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Dave Kain's varied career spans 22 years
is his way
By MICHAEL FOSTER
FEW, IF any, Canberra
based musicians have subsisted solely on their craft. Dave Kain, the quietly spoken and gentle man who is best-known as a guitar player these times, has done so for 22
The revelation was sparked by the fact that on April 1 he and Nick Weber celebrated the fifth anniversary of Kain's en gagement by Warren's of Manuka, which is now the Manuka Brasserie. This in turn
provokes the thought that there • can be very few musicians in town, if any, who have held down a solo gig for that long.
Kain brings to his music and to his teaching a breadth of experience which has moulded him and which he is convinced allows him to better understand people, those he plays to and those he teaches.
Born in Braidwood in 1947, Kain was educated in Braidwood, at Joey's in Sydney and then at St Edmund's in Canberra before leaving school at 15, a year after he bought his first electric guitar.
His parents, Joyce and Ernie, "always encouraged our artistic pursuits, my mother because she is creative, my father be cause he always helped if things got tough". His brother Tim is a classical guitarist.
Kain's interest in music began "when a friend showed me a couple of chords". He got his first electric guitar "after I pestered my dad and he said I had to get half the money".
He worked as an apprentice butcher with his father in his O'Connor butchery from ages 16 to 18 and there picked up his father's approach to learning: "If someone is telling you something, pay attention."
He was also playing part-time in bands from the time he was 15, playing with bassist Tony
Hayes in their own group, The Phantoms. He was taken ill and gave his future a lot of thought while convalescing, considering an offer of his father's business, but decided on a music as a
That career has travelled many paths. He first joined a Canberra band, Five Just Men, in which Col Hoorweg played drums. They "went off to Syd ney to seek fame and fortune, but things got in the way and the band disintegrated".
After hard times in Sydney he formed Dr Kandy's Third Eye Band, which was "well-known and successful at the time of the psychedelic movement". For Kain, "it was a turning point. To then I had played rock and roll, soul, blues and country."
Then there was a band with Gulliver Smith and Alison Mc Callum singing, and a time "of being made very aware by jazz musicians, experimentation with drugs, which I now regard as a very negative thing to do, but it gave my life as a musician a broader spectrum. It helps because, having been there, I am better able to advise young people."
In 1968 he met Don Andrews for lessons in modal improvisa tion, which was jazz fusion, and then came back to Canberra and lessons in classical guitar with Sadie Bishop and tradi tonal harmony with Len Fisher. In 18 months he was ready to enter the classical diploma course, but decided to study contemporary composition and orchestration with Larry Sitsky.
Further studies in electronic music with the late Don Banks led to a research grant from the Australia Council to study elec tronic music and research into mpdal improvisation. At the same time he studied drums, "and even worked as a drum mer."
While living in Canberra he worked as musical director for
Dave Kain: understanding people through music.
McCallum, touring with her and doing shows with Mike Walsh. He met George Golla, "and went to his place for a lesson which turned into a whole day talking about guitar."
He worked with Renee Geyer in Cocaine, and with Bo Did dley in Canberra before he formed the Dave Kain Band in 1976, playing original material. The Floyd developed out of a job at Clean Living Clive's. It played original rock and roll, jazz and jazz fusion, "trying to string together the things of my life". This was followed by oth er bands and Dee Donovan's daytime cabaret,. Ladies on the Loose, "which gave me a broad perspective of true cabaret".
He also bought a house with his friend of 10 years, 'Tricia Kaye, "whose help and support over the years has been im mense".
Deciding that the market pointed to "solo singing guitarists", he became "the folksy musician ... never fully related to it, but it was really good fun". It also won him the 1980 ACT Johnny O'Keefe award as best guitarist-singer entertainer.
In 1982 he was playing solo guitar, and began his long-run ning engagement at Warren's, Thursday to Sunday nights. He says he has learned a great deal about another dimension in good living.
In 1983 he met his "guru of guitar", Ike Isaacs. Lessons with him "have taken the jazz thing a lot further, led into un expected areas".
That year also began his in volvement with the Canberra School of Music's jazz studies course, with Don Johnson, first its coordinator and more re cently head of the department. Kain worked first in the single studies course, and now lec tures in jazz guitar, harmony and analysis, coordinates en sembles and helps set up prac tise groups. He'coordinates the concert practise program and rehearsal times for the students' year-end recitals, and plays in a trio to back those needing one. Other members are Hoorweg and George Urbaszek, the bassist.
His latest guitar is his first acoustic instrument, made by Bruce Robertson of Dickson and extending Kain even further. It follows a series of electric guitars, some of them most unusual instruments in
cluding a Gibson Les Paul, a. Gibson 1930 Roy Smeck Hawaiian and an "electronical ly souped-up cheap Japanese guitar known as "The Beast".
Kain's deep involvement with bis music leaves him little time for anything else, but he has found a useful therapy in the refurbishment of his house.
Weekend devoted to the forests
THE DEADLY Hume, a group
which formed-in late 1985, "with one basic aim in mind — to forge a sound derived from their individual passions for their combined and varied influences", according to their promotion, will be a feature of tomorrow's Rock for
the Forests concert.
The band consists of Greg Perano, lead vocals and guitar; Marc Scully, bass guitar and vocals; Stephen "Bones" Martin, guitar and vocals; and Stuart Brown, drums and vocals.
Greg Perano is formerly of Hunters and Collectors, and that band's determination to maintain creative control over its music
seems to have carried over to The Deadly Hume, who signed with Phantom Records on the understanding that its independ ence would be maintained.
Supporting The Deadly Hume will be The Wailing Cockatoos, a Canberra reggae band which had a strong following in the early 1980s and have reformed specifically for this concert, and The Black Dogs, a popular local band. The top ticket price for the concert, which begins at 8pm tomor row at the .ANU Refectory, is $6, with
Other activities in the Festival of the Forests weekend include:
Earth First, a powerful 60-minute film
on forest conservation, with particular reference to the tropical rainforests of North Queensland, which will be screened at 7.30pm tomorrow at the Hayden-Allen Tank, ANU. Admission is $4, with $3 concessions. Bookings 477808.
AConcert of Fine Music will take place at 8pm Saturday at the Wesley Hall, Forrest, featuring Paul Plunkett, The Doitschinov Cello Trio and The Canberra Recorder and Early Music Society. Ad mission $5. Bookings 477808, 473064.
A Rally to Parliament House will as semble at 1.30pm on Sunday in Com
monwealth Park. !
Phone 477808 for further information.