1967 Beethovens

Heavens above Rhubarbs has closed!!! What were we to do? Fortunately for us Frank Martin's Beethovens, in nearby Cunningham Street was raging with Phil Jones and the Unknown Blues. The place was not a pinch on Rhubarbs, the acoustics were crap.

T’WASNT ME 1967! 
Being an ardent Leadbelly fan I was thrilled to hear Phil and the boys do their interpretations of  "Pick a Bale of Cotton" and "Bring a Little Water Silvy". 

Specializing in city blues they entertained us with: "Three Hundred Pounds", "Born in Chicago", "Parchment Farm" ... and of course, "If I Had a Ticket" .. must get a list from Dave.  Their manager Peter Conyingham as I recall had stringent rules and the boys were fined for minor misdemeanours.

The Sect and Sebastian Hardie and Gutbucket also appeared periodically.

Gutbucket (formerly Om Di Com) fronted by Normie Roue on harp and vocals. Little Norm, cupped one hand over his ear and gave us a awesome gravel-voiced rendition of "Louisianna Red".   I'm Louisiana Red and I come from behind the sun .. ♫

Seen anyone yet?” .. This was the standard greeting in those days, 'anyone' meaning 'anyone who was anyone'. “Yep, just ran into Pommy Rob and Jenny the coat-check chick from Rhubarbs!" came the cool reply. One had to be cool, this was displayed by an air of nonchalance in response to anything that was exciting. "Know where there's any stuff?"  "I think he's got some." I said, nodding in the direction of someone who will remain anonymous. About midnight, Anon approached me. "If I’m not back by one, can you take care of my gear?”  "Sure thing." I grunted and continued my conversation with Sue.

I sat outside on the footpath until two that morning, he didn't return. I picked up his belongings and trundled off to some all night den near the Taxi Club on Moore Park Road.

Next day Sue and I took a peek in the case. Hundreds of purple hearts (dexamphetamine) were ‘winking’ at us. We took a couple and closed the bag, and opened it, and closed it, and opened it .. this continued until the pills were alll gone! Beethoven's closed, Frank Martin set up Vibes in an old office block near Haymarket, we all moved onto Vibes another music venue (an old office block near Haymarket).
NOTE: Years later the owner of these pills, told me what had taken place .. he had been arrested and had to spend the night in Central Station lock-up. The next day he appeared in court and was charged with possession of a quantity of drugs. He said the informant was well known to both of us!
Moral to this Story: Don't send anyone to score from someone as they might just be ‘undercover cops’ and your name will be mentioned in court. AND, you may get into lots of trouble for your kind deed.

 visit Phil Jones' website

'67 Moi at Beethovens

Chris Brown-lead guitar, Ian Sullivan later joined as co-vocalist and brass

not the line-up at Beethovens, I recall Russell on guitar (girlfriend Marilyn) and Arthur 'Hamlet' on bass.

Sebastian Hardie  (Graham Ford-vocals)


Phil Jones & the Unknown Blues "Pick a Bale of Cotton"

Some guys from NSW Uni had put together a music 'mag' called ‘Drift’.  I have not as yet been able to contact any Drift members. Bill Tranchitella was a talented artist, Greg Miller is the lad that took the photo of me.  I noticed that Chris Ruhle was Layout Director.  Mort Fist has passed on.

courtesy David Rowlands

Tony 'Merv Rabies' Robinson

Ross Smythe-Kirk (Editor Drift Magazine)

Merv Rabies and Ross Smythe-Kirk
interviewing Dicky Diamonde  (ex Easybeats - bass) 

Phil Jones, Ross Smythe-Kirk interviewing Eric Burdon
Beethovens was graced by Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and The Animals! 

1967 Beethovens
Phil Jones and Jimmy Page

Peter Conyngham (Manager)


Dave Allen .. I have been communicating with Phil on a regular basis lately, usually going on about the old days and where we both grew up, this is Phil's account of what he and his wife Jennifer, are doing .. Dave "

Dave Allen has written two very Iinformative articles regarding Phil Jones and the Unknown Blues on his site Burning Mountain Studios.

2009 (Feb) ... Contacted Phil Jones
2010 (Mar) ... I organized a group 'Bring Back the Unknown Blues' on Facebook .. it  met with a huge response.  I handed over the reins to Dave Rowlands and Chris Brown ..
2010 (Feb) ... Contacted by Dave Rowlands-drummer,  Chris Brown-lead guitar.  Dave Rowlands & Chris Brown (Reunion) 
2010 (Dec) .. Phil Jones and the Unknown Blues reuniting for the Byron Blues Festival, to be held April 2010.
2011 (Jan) ... Just been talking to Kay MacPherson and we were discussing the Baker boys, Harry and Jack.  Harry was my bopping partner for quite a few weeks.
2011 (April) ... Unknown Blues featured at the Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival. Met up with David Rowlands, Chris Brown and Ian Sullivan


  1. the name ross smyth-kirk rang a bell

    is it the same person?

  2. I had a look at the company AND the images of Smyth-Kirk on webimages and it doesn't look old enough .. That's him with the glass .. could be, I can't remember what he was studying .. Commerce rings a bell. Whadyaregon

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  4. I'm not sure the chins right.

    are these pics from the mag or from your camera?

  5. These pictures are direct from the camera, he took the one of me too. I don't know if they went in the mag.

  6. I'm really interested in this band but have been able to find only one song by them (If I Had A Ticket).

    Is there anything else that has been released on cd? I've found some 45's for sale online but they are fairly expensive.

  7. Now I notice the cover I posted and yours are the same. I've linked back to you, anyway.

  8. Rob Askew said ...
    "Phil Jones was in my class at Marrickville De La Salle .. Rob" (Facebook)