Froback Friday – 20/04/2018

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Hi kids, Az here.

This week’s Froback takes us all the way back to around 1999 to watch a direct-from-VHS-to-YouTube copy of the film clip for The Bomb by Sydney’s greatest export, Unpaid Debt.

This is the full, original lineup – ska punk at its finest.

Yeah yeah, I’m biased. I went to school with two of the band members – Tim Walter, original guitarist/only one not allowed to have a mic for being too silly, and their second singer Joe Cool.

I always found it stunning during the early to mid 2000’s that there were so many people in Sydney that didn’t realise that Joe wasn’t the original singer in the band. He came along much later after being in a ska band called Little More Than You – a ska band that would have done well themselves if the lineup was kept together. I remember being at a show in Penrith watching LMTY support Area 7 and reconnecting with Joe for the first time since we finished Year 12 and then finding out a week later that he was switching bands and singing in Unpaid Debt instead. I was floored.

No disrespect to Joe but I’ve always felt that the original lineup of Unpaid Debt never got enough recognition for how awesome they were and objectively the best local band in Sydney at the time – even better than other popular bands at the time like Bagster and The Mad Dash.

So for a bonus clip (or four), here’s a full show of Unpaid Debt playing the old Cowshed in Penrith in Sydney’s West in the late 90’s. See for yourself how great they were.

From the Archives: The What A Beautiful Day film clip

Suffice to say, a lot of laughs were shared during the making of this film clip.

Az here with this trip down memory lane.

The whole concept for this video was the vision of our music producer and ex-Unpaid Debt guitarist Tim Walter. He had just done a promotional DVD piece of work for a comedian named Thomas Bromhead at the same time as producing the CD that this song was featured on and had the wild idea that the two sides should team up for something funny.

Tim even thought out the structure of the clip: a seedy guy sprays whipped cream on himself at home and then goes out for a night on the town to terrorize people with whipped cream.

He pitched it to me during a studio visit and that he thought he could get Thomas to agree to do the clip for a reasonable fee. I had nothing to lose by letting this idea play itself out and Thomas said yes. I put down the cash and we were cooking with gas.

The first half of the clip was filmed in the rental home of former guitarist Chris Reed in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. We laid down heaps of tarps, put on a BBQ and invited heaps of people over to watch the filming. We laughed our arses off.

The second half of the clip was filmed at Home Nightclub in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. A week earlier, I had done the owner a favour by playing guitar alongside some DJ from Sweden who was doing a techno cover of Nirvana‘s Smells Like Teen Spirit at 4:30am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. The whole crowd was on pills and wouldn’t have even noticed I was there.

So we got full use of the club for free on a Monday night – and with security there at the club’s expense. This was the day after the house filming and was also my 26th birthday that day. The members of Major Keg gave me a blow up penis for my birthday and I did all of the band filming scenes with that thing stuffed down my pants – not that you can tell in this clip – but it was one of those things that was funny to the people that were there.

The Ebolagoldfish twins Andy and Gav McDougall also made a guest appearance as the fake security guards – Gav smacking Thomas Bromhead on the arse wasn’t in the script but all involved enjoyed it so it stayed in the scene.

The two hot girls being sprayed with whipped cream were the girlfriends of the other two band members – what, you thought those wusses were going to use any other females on the planet for what we had planned?

Oh – I almost forgot the star of the clip: the blow up doll! We bought that for $100 from a sex shop in Canberra whilst on tour a few weeks earlier. I’m the one who volunteered to do the walk of shame to the counter to pay for it whilst the others stood there cackling like little school girls. Good times.

…and that’s about the summary of it. The funniest part of all in this clip is that Major Keg appear in this clip more than My Name Is John does – absolute camera whores and shocking for a bunch of guys who have the perfect faces for radio work.

This song had over 100,000 plays on MySpace and was finally banned by the since unloved social media service right around the time of the band’s breakup in 2009. A full three years later. Good work guys.

My guitar project is finished

img_0799Hi kids, Az here.

I know I had only just posted about getting a new guitar yesterday but I needed to wait until I got my arse to a guitar shop to buy some strings before I was going to post about this puppy as well. Now this thing is ready to go as well.

What you are seeing here is a Korean made BC Rich Mockingbird NJ Series neck thru guitar. I rescued this gem from a pawn shop advertising it on eBay for stuff all and it was pretty beat up.

See the original pix below.

As you can see (click/press on the pictures to see larger versions), the body work was pretty trashy – and really, the pictures don’t tell the whole story. There were a lot of dings, marks and other crap. The name badge on the headstock was missing too.

In addition to that, I have to say that I just don’t like the look of neck thru’s that aren’t painted where you can see the difference in the body work. The lines are added as a feature as some sort of trendy look. It’s gross. Additionally, I think the wooden finish of guitars looks lame too.

Never fear! I had a vision and hit Buy It Now anyway.

I bought this for the bargain basement price of AUD$300 (with free shipping) and figured I could cover up all the dents and other unpleasurables whilst punking it up at the same time.

Enter AliExpress.

I bought a shitload of black and white stickers where you get 100 in a bag of random whatever stuff. I bought three lots of them for a total of about AUD$20.

Then my daughter and I spent two separate nights covering all of the body work with them, leaving our favourite stickers until last so that they would be on top.

The net result? This. And I’m really happy with it.

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…and before you say it – I know, my floor needs a vacuum.

I finally get to play this thing later today in practice – perhaps I’ll post some vids or something. It hasn’t had strings on it until now.

From the archives – MNIJ live in 2006

Featuring former band members Chris Reed (now living in Singapore) and Peg Duker (who hasn’t had a haircut since this was filmed and now sings in a band called Chris Duke And The Royals).

This was filmed at the Pine Inn in Concord in Sydney’s inner west. We made regular references to a “live DVD” that we were filming at the time which was technically true – we just didn’t release it and this video was put on the internet instead.

Froback Friday, 9/03/2018

You just have to watch this.

Now, if you haven’t heard of The Chats before, you’d take one look at old mate ranga’s hairdo and think “what a great piss take clip”.

Nope, this whole thing is for real.

Check out this news clip:

Ken Oath.

These guys have been touring after hitting viral fame on YouTube. Here’s a clip of them playing recently at The Crowbar in Brisbane.

It’s funny – if you search for “The Chats Crowbar” on YouTube, you’ll find a lot of other uploads of this same show by people in the crowd as well. There was a lot of excitement about these guys coming through town in Brissy.

We have a new superhero band member

Hi all, Az here with your weekly update.

So it feels good to finally announce that we’re adding a fourth band member to My Name Is John. Seen in the photo above on the very right, you’re looking at my brother Chris Holesgrove.

As an aside, I’m on the left in that photo and the two in dress up are a spitting image of our other two band members Jes and Craig – one is really fast and the other pulls all sorts of random shit out of his arsehole.

If you’ve seen us play recently, you would have seen that both Jes and I have been swapping between guitar and bass on stage whilst playing as a three piece. The reason for this has been twofold:

  1. I’m an old man and can’t/shouldn’t really play bass anymore due to a chronic back injury (some would argue that I couldn’t really play bass in the first place). I’ve been opting primarily for guitar instead as it’s a much lighter instrument to have over my shoulder – and being able to show off my BC Rich collection has been a nice trade off as well.
  2. Although Jes has been primarily known as a bass player throughout the Sydney local scene, he’s actually an amazing guitarist. I’ve personally felt that it would be a shame to not at least sometimes put that great talent of his to good use for all to see.

So at this point, expanding to a four piece makes perfect sense. Like Jes and I, Chris is also primarily a bass player who can also play guitar. Whilst Chris will play bass in MNIJ and Jes and I will both play guitar moving forwards, we’ll also have a lot of options for switching things up on stage if we ever want to and we’re pretty stoked about that. Change is good.

As an aside, it’s Chris’ birthday. No, he wasn’t waiting until he turned 18 to join the band as he’s been of legal drinking age for ten years now – his start in rehearsals with us has really just been a timing coincidence in that regard.

We’ve got a show coming up in May that we’ll post more details about soon. Stay tuned.

We really should get a proper band photo done, huh?

We’re streaming on your favourite services

Howdy people!

The good news from John land is that we’ve uploaded all of our music online to all the places you like to listen to music.

Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, YouTube, Amazon Music, Tidal, Deezer and iHeartRadio are all carrying our gear. Just search for My Name Is John in your favourite app on your phone and ignore the weird techno band from somewhere overseas that have been using our name also.

So services are also showing our live version of What A Beautiful Day that we contributed to a live album that was released 11 years ago. Cool beans.

For your convenience, here is a link that will point you towards where all our stuff is.

Don’t use a streaming service? No worries. That same link above also offers a way to download all our music completely free of charge. Just go get it and get into it.

Enjoy.

Much love,

Your Johnnies