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Jim’s Australiana Spot – 2UE - June 5, 2016

Rock and Roll Memories- the '70s

Today's guest is Kevin Johnson. His 'Rock and Roll' was a song that summed up the careers of many aspiring singer songwriters and is one of the most 'covered' Aussie songs ever - it really connected with people because it was about what we miss while we are chasing success.

"It was a quick song for me because I've spent months on one line. It just came to me one day as I was driving home, feeling all this frustration of two years without making a record. So I decided to write a song not about giving someone the best years of my life, but to write about the pursuit of success, which I thought related to a lot of people around the world, not just in music but anything" — Kevin Johnson, March 2002

1 Kevin toured as part of a trio called JAM with two other great songwriters - who are they and what were their biggest hits?
  Doug Ashdown 'Winter in America' Mike McClelland 'Song and Dance Man
2 One of Kevin's hits was known by two titles - what were they?
  Bonnie Please Don't Go - She's Leavin'
3 Which sport used a version of "Rock 'n' Roll" as a heme song in the 1990's?

The 1970s saw the age of great singer songwriters in Australia - great original songs rather than American covers and British acts and great bands like Sherbert, Skyhooks, Split Enz and Air Supply - Aussie music came of age.

Questions for Kevin - 1 Did you think of yourself as a writer or singer?
2 Why did some singers change the lyrics of 'Rock and Roll'?
3 What were the best memories of that time?

The Something That Never Comes
Henry Lawson

Away in the world of battle,
Or at home in our quiet homes,
We all grow weary of waiting
For something that never comes.
We find that fame is barren,
And that fortune weighs like lead,
That the faith we trusted is broken,
And the love we craved for dead.
Till we feel as we grow older,
And we long and suffer thus,
That in Heaven and not in this world
The something is waiting for us.


Press Release

Kevin Johnson and Mike McClellan perform at the
Illawarra Performing Arts Centre Wollongong Friday July 1
and The Basement Thursday July 7

To their fans, of which there are many both in Australia and around the world, the names Kevin Johnson and Mike McClellan are very familiar.  They can rattle off their hits, tell you when they last saw them in concert and discuss the impact that their most poignant songs have had upon their lives. 

To many others, mention Rock & Roll I Gave You The Best Years of My Life, Bonnie Please Don’t Go, Song and Danceman and The One I Love and it’s likely they’d know of every one and be able to hum a few bars of most.  For it is their songs that have become an indelible part of the fabric of our lives.

The collective impact of these two writer performers on the Australian music scene has been profound.  They influenced an entire generation of young songwriters in the 70s and 80s producing music of great substance and power.  Now they join together at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and The Basement with a band of the finest musicians in the city and a selection of wonderful songs from their extraordinary catalogues.

You could be forgiven for thinking that at this stage of their lives they might well have hung up their guitars and retired to a beachfront hacienda somewhere north of the winter.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Mike McClellan has released two albums of new songs and been touring constantly for the last four years with two trips to the US and invitations to return.  Kevin’s Ultimate Collection has seen him back on the concert circuit and planning an album of new songs. They love performing and the excitement both get out of finishing and debuting a new song is evident for all to see when they step onto the stage.  Be prepared to leave the concert amazed – they’ve still got “IT”.  The truth is, “IT” has never left them.

This will be an unforgettable night.

Illawarra Performing Arts Centre  Wollongong      Friday July 1    8:00pm
The Basement     Thursday July 7   9:00pm

For further information - Doug Trevor Management  0407 436 220  dtrevor@tpg.com.au



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