 1980, Darren in mirror in 108 hallway, ghosty face in leg. photo nic.

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Cool Bananas

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The ORIGINAL line up……Alex Zammit, Nic Chancellor, Greg Pedley, Darren Smith. This was for a magg called Tagg. 30 second photo shoot. Photo was backstage at  the EXFORD 1980, fresh and green! Played with INXS, Rose Tattoo, Z Cars, the Ears, La Femme, Marching Girls, 21 Faces, Degenerates, Brain Spasms, PFM, Corporate Body, New Race, Dolz, and many more.

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photo by Linda Nolte – appeared September 1981 ROLLING STONE with the caption “nic of the zorros revels in the rebellious”

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The EXFORD some small stories

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Josephine Mary at the EXFORD Door 1980

the bikies asked me where I got my Police badge ( a six pointed star with Apache Nation in small letters ) and I replied the truth in Russel Street,( at an army Disposal store ) well as this happened to be where the Police HQ was they were outraged and not impressed and wanted to beat me up. The maori brawl was just after closing time when everyone was outside the Exford and I don’t know what caused it if anything, it erupted with flying beer jugs and within seconds there was blood all over the place. One saturday night me and darren were talking to some guy in the bar and it so happens he was an off duty cop and didn’t like Darren and me, we were too free so he called his mates and the Exford Hotel was surrounded by dozens of cops and a road block of cars ringed the Exford! We managed to slip the cordon doh!

Got a hitch from Darrens place in Donvale from a policeman all the way down the F19 to Russel Street Police Head Quarters as we parted at the front entrance a sailor from Panama with foils strapped to his stomach asked me for somewhere to go so we went down to the Exford Hotel also in Russel St. And it was good!

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“I’m sorry theres no Nic Zorro on the door list” Delores San Miguel and Josephine Mary Exford Zorros Gig 1980 

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nights at the exford were cool it is right in the middle of the city olde english style stained glass windows Delores sure could pick em!

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I asked Delores for our second gig after the Champion ,she said Yes to me , without listening to a demo tape ,how cool is that, thanks Delores !

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People started to wear our basic black uniform don’t you step on my black suede shoes. The eyeliner and the Visine mixed with sweat to redden the eyes, no really. Guys running in and out of the toilets sniffing Amyl Nitrate?

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these boys were bent city

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EXFORD hotel Russel St Melbourne a piece of Olde Ireland many a night packed to the rafters. Photos Sony King and Susan Rankine

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Peter “Hi Fi” Winn our mixer would scream out “anarchy! anarchy! anarchy!” yes it was. Alex tells me that Peter Winn lives in Maldon.

May 1980 Joy Division frontman dies, a great loss to all.

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A list of gigs from Saint Delores San Miguel

There was this young guy who was too young to get into the Hotel and he would stand on this window sill outside looking in, years later 1998 I had a beer with him at the Espy and he recited word for word the song “108” I was impressed and shocked as I couldn’t remember the words myself having written them.

Delores San Miguel was promoter of this wintergarden and crystal ballroom. Played with INXS at the paradise Lounge, Delores counted heads and asked who they came to see, 25 came to see INXS and 175 came to see the Zorros. A couple of double dates later me and Michael met up again in Sydney after his US tour.

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Nic in Greg’s Falcon Photo by Greg Pedley

1980-ZORROS-GREG

PUNK TROUBLE

Had one of my old school reunions (St Kevin’s) with Michael Williamson and Sam Sejavka of the Ears they thought they were so much better than us so refused to play first, the Zorros being super friendly not superficial, casually and un pretentiously said OK you guys can play the headline spot, the moral of the story was that after we had packed up our gear and were kicking back a few beers the Guitarist from the Ears had his amplifier accidentally fall on his Guitar and lo and behold they came begging us for a Guitar. Did we run probably? One night after a gig Alex protected me from a berserk bikie bouncer at the 475 Club by picking up a microphone stand and assuming an attack stance, something like Bruce Lee one foot forward and one behind. It worked a treat thanks to Alex we were able to run the hell out of there and away from Spencer Street Melbourne. I think he was a painters and dockers union sort.

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Alex Zammit lived with me in Brunswick for a time and over half his friends were posties and in eight years I would be one, up every morning at 5am for six years.

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Paul Stoledja. Wayne Smith. Darren Smith. Tanya Coleman. Sony King at gate ..Photo Nic

We would quite often get into trouble. We would hold war games by donning Motor Cycle Helmets and dismantling the drum kit and using the pieces as rocket launchers. Out came the fireworks and it was like the streets of Beirut / Belfast ? One side would go over the road and the other side would stay close to the back fence. Really exciting way to dispose of income and avoid hospital or possible blindness. I mean these are the streets of Brunswick before it was yuppified and gentrification strangled every sign of non politically correct behavior.

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Nic Chancellor with “Rickenbacker 480” Wilson St Brunswick 1980 ( Photo Tanya Coleman)

We are sorry if it was your party we gate crashed and met Des Hefner the drummer from the Marching Girls in the Kitchen as we signaled food fight and the fridge doors opened and everything inside was thrown.

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We are sorry if emerging from a drunken stupor at your party we decided to empty the contents of your lounge room out the windows and then escape the same way!

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The Venue Upper Esplanade St Kilda, I remember talking to Greg Mc Cannish ( Skyhooks Songwriter ) here. He was like none before or after to put the various suburbs of Melbourne on the songwriters map.

We say sorry if we came across as the Dark Riders from Lord of the Rings? We hadn’t read the book and any similarity to the dark riders was purely coincidental.

1980-ZORROS-nic-zorro-XS360

to MARKET to MARKET

Another promoter, Simon would promote the Market Hotel in Prahran, one night La Femme were playing before us and were not happy about it so they sabotaged every single dial on the mixing desk before our set and then their drummer nic apocalypse stood in front of me wielding a chair while the feed back filled the room He eventually made front page news whilst taking on and disarming two policemen while on pcp so I got off lucky..Punk Lucky!

1980-ZORROS-mARKET1980

Back to simon we would enjoy a session at his house and listen to Hawkwind ” Silver Machine” Pink Floyd “careful with that Axe Eugene”he played me some great music.

1980SimonFloyd

Years down the track we both Rode K Series BMW’s He had a Silver K 1000 and I had a Blue K 750. he was a courier and I was a Postman. ! he delivered stuff near my St Kilda Rd Post office. He had a rather british moustache and a collection of Nazi War memorabilia…

1980-ZORROS-MARKETsimons

1980-ZORROS-comflat2

inner city sound -2210-cd

the Zorros
live Seaview Ballroom, Melbourne 1980
1. This Is My Night
2. Something / TV Depression
3. Never Forget / Living Life
4. Waiting Long / Back To The Front
5. Mesmerised
6. Wilderness
7. Children
8. A Will A Way / Out Of Her Brain
9. The End Of The Line
10. Circus / Down / Side By Side
11. Search For Love
12. Too Young
13. Move Put
14. Black Widow
15. Number Seventy Seven
16. Dangerman

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Tequila is El Toro, Paul Stoledja would bring a bottle every monday( Photo Tanya Coleman)

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photo by Linda Nolte

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Tour of Numurkah and Katunga RSL Hall. Wayne Smith, Stephen Pedley, Paul Stoledja.

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photo Greg Pedley and Nic Chancellor

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DnD  TOO FAST TOO LOUD TOO YOUNG

1980-ZORRO-ARRESTED-BY-FAKON

I was arrested by the Victoria Police at the Crystal Ballroom I’d had a few quiet ales and was talking to Wayne Smith. A policeman on the other side of the room apparently saw me saying “Todays pigs Tomorrows Bacon ” He couldn’t have heard it it but was convinced I’d said something about his gang so I raised my hand in surrender like a war movie and was dragged out to the truck outside. They had trucks in those days, I would spend the night in St Kilda jail while they gassed us I stared to write a song in my head that I could remember in the morning as I had nothing to write with, I scratched a Z on the wall and in the morning I walked all the way home to Wilson Street Brunswick. The lyrics still in my head were to be the lyrics to “Too Young” our single on Missing Link Records,

1980-ZORROS-NICnSTONED

No matter what Im doin theres got to be some one
A square spoilin my fun tellin me this and that

Cant ride my bike Too Fast
Cant play my music Too Loud
Cant love my girl Too Young
Too Fast Too Loud Too Young

All you do is sit All you Do is Stare
All you do is face it Your not goin anywhere

Cant ride my bike Too Fast
Cant play my music Too Loud
Cant love my girl Too Young
Too Fast Too Loud Too Young

The world always dies at dawn
but your so young you’ve got nothing
Nothing to lose at all
Nothing to lose at all
Nothing to lose at all
Too Fast Too Loud Too Young

No matter what Im doin theres got to be some one
A square spoilin my fun tellin me this and that

Cant ride my bike Too Fast
Cant play my music Too Loud
Cant love my girl Too Young
Too Fast Too Loud Too Young
Too Fast Too Loud Too Young
Too Fast Too Loud Too Young

nic c

1980-ZORROS-pracNic

Practice with , Nic Chancellor, craig Russell

December 1980 my surrogate father John Lennon dies, devastating news I write “Let me Love you” that night, I had been looking at his latest LP cover that day in the city and thought he had a halo around his head in an eery catholic premonition. Notice the fab four poster in my bedroom.

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Photo by Linda Nolte

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Mulling up at Kitchen Table 108 Wilson St Brunswick 1980

SUICIDE RECORDS?

1980Thanks-to-Noel-F

In come the vampires and clean up the phony and fickle, with their cheque books and venues they command the fringe be tamed and flattened, the money greases the wheels of division and sets up a new order, the rich kids are rolling in it and once again we are in the Que.

1980zorrosalphas

fate rears its ugly head We were burgled , bought new equipment then reinforced the house and then the burglars tore the doors off the walls at Wilson St. Alex lost his precious Hi Fi….Alex leaves the Band ! The policeman that attended the crime was Constable Nick and he even came to see us play at the crystal ballroom.! A real cool cop.!

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Craig Russell’s band Z Cars.

1981   TOO LITTLE   TOO LATE    TOO STONED

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Craig Russell new bass player.

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Darren Smith Guitarist.

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Greg Pedley Drummer.

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nic singing Port Melbourne new years day 1981

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The Zorros were “too FAST, too LOUD, too YOUNG ” on a truck in a January 1st 1981 Port Melbourne park festival. Photos Sony King

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Backyard 108 Wilson St Brunswick 1981. Craig is doing his mad max look.

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Zorros by Craig Pinsent. Paradise Lounge the George 1981.

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Hay Bails, craig, nic, greg, darren, ZORROS the CRYSTAL BALLROOM 1981 photos Noel F

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Dangerman a crowd favorite was some kind of ode to all nighters. Dangerman ( Patrick Mc Goohan ) would come on at 5 AM..maybe the lead break was a little like Radio Birdman “aloha steve and dano”

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Zorros at Richmond Recorders Sat 4th April 1981

           Missing Link released one 7″ single on Au Go Go Records, “Too Young”, which was an awesome piece of rebel punk-pop. Mixed by Tony Cohen, Greg Pedley and Nic Chancellor. The Song went to number 3 on the Melbourne 3RRR charts. And in 1988 an Album was released on Dreamtime Software. The music industry sucks on. The music is free.

Songs were sung by candle light, darren falls asleep under the grand piano, greg and nic take speakers upstairs to create a natural reverb chamber, Tony Cohen engineer has copious refreshments and know how on the racks. We spent 24 hours on two songs, taking a raw drum track upstairs via Speaker boxes to a concrete room on a floor under construction. With two microphones recording a natural echo/ reverb for the final mix. (27 years later I’ve seen at Columbia Records in the US they have a room under their basement purpose built concrete room with speakers and two microphones! aka the Columbia echo sound) and meanwhile on the Telly the same day………z

Mismanagement or no management at all style. Once they wanted us to get on stage via a horse, this was when I knew the game was up? Really a real horse Yeah thats a great idea lets fuck off!

Missing Link missing payment for 1000 singles sold, not a red cent came to the songwriters or the band who played, didn’t even bother to tell us how they justified the rip off. “Coulda beena Contenda”

photo by Noel F

craig nic darren Paradise Lounge 1981 (photo Noel F)

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darren Paradise Lounge 1981 (photo Noel F)

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The middle eight of the single Too Young was inspired by Rebel without a Cause” Sal Mineo says to James Dean “Do you think the world will die at night “no says James Dean ” nah , at Dawn”

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god only knows.

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I went to see an extraordinary gig at the Myer music Bowl I’d seen AC/DC before a few times but this was to be without Bon my Fav ! There were running charges of lines of police and police horses, there were people fornicating under bushes and shrubs, then this huge fog and smoke mixture blew in over the venue shell from the Yarra River and the Hells Bell was struck….It was Hell in Hellbourne without wild man Bon Scott. After the concert I rode my motorcycle to St Kilda to sing in the Zorros. I thought we were a real let down, cos Im back in Black! Australia can be a real wilderness, be sure to tick all the right cultural boxes or you will end on a bender to numb the dull pain.

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EXFORD HOTEL 1981 Nic and Craig out of focus . Photo Susan Rankine

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Its hard to believe Ted Mulry is gone and his band plays on, as of 2017.

Craig had come from the Z Cars after Alex left.
Craig played aggro bass for nine months in 1981 and played bass on the single 
Then had a breakdown and the fair-weather band followed….the fair weather was over.

Uhh Don’t make Strangers of your selves Doh!

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Red Velvet Paisley wallpaper at the Crystal Ballroom , Matt Screaming, Keith Glass, Nic Zorro,

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“your ballroom days are over baby night is drawin near shadows of the evening crawl across the years” Lyrics by jim Morrison

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Paul Stoledja at 108 wilson street arriving with a bottle of Tequils every monday.

Meanwhile Single “TOO YOUNG” was at #3 on Melbourne Indi Charts, the singer was left to pick up the pieces, no body gave a…still it was a worthy spring cleaning

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This was on EBAY december 2012      ZORROS Melbourne
Too Young / Let Me Love You 7″ AuGoGo ANDA16, November 1981 PS

Great pop-punk, especially Too Young. Let Me… is slower.
This is an extremely difficult to find original 1981 Australian 7 inch single from 
The ZORROS titled TOO YOUNG,.
Manufactured in Australia on indie label AuGoGo Records [CAT#ANDA-16].

1981-ZORROS-SINGLE
Original Australian independent release…1981…from Melbourne…the ‘A’ side is an utterly fantastic 1977-style punk cut with a tonne of melody, and the singer has an equal dose of snotty snarling teen attitude to match…awesome stuff!. All up a great item and a must for the serious collector.

TRACKS ARE ?

Side A  [1]  TOO YOUNG

Side B

[2]   LET ME LOVE YOU

The lads had already deserted the stepping stone by the time I received this telegram from Keith Glass Missing Link manager. I am yet to have been paid a single (no pun intended) cent by Missing Link after they flogged every one ten dollars each for the single, they printed a thousand singles.

1981-ZORROS-TELEGRAMkeithGlass

I am the Stranger to all your desires..I was a stranger like Albert Camus my favourite Author from when I was eighteen years old.

POST SPLITSKI HIATUS 1982

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how long does one keep a punk routine and be able to be true to the punk etiquette , how many safety pins, hair die, fashion statements, band after band and they would be more grungy and more serious and more politically correct than the last wave and more removed from reality and further from the truth. So it was the next onslaught of punks arrived as we disembarked to the future and they proclaimed there was none. The hardcore bands would look down and sneer at us and we basically ignored them, there is a good film ’Sic Punk” that explores the ethics and contradictions of Punk. we had pretty much grown out of that phase and by 1983 we were out of the “In” scene. There was always excessive snobbery from bands like The Boys Next Door, The Models, La Femme and so on infinitum. There are collections of very insecure people gathered into cliques to the exclusion of all others. As some of our crowds would chant “Zorros are best fuck the rest” We knew better but would settle for less.

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Alex Zammit resumes bass playing while I reform Zorros We share a house together in Brunswick St West Brunswick not far from where I spent the first five weeks of my life. ( Pearson St Brunswick )

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Corporate Body, La Femme and somehow Nic gets a mention.

Craig who had managed to split the band is hospitalised, Darren re emerges.

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Darren at home with Vivian in South Yarra. Photo Vivian.

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Ballroom Daze This guy on the side was known as “Terror”, him and his friends would come from the western Suburbs great fans of the band!

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Zorros were powered initially by GOLDENTONE VALVE AMPLIFIERS – Darren had GoldenTone then Fender then Marshall. Darren would thrill entire audiences with his pure sound on the GIBSON EXPLORER.

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Friend and Drummer Phil Bryant helps me reform the band, we do my original songs until Darren joins us and away we go giging again.

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The Return….

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Nic’s Hair and temporary new Romantic make over by Vivian Hallert.

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Darren at Home South Yarra, He would spend most of the gig looking out for her. Photos Vivian

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Phil Bryant, Nic Chancellor, Darren Smith. Paradise.

I let the bastion of 108 Wilson St and moved in with Alex on Brunswick Rd. I knew things would never be the same and this was a relief I started writing songs and four Tracking them.

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apocalypse now was starting on another planet. Did a 2 hour radio show on “3 PBS” in their studios up stairs at the Prince of Wales.

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Concentrated on Four Track songs as we wanted to broaden our perspective and not play the 2 year old favourites. Punk had been an inspiration and a vehicle that turned out to be a fickle friend.

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Me and Darren met the Clash backstage at the Festival Hall, after they played for three hours! I remember talking to Joe Strummer for half an hour, he was every bit as interested in us as we were in him, a true human he really was an inspiration when I was a seventeen year old Trotskyist, that first album was full of great lyrics, quintessential Punk and even a quasi reggae song. Like myself many years later he would end up sitting around a fire in a Tipi Circle at many a techno rave.

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For Darren and me this was a time of great experimentation, with out being restrained to live performance, too bad we didn’t get to record Albums and do post productions, most recordings of the band are mediocre and rarely catch the live phenomena or the magic practice room warmth. And yet we are left with a great collection of four track recordings that I have remastered remixed.

CRYSTAL GIG GUN THREAT

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Once we were playing at the Ballroom and the word went out that there was someone in the crowd with a gun, He didn’t like the fact that me and Darren rode Japanese motorcycles, Yamaha’s to be precise and he was going to shoot me on stage while I was singing, Deranged humanoid never got the guts to pull the trigger maybe we played OK but I was relieved when that gig was over and I was still alive. Would have made a great headline “Bikie outlaw shoots Punk”

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Phil Bryant left the band with well founded doubts and reservations about our bass player and played with the Corpse Grinders, hereafter to be known as Phil Grinder. Gary Williamson from “the Virgins” joined the band on drums.

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Mt Erica Hotel Prahran, scene of the Delores Mexican Standoff

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Nic at home with his his dawg “mojo”

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photos by Anne Bradburn

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1982 Paradise Lounge Nic, Phil Bryant and Darren.

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Phil Bryant Drums Nic Chancellor Vocals Guitar, Darren Smith Guitar.

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GARY WILLIAMSON new drummer replaces Phil “Grinder”Bryant.

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Vivian’s Party 1982 Ashburton. Gary Williamson on Drums,

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Perseverance Hotel Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

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“Marquee” the Stockade Hotel Carlton 1982.

Halloween at 104 Wilson St Nth Carlton, neighbourhood kids who gathered en masse when Ian Molly Meldrum rocked up in his Limousine to hear us practice.

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Gary helped free the music from pure intensity and into experimentation. At this stage the band had a couple of visits from Ian Meldrum Count Down Host, who had shown an interest in progress of the band, we were trying to rise above the punk poverty line.

ROYAL DERBY HOTEL six weeks residency Photos by Peter C Kohn.

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Royal Derby 1982 photos by Peter C Kohn.

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One night at a party at Molly’s house Nic and Darren were standing in the kitchen carving a huge leg of Ham and looked up next to them was a White Album signed by all the Beatles. The Album contains the song Piggies and the connection was not lost on us. Most of the music industry were piggies in their starched white shirts.Thankfully CD burning shook their crown and rattled their jewellery! molly’s house was decked out in Egyptian statues and people started falling in to the pool fully clothed made us feel like romans !

The Mexican Stand Off

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Mt Erica Hotel Prahran.

At about this time at a hotel in Prahran  the Zorros refused to leave the stage after some particularly bad mixing by some unknown stand in, the crowd gathered around as the PA was turned off, the crowd packed in tighter, the lights were turned to house lights and our manager Delores San Miguel and venue promoter pleaded with us to stop, a virtual shoot out / Mexican standoff occurred and the Zorros were propelled into the underground as she was the promoter for many venues, and knew the rest ( and understandably upset with us ). This would lead to the Zorros remnants moving to Sydney in 1984 (Darren and Nic). The cultural cringe is alive and well. Eventually the power was turned off and we played an acoustic song, This was nothing personal we all had an oppositional Defiance disorder.

Rebels without a manager! Darren’s brother (ex Proles) Wayne was playing drums that night.

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Nic in mid air, Darren on bike, Possum and Paul”stooge”Stodleja doing a dance step outside campbell street coburg.

ZORROS 1983- COBURG-THREE PEACE BAND

1983-ZORROS-WANTEDchristine

looking for another Bass Player Christine phoned up to this add in the JUKE Mag 1982

saw Tom Verlaine Television “he’s in love with Rock n Roll with the radio on”, At The Club in Collingwood. We did a gig at the Club I remember playing Rickenbacker I was snubbed in the nose by Brian Wilson after asking him if he ever gets into the good stuff like back in his hey day at Sunbury. Heard the “apocalypse Now “the End” through the DJ who took pity on me as I was the last person on the dance floor, it sounded awesome, I went back to South Caulfield across from the cemetery and wrote “endless Conversation”

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Right …Gary Drums, Christine ( an illegal alien from Paris ) Bass, Darren Guitar, Nic  Vocals …at the Shrine of Remembrance Melb…photos Sony King

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Red Hill brought back some wood for the fire and some Amanita Muscaria, discovered a rouge scorpion in the wood while tripping and the band all went up their chairs in a flash!
Arthur’s seat was our Magic patch, would sit and see the stationary sun sitting on the sea setting crawling burning, the “spirit rider” was born again.

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Moved to Campbell St Coburg wrote heaps of songs , played at a party in a back yard they loaded me with hashish pipes and out I went couldn’t see anything but peoples legs.!

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1983 another back yard Coburg Party at Brian’s, Christine Bass, Gary Williamson drums, Nic Vocals, Darren Guitar.

This was at Brian’s Coburg House he grew a beard and laid carpet while we weren’t watching. Christine disappeared

3 PEACE- CHRISTINE ILLEGAL ALIEN from PARIS goes UNDERGROUND.

I had taken up the bass as a last minute option and taken the band back to a AC/DC style of bass playing, ( with a back beat narrow and hard to master) Metronomic disciple.

Did some wild gigs down at Frankston’s Pier Hotel and , also inner city hotels in Carlton Collingwood and Richmond. Gave out communal Communion Mushrooms from the pulpit stage at the Tote, punters came later to tell me of their Visions the unearthly phasing We were young and free.

Gary Williamson had previously played in the Virgins.

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Melbourne Herald shots

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Article from Melbourne Herald by Jonathan Chancellor.

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Sorrento Hotel

Had taken the mushroom elixir way too early on the way to Sorrento and they came on before I was on stage, Kate Buck did a song with, us try to play bass for the first time to “Fever” on psilocybin in Sorrento! I had no idea of the chords or how to play it, I was peaking and freaking. Didn’t really know the song and the lights were so bright and I had not a lot of experience playing or jamming on bass.

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1983 season…. very intense Gold Top Hunters….Nic, Gary, Darren…(photo Sonya King).

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Sydenham Hotel Richmond 26 week Residency – Nic on Gibson SG Bass,

Someone must have been smoking in front of the photographer! At this venue the Zorros learnt an improvising method of playing songs live. They were never really far from being Poetic Punk with an ongoing desire to grow out of their presumed style like shedding snake skin, when faced with the Industry of Music these guys would be the Picket line “out there”! At the Sydenham it could be four sets a night, had to experiment and develop new songs on stage, some good crowds very friendly and pretty relaxed. Bags of Mushrooms behind the drum kit,

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Once I blacked out on stage crashed to my knees, the bass strings were like rivers , each one going in a different direction made it very hard to play! Strychnine is an unforgiving challenge as one is experiencing infinity and open doors of perception whilst fingers are paralysed.

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50 Campbell St Coburg

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One night we stopped over at the Shrine of Remembrance, after going on a Gold Top Hunt, I had suggested that we were reptiles and the car was an egg! The cops saws us crawling out of the windows of Darren’s 1960 Falcon. I was staring at the eternal flame when a policeman suddenly appeared next to me and said “what do you know about magic mushrooms?” After casually looking him in the eye, I said I know nothing, and we walked across the huge plaza to the car where a police man had my poetry book open and he was reading ” I loved you all , I loved you more” He asked Darren what it meant and Daz said it was my Poetry! They confiscated a couple of Vietnam War water bags filled with magic Mushrooms that we had suggested were for toast and Vegemite and left us one bag that we rushed home with to outer space. They said they would take the goldies to forensics but as they were going back to their car I saw with my heightened senses that they were like two earthly kids looking into a magic bag, and I knew they were going to take them ! With my superdelic powers of perception I heard one cop say to the other “is this them?” They didn’t know where or how to find their own! Hope they had a good night we did.

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Did a gig at La Trobe University in an amphitheatre, seemed like a very stoney venue from ancient Greece with sun in my eyes and my usual stoned paranoia. Daniel Dharma a student at La Trobe Uni was in the crowd for that one.

SYDNEY 1984-1985

Arrived in Sydney July 4 1984, no ma’am were muticians err ahem I mean musicians. Stayed with the Greg Pedley Phantom Band for a couple of weeks on Old Head Road in South Bondi,

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our neighbour the old Power Station

Until I located a house at 16 Pyrmont St Pyrmont. There were 3 houses in the street, a church with a drunken priest and dead Power Station with four huge stacks. Out my window was Darling harbour and directly across the water was the City.

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Pyrmont to Darling Harbour 1984 photo Maurice Fletcher.

Our neighbours in Pyrmont were in for a shock, once they came into complain about the noise and found me a Darren standing on a pile of broken glass laughing ?!! That side of the house were experimental noise musicians and not into the wild colonial boys on holidays from melbourne.

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16 Pyrmont St Pyrmont Sydney

I’d been going to Sydney every 4 months since I was Seventeen, I would explore the squats of Darlinghurst where one whole side of a street had its adjoining top back room walls knocked out. What a sight, such a long room that was more like a hallway. At 17 I lived in a squat in an old naval base opposite Luna Park. Pyrmont had squats in 1984 and they were pretty full on, There was about a whole block and it was FULL ON most of the survivors would end up Acid casualties in Nimbin, Byron and Lismore. I remember some pretty far out German Trippers who would be out to lunch every day they had books of Psychedelic art pre Photoshop collages something like a book full of Disraeli Gears! For us being renters were like the odd ones in Pyrmont 1984.

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SYDNET PYRMONT Dawn light after a night in Kings Cross, Mojo and Nic Photo by Maurice Fletcher

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Lived in Pyrmont next to the old power station behind Pier 13. In WWII the Aussie troops would disembark from pier 13, the place reeked of history

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SYDNEY 1984 Nic at the peak on micro dots in a photo booth under the Sydney Town hall


All alone and peaking In morning rush of inner city sydney. Amongst the vast crowd of strangers and passersby I had only talked to a Hare Krishna woman as her dress was so colourful and flowing, after stepping out of the photo booth under the Sydney Town Hall, Bob Hawke and Neville Wran were walking out of a funeral at St Andrews next to the Town Hall and had stopped to chat, Bob the Prime Minister of Australia was staring at me and his eyes were fixed on me. He started to turn into a scaled snake from the eyes down. Within 30 seconds he was a standing snake with human eyes.

This was right out of a Carlos Castaneda tales of power story, the Hawke is a Snake!
I had met Bob Hawke years earlier when I was at Trades Hall in Carlton, he came out of the pub across the road loaded, shook my hand and asked me what union I was in? I replied I was Shop Steward for the Storeman and Packers Union to which he replied ‘ ah Stackers and Wackers!”

Years later in 1982 his wayward daughter would visit our house in Rathdowne St Carlton on the prowl like her mate Costigan but thats another scratchy story.

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WILD COLONIAL BOYS

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A fellow gold hunter Daniel Dharma played up and drums! Phenomenal Power and Interactive flow of Beats…..Rode a Ducati Dharma….played drums between 1983 and 1994, had a lizard called Raymond. Lived in a decrepit ancient student house on Lygon St Carlton. Was a La Trobe student at the time. Standing in front singing while he drummed was awesome. I wonder who he would imagine the drums to be sometimes. He joined us after his band “21 Faces” split.

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One night we played with the band 21 Faces in Redfern and we almost came to blows! What are you rebelling against johnny? What have you got! Trevor O’Neil the bass players girlfriend red head Kiwi Brendah and sister Denise ( who later recorded a song “Strawberry Girl” with me ) were living in wooloomoolo and had the Black Hearts, I didn’t look like Tutkanhamen before I dropped one,I went for a wander by myself and around dawn started running through the park at Mrs McQuarries seat and I launched myself as I came to a wall and as I launched I saw a cop car on patrol coming straight for me. And I was like a being in mid air and jumping higher than the patrolling police car through the botanic gardens, the two NSWPD occupants were stunned by the sight and decided quickly it wasn’t real, a man with a Black Heart on Serenity Tranquility and Peace should be left alone. These days I could have been Tasered to death.

Darren did a stint with local gal Jo Kennedy, some pop attempt, Milperra Massacre happens not far away up Parramatta Rd. The Comancheros had split into two chapters with a clubhouse in Harbor side Birchgrove, and the Bandidos would occasionally drink at our local hotel in Pyrmont Street.

REDFERN

Played in Redfern, drove there in a taxi with Daniel after partaking in some fresh acid that had been made that day at Sydney University (they had a great drug market every Wednesday with hash cookies and everything else for a mellow walk back to Sydney CBD!) any way the taxi ride to Redfern from the Oasis was started with acid washed down with Whisky, we arrived in light speed to a place not unlike Northern Ireland in temperance to go to a party at a famous Psychedelic house the yellow house It had red staircase totally wild Sydney scene.

Those waters run fast and shallow, deep n wide in sydney but its a great place and I met so many people like this list CHARACTERS, excuse the name droppin.

Matt Dillon

1985REBEL

Lived in Pyrmont next to the old power station behind Pier 13. Met Matt Dillon while he was making “Rebel” a world war 2 film at Pier 13, after they were finished Filming we swiped all the hundreds WW2 set sandbags and  insulated our practice room in them. Anyway Bryan Brown the Aussie actor said to Matt that he shouldn’t go and talk to me but Matt came over anyway and asked me about my dog Mojo, we talked for a little while, years later he would turn up in a Joe Strummer DVD “the Future is Unwritten” and it was that sort of attitude that said go fuck yourself Bryan Brown if I want to meet a nobody a complete stranger then I will, its no accident that Bryan Brown always plays a holes and smart arses.

Me and Darren talked to Joe Strummer for half an hour after a three hour CLASH gig at Festival Hall, I am encouraged by these small connections six degrees of separation.

Michael Hutchence

1985-Hutchence

Michael and me double dated twice in the early eighties leading to some awkward moments over a table in prahran, we had played together at the Paradise Lounge ( the Crystal Ballroom) in 1980 .In 1984 after coming back from the American Stadium Tour we met on Oxford St. He liked my US Cavalry Belt. Later long time friends Ines and Soula took me to visit him. We were on the 13th floor of a motel in Kings Cross and were both looking out the same window when we spotted records below in the car park, so Michael and me went down the 13th floor elevator and found it was a pile of about ten records, the top one was a bootleg Jimi Hendrix and had the most outrageous Afro Front cover, it was a 12inch single.

Another time we went pub crawling up Oxford St to his house in Paddington The girls treated him like a star, he offered me champagne and I refused opting to continue drinking beer, Ines scolded me later for that, it was a simple case of not wanting to mix drinks. Really, champagne? Michael introduced me to the film “Blade Runner”, while on the TV his band INXS were getting 7 awards on Count Down that he and INXS had taped the night before. This would be a pinnacle moment for most of us yet Michael just had to show me Blade Runner “Nobody knows how long they’ve got” he said reaching for the reused Nescafe jar full of Hash oil. I am still in love with Ghost in the Shell.

I wonder how much he wanted to move on before he was made to start his next tour in Wollongong, There’s another star in the sky or more Black Lightning ! Years later I would run into his brother Rhett at garage sales and at doofs in the forests of Whian Whian or in his Byron Bay collectors Store and would buy the strangest items and I still have some of it. Michael was not a snotty nosed guy, he was real and open, its a sad ending.

John Lydon

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John Lydon Photo by Tony Mott

Did a few lines of ‘This is not a love song” with John Lydon New Years Eve 84-85 after being pushed by punters on to the stage at the Tivoli in Sydney,I lay at his feet in a morrisonian stupor (multiple(9varieties) self medication new years eve bonus package) .Looking up at the king of Punk was a moment of psychedelic reality, I then picked myself up and sang the word “Love” then jumped back into the crowd unceremoniously crashing onto the floor.

Mark Evans from AC/DC was in the crowd, PIL wasn’t as exciting as their Melbourne show the previous week, I’d shared a joint with Lydon at the Paradise Lounge. It was so packed the crowd would dangerously sway together and when he got on stage john had a real attitude attack, it was electric chaos, the last time I’d seen this kind of atmosphere was at my first ACDC gig at the Exhibition Buildings circa 1975.

Bo Diddley

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Met Bo Diddley on the steps of a Kings Cross Hotel, I said what do think of Sydney He replied “I cant Wait to get back to the States” very astute and to the point blues M-A-N spells Man.Theres a photo of Jim Morrison dancing at one of his gigs, the doors did “who do you Love” a Diddley cover.

the CHURCH

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Marty Wison Piper from the Church would walk by my window in Bondi. Late one crazy night Daniel, Pru and me went to Steve Kilby the Singers house . I had a personalised tour of Steve’s Wardrobe and my eyes survived, so many paisley shirts. Daniel had some outrageous paisley shirts. Me never had one.

Peter Garret

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Maurice Fletcher my neighbour had a thing about cars like so many Aussies he was a kiwi at heart and we went driving one evening along the freeway to Bondi we were about to pull up at some lights in our Porsche Convertible As we slowed I turned and put my sun glasses on and at that very moment Peter Garret pulls up beside us and looks at me in the eye putting on my sun glasses at night. “Not the Lismore Road again tonight” ?

Mark Evans ex AC/DC

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Would watch Headhunters with original ACDC bassist Mark Evans at the local Bondi Royal. We could easily score aa foil at the Bondi Royal Hotel. Tried walking through liquid legged while Headhunters ( Mark Evans ex ACDC )played bass,Years later I heard him say that he was turfed out of AC/DC because he stayed true to his Rock n Roll Mission Statement of Sex Drug’s and R+R, I guess it was the young brothers that threw him out, I cant imagine Bon doing it.

Stevie “Easy” Wright

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Me and Daniel met Stevie Wright ex Easybeat Singer in Bourke Street outside our squat and he asked us which way to the Station, we think he meant Train station not Police Station, but there you go the Black Eyed Bruiser himself all alone down and out and lost in Darlinghurst.

SYDNEYITES

I remember seeing the guys from Dragon in Bondi, passed Rene Geyer on a lonely road in Bondi very late one night, I was on my Yamaha she was in a white Mercedes Benz.

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221 BOURKE ST DARLINGHURST SQUAT

DARLING IT HURTS

then an infamous squat at 221 Bourke St. Darling it hurts. The place had been fire bombed and the roof was missing from the lounge room so you could see into the room above where a complete set of our furniture was suspended in mid air by strings where there had once been a floor. We could stand in darkness on the rim of what was left of the second floor and peer at the visitors below who would be invariably in awe of the floating furniture. In the lounge room there was no furniture and in the fire place was a copy of “Brain Salad Surgery”! Very real, very surreal.

The Bourke St Darlinghurst Block of Houses ended up in a film we saw by accident years later called Bliss. Daniels room on basement level was completely spray painted in colors! Shower was outside in the yard, I remember one morning we had our stashish block and the cars were going up and down outside and we were so primitive living right next to the main road of civilisation. one of those raw moments, a copy of brain salad surgery in the fire place.

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Up the road was the Oasis a legendary commune in the first governor of NSW’s house. It had about a hundred rooms and each with a different story to tell, became quite a distraction standing peaking in the governors garden like supermen on superman’s, gazing out to sydney and her twisted exotic lost nights

THE CROSS

MANZIL-ROOM

Meanwhile at the cross in the Manzil room, at the back next to the cigarette machine where they would cut up their powders like women at the mirror, Long tables and long nights. Crawling from club to club was a favourite for me and Daniel, we could go from the “propaganda” to the Manzil Room and around dawn would crawl out across the road to a smaller place before finding the morning after club hence forth going 24 hours unlike being in Melbourne which ended at dawn if you were lucky. there were a lot of casualties, a guy that had cut of his own leg on the sydney Harbour Bridge in the seventies, women who had slept with Jimi Hendrix, Get your dutch micro dot tripping money from the Smith Family charity and free soul food from the Hare Krishnas,

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Daniel Dharma in 21 Faces at 221 Bourke St squat.

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Floyd’s Night Club Canberra Tour- Tim Dexter on Bass and Darren Smith Guitar.

Played with two lads from Canberra Tim Dexter on Bass and Mark “Burger” Fleming on Drums, They lived in Bondi on the corner going to the beach, some nights we would busk at kings cross just outside the Manzil Room or in the main drag.

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Beautiful Man Tim Dexter our Bassist.

 Sydney was naturally unsettling and full of mystery, We Played in Bondi, Redfern, Mosman, Kings Cross and did a tour of Canberra.

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Nic, Mark, Tim and Darren. The 2 Dollar photo shoot

This photo shoot for the Canberra tour was with our last two dollars, we went to a photo booth in Bondi and squeezed two of us in took two photos and before the next shots jumped out to let the next two into the booth! Making this the cheapest photo shoot in history and the tightest! Pre photoshop using a photostat machine to do layout.

CANBERRA

Early in 1985 Zorros did a tour of Canberra, Floyd’s Night Club being a memorable night. Darren was flying his guitar on stage. One night in Canberra we went to dinner at the Canadian High Commissioners Mansion. This was a real treat as Tim Dexter had worked in Canada as a tour guide and knew the High Commissioners daughter, it was polite and a little surreal.

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Mark Fleming !

At one stage of this tour I almost froze to death in the back seat of a car waiting in sub zero temperatures, the next day I’d had a fight with the band and walked of into Canberra the devils own city! Darren was flying his guitar on stage. Played at the Stockade and Australian National University

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RETURN TO SYDNEY

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We played some gigs in Sydney at Kings Cross, I can remember the last song at the Piccadilly Hotel on the last note I ran out through the crowd and through the front door onto the street and into the gutter to dry reach. The last song we did there was a version of “Light My Fire”

Sydney fast and unrelentingly shallow. When I returned from the Canberra Tour the police had raided our Squat was lucky the Rickenbacker was still intact. After that tour I went to live in Bondi next to the cliffs, before bailing back to Melbourne. Marty Wilson-Piper would walk past my window, Sydney fast and unrelentingly shallow and I would trade it in for Melbourne dull deep and depressingly cold.

The Piccadilly Hotel -KINGS CROSS

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So that was the end of Four seasons in Sydney,

Melbourne-1986-1992

In 1986 I bought a Roland Bass Line and a Roland Drum Line, these would be the beginning of the end of my Rock Band era.

I have been influenced over many years by synthesiser musicians such as the Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Ultra Vox, Kraftwerk, Eno, Cabaret Voltaire, OMD, New Order and Keyboardists like Ray Manzarek Doors, Dave Greenfield Stranglers and Donna Summers I feel love producer and Synthesiser player Moroder. I was compelled to emulate the tightness and variety of atmospheres available to these new instruments. As the rave scene grew it would engulf me completely until I was lost in the forest.!

In 1987 we bought a Dr Rhythm also by Roland.

PRINCE of WALES

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1987 Prince of Wales St Kilda. Alex Bass, Gary Drums, Nic Vocals, Darren Guitar.

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1987 Prince of Wales St Kilda. Alex Bass, Gary Drums, Nic Vocals, Darren Guitar.

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What goes UP must come DOWN !1987-ZORROS-BnW91powZ

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Universal Re-Entry Position 1987-Zorros-ballroom

Nic shows Charlie how to surf ! Yin Yangs anybody? Last ever Crystal Ballroom gig Halloween 1987

Last ever Crystal Ballroom gig Halloween 1987,

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the authorities closed it said it ( the lower street bar )was the centre of the drug trade and they wanted it somewhere else. We played the final Gig at the Crystal Ballroom on Halloween Night 1987. It was a classic, the velvet paisley wallpaper and snake tiled floors and even though the band had practiced as 4 individuals we played as one wave of music. Truly a holistic punk band if I’d ever been in one, this was the night we were able to surf our music thru the crowd, the late Stephen Rosenberg had handed out the yin yangs. This gig felt like anarchy, the crowd went off and this Canadian guy screamed into the microphone HAPPY HALLOWEEN! It was like San Francisco in the sixties I have a Beta video of the gig its the most sex pistolish gig we ever did! I had a true rasp in my voice with no ability to flex my chest muscles to sing due to ingestion of two yin yangs. The other Lads in the band had all had one each even alex was ripping away! I remember the tiles down in the foyer and the red velvet paisley wallpaper and Darren had all these blonde girls around him like a swarming blonde entourage I couldn’t tell the difference between them. The guy that videod the gig went to a psyche Hospital the next day? He was a friend of Laughton’s who would od in Thailand not long after. As for the chap who had dosed us all Steve Rosenberg he would hang himself a couple of years later in his Barkly St St Kilda flat, I can still remember the smell of death in his flat. Anyway back to the story it was the end of the ballroom and what a way to go.!

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Crystal Ballroom St Kilda? . Alex Zammit, Nic Chancellor, Daniel Dharma, Darren Smith . (Photo Vivian Hallert )

Truly an awesome way to end such an iconic venue, St George would be proud of us. This is now online at my Youtube channel called “Acid Rock”

The following collection of video stills of Nic, Darren, Alex, Daniel trippin after the gig some of these were filmed by pru

577 Brunswick Street Nth Fitzroy

Read some books like Sidhartha and fell in love with Edvard Grieg the Peer Gynt Suite, “death of ase” was my favourite during this stage. Something new was coming in from California known as mdma on tabs Some great parties one with the Birthday Party playing in a back yard filming “Nic the Stripper” we all took these and christened them green cabbages, empathy was running high in some places

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The FIRST….. AUSSIE HACKER

Met the first Hacker to break into every Australian Bank Account and steal 5 Cents from each account, he told the Police but they Didn’t believe him.! Duh. One night at his place in Brunswick I took 5000 mics of Sandoz in one go couldn’t recognise myself in the mirror, I’d turned into a Molecular Atomic Explosion, everything was hallucination, everything was the energy between objects and not the objects themselves, everything turned black and white pyramidical fractal, spent 2 devotee days watching 2001 a space odyssey holed up in my room in brunswick St Nth Fitzroy .1990-ZORROS-AIRBORNE

5000 mics

This EXPERIENCE would give me a great insight to the atmosphere of the Sixties and early Seventies. It was obvious why some had catapulted out of existence and why others had retreated to hippy communes. Hats off to Dr Albert Hoffman of Switzerland finally your factory came my way. I felt like Cary Grant…..I could smell the decay of civilisation. This was my half way mark to the Jim under the bed story. He took Ten Thousand Mics before jamming ” the End”

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Nic the Tripper at Nth Fitzroy performing “Memphis”

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Would go to daylesford to recover then

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filmed by Prudence Brooks

IN THE BOROUGH with BILL


Moved up the street to 611 brunswick st. Nth Fitzroy Nic Cave would visit for free heroin, he walked up our stairs and past my open bedroom window while the Bob Dylan song “Ballad of a Thin Man” played in my room it summed him up beautifully, “you walk into the room with a pencil and then you frown you see somebody naked and you say who is that man you try so hard but you cant understand just what you will say when you get home, do you Mr Jones?”

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I was lucky to survive with a good helping of some fine cold turkey and apple sauce. I would move to Windsor near the Cemetery on Dandenong Rd, then to St Kilda Grey Street, then lived in East St Kilda with a  macca  the h freak who was always getting raided by the drug squad, windows glass would smash and guns would come through the window with the word FREEZE! So I’d freeze, it was like being in a war with a loser. The police were cool with me as I had obviously no holes in my arms, however they had missed the ornate plate of mushrooms that I had placed in the kitchen. Along with the police Noah  Taylor the actor would visit this house.

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1988 went to my first  inner city rave in Melbourne Flinders Lane “Soma”, quite an eye opener to future possibilities. DJ were hidden behind a black masking cloth and at one stage of the night everyone danced in circles ( and dilated pupils). Six years later I would endeavour to make this music my lifestyle.

Posters by Pru Brooks, Nic Chancellor.

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Poster created by Darren Smith, I was on my way home from rehab in Sydney this is the only gig I never made it to.

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Pound Bend upper Yarra River near Warandyte. photo by Darren

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Daniel Lesley Blood by Photo by Pru Brooks

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Poster by Pru Brooks, Daniel Smith ,

The END – ZORROS 1988-1993

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Zorros –Zorros Label: Dreamtime Software– none, Funnel Web Records — KRC204 Format :Cassette, EP Country : Australia Released : 1988 Genre : Rock Style : Punk Tracklist

A1- Memphis/Endless Conversation – 6:36

A2 – Melbourne – 3:55

A3 – Audience- 2:20

A4 – Back To The Front – 2:54

B1 – This Is My Night – 2:20

B2 – I Dig You – 3:00

B3 – The Snake – 4:53

B4 – I Would Like To Fly – 5:16

Credits

Bass – Alex Zammit

Drums – Daniel Smith

Guitar – Darren Smith

Vocals – Nic Chancellor 

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This was a farce in a production sense Darren wasa da only wun who got double tracking everyone else was recorded in quick time over a few hours, sounds flat, we had no control over the process. Then they took all of our best photos for an album kept the photos and put out a cassette, a deaf and blind dog could have done better.!

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PRAHRAN TO the MAD MAX and BEYOND

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Zorros in Prahran Hotel, it was close to St Kilda Junction coz we all walked home to St Kilda except alex who was living in Brunswick Nth. The photos are scans of a proof sheet cos thats all I had, they were taken by a Jim Hopper. The gig involved copious amounts of Magic Mushrooms and most songs lasted half an hour in reality, there was a great feeling amongst the smallish crowd and the band. Music is life and life is music so we were the best and most FAR OUT FULL ON in the later history of psychedelic rock.

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Daniel, Darren, Nic, Alex all Dilate. Photos Jim Hooper. such a happy couple of hours.

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Sky Pilot Nic East St Kilda Photo by Salima Harris

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Posters by Pru Brooks, Darren Smith, Daniel Smith .

LIVING IN the NINETIES

1990 the Berlin Wall came down and I bought a BMW K75C manufactured in Berlin, space motorcycle!

My first rave in 1988 was called “Soma” in Flinders Lane, the DJ’s were obscured by a black curtain and the people danced in circles together.
This was an evolutionary experience and totally changed my direction. I had been using a Roland Bass Line and Roland 303 drum machine since my return from Sydney in 1986 and bought an Ensonique Mirage sampler.

I started to make Jean Cocteauesque videos. A certain section of the punk milieu drifted headlong towards this tighter and potentially eclectic sound-bass that House and rave included. People such as Ollie Olsen from Young Charlatans were enthusiastic proponents of the shift. Before long I relocated to make the doof / rave rebellion my daily lifestyle as I hated walking out of clubs into the dawn smog of Melbourne.

Many Australian bands success was measured by if they had gone to London or LA to fall apart. I would find myself returning from Down to Earth “Confests” totally alienated by Melbourne’s lack of vivid life. I was raised in the middle of nowhere and never thought positively about Melbourne lifestyles. The band – audience dynamic was a real farmer – sheep set up so I was very positive about the breakdown of such an oppressive pattern of behavior. There are no spectators, we are all participants is a very quantum physics idea.

1991 bought an Ensoniq Mirage sampler. It sampled fine but each note would be faster as well as up one note so it wasn’t much musically. Its 2017 now and I own a Roland Gaia Synthesiser and use many VST synthesisers in Garageband such as Podolski. They are so much more useful than any of the previous incarnations.

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booze blackouts lost hours

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Rudyard Kipling “if”………day in day out

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nic up against the wall ( This is not my Mother ) in Chapel St East St Kilda.1990 blue meanie mushies with karl thomas

BUS LOAD OF COPS

Went to a party in Elwood and when I got there some girl said climb through the window, seemed cool there were two girls inside the house not quite what I was expecting. I sat on the floor with them when all of a sudden the house is invaded by police detectives who take me in to a room and strip search me three times as I’d left my personal under the bike seat they would find nothing on me so I was ordered to climb out a window into the back yard where there were a bus load of police men in shiny blue jackets as I walked through the 50 police men I was checking out the material on there jackets. The detectives thought that I had come to supply the party with drugs, they had a call of a break and enter as those girls had no key, I was a innocent bystander and had no idea we were trespassing. Never had I been in the presence of such a Party Squad Force, they had arrived in cars and a bus and I had arrived speeding on my BMW 750 cc motorcycle. They didn’t check under the bike seat they had larger fish to fry?

1992

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Alex in Brunswick 1990’s –

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Darren the Tripper in my rose coloured glasses at the 1992/3 Down to Earth Confest. Funny story or real sad , me tripping hard and saw old aboriginals come out of the Murray river at Moama, walked back to the main dance floor Big Didge sound coming from massive PA, River turned to land, land turned to sky, sky turned to river! Gong appeared that night, everyone danced in circles all concentric and every layer going counter clockwise or clockwise so it was that we all appeared in spheres around our head a perfect hallucination brought on by very skilled and experienced musicians. Latter that night I stumbled into a strange camp site and announced to the folk sitting around their fire that “I am the Postman” it went down like a bolt from heaven in the middle of the far out night such a service! Rain,Hail or Shine maybe Drunk stoned or Tripping we Deliver!

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– Nic Speeding with Byron Leonard 1991

The last gig we played was the Esplanade Hotel St. Kilda Gershwin Room 1993, there was a huge blow up man to the side and we called it Darren, the dressing room was something that struck me about this gig, it was mainly black and covered in graffiti, something very depressing about it, I could have been in any one of the dressing rooms of my career and they were all very black and cold so in my soul I knew I wanted to live better than this, rock n roll takes no prisoners and gives very little in nourishment apart from the music. The psychophantic and dreary buzz of fame glow and attention seeking un trusters and doubters line the path to the garden where I pray for rock n roll redemption. For me The Zoos had run its course.

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WHATS AFTER THE END?

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Got a job in Australia Post from old friend Les, had too much money so I bought a BMW 750 K series it was like a space bike compared to all the Japanese crap that I’d ridden for twelve years. Bukowski also worked as a postman?!

Les C got me this job, went mushying with three other posties lucky to make it back to work so ripped while driving back into melbourne All the workers were either or alcoholics speeders or brain dead. In photo, Lucas, Gary Scott , Manny Mauritius, Jeff lanka, Graeme Northey, Mario kalifatis, Nic Chancellor, Irish lad, thats me second from right, did this fast and furious for six years until I was hit by a car .

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Daniel and Nic had serious motorcycle accidents, both being hit by cars. A Change in priorities ensured after 16 Years on the road.

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The GEORGE aka Crystal Ballroom aka Seaview Ballroom aka Paradise Lounge. This was the view from my last Flat in Melbourne 1994. The flat was in Dalgety Lane, the stairwell was a fav shooting up place for the local lost. I moved into a boarding house in South Yarra for a few weeks, finished my job at Australia Post when my BMW K75c was rebuilt I rode up the Highway to Byron Bay. Broken Head, Mullumbimby , Main Arm , Rosebank, Myocum, Lismore, Brisbane, Gold Coast.

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2012-ZORROS-BallroomBookNicCorner

Delores put me in the corner behind Peter Garret the minister for Education?

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the Ghost Zorros

Greg Pedley : Drummer lives in  Melbourne.

Gary Williamson : Drummer lives in outer Wollongong, has moved back to Melbourne.

Christine Paris : Bass whereabouts unknown probably Paris.

Phil Bryant : Drums Drives a Big Rig lives near Geelong.

Craig Russel : passed away in May 2016.

Mark “Burger” Fleming : Drummer, Canberra Lawyer.

Tim Dexter : Bassist passed away 2012.

Harry Lindsay : Guitarist, Unknown whereabouts.

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Phil Bryant at the Exford Hotel Window 2017

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Nic  – lead singer/songwriter/frontman/seer/sage/muller and packer! 6’4″ Red Back Spider Smoker! Early influences were Dylan, Doors, Sex Pistols, Springsteen,Lennon, Albert Camus, Elvis and Bon Scott. Also played guitar during 82 and Bass all of 83. sung on album and Single. 16 Z years. Now modelling games for a Nevada company made some zorros film clips recently.

NIC TOUCHES CLOUDS

@£$%^&*&^.<4&>£@!!!!

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Daniel Dharma  – Drummer. Influences were Killing Joke, King Crimson, Nuggets, Manson band, Lesley Blood, Gene Kuepper, Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra. Daniel played drums on the album in 1988, learnt in the scotch college band playing military beats for a laugh. Dharma Drummer lives in St Kilda Victoria. Drove a 28 ton tram ( beware Pedestrian’s )

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Darren Sirenica Smith – Guitar, wrote 75% of Zorros music and 10% of Lyrics. Initially inspired by Steve Jones to be chugga thick,ultra slick and tight with a DS1 Boss Distortion pedal and Gibson Explorer Guitar through a GoldenTone / Marshall Amp. His influences were varied from Saints, Ramones to Bach, and Beatles! …Darren and Nic wrote over 500 original Zorros songs! Played Guitar and Slide on 1988 Album and Guitar on 1981 Single. A complete evolutionary! Could tune up the band mid song. Guitar Guru. Guide to other worlds of sound. Probably Alien. Darren Guitarist Great Gig in the Sky, check his acidplanet.com extended music collection.

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Alex Ze Zammit – Bass Guitar and co-founder of the Zorros, played 1979-1980 and 1987-1994 / Rock Solid! built Mosfet Amps…do you smell that, you know, that burnt transistor smell..I love the smell of amplifiers at the Exford ! Alex had started the band with his bro joe and Harry Lindsay in Brunswick 1978, Nic met Joe at the Brunswick Unemployed Group and Alex said if you can sing the Stranglers song “Death and Night and Blood” you can be in the Band! Influences were Creedence, Stranglers, Saints, Clash,Boston,UFO. Played bass on the Zorros 1988 Album. Bounces Bouncers

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Alex bass player lives in Castlemaine Victoria, is playing bass in a band Moon Rocket near Bendigo Victoria, plays with an ex Cold Chisel Guitarist Rankine. Does a great cover of “its a long way to the Top if you want to Rock n Roll”

2016-StKdan

…………….Light years ahead of themselves they have a memory of mine. The Zorros lived on the edge of the golden sunset next to the Port Phillip Bay,

high on Arthurs Seat they made a pact with the sun to stand still in time and to bring magic to music and it was good……..

Here are some images from my last trip to melbourne,

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Inside the Crystal Ballroom….

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Your Ballroom Days are over Baby!

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the Paradise Lounge is now ?

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Let there be Punk

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Dharma and the wall of fame…Prince of Wales

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Down and out in St Kilda.

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For members of my family who fought in world war two.

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the Palais front entrance

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st kilda pier

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Fitzroy St, Elephant and the Wheelbarrow Hotel

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SKILDA Pier

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I want to go back to to the Gold Coast!

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Camberwell Station

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I see many of these number plates in Queensland, go figure! WTF?

Punk gave me the chance to be who I am with very little pretension, this is a do it yourself / can do attitude in an ever changing world where the ability to transform and reinvent ones self is a matter of survival. Music is an ever changing and uniting force . Society tries its best to keep from falling apart. “Johnny what are you rebelling against?” “What have you got?” The Zorros.

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Meanwhile back on the Gold Coast! Total Immersion in nature.

Nic’s Youtube Channel

Free Zorros Songs from YOUTUBE

“30 Light Years in the Stratosphere “
too young
let me love you
77
break of day
girl girl girl
party table
circus of anarchy
black widow spider
move out
Death Heard My Call
blue moon butterfly
Dance Like the Fire
El Zorado
leave the party
on the run
memphis
back to the front
I dig you
groovyland
celtic rush
High Road
Smoke Signals
magic moments
ghost train

ZORROS LIVE SET 1982 on youtube

ZORROS-PARADISE

drums PHIL BRYANT, Guitar Vocals DARREN SMITH, Vocals Guitar NIC CHANCELLOR, Bass the abusive, malicious, mudslinging, backbiting, slandering, sycophantic, pot stealing troll hiding behind a myriad of false identities. (We know who we are, who the fuck are you?)

The Dawn  ( NC )

Too Young  ( NC/DS )

Better Days  (NC)

Still On My Mind (NC)

I’m A Loser With You (NC)

Another World  ( NC/DS )

Girl Girl Girl (DS)

Dreams are Forever (NC)

Strangers Game (NC)

Star of the Show (NC/DS)

You Don’t Care Anymore (DS)

Memphis Tennessee (Chuck Berry)

ZORROS LIVE SET 1987 on youtube

ACID-ROCK

drums DIVIS DESMO,Guitar  DARREN SMITH, Vocals  NIC CHANCELLOR, Bass  ALEX ZAMMIT

Too Young (NC/DS)

Black Widow Spider (NC/DS)

Move Out (NC/DS)

On The Road To Memphis (NC/DS)

Endless Conversation (NC)

Circus Of Anarchy (NC/DS)

Seventy Seven (NC/DS)

Dangerman (NC/DS)

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Ride on . Right on!

  The Zorros played for 16 years with over 500 performances and over 500 songs written by Darren Smith and Nic Chancellor. The Zorros are leaving the Universe in style to the sound of intergalactic thunder and inter dimensional video clips.

thanks to the unknown / un named photographers if you are one let me know

and thank you all for your support….ADIOS MUCHACHOS

 

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