Est. 1999

logomaji1.gif (23692 bytes)

I raise my hand and touch the wheel of change
taking time to check the dial

                                                                      Home      Articles     Messageboard  
September 2, 1972
Courtesy of Linda Crafar


Cat Stevens Tour
By Ian Meldrum

Cat Stevens and Gold RecordsWell, we’re on our way. Me, Mitch and the lovely Cat zooming all over Australia on the Cat Stevens tour. The scenes at the Airport on his arrival. . . well let’s face it my lovelies, I don’t think anyone was ready for it…let alone Cat Stevens…out of customs, through the doors and then screaming hysteria…I touched him, he touched me, I got a bit of his shirt, I think I’ve got his trousers…it was UNBELIEVABLE. I mean, there were quite a few people there too many in fact but I’ve got to give it to Ron Blackmore and Michael Barnet, they ushered him through it all, whisked him into a car then to his motel.

A couple of the more eager reporters and D.J’s in Sydney remarked that it was something similar to the Beatles reception but I wouldn’t go as far as that…I mean the Beatles reception had ME screaming, shrieking and trying to touch them.

Spent the rest of the day sunning my body out at Ken and Dolly EMI East’s place and must admit that I got the odd tipsy…the next morning I had to be in at the Kingsgate Hotel Motel to attend Cat’s Press Conference at 10.30. Heaven forbid, how do they expect you to be brilliant at that time of day let alone sound intelligent. . . . First disaster….

Pressed the button on the cassette machine and it wouldn’t work. Either I had forgotten to put the batteries in or they were flat, but forever trying to be the Jimmy Olson of the pop scene, taking nothing away from Barry Sloan; ex-GTK, I conned some poor chappy from Channel 9 to lend me a rather long electrical lead. Hey presto, plugged the thing in, switched over from DC to AC. . (now there’s a change), and wormed me way through ‘em all and plonked me little microphone amongst all the 2UW, 2SM’s ABC’s biguns. Well. I might say that Mitch and I clutched each other’s hands and featured quite heavily with the questionnaires. You did see us on telly didn’t you? That was me in the check jumper waving a lot. If you can’t remember that I was sitting on top of a bird it was Mitch. Anyway, all in all, the old conference went quite smoothly. There were a few of the typically embarrassing Australiana questions like ‘What do you think of Australia since you’ve been here’, 'How come your name is Cat’ but as I said it did go smoothly, and Cat was forever obliging. Quite a gentleman, in fact.

Spent the rest of the day whizzing around to all the recording companies. I had a look over the new EMI recording studios and heard Johnny Farnham’s new single which was produced by EMI’s newest of newest producers, Peter Dawkins. 'Tis good, it is very good. . and back to Go-Set and picked up the desperates that get out the Sydney bit and rocked off to the Festival Gold Record reception for Cat. Well, me lovelies, everyone who has the slightest thing to do with the media, was there even Cynthia Dyer-Bennet. Yes, she was definitely there. Surprise, surprise, who should also walk in but Rupert Murdoch who owns Festival Records, The Australian, the odd radio station and Fleet Street, London. Come to think of it I think he owns London. What a homecoming for the lad.

Well, we all got a little boozed. No, that might be a little defamatory. I got a little boozed and it started to develop into a roaring turn. Said hello to all my friends at that radio station of much more music 2SM I couldn’t resist asking them about the much more music? Saw Noel Brown from Festival featuring rather heavily. My friend and yours was there, Kevin Sadlier who I believe had a portable television set in his pocket and kept the odd watch on it. Jeune Pritchard was there getting more than K-ing that forever intrepid Go-Set photographer who is absolutely brilliant as well as stunning featured. My God when he flashes, it’s better than being put on canvas. Tulula, the auntie of them all was there. . . why I don’t know. In fact it would be easier to say that they were all there. Well Cat finally arrived and mingled and then Allan Healy took over the microphone with a stunning back-drop of TWENTY-FIVE GOLD RECORDS and made one of the nicest but shortest speeches in history. . . which was a gas because there’s nothing more boring than LONG speeches. To sum it up, he congratulated Cat on his fine achievement for sales in this country of his three albums, Mona Bone Jakon, Tea For he Tillerman and Teaser And The Firecat. All in all they have achieved 25 gold records in this country and on top of that, Teaser also notched up a gold cassette. Cat accepted them graciously (actually he didn’t have to really hold the whole 25). Festival Records made up an extra gold record package with the map of Australia, with three little inserts of the actual covers. It was a beautiful presentation. Plus a framed gold cassette award.

Cat’s speech was even shorter than Allan's. All he said was Thank-You. After much applause, we resumed to our drinking and talking and Cat tactfully and very quietly left the reception.

During the night I had a very interesting talk with his manager. Mr. Barry Krost who also manages David Bowie and Peter Finch. WOW, Peter Finch is one of my favourite actors. Barry is probably one of the most interesting guys you could ever talk to. He is oh so young and clever to hold such a position.. Cat’s guitarist, Alun Davies seemed to be enjoying the reception as did the rest of the group and I sincerely believe, regardless of several reports, they were really knocked out touring Australia. The following day, actually the day I am writing this column, they spent their time by hiring a launch and cruising the harbour for about six hours. It must have been fantastic because Sydney put on some of their best weather. You've got to give it to this city; they sure know how to treat their guests. I, my friends, have to admit, spent the most of the day trying to get over a rather severe hangover. Ended up plunging into Dolly East's Pool. It was icy cold, but believe me, it is the best remedy for such an illness. And on top of that, Dolly has lent me her car to whizz around Sydney. Well, let’s face it I’ve only just mastered it in Melbourne, let alone tackle it in this city. There I was sailing over the bridge, getting an eye-full of that wretched opera house, and wham, straight into the tollgate. I think the expense came to 20c for the toll, $1,580 for the tollgate and half the funeral expenses for the toll man. No only jokingly I’m a wizard like the rest of them.

Well, tomorrow, it’s off to Brisbane to witness the first Cat Stevens Australian concert. Just cannot wait.


Tope of Page

Links to September 2, 1972   Goset articles.

This site is best viewed on "800 x 600" screen resolution.
Site Creator - Christine Chenevey   
Special Thanks To:   Jill Mallow, *Keith Balaam, George Brown, Linda Crafar, Bruce Lawrie, DJ Illingworth, Gerardo Roman, Chris & Annie Abrams, Patricia Squillari, Harry Schmieder, Sue Vukson and all who have contributed either with material or support to help make Majicat magical.
* This site is dedicated in the memory of Keith Balaam. ---<----<----@