I first met Stuart Smith after someone gave him a CD of a Rock Opera I co-wrote about the Trojan Wars called ‘Paris’. By his own account Stuart became an instant ‘Parisite’ and over the years has directed two successful versions of the show on his native Central Coast in NSW. The second production featured a brilliant performance of the role of Menelaus by a wonderfully talented … (yeah okay, it was me).
The point is that I got to work one on one with Stuart and came to regard him as a very talented and clever director. So when he called me about being involved in what he loosely termed at the time as a ‘Rock-u-mentary’ to open the new Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre in Nowra, I was only too happy to have a look. He said he and Isaac Hayward (whom I knew played keyboards in Paris) had put together a format for a theatre show about rock music in the period between 1965 and 1980, and they wanted me to be in it. ‘You were there, man!’ they explained.
The show finally became called simply ‘The Rock Show’, and I, like many afterwards, was blown away by the talent on display. The energy, skill, and versatility of the young cast was inspiring and invigorating! I was so impressed in fact that it seemed a shame to finish it after only four performances at the ‘SEC’, so my partner Coralea and I (okay mostly her) decided that it would be ‘fun?’ to take it on the road ourselves.
So we ‘licked it, mixed it, and fixed it’ as the saying goes and it became quite simply the hottest show in town. We ended up with a gig that worked so well we surprised ourselves more than the audience sometimes! And then the endless questions started; “When are you going to make a DVD?”
Well we made a DVD, and if you have half as much fun watching it as we had making it, then you’re truly in for a treat. And then we did another show – Rock Show More – and then another one – Rock Revolution! Some band members stayed, and some went on to bigger and better things, but each show was another wonderful showcase of young multi-talented artists having a good time together and with the audience, honouring classic rock music from the ‘60s and ‘70s.
And now we are bringing some of all three shows from the theatres to clubs, so that everyone can continue to enjoy with ‘Trilogy of Rock’!
Check out the dates in the gig guide
, and maybe go buy a DVD even…
Rock on, Jon.