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Dave 'Sons of Agamemnon' Miller


Dave Miller ... "Hi Lynne, my name is Dave Miller.  I came across your site on the net by accident and it blew me away as I instantly recognised nearly everyone in the photos including one of me playing in the Sons of Agamemnon at Whittys (partially obscured by Mort's Jug). I downloaded the Wally Mudd songs and it was great to hear his soulful voice again ..
 
My younger sister Judy and my wife Jacquie were also part of that scene. I remember your places at Berry Street, North Sydney and Alison Road, Randwick and spent a lot of time at 294 South Dowling Street with Swannee and the crowd. I went to UNSW with Mort, Errol, Phil, Merv etc. I was a foundation member of the 'Sons', a band we formed up at Ted Noffs Wayside Chapel, Kings Cross in late 1965.

We moved to the Windsor Castle Hotel Paddington for a while, then to Whittys Wine Bar. I couldn't play full-time with the band due to commitments, but the band welcomed me to sit in whenever I could make it and there was no shortage of good harp players frequenting Whittys including Derek Robertson, Wally Mudd, Terry Darmody etc. I have photos of that scene and have attached some of these and a letter written by the legendary Howlin Wolf thanking some of the gang from Whittys for wishing him happy birthday. Mort Fist was my best mate who I knew from the age of 5 till his death in 1998 and also the person who introduced me to his friend Jacquie at Whittys, the girl that I have now been married to for thirty nine years. Although he's been dead for over ten years now, I still think of him and other mates from the Whitty's scene that have sadly passed away including Ross Darmody, Warwick Wyld (Wheezing Walter T. Mudd ) and his brother Paul Wyld (Starving Wild Dog).

This reminds me of another story. I noticed a photo of Jimmy Page at a local night spot on your blog. The Story: I was arranging a night out with Mort who used to write up interviews for 'Drift' magazine and he said he had to interview someone first but would meet me at a club later. When he finished this interview he invited this 'someone' to the night spot where they were seated. When I arrived and I wandered over to them and plonked myself down. " Dave meet Jimmy" Mort said. I instantly recognised him as Jimmy Page the legendary guitarist from the 'Yardbirds' who later founded the iconic 'Led Zepplin'.  After some chit chat Jimmy said he had been invited to a party up at Kings Cross and would we like to go with him. (well, does the Pope shit in the woods). Before he finished the sentence I was outside hailing a taxi. We piled in a cab and went to a unit at the Cross which was owned by a singer Dinah Lee who used to sing on a show my older sister Fran sang on 'Brian Henderson's Band Stand'. All the celebs were there and I couldn't believe how well behaved they were. To be honest it was boring, none of the hell raising pop stars are known for. We should have taken him up to Taylor Square!

The 1968 'Christine' photo you mentioned is Christine Froebel who used to ride a big motorbike and was a school mate of Judy's at Our Lady of Doloures at Chatswood.
Jacquie had all the Drift Magazines until her mother had a clean up and threw them out. She could not believe it! I don't remember Ralph Graham but I have lost a few brain cells over the years.

A survivor meeting sounds great. The last time I saw a group of these survivors was at my sisters 50th in 2001, a great Country and Western theme party at Balmain where I met up with Terry Darmody, Steve James, Peter Nehill, Gavick Nicholson to mention a few.'
It's fine to use the photo of Jacquie, its one of my favourites. It was taken at Paradise Beach, Pittwater circa 1967.  My cousin made the mistake of loaning us her beach house in her absence. It became very crowded with our friends (some of the crew from Whittys included) and the partying raged over the weekend. You've not seen panic like it when my parents arrived unexpectedly to check up on us."

Dave Miller ... "The harp player in the shot is me. I think I had just turned 18 at the time so was legally allowed to be in the pub, unlike Mort who was only 17 and looked like 15. Those glasses I wore at the time were similar to the ones Terry Darmody wore and I later wore metal frame ones as seen in the photo of us at the Maccabeen Hall. Mort grew rapidly and embraced the psychedelic era as is apparent in the transformation of his appearance in the latter shot.

The Windsor Castle was chosen only as a rehearsal venue because it was always empty mid week and we wouldn't disturb anyone. After only a few weeks the word got around about this fun band and the place was packed to the rafters. The publican only paid us in all the alcohol we could drink in the breaks. It became apparent to Swannee that this guy was raking in lots of money after several months but he still refused to pay us any cash. There was this wine bar in Oxford Street around the corner from Swannee's place where no one drank any day of the week. (People who drank wine were called winos and lived on park benches, it was not as fashionable as it is today.) Swannee invited Cec Whitty down to take a look at what had happened at the Castle and he didn't hesitate offering him a more lucrative deal to move to his Wine bar. The crowd followed and the rest is history. Regards Dave"





"Howling Wolf's 'Thank You' note to the crew"

" a shot of the 'Sons' at the Windsor Castle '66
.. love the smile on Paul's face"

"at Whittys with Bob McGowan (complete with Kazoo in harness)"
" A nice shot with Swannee at the Castle '66"

"Windsor Castle '66 The original lineup of the 'Sons'
 Les Procter-bass, Paul-piano, John-guitar, Swannee-12 string guitar
 Dave Miller-harmonica, Mort Fist-jug"




"Whittys Christmas get together at the Maccabeen Hall Darlinghurst
left to right Dave, Terry, Paul, Wally and Mort. '67 "


Dave and Jacquie Miller with their daughter


It was taken at our daughters graduation at Parliament house. Mandy has chosen to become a teacher like her mom which she was advised against doing, however it will provide a more reliable income than her initial choice for a career as a dancer / actress ( like my mum who was a 'Tivoli Girl' ) which she enjoyed doing in spite of it not being financially rewarding. I haven't got the skill to extract the shots of Jacquie and me from this photo so I'll leave it to your expertise. Thanks for taking the other photo from your site, I think you will agree this is a much better shot of Jacquie.  Hope everything is fine at your end."



EMAILS

"Great reading Dave Miller's story, his sister's partner Phil Colson is an old mate mate from bands from that era. Could you please pass to Dave, my email and burning mountain studio blog info so I maybe able to contact Phil to say hi. Dave Allen xx"

 "Received Dave Allen's details and passed them on to Phil Colson. Phil is keen to check out Burning Mountain Studio and catch up with Dave Allen who he remembers well. Phil was a session muso on the 'Men at Work' albums and a guitarist in the 'Colin Hay Band' in his younger days, he remembers Clive Coulson and said he was a roadie with 'Led Zepplin'. Dave Miller"

"Hi Lynne, Wow, thanks for the email from Dave Miller - fantastic - your site has been a portal to the past for all of us. Thanks for sharing. I only saw the Sons a few times. Does anyone have any photos of French's Wine Bar? Remember downstairs there when it opened? Love the letter from Howlin Wolf (Chester Burnett) - what a gem. Allannah"

"That's fabuloso! So Swannee was responsible for Whitty's!! Wow! My introduction to the wonderful world of Sydney in July '68! Deidree McMasters."

"Thanks Lynne!, eventually I will write some stuff about Jim Crowley Wally, Dog, Peter Knox etc. Can't believe they are all gone ('cept you, me, Peter and Red of course :o)), I played at Whittys and Frenches and the Ball Pants. Ralph Graham"

"Fantastic Lynnie, I've thought of Dave a number of times thinking about them times. I seem to remember he was living out round Dural - Glenorie at one time (as was G'avec (Neil Nicholson) and I think that may have been in the late 70's. Anyhoo, could I have his email address? Phil Wood"

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