I received the sad news tonight from Alan Meadows that Rod Jeffery has passed away.
"Let No Man Steal Your Time"
I first heard of Rod 'Beachhead' Jeffery thru Rooster McBlurter. Each week he sent me a 'Beachhead' video from You Tube. Beachie contacted me and organized a catch up at Gosford Blues Festival!
'Rod has been singing professionally since 1973 and is regarded by both his fans and musical peers alike as being one of the finest blues singers in the country. he has been described by Dr. (A.J.) Bruce Johnson, jazz trumpeter and author of the 'OXFORD COMPANION to AUSTRALIAN JAZZ', as singing "the most heartfelt version, since the original was done by Billie Holiday" of the classic jazz tune.'
"Ya little shit! Why didn't ya say something when we were talking to each other just now? Here's a couple of Gus Cannon's Jug Stomper's tunes for ya birthday .. Rod [Jeffery]."
"I've spent a little time tracking the odd 'old friend' of late as I was diagnosed with cancer just on 2½ years ago - eight months before I lost my own wife to pneumonia. Take care. Your 'taylor square' pages are very interesting and there are a great number of old friends there including Peter Anson, Al Meadows, Al Ward, 'Wally Mudd', 'Mort Fist', Dave Allen, Barry McGloin, Tony Burkys, Jim Jarvis and the list goes ever on.
I used to go to PACT Folk at the old Corn Exchange building in Sussex St as a kid of 14-15 to see people such as Starlee Ford, Marg RoadKnight, Jeannie Lewis, East Neasens, Stovepipe Spasm, usually after getting shit-faced at the Maitland & Morpeth and a little later used to drink in the downstairs (Day St) bar on the Fridays at the 'Limejuice Tub' Folk Club and hung with Lynn Harrison, who married a mate of mine from school, John Cutler. We all knew Barry McGloin and his cousin, Chris, Kerry & Ian Cantlay, John & Max McGrath and Bill Morgan way back then. There was a bloke named Ray Young who sang and played guitar at PACT back then along with another mate, Warren Stewart. There was also Al Head, Graham Lowndes .... Ray was a member of Bullamakanka don't have a clue what's happened to Warren Stewart, or Al Head. Bumped into Al early '80s when I was gigging around the nthn beaches and in the 90s came across, Graham L, Doug Ashdown and Jimmy Stewart when working with Tony Barnard's ALL HAT JAZZ at the Unity Hall in Balmain.
I know Peter Anson from the '80s when I lived in Balmain and often send him jokes, Pete and Roger Janes played at the Unity Hall and I used to sit in with them every weekend I met Wally Mudd at the Alley Cat Wine Bar in Nth Sydney back in the '70s when I was running the Mon. night jam sessions there and he turned up a few times. I had a feeling that Mort Fist had died in the early '80s as I was watching Harvey Fisk's band at the Cat & Fiddle one Sat. and someone came in to say he was dead. Though maybe I have that arse about and it was Mort who came in to say that Wally had died.
I've been sitting in with the Layabouts since around the time of the Hilton bombing as well.
I never did see the Battersea Heroes, although I did know of them and of Terry Darmody. I think the head Layabout, Brian Wakefield may have been in the band at one time.
I met both Mick Leiber and Shane Duckham at times sitting in with the Layabouts - not long before Shane died. Tony Burkys is an old friend. There are many names in Terry's story about the Battersea Heroes that I either know or know of (I'm wondering if Warwick K is Warwick Kennington as a matter of fact).
Many of the other names I do know from the days when I knocked around the Folk Music Circuit between about 1967/8 and the early 70s. I stopped around the time that White Nelly disbanded.
Here's a link for you of Burkys, Meadows, Al Ward and Jim Jarvis playing as Duck Soup in our backyard at West Ryde on June 18, 1988
.. promo shot of the BEACHHEAD'S BLUES line-up from 1992 when we were getting ready to do our first Queensland tour with Al Meadows on harp. He didn't go though and we replaced him with a young saxophonist, Mick Young."