The Story of Two Music Legends
One of rock music's most gifted singers, Roy Orbison grew up in Texas and worked in the oil fields, dreaming of music success. He was gifted with a clear tenor that soared into an angelic falsetto, later adored the world over. After a chance meeting with Johnny Cash, he was introduced to Sun Records by this new friend, and went on to enjoy a string of hits from the late 1950's through the mid–1960s. He moved between two music styles –– up-tempo rockabilly songs . . . and dramatic ballads of isolation and longing. He was a shy, staid, almost motionless performer, his mouth barely seeming to move as he sang his songs’ poignant and often painful lyrics, with his swept back pompadour (his almost white hair was always dyed black) and a mysterious aloofness behind his trademark black, thick-lensed dark glasses Just weeks before his death on Dec. 6, 1988, Roy Orbison told Rolling Stone magazine that he couldn’t sum up his life in a paragraph, but might be able to do it through his songs. "Parts of Crying, parts of Pretty Woman, too, and Running Scared. . . . Pieces of my songs would tell the story." After his career waned he made a huge comeback with the Supergroup "The Travelling Wilberries".
Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, was a singer, guitarist and songwriter whose prolific music innovatively mixed country, rock, blues and gospel influences. Born in 1932 in Arkansas, Johnny Cash grew up on a poor cotton farm and joined the Air Force in 1950. He co-founded a band following his discharge, and within a few years Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two had scored hits with songs like "Walk the Line." Cash's career was nearly derailed in the 1960s by a serious substance-abuse problem, but his marriage to June Carter and acclaimed album Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968) put him back on track. In later years, Cash joined the country supergroup the Highwaymen and went on to release a series of award winning barebones solo recordings with producer Rick Rubin. He died of complications from diabetes on September 12, 2003.
Roy Orbison first met Johnny Cash when they both performed live to air at a small Texas radio station - Roy was the lead vocalist with a rising local band who had won a resident spot on the show, while Johnny was in Texas with Carl Perkins to promote his first chart success "Cry Cry Cry". Johnny heard Roy sing and was so impressed he offered to help him get in front of legendary Sam Philips, the head of the iconic Sun Records, with the aim of securing a record contract. It was the beginning of a lifetime friendship, as the two men embarked on their unique individual wild ride to music stardom. For over a half a century they experienced a parallel journey through the highs and lows, the pressures of celebrity, personal tragedy, incredible success, disappointments and falures, come-backs and Super Groups, each attaining legendary status as towering figures of popular music, remaining close friends to the end.
Both these wonderful musical talents have left us now, and, in this fantasy show, we meet our two legends in the Waiting Room at the Pearly Gates, where they discover that they each have serious misgivings about how they will be received by Saint Peter ... ...and they begin to recount stories of their lives, both men concerned at how the excesses of their youth will be measured in the Great Big Ledger of Life...
Johnny Cash was a wildman in his youth and with a deep, dark voice and a penchant for women, drugs and drinking there is no doubt he had a devil to deal with. Roy, with the voice of an angel was a different kind of man, and that contrast in singing style and lifestyle makes for a fascinating story. It is not widely known that, at the time of Roy Orbison's greatest personal tragedy - two of his three young sons were killed when his house burnt down while he was touring the UK - Johnny stepped in to help his friend who could not face returning to the scene of his loss, and he bought the property from Roy and preserved it as a tribute to these lost innocents.
In a macabre twist, Johnny later built another house on the property and it too was consumed by fire. Thus this highly entertaining show weaves together two fascinating life stories and a series of wonderful songs which are amongst the most widely know and loved hit songs of popular music history. With both performers strong vocalists and possessing unique gifts as multi instrumentalists, this show can be presented with a cast of just two - with live musical backing (no fake backing tracks) - Slim plays double bass to Barry's highly skilled guitar in the Johnny Cash songs, and Barry plays drums & keyboards to Slim's guitar in the Roy Orbison songs.
Byron Bay based musicians Barry Ferrier and Slim Pickens met in 2002 at the weekly open mic night at a hotel in the quaint rural town of Bangalow and immediately forged a friendship and creative partnership that has endured 15 years. Throughout these years they have been performing their Ry Cooder style blues and roots music together as "Slim Pickens & Dr. Baz" and in this format they have played at the Byron Bay Blues Festival, Blues on Broadbeach Festival, the Tamworth Country Music Festival and the Gympie Music Muster, as well as hundreds of shows in pubs and clubs up and down the eastern seaboard and have released two albums, "Cactus" and "Next Time".
In 2005 and 2006 they travelled to Norway to perform at two festivals and clocked up over 60 gigs there as well as performing in London and touring Northern Ireland. They have also worked together in the rockabilly showband "the Purple Drippers" performing at the Coolie Rocks Festival and the Gympie Music Muster.
For the past few years Slim and Barry have enjoyed great success with a stage musical written by Barry on the life of Johnny Cash entitled "I Hear That Train a-Comin' : the Johnny Cash Story" which has recently returned from a sell out mini-tour, including shows at Darwin & Alice Springs Entertainment Centres, and acclaimed performances at some of the biggest venues in Sydney, (and also features their talented friends Ilona Harker as June Carter and Mark Heazlitt as Luther Perkins). Barry's ability to emulate the unique deep voice of Johnny Cash is mirrored by Slim's powerful tenor that soars effortlessly to the vocal range made famous by Roy Orbison. When they discovered that Roy and Johnny were life-long friends, it was just too tantalizing not to try to put together a new show that showcased this great story and their own friendship and equally contrasting voices.
Thus was born a new musical tribute show that weaves together the amazing story of these two legendary performers in a fascinating journey through their epic lives and their repertoire of famous and widely loved songs.
"We became like brothers, right from the start..... and it stayed that way right to the end."
How many bands, duos & musical ensembles have I played in? The time when I could count them all is long past. I formed my first band at high school with school mates Michael Edwards (piano), Leo Botham (Bass) , and Roy - name eludes me now (drums). We played instrumentals made famous by the Shadows and some of my early intrumental compositions influenced by these surf guitar hits. Later I answered an ad in the local Manly Daily and, while still at school, landed a job as lead guitarist with a local rock band - I can't remember the name of the band now - and began playing at hotels while still underage, with my Vibratone guitar and a homemade guitar amp which once sent me flying across the room with electric shock. One vague memory from those teen years was supporting Masters Apprentices at Beacon Hill High School basket ball court.
I met Sydney songwriter and UK ex-pat Roderick Morgan during my first year at the University of Sydney, who was a big influence on my songwriting and we began jamming together. I still jam with Roderick 47 years later when I visit Sydney. I was about 19 when I bought a Burns Bison from Roderick's friend Keith Grey. I was asked by a guy in my psychology class at uni to play at a concert at Hyde Park - it turned out to be a very large Christian gathering - an audience of thousands in the park - and that's were I met my future wife, the extraordinarily talented vocalist Cammie Lindon, who was headlinging the show, and another singer, who also became a lifelong friend, Malcolm Smith. After that meeting Cammie and getting together with her and Roderick Morgan, she would drop around to my terrace house in Chippendale in her school uniform for rehearsals. Cammie and Roderick I began performing at coffee shops and restaurants around Glebe. We played original songs and pop covers in an unplugged acoustic style, much influenced by the harmonies of Crosby Stills & Nash, and developed a love of harmony singing. I was meanwhile studying Psychology at Sydney Uni, but fate intervened and I successfully auditioned for Jesus Christ Superstar. This fork in the road changed my life forever.
After Superstar I joined the cast of Steve J. Spears' Africa: the Savage Musical. While touring with this show Cammie Lindon contacted me and sent me tickets to a Leo Kottke Concert at Sydney Town Hall, where she, at 16, had been chosen as support act - she sang two of my original songs in her set and I flew up from Melbourne to be in the audience, a memorable event to hear my songs performed in such illustrious company.
I had formed the art rock band "Passage" with Billy Miller, Richard Kaal & Martin Falls during my years with JCS, and this was to be a precursor to the Ferrets and we recorded a single for Jon English's new label, produced by Michael Carlos. I later toured with the Ferrets as bass player. After working on some theatre restaurant shows in Melbourne at the Flying Trapeze with members of "Africa" I successfully auditioned for Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. During this period I began working with Jeff St. John and also met Andrew Wilson the musical director of the Lindsay Kemp Company who became a close friend. Through this meeting I was engaged as co-composer for Kemp's upcoming production of "Salome". So I turned down a part in Mad Max when the company offered me a position working in Melbourne on "Flowers" at Her Majesties and later Comedy Theatres, and during this period I joined two of the cast members of Africa: the Savage Musical - Rod Freeman Smith & Glenda Lum to perform a madcap rock cabaret "Kabaratz" at the iconic Flying Trapeze Theatre Restaurant. It was there I met Colin Hay of later "Men at Work" fame. I performed with Colin at the 76 Sunbury Pop Festival and he sang the lead role on my first demo of my Howson/Ferrier opera "Squizzy".
I had met a talented unknown Chris Clark through Roderick Morgan and I began performing across Sydney in a duo with Chris, who coud do a perfect Paul McCartney impersonation, and we had a residency at Ali's Oasis in Birkenhead. Colin Hay came up to Sydney on my invitation and stayed at my parent's house in Dee Why and went to the audition for the musical "Ned Kelly" I had been offered by Faith Martin my theatrical agent in my place b ecause I felt already too committed to take up a role - and Colin won a role in that production. I remember one particular night during that period when he came to Ali's Oasis and I persuaded him to sing some songs - and his incredible voice drew people from who knows where - wthin a half an hourt the restaurant was full of people mesmerised by his talent.
A few years later, Chris, Cammie and I got together again with Roderick Morgan to perform "the Milky Way Cabaret" at the Flying Trapeze in Melbourne. Out of this I formed "Skeleton Crew" with Cammie and the rhythm section from Sasha -Peter Leighton & . Skeleton Crew became very popular around Sydney venues and headlined at UNSW Roundhouse supported by the Iva Davies group confusingly known as "Flowers' who went on to great success as Icehouse. I had secured a contract at Alberts of record my Magical Frank musical in collaboration with librettist Frank Howson and Ted Albert began to mentor me and produced and engineered th album. Skeleton Crew later recorded a single at Alberts King St studios with Bruce Brown at the helm, which was never released and we then went on to tour north Queensland with a residency in Rockhampton, finally arriving in Billinudgel on the North Coast - (which region was later to become my home) where we played a residency in a truck stop for three months, till the '74 flood intervened. We were then offered the ooportunity by Rodney Bain to play the music for a revival of Africa at the Victorian College of the Arts theatre in Melbourne.
It's hard to recreate the faded chronology, but during my season with Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat I also formed a band with Malcolm Smith and a drummer named Alex (now living in Nimbin) - we began rehearsing with John Paul Young but then instead went on to back Phil Jones (of Phil Jones & the Unknown Blues and who later reaching massive European prominence with the psychedelic rock outfit Quintessence) as the Shiva's Fire, playing regularly at the legendary French's Winebar in Oxford Street, the legendary Bondi Lifesaver and a whole range of gigs in Sydney & Newcastle. There is a dim memory of us backing the wonderful vocalist Dobie Grey who was touring Australia in the 70s, at a Double J concert. I worked with Jeff St. John & Sasha for two years. I was playing the headline with Jeff at Cheqeurs the very first night Cold Chisel played (as our support) in Sydney. An astonishing vocalist, who was disabled by polio and sang from a wheelchair with a powerful voice and dramatic fair, Jeff was highly competitive and would beat me at every game - cards, chess, scrabble when we travelled to overnight gigs in Newcastle. He would pick me up in his modified EH Holden station wagon with hand controls.
I had had a brief stints backing Gordon Waller of "Peter & Gordon" fame, who was in Australia to play the Pharoah in "Joseph & the Åmazing Technicolour Dreamcoat" (I was a cast member).
Let's jump ahead (I'll fill in the gaps later) to 1980 when I travelled to Mullumbimby to visit firends and have a break from my hectic music life.
Barry graduated with a Bachelor of Arts form the University of Sydney majoring in Psychology in 1974. He completed a Diploma of Music Composition under Dr. James Penberthy and Richard Mills at Southern Cross University in 1984. He began lecturing in Music Business and tutoring in guitar at Southern Cross University in the mid eighties and graduated with Bachelor of Letters (Honours) from Deakin University in 1987. In the 90s Barry Ferrier was appointed Assistant Professor of Multimedia at Bond University on Queensland's Gold Coast, where he also lectured in the School of Film and TV in Video Production and Music Video. He has held lecturing positions in multimedia and music at Griffith University at Southport, Southern Cross University in Lismore and for three years at Central Queensland University. He has also taught multimedia and graphic design at Kingscliff TAFE for five years and the School of Audio Engineering in Byron Bay. He began studying for his Doctor of Philosophy in music and Southern Cross University but two years work on his thesis was destroyed in a housefire in 1994. He later began a new PhD project focussing on the emerging multimedia art technology which he completed through Southern Cross University in 2007.
Multimedia as Meta-Art:
The processes and aesthetics of interactive digital art. A folio of Original Multimedia and Supporting Documentation
© 2004 Barry Ferrier, B.A., Dip. Music (Comp.), B.Litt. (Hons.).
A dissertation presented to the School of Contemporary Arts, Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW, in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. June, 2004.
Since the Doctor was asked to fill in for John Hill in the Byron Bay soul band "The Propellers", Doctor Baz has found a great connection with their frontman and highly respected Byron Bay based blues singer and guitarist Peter Claydon who is known widely as Pete C., (also frontman to the local legends "The Soul Shakers") . They hit it off so well they have gone on to form a unique blues duo and begun perfroming locally after a debut gig at the legendary Railway Froiendly Bar in Byron Bay. With diverse and mature music skills, powerful blues feelfeel and is a classy, and full bodied gritty sound they immediately shone with all the hallmarks of a classic blues outfit . They kicked off with a residency at Mullumbimby ex-Serviceman's Club billed as "Acoustic Lounge Adventures" and have performed regularly at the legendary Railway Friendly Bar in Byron Bay.
“KOBYA” (aka Carlos X Panguana) grew up in the African township in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, a country gripped by war for many years. He became the youngest member of Xingombela youth dance troupe at age of 7.
After playing professional soccer as a teenager, he packed his bags and headed to Gauteng, also known as Johannesburg or city of gold, in South Africa, to join his other family members. As he had damaged his knees playing soccer, he joined the fashion world and studied photography. The struggle for the right to be recognized as a human being intensified as the South African government imposed a state of emergency. KOBYA had no other choice but to join the struggle as freelance photojournalist and reporter. He was later forced to flee as a political refugee.
Music remained his lifeblood through out the journey. He is evolved into a gifted performer singer song writer and versatile multi-instrumentalist, In his unique and vibrant music he mixes roots (Marrabenta Mozambique Popular dance Music) & classic reggae, occasionally throwing in some lovers rock, to create his own original blend of contemporary world msic and pop. He tells his story with grace and ebullience, covering social and environmental issues, love, war and the despair of his fellow Mozambicans... while celebrating life.
The salt of the Earth journeyman, KOBYA learnt how to abstract his craft turning pain to joy. This amazingly down to earth, warm character combines his sense of humor with powerful soulful and rich tenor voice, to reach out his young and old fans across race, age and culture.
In recent years he moved to he musical Mecca of Byron Bay, Australia and at a local anti-CSG rally he met a kindred soul in the fellow musician and celebrated local character Barry Ferrier, aka Dr. Baz. Their instant rapport led to a spontaneous musical chemistry and firm friendship that set them on a path to create ecstatic fusion music together. Dr. Baz has a pedigree of top level music credits and brings soarng lead guitar and keyboard pyrotechnics and a soulful musical feel to their exciting shows. These two men from such different worlds demonstrate through their obvious affinity and camaraderie how music can be a bond that transcends cultural barriers.
Their music puts a smile on your face and makes you want to sing and dance! Kobya continues to explore and express his soul on this musical journey, he is currently working on a new album 'MoFyah' dedicating his work to the Highest Force, giving thanks through his lyrics as a free man & advocate of Truth, with the collaboration of Dr. Baz's wizardry on soaring guitar and keyboard pyrotechnics.
This fascinating World Music and reggae duo performer with a dynamic rhythm section and dynamic guest players, drawn from the impressive ranks of the Byron Bay music community.
TWO SONGS ARE AVAILABLE AS A SAMPLE (ABOVE IMAGE) .PLEASE CLICK MP3 player.
B.J. Ferrier Resume
B. J. Ferrier,
PhD, B.A. (Sydney), B. Litt. (Hons.), Dip. Mus. (Comp.)
B.J. Ferrier has academic, multimedia production/design and performing arts/music strands to his CV.
The version presented herein is a complete chronological list of work experience.
Southern Cross University, Lismore, N.S.W.
Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria
Southern Cross University, Lismore, N.S.W.
University of Sydney, Sydney, N.S.W.
Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment completed 2003
Diploma of I.T. (Web Development)
Central Queensland University, Gold Coast International Campus, 2006;
Lecturer: New Media Histories and Technologies;
SAE School of Audio Engineering; 2005
Central Queensland University, Gold Coast International Campus,
Southern Cross University, School of Contemporary Arts
Griffith University, Conservatorium
School of Film and Television
North Coast Institute of T.A.F.E., Kingscliffe College
· Facilitator, LearnScope Project (an Australian Flexible Learning Community initiative, funded by A.N.T.A.) focusing on the development of dynamic online collaborative learning experiences, using simple web technologies to facilitate distance learning and collaborative on-line design projects.
Southern Cross University ; School of Contemporary Arts
Southern Cross University; School of Contemporary Arts
Australian Performing Rights Association since1974
Music Managers Forum
AWARDS & HONORS
EMPLOYMENT and EXPERIENCE
(Multimedia Production/Design and Music/Performing Arts)
2017-2019 Marketing Manager for Enhanced Energy Recovery, and for the Public Group, producing logos, business cards, websites, brochures, powerpoints and corporate videos. Continued pperforming as a soloist. Performed at the Splendour in the Grass Festival. Wrote and performed "Heaven & Hell: the Friendship of the Big O & the Man in Black". Partner in Australian Organic Network Pty Ltd and began farming certified organic ginger & turmeric as Byron Bay Organics.
2007-2016 Ongoing performances as musician entertainer in hotels and clubs of the North Rivers NSW and SE Queensland/Brisbane; average 100 performance per year; in the groups Snapshot (commercial pop duo in an 'unplugged' style); Slim Pickens & Dr. Baz (delta blues and cajun); Kellie Knight Band (performed at the Byron Bay Blues Festival and in duo with Kellie at the Adelaide Fringe Festival); Aysha & Dr. Baz (performed at Splendour in the Grass Festival). 2015 Airlie Beach Music Festival with Fiona Walsh; 2015 Gympie Music Muster with "I Hear That Train a-Comin' : The Johnny Cash Story".
1997-2007 Ongoing performances as musician entertainer in hotels and clubs of the North Rivers NSW and SE Queensland/Brisbane; average 100 performance per year; in the groups Snapshot (commercial pop duo in an 'unplugged' style); Slim Pickens & Dr. Baz (delta blues and cajun); the Purple Drippers (50s rockabilly); Waiting for Brian (alternative rock); The Black Pearls (original r & b)
Freelance web-site design and development, Inner Spring Media
Designed Doc Span web-site and CD cover "The Treatment" (http://docpsan.net)
Designed MIX web-site for North Coast Music industry Association (http://nceia.org.au)
Voice-over/narration for "Afghan Willy "; documentary on a charismatic aboriginal camel handler and the muster of feral camels in North West Queensland; Croc Lumley Productions
"Traditional Mongolian Yurts" (corporate DVD production); video post-production, sound design and editing. wwwgreenhs.com.au
Designed Byron Bay Information Portal Guide to Byron
Westfield Finance TVC; video post-production/animation editing and sound mix
Performed at the East Coast Blues & Roots Festival, Byron Bay
Performed at Blues on Broadbeach , Gold Coast, with Slim Pickens & Doc Span
Performed at the Tamworth Country Music Festival with Slim Pickens and Errol Walsh
Performed at the Syjrock Music Festival, Norway with latin/flamenco trio Poco Loco
Festival performances, performing with Slim Pickens:
· Produced CD album of original compositions for Gav Hamilton, entitled “Boogietown”.
1998-2003 The Little Gallery, Maryborough, Qld.
Freelance work 1999-2001:
· Mastered and Duplicated CDs for vocal artist Shanti Ramal
1998 Catholic Education N.T. “The Kukunari Show” Bathurst Island
1998 Young Drums Percussion Orchestra, Aberdeen, Scotland
1997 Knoch Tea Tree Exports,
1997 Durrumbil Jazz Festival Committee
1996 to 1997
1997 Young Drums Inc.,
1997 North Coast Entertainment Industry Association, Lismore, N.S.W.
1990 to 1997
1997 Humble Pie Co., Billinudgel, N.S.W.
1997 Chincogan Fiesta Committee,Mullumbimby, N.S.W.
1997 David Birch and the Nightcap Band
1996 Tangentyere Aboriginal Council, Alice Springs, N.T.
1996 Papua New Guinea Government,
1996 North Sydney Council, Sydney; N.S.W.
1996 Pitjanjatjara Land Council, Ernabella, Amata , Pitjanjatjara lands NT
1996 Shane Warne, Swann Sport, Melbourne, Vic.
1996 Slug'em Art,
1995 Hughes Engineering, Ballina, N.S.W.
1995 Eartha Kitt, Australian National Tour
1995 Adult Community Education Inc., Lismore, Coraki, N.S.W.
1995 Young Drums Inc., Lismore, N.S.W.
1994 Nathan Cavalieri, Gold Coast International Jazz Festival, Surfers Paradise,
1994 to 1995
1993 to 1995
1994 "Dreamtime People", Sanctuary Cove Theatre, Qld.
1994 LightWing Industries, Ballina, N.S.W.
1993 Australian Film Commission, Brisbane
1985 to 1991
1991 Catholic Music Teachers Association of N.S.W., Cabarita Beach, N.S.W.
1986 to 1990
1990 Queensland Department of Education, Brisbane, Queensland
1985 to 1990
· developed and conducted a series of music/video workshops for the disabled, and another series for terminally ill teenagers, composing music in a group using MIDI percussion triggers, and sampled sounds to tell stories; digital music and live video effects allowed for creation of "instant" video clips with positive body image and life experience outcomes.
· developed and conducted workshops for a small group of leading Brisbane young composers in compostion techniques using the Fairlight C.M.I.
· Digital music/video Installation, Concert Hall Foyer
· Live digital music performance, Foyers program, supporting "The Thunderbirds" live
· Workshop in story-telling incorporating digital sound collage
1988 Brisbane Expo' 88, Brisbane, Qld.
1988 Brisbane Expo' 88, Brisbane, Qld.
1988 N.T. Arts Council, tour of remote communities, N.T.
1987 Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, Broome, W.A.
1985 to 1987
1986 La Boite Theatre, Brisbane, Qld
1986 N.T. Department of Education & the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, Alice Springs
1985 "Dreams and Machines" Vols 1 and 2, Byron Bay, N.S.W.
1985 Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, Alice Springs
1982 to 1985
1985 Queensland Performing Arts Trust, Concert Hall, Brisbane, Queensland
1985 Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, Alice Springs
1983 Sydney Water Authority, Coffs Harbour
1982 N.S.W. Education Department, Lismore, N.S.W.
1982 The Palms Theatre Restaurant, Bangalow, N.S.W.
1981 Rochdale Theatre, Lismore Theatre
1978 to 1980
·live broadcast for JJJ network in duo with Cammie Lindon
1978 Australian Broadcasting Commission, Sydney , N.S.W.
1978 Nimrod Theatre Co., The Stables, Sydney
1977 Lindsay Kemp Mime Company, The Roundhouse, London
1977 "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour DreamCoat",
1977 "The Ferretts", Melbourne
1977 "The Astounding Optimissimos in 'Paradise: Depression Style'", Pram Factory, Melbourne
1977 Flying Trapeze Theatre Restaurant, Melbourne, Victoria
1976 J. Albert & Son, King St. Studios
1976 Crest International , Melbourne
1975 National Rock Theatre, Melbourne
1975 American Express Corporation, Sydney
1974 “Jesus Christ, SuperStar”; Harry M. Miller Productions, Capitol Theatre Sydney & Palais Theatre, Melbourne
1970 to 1974
2JJ live concert appearance; MD for Dobie Gray (of "Drift Away" fame); band leader/guitarist.
Jeff St. John Band, Sydney
1974 Sunberry Pop Festival, Melbourne Victoria
1972 Australian School of Radio & Television & the A.B.C., Sydney, N.S.W.
1970 Composed the music in collaboration with Roderick Morgan for an experimental 16mm film made by student film maker Phil Noyce
Barry Ferrier met playwright and later film maker Frank Howson in the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar through a mutual acquaintance with opera singer Peter North who played Caiaphus in the show. They first collaborated on the childrens rock musical "The Faraway Land of Magical Frank". Frank Howson submitted the demo tape (which Barry made with Billy Miller later of the Ferrets fame, Shayna Stewardt - known for her work with the progressive rock band the "Tully", and other cast memebers and musicians form Jesus Christ Superstar, which was recorded live on a two track TEAC at an old house on the harbour at Manly) to Alberts Productions in Sydney and it found its way to the desk of the head of classical music Dr. Franz Holford. A distinguished figure in Australian music, Holford saw great merit in the musical compositions and took on the project with a passion. In what was a very unusual move for the staid Alberts classical music catalogue, the company began recording an LP album of the music. The featured singers were Billy Miller as "Magical Frank", Arthur Dignam as "Merlin", Reg Livermore as "the Owl", John Paul Young as "the kid' and Shayna Stewart as "the Princess", with Barry and Frank also playing cameo roles.
CEO Ted Albert, who as a teenager had been the engineer on the Easybeats recordings, took time out from his huge commitments heading up the Alberts Music corporation to take a personal interest in the project and took on the role of recording engineer with Barry Ferrier producing.
Ted Albert and the very young and inexperienced Barry Ferrier formed an unusual friendship from hours in the studio together, and Ted began mentoring Barry's career for a short while, till historical events changed the course of this project. The album was completed including the cover art but at this crucial point Alberts were swamped by the huge success of AC/DC and shelved all the projects they had in hand as tax writeoffs as the rallied to meet the challenge of having such a world wide mega success on their hands. The album was never released and still languishes in their vailts, Ted Albert having died prematurely from a life long heart issue.
Frank Howson secured a season for the musical at the Total Theatre in Melbourne and the show was performed for a six week season with the Ferrets supplying the musical backing, actress Lisa Peers as the Owl, Graham Matters as Frank, Frank Howson as the narrator and Bill Binks and Tommy Dysart (both cast members of the original Jesus Christ Superstar) also appearing.
Because of a contractual dispute that erupted between Frank and a potential venue, Barry also wrote, in record time, the music for a second children's musical with Frank's libretto entitled "The Boy Who Dared to Dream". This was later recorded by Crest International featuring the voices of Trevor White (Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar), John Waters, Brenda Kristen, and Barry Ferrier and it too was performed for a season in Melbourne.
Barry and Frank also collaborated on a jazz opera based on the life of notorious melbourne underworld figure and ganster Leslie "Squizzy" Taylor. The original demo featured Colin Hay of Men at Work as Squzzy and Frank secured an album deal with Mushroom Records which was to star Wendy Matthews and John Paul Young. The pre-publicity for the album during the 10BA tax period for film making turned out to be a mistake as a movie on the same theme was rushed into production which scuttled the Howson Ferrier album project.
In the 90s Frank secured funding for a film version of the opera, and a second demo was made of an updated version which Barry Ferrier also was using as a PhD project. The project seemed to be jinxed however, - a housefire destoyed these recordings and simultaneously Frank's film company was driven into bankruptcy through the embezzlement of funds by a director and the project stalled for a second time.
In 1975 I auditioned for a production of "Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat" to be staged at the, then, 'brand new' Seymour Centre, in Sydney. I flew up from Melbourne for the audition arannged by my agent Faith Martin, and just 'scraped in' to the show as chorus understudy... and when the show opened spent a few frustrating weeks having to be there for the call - but not appearing, till finally someone left and I joined the cast full time.
Director Rufus Collins, really impressed me, a gentle African American with gold rimmed glasses, a soft voice but a quiet confidence. He went on to become an eminent actor, known for The Hunger (1983), Shock Treatment (1981) and Saving Souls (1995). He was also influential in introducing Black Theatre to Europe. He died in1996 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Rufus visualised the show as a cartoon and he had 5 tons of pure white river sand installed as the stage. which guaranteed the physicality of the show. It starred a young Mark Holden as Joseph, who had won Starsearch (the 70s equivalent of Australian Idol) with his golden voice and boy next door looks, but was yet to throw roses as a pop star. We became firm friends for a while and I used to travel with him from Manly to Redfern each night in his yellow Mini Minor. I went on to work with Mark on an ABC radio play he was producing called the White Bird, for which I was recorded improvising on a variety of exotic instruments including a zither and bamboo flutes.
I went on to understudy the eminent and charming Arthur Dignam's Potiphar, but never got to perform the role except in rehearsal. It was highly physical romp with twelve brothers (including the burly Joe Dicker, Paul "P.J." Johnstone, Robert Forza to name a few) diving recklessly around in the sand like a rock n roll footy team, and the band was a cracker, with Jimmy Duke-Younge, later of Bullamakanka on drums. Gordon Waller of the pop duo "Peter & Gordon" fame (Peter Asher was Jane Asher's brother, and the Beatles penned some hit songs for them) was flown out from London to play the Pharoah, (and I later briefly backed him in some Sydney club gigs). John McTernan was dignified and thoroughly professional as the Narrator, and as always Patrick Flynn inspired and terrified as the music director. I have a vivid memory of being called on in one devestatingly prominent rehearsal to be the sole music backing on guitar for some long lost reason, and felt very excited and humble to be lowest on the pecking order and playing before that team of outstanding youthful talent and the great Patrick yelling orders. The Lindsay Kemp Company were performing "Flowers" up the road at the New Arts Cinema at Glebe, and a joint cast party was thrown in our foyer which led me to become friends with Andrew Wilson, leading on to another major theatrical experience in Salome.
The reviews and audience reception were outstanding