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Radio GaGa

Mark 2.

Radio GooGoo
LR: Ross Melville, Larry Shone, Mark Robinson, Michael Armitt, Brett Carson.

Biography by Mark Robinson.

The year was 1991; drummer Mark Robinson and bass player Brett Carson had just had a break after leaving 'Big Bam Boom' some months earlier. They were keen to get back on the road, call it fate but bass player Leo Della Grotta and drummer John Davies were leaving 'Radio GaGa'. Mark and Brett were ideal replacements having played previously in other bands with the guys, including 'The Globes', 'Bob Hanley Band' and 'Kooka Bros'. From memory we had two unplugged rehearsals and Ross Melville said see you at the Delany Hotel Saturday night!
I had already seen the band and knew they had something special to offer other than what was happening around town at the time. That was entertainment with a capital E!
As the name suggests, we were doing radio format from the 80's and 90's. New F-M in fact and T V commercials, using classic remakes of past hits.
With 52 weeks in the year we were working 51 of them at one stage. If you didn't see us at the Delany one week you could be sure to catch us at the Beaches the next week.
I remember one New Years Eve we played the Beaches and ended up down at the wharf road regent, (Fanny's), going on stage at 3.30 am in the morning!
Other gigs included The Casbah, SJ'S and corporate functions. We even did a couple balls, one being on the South Steyne, (the old Manly Ferry), moored just up from 'Fanwah's'. But the biggest gig we ever did without a doubt was one of the first Darby Street Fairs.
We were outdoors on this massive stage and we had a support act. Ross worked the crowd into a frenzy; there was footballs and frisbees flying through the air. Admittedly Ross supplied the balls, but it was an absolute hoot! After we did our second encore we had left the stage as night was falling but the crowd were a little bit intoxicated and weren't keen to leave. Apparently later there was some sort of a minor street riot, consequently we didn't appear next year.
Another memorable gig was at the Beaches. One Sunday night when a punter was going to hit his girlfriend in the face, Larry hit the guy with the back of his guitar. All of a sudden this guy dives onto the stage grabs Laz and falls through the drum kit. I pull him off Laz, then somehow I'm on the floor and he's on top off me! Eventually the cops are called, the stage is trashed, and he's removed. We like true professionals managed to pull it back together and finish the gig, it just made us more popular!
Apart from posters our 'Radio GaGa' merchandises included an array of T-shirts, caps, windcheaters and even coasters, (Hotel Delany). We would go and hit the venues up for sponsorship. They were more than willing to get their hotel on our merchandise, at the 'Del' we even ended up with a drink rider beside the stage!
At the peak of our career we went in the recording studios and recorded our version of 'Viva Las Vegas', a big stage favourite at the time, it came out on a cassette single.
Two weeks later 'Z Z Top' bought out their version.
Not long after that Brett called it quits and we pulled in Greg Dawson on bass. After another 14 months or so, Ross's day gig was getting a little bit demanding, and didn't want to play Friday night gigs. Larry Greg and Michael formed another band with John Davies and Anne Orett. But it wasn't long after that Ross announced he was leaving. I decided I needed a bit of a break as well. The last gig of the Mark 2 lineup was off course at the legendary Beach Hotel Mereweather, on a Sunday afternoon in mid 1995. Ross Mark and Brett got back together in 'The Swell'.
'Radio GaGa' continues on even to this day, and just recently made a return to the Beaches after an 8 year hiatus. It is my belief they may hold the record for longest band being continually together in Newy! (Other's may have got back together, but 'Radio GaGa' has never given up!)

Mark Robinson


Mark 2.

Nice legs shame about ......
Radio GaGa Mark2. Featuring Greg Dawson on bass at the Beach Hotel lovely legs competition 1994

Above photographs courtesy of Mark Robinson.

Radio Ga Ga 2004

LR: Top, Mick Fetch, Michael Armitt, Bottom, Larry Shone,
John Davey, Greg Dawson.

Photograph courtesy of Larry Shone

Steve Boyd, (Blower), was with us from around July last year (2004) after Mick Fetch left, and now it looks like we have called it quits!!

15 years to the day we did our first gig!!

Our first gig was meant to be the Delaney, just before the earthquake.....but that gig got canned because of the earthquake.
So our first gig ended up being New Years Eve 1989 at Cessnock Workers....
It looks like our last one was last New Years Eve at Cessnock RSL!!!
We finished 200 meters up the road from where we started.!!

Larry Shone

The band broke up in 2005 and is no longer gigging.