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Blood Sweat and Beers - Oz Rock from the Aztecs to Rose Tattoo
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 10 November 2010

ImageBlood Sweat and Beers – Oz Rock from the Aztecs to Rose Tattoo, is Murray Engleheart’s second book and followup to 2006’s global best seller, AC/DC Maximum Rock and Roll.

It’s a near 400 page chronicle of a lost or rather ignored musical history, an era when roadies carried rifles and king hits were far more common than top chart positions. 

It was a powerage that began with Australia’s original punk, Lobby Loyde who in the late 1960s was blowing up amplifiers on such a regular basis that equipment had to be specially constructed that would withstand the volume he dished out.

The man who would be king of the Sunbury festivals, former child star Billy Thorpe then took massive amplification to another level, making history along the way when he and the Aztecs pulled as many as 300,000 people to the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne in 1972.

The lineage continued with the savage grace of Rose Tattoo who somehow cranked everything up even higher and from their arty pink haired beginnings morphed into the loudest, most threatening band to ever stalk the earth. Banned from ABC’s TV show Countdown, they often played in prisons and occasionally had to fight, microphone stands in hand, to get out of the very venues they’d performed in. Endlessly targeted by a police force puzzled - and deeply troubled - by their appearance, they unsettled and deafened audiences and publicans alike. They were Australia’s answer to the darkness shrouded Rolling Stones that infamously appeared at Altamont in 1969 and Oz rock’s very own underbelly.

Then of course there were The Angels, the former Fifties’ styled rockers who with the aid of leather jackets, sunglasses and spiked hair became Australia’s number one live drawcard who turned venues across the country into jam-packed rallies seven nights each and every week with a high browed maximum voltage stage production that curiously had its roots in German theatre.

More than 20 years in the making and featuring exclusive interviews with all the major Australian players including the late Billy Thorpe, Lobby Loyde, Peter Wells, Ian Rilen and Mick Cocks along with Angry Anderson and Doc Neeson plus various international heavyweights, Blood Sweat and Beers is a rough backseat ride through the bar-brawling, riot inducing and occasionally gun-toting Oz rock culture that existed in the days long before home studios, YouTube and vocational studies in how to rock.

Blood Sweat and Beers.

Read it loud.

Available now from HarperCollins Publishers Australia.

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