SALT LAKE CITY
By Mark Robinson
After the break up of the band 'Zero' drummer
Mark Robinson decided to contact his old friend keyboard player
Eddie Price from 'Sky' 'Maya', and see if he wanted to
go around the traps again. It took some convincing, but some weeks,
or months later it happened.
I'm not to sure how it fell together, but we got Mark
Apthorpe on bass from 'Mata Hari' and singer Milton
Miller from 'Hush'. That
was the nucleus of the band.
We hired a room up in the old Sun building at the top end of Hunter
Street, opposite the nurses quarters. It was about the 4th floor up,
and had about a dozen rooms with a dozen bands rehearsing at one given
time, it was a great meeting place for muso's. We advertised for a lead
guitarist and chose Kevin Meehan from the
band 'Earthwood'. Then the next day we met this cool looking
dude in the lift, he'd come to audition for the band but was a day late.
We gave him his 15 minutes of fame and he was that good we decided to
have two lead guitarists. His name was Larry Shone.
The line-up was now complete all we needed was a name. Mark come up
with the name 'Salt Lake City',
it had a ring to it so we stuck with it.
We started rehearsing with a couple of classics by 'Procal Harem'
and the 'Small Faces', which stayed in the set. Then we learnt
the hits of the day by 'Toto', 'Foreigner', The Baby's', 'Bob Seger'
The band had a big sound, with Eddy's keyboards and two guitarists,
as well as three part harmonies. We had a wealth of experience, with
Ed, Mark A, Milton and Kevin. As well as the enthusiasm with Larry and
The vibe around the Sun building was fantastic, the bands rehearsing
at the time back in March 1979 were the likes of 'Rat Salad', 'Gypsy',
'X-Facta', 'Barracuda', etc.
Sometimes the light cords would hang outside the rooms, and you'd run
passed and turn the bands lights out, and they would be left playing
in the dark. All sort of pranks would go on, except one day when local
guitarist Geoff de Sylva got his guitar stolen from the footpath. That
was for real, and a high price was paid when forgetting to pack all
your gear in your car!
'Salt Lake City' made its debut
on 4th April at the Ambassador Nightclub Newcastle. We supported 'Jimmy
and the Boy's'; it was great playing with real bands from Sydney
and lots to be learnt.
For a start they had a professional road crew and real PA's, and didn't
we know about that !!!! The deal was you had to help with the lug of
their PA in the afternoon before the gig, those 'W' bins used to be
a four-man lug up two flights of stairs!
Other gigs we played were the Bel Air Hotel, Toronto RSL and Swansea
Workers Club, but the majority of the work was at the Ambassador Nightclub,
which was open five nights a week. I remember one night we played with
'Jon English', he was a popular as 'John Farnham' in the 70's. The vibe
in the room was fantastic, and we played great. We had a real PA and
lights and more importantly a responsive crowd, (we got paid thirteen
dollars each, as well as lugging in the gear. But this was a REAL gig!).
One of the girls up the back of the club got a little bit excited with
herself under the table, and the bouncers had to remove her from the
After getting a taste of the bright lights, Larry and Mark, being the
younger members of the band, decided they wanted to get serious and
form their own band. They soon left and went on to form 'The Penetrator'.
Milton was moving on as well, to be replaced by Mick Taylor. They got
a replacement drummer to finish the remainder of the gigs, and then
split up I think, but Eddie will have to take up the story from there.
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