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Salt Lake City

LR: Mark Apthorpe, Mark Robinson, Larry Shone, Eddie Price,
(Front) Kevin Meehan, Milton Miller.

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' and 'Santana'.
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 Mark R.
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 venue.
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.
More info on any of the above can be found if you keep browsing this site cheers!

Mark Robinson

SLC Toronto RSL
Toronto RSL
LR: Eddie, Kevin, Mark R, Milton, Mark A, Larry.

Photograph and cutting courtesy of Mark Robinson.