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lt's a great show and brings together again all
the famous oldies of
rock 'n' roll, whose careers pivoted round "Bandstand" when they were young performers
Little Pattie - ail the special's oldies polished their talents on "Bandstand."
CHANNEL NINE'S special. "The Happy Days of Bandstand," is a
re-creation of Brian Henderson's "Bandstand," a TV staple for 15 years - and it surely should be an opener for more of the same in
Thc show is to be telecast nationally in the old "Bandstand" time slot at 6.30 pm. The TCN9 telecast is on Saturday.
I spent a wonderful day of happy music and good fun when the show was recorded. All the big names of rock 'n' roll music whose success pivoted round "Bandstand"
There were tremendous reunions, back-slapping and kissings for Little Pattie, Janice Slater and Laurel Lea. great larks and reminiscenses for the men, and music, non-stop.
"Bandstand" started in 1957. and the years between have made big changes.
Hendo. who slipped into his old role like a foot into a comfortable shoe, has more hair, but today there is grey among the transplants that he has so assiduously and successfully cultivated - and suffered for.
He is 44 now, mature, responsible. He'd
like to do two or three "Bandstand"
specials a year, but turns thumbs down on
talk of a revival of the series.
I think "Bandstand" should come back
with a new, young compere and all the audience on the floor dancing madly as they did in the early shows before the program turned into a glossy production.
Col Joye, who without doubt is one of the greats of Australia's rock music scene,
said he'd like to see Hendo choose a compere for a new series, and train him the Henderson way. "Bandstand" is needed, he said, for the new young talent.
When the "Happy Days of Bandstand" special was planned, the idea was to have the performers back on camera in their '50s gear - the boys with their pompadour hairstyles and snake-proof trousers, the girls in their roped petticoats and ponytails.
This was shelved because of the men's
hair. Not one of them would get their hair cut in the short back and sides of the era.
Lonnie Lee and Jade Hurley had a few inches off for the show, a tidv-up they said.
Time has been kind to the men. notably
to Digby Richards and Lucky Starr, both
of whom are more handsome now than
when they were younger.
At 37 Johnny Devlin, the New Zealand import who came to Australia in 1959 to do a show with the Everl y Brothers and Sal Mineo (and never went back), has put on weight. His hair, worn in a modified Beau Brummel style, is prematurely charcoal
Johnny, who was a supporting artist with The Beatles in their triumphant 1964 tour, is the only one of the
"Bandstand" crowd who doesn't make his
living today entirely by music.
He has two daughters, Lisa, 13, and Kerrie-Anne, 12. He got himself a nine-to-five job in a big department store so that he could skip the Australia-wide tours which are a big part of the music
scene here, and be at home while his
daughters grow up.
Off the set, where the Joye Boys and Geoff Harvey were lifting the roof, I visited the girls' dressing-room, where I
found worries over clothes and love.
In the room were romantic Janice
Slater, who is always in love but has never married; enchantingly pretty Laurel Lea.
who has finished with two husbands and has a son of l3Vi; and the sensation of early rock, Little Pattie, who at 26, is married and trying to decide exactly when to give up showbiz and have a family.
Little Pattie doesn't look so very
different from the time she hit the
headlines at WA. Her hit record "My Blond-headed Stompie-Wompie. Real
Gone Surfie Boy," created a terrific stir
when she recorded it while she was still at
Sydney Girls' High School.
Pattie has grown
Pattie was then 4ft 9in. tall, with blond
hair worn in a fringe. The hair is blonder and still worn in a fringe, but she has grown, and today is exactly 5ft tall,
barefooted. She has also married into the
Joye family, a dynasty founded on rock V
There are four in the Joye family (their real name is Jacobsen). Chronologically they are Kevin, who is the family business head and an ABC Commissioner. Col, Keith, and Carol.
Keith, the bass player with the Joye Boys group, married Little Pattie, Carol married shy singer Sandy Scott (whose "Cara Mia" has been running through my head ever since he sang it).
Kevin and Col married outside show
business, but there is one thing that is
certain - there is music about when the
Joyes get together.
I hated leaving the fascinating chatter in the girls' dressing-room. "1 was very Brigitte Bardot in 'Bandstand's* early days." Laurel said. "I used to copy her mannerisms, and the way she opened her eyes and looked up like this."
"I know." Janice Slater said, "I used to
copy you. I used to do my hair the same way as you too, all curled in the front and with a ponytail. I was still at school."
"I know. I know," Laurel said. "When you were first on Bandstand you said how you and all the kids in your class used to watch me when you were at school. I hated
it, it made me seem so old."
I found Laurel wants to have another child. Janice doesn't say what she wants, just tweaks her rag doll and smiles with a Mona Lisa look, Pattie wants to have two children (or three) before she's 30.
I left reluctantly.
Next door to the girls' dressing-room Hendo's regular room with its permanent nameplate was crowded with Col Joye and his guitar and Sandy Scott and his gear; next door again, there was Digby and Luckv and Jade Hurlev and Johnny D. Warren Williams. Lonnie Lea. Bryan Davies, and myself.
What with the crowd and the shining metallic-thread shirts and the jeans and other paraphernalia, the talk and the music belting on outside, it was hard to keep my cool, and not join in and start shouting excitedly.
Bryan Davies, who had his own rock 'n' roll show on the ABC when he was 17. is
31 now. but still looks only 17-plus. He
wears his hair shorter than the others and is a great performer. He's got a sharp mind, and the eye of a director, I'd say.
Like most of the other men he earns his
entire living at music. Back in the early days he and Jacki Weaver were going steady and were always good for a story.
Bryan, who is happily married today, said he and Jacki are good friends now as he laughed over some of the old stories. He and his wife. Tracy, have a daughter Jane,
four, and son Ben. two.
Bryan, a truly, really teenage idol in 1963. went to England at the end of the TV season and came back a year later. When he arrived he had longer hair worn in a fringe across his forehead, and gear.
Jade Hurley, who may be seen flat out at the piano in the finale of the show playing "Ball of Fire." was a dream in a yellow suit, gold kid boots, a brown and
Far left: Henderson in his 1975 gear
with shell choker, a touch of high
camp for square
Brian. Left: In 1960 with Patsy Ann
Noble, who now tosses a mane of blond hair and is known as Trish.
Below, Jade Hurley at the piano with whole cast in the show's finale, "Ball of Fire."
gold metallic-thread shirt and lots of jewellery.
Jade not only plays the piano, he wrestles with it, sings to it. stands up and belts it, plays it with the heel of his shoe, and with his thumbnail dominoes its notes into astounding trills.
His thumbnail and cuticle split unless he gives them, in advance, protective coats of very strong adhesive glue.
He's a good talker too. In all the nostalgia and the good fellowship of the day, there was something very real in the relationship between them all.
"It's marvellous for us all to be back together again." he said. "Years ago we were all jealous, or envious of each other.
Now we are men. we have made it. no one is battling."
Lucky Starr ("I've Been Everywhere") echoed him when he said he had some misgivings about the special.
"I wondered whether it would be the
same working with all the people I haven't seen for ages." he said. "I haven't seen any of them except Digby (we live near each other and are close friends) for years. And yet we are able to walk in and work together and it is the same as ever.
"That jealousy thing Jade mentioned was all part of being young aspiring
entertainers. Now we have all found our
place in our own sphere and arc all good mates with a different, deeper feeling."
It should be very good TV.
- NAN MUSGROVE