Biography's By Steve McLennan
What you are about to read is not a definitive history
of the band featured
in the bio's below. It is a very subjective snap shot of a specific
time. It just so happens that I was "there" in that moment
and the snapshot
was taken from my point of view. These are my memories and any scholar
can tell you that memory and history, though related, are not the same
thing. I hope any and all readers who can offer a different perspective,
alternative point of reference or personal insights will add them to
the page. I would love to know what was going on in other peoples heads
at the time....these bios are a way for me to assess what was going
on in mine. To anyone who feels in any way misrepresented I feel compelled
apologise...however...keep in mind...my memory of you from that moment
in time may be very different to your own. Just for starters...Im color
God bless you and all who sail in her...MAC
The name came from an "Aragorn: Lord Of The
Rings" T shirt.
I liked the sound of the name without the "R". I still havent
read "Lord Of The Rings" and can't stand the movies. My son
Zac however loves them. Anyway,,,this was a band for firsts.
First drum kit (A Tempo kit that looked like it was made of copper wire...my
dad picked me up after soccer and we drove out to Toronto to pick it
First band, first gig (Wallsend Primary 6th Class Farewell), first time
asked to sign autographs, (This was very cool...I was in High School
so the 6th class kids thought I was a rock star) first groupies, (my
brother actually sold some of my clothes and old drum sticks to a couple
of girls from the
First time stopped mid performance by disgruntled gig officials (we
were playing our Wallsend High School dance...some of the teachers took
exception to us singing The Stones' classic "Starfucker")
First arrest (New Years Eve...a pub in Abermain...all band members except
John busted for underage drinking)
First realisation that keyboard players make excellent "whipping
stripped Huggo one night coming back from a gig and dumped it on Lake
Road. No we didnt go back and get him and no I dont know how he got
home. He left the band shortly after this episode.)
First band to break up because of musical differences. Rocka &
Danny and I wanted to write our own songs "in the style of"
(rip off) Black
Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin...John wanted to be Francis Rossi
from Status Quo...he also liked The Eagles & America (he had a full
time girl friend)....plus aforementioned keyboardist problems.
We used to rehearse in my parents shed, my Uncle Bill ran a power cable
from his house to the shed for us so we could plug in our amps. It had
two male ends. I picked it up one day while it was turned on..BANG...first
taste of 240 volts. We practiced for hours getting the riffs right for
"Wishing Well", "Sunshine Of Your Love" & "Satisfaction".
Great fun. This was also
a period when we would organise our own gigs. Book a hall, set up our
mums would make drinks, biscuits, cakes etc. to sell, dads and older
brothers would be "security" and boot out any drunken louts
who turned up.
Pretty much Aragon once the keyboard player left.
Biggest problem was..no natural "whipping boy".
Man 'o War: (70's)
Logical next step from Aragon & Backwater.
Danny called me in for a gig as "singer". ( A sign of things
to come much later) Didnt work...the drummer however looked like Robert
Plant (couldnt sing like him but looked just like him...also had a ute
& a PA)...so I resumed my natural position behind the kit and Dave
Swift moved out front.
We played lots of Bad Company, Ted Nugent, KISS, David Bowie...and of
One night playing up in a hall in Morpeth, bassist Robbie Bell walked
the corner to the pub to get some drinks...came back with a black beer
me...I wasnt very keen...I was a Port & Coke afficianado....I drank
a mouthful and topped it up with Raspberry cordial....not bad...and
some Mandrax...ah...thats the ticket. We took afew girls back to the
Largs farm house we were staying in that night and I recall watching
in amazement as one young lady was being fucked on a bed without a mattress...just
the wire springs to cushion the impact of an over enthusiastic roadie.
She saw me in the doorway and said "Do you know what a U.B. is
?" "No" I
answered honestly. "You be fucked if I hit you with one then wouldnt
...ha ha ha."came the reply.
I still dont get it.
I left her to her fun (and wire burns).
Raiding Party: (80's)
I was recruited into The Raiding Party (or The Felching
Party as we were
dubbed by a group of very playful young ladies) by Tinno after original
drummer Gary Wilson vacated the drum spot.
The band had achieved local success with their single "Loveland"
and were working on average 6 nights per week raking in the cash hand
over fist. Combined with the opportunity to play with Tinno this was
offer I couldnt refuse. Once in the band though it became obvious that
all wasnt as it seemed from the outside. Tinno had manufactured a pop
band based around the song writing skills of Brien McVernon and the
bitch-magnet skills of Ian "Candy" Sandercoe and Jim "Flicka"
Davis. In retrospect it became obvious that I was perceived as a missing
link in the puzzle...someone the beer swilling yobs and metal heads
Of course it worked a treat.
The gigs were packed, primarily with girls who'd come to drool over
Candy and Jim and every night the band room was like a smorgasbord,
filled to over flowing with lusty young wenches offering all types of
and guys with pockets overflowing with pot, pills & potions. Life
There was of course unrest in the camp.
The personalities were too diverse. Jim and Candy were blissfully unaware
of their roles as hood ornaments and were frustrated at every turn as
their attempts at creative involvement were thwarted.
I railed against the unadulterated pop sensibilities
of the product and attempted to toughen up every thing we did. (Now
even I have to admit that "Loveland" worked better without
the double kick patterns.)
Brien's songs became darker and more disturbed in reflection of his
personal life. There were holes punched in band room walls, people thrown
out of 2nd storey windows, Heroine addicted girl friends, Road crew
imprisoned, drink driving offences, self mutilation and Brown Water
Meanwhile, Tinno kept counting up the cash. We blew 10 grand on a second
single "Violet" which although a wonderful song (penned by
Jim) made no impact on even the local chart.
Candy and I came into conflict when he felt compelled to add a confessional
disclaimer to my ode to over-indulgence "Sinner".
Eventually the whole thing imploded.
Candy was first to jump ship. We continued with Brien up front for a
few months but it just wasnt the same and The Felching Party faded to
Glam Gods: (90's)
Looking for something to do on Tuesday nights Brien
McVernon & I came up
with the idea of a 70s tribute show / band to play our childhood favourites
from Slade, Bowie, Gary Glitter etc. We wanted Tinno to play guitar
(he was after all a founding member of real 70s glam rockers Rabbit!!!)
but he declined suggesting Dennis Butler would be perfect. He also suggested
I should "front" it. We didnt like to refer to me as "the
singer". I couldnt really refer to my vocal stylings as singing.
In fact a guy waited around at The Castle till 3:00am after one gig
to tell me I was the worst singer he'd
ever heard....ever. I thanked him for sharing his opinion and as I left
a couple of girls under each arm suggested that "singing"
wasnt my main priority.
Ronnie Bult was up for the drum spot and The Glam Gods were born. Local
promoter Chris Varley must accept some of the blame for the band (especially
my character Damien Hades) developing into the outrageously offensive
Frankenstein monster it became.
He saw our very first gig at the Cambridge supporting Stevie Wright.
loved the songs, the concept & the band but thought I needed to
be "a bit wilder". I took him at his word and never looked
back reinventing myself as the bastard son of Gene $immons and Alice
Cooper with a touch of Keith Richards thrown in for good measure. (All
pre-Marilyn Manson I should add). Brien became the beautiful and talented
Jehovah St. Andrew. He may see it differently but I thought Joey was
an amalgam of Brian Jones' sensitivity, Dave Hill's flambuoyance and
Woody from Bay City Rolers' boyish charm. The ladies loved him!!! Dennis
was hilarious as munchkin guitarist extraordinaire Little Tommy Doubter
and Ronnie recreated the madness and
ferocity of Keith Moon while adding his own warped take on life as (The
Of) Thunder. I can still see him (and his oversized appendage) hanging
upside down from a harness strapped to the lighting rig singing "Beth".
There were others as well.
Pete Hoolihan actually shaved his beard off to become Karen Carpenter.
Badly Druncan also deputised on the drum stool.
Ngariki was an articulate non-english speaking guitarist ala Michael
Schenker in the guise of Rudolph Schwarz.
Rudy also sat in on drums when Tommy returned to the fold.
Our Christmas Shows featured a star studded cast of guests including
John Shelley as a very decaying Marc Bolan,
Dave Carter as Rod Stewart, Ronnie's sister Jannette as Suzi quatro
and the inimitable Tony "Round Mound Of Sound" Heads as an
Alfoil covered Gary Glitter.
Pete "Cyd" Lindsay might even have sat in on bass when Joey
was in re-hab. In all honesty towards the end of this circus I dont
really recall with any clarity what was going on.
There was backstage bondage, joints and beer being passed from stage
crowd and vice versa, pill popping, on stage sex acts with live (and
inflatable) women, chrome, satin, sequins, lipstick and eye liner, pyros
and fire, lots of fire.
And there were TheCrazees!!!
This was the name affectionately given to our beloved army of misfits
miscreants who would follow us to the ends of the earth if it meant
to swill some God Juice and raise their fists in the air in salute to
They were as much a part of the show as the band was...encouraging us
to get more wildly out of control with each performance. They would
bring gifts like sacrifices to the alter.
Everything from ukeleles and guitars to be smashed and burnt to Sootie
negroid inflatable sex doll) to be violated and dismembered....they
even brought the sword toimpale her on. It was a symbiotic relationship.
They fed the debauchery and we spewed it back to them ten fold.
I will never forget the tears rolling down Joey's face as we watched
them writhe around in a frenzied, drunken mass, coughing and spluttering,
covered in fire extinguisher powder and cat piss soaked bean bag balls.
I guess you had to be there.
Eventually the stress on band members, (especially Tommy), began to
show when I was arrested after a gig in Sydney and charged with lewd
public acts and civil disobedience causing serious affront. As in all
best rock'n'roll stories the dream had become a nightmare.
The end was nigh.
The most important factor contributing to the success (albeit short
of The Glam Gods was the wonderful music of the early 70s. Much maligned
by music critics and historians today the music created by the Glam
Era bands was a joyous celebration of over indulgence, flambouyance
and above all fun.
I still love it to death!!!!