Memorabilia from the Lost Dogs tour.
Memorabilia from the Lost Dogs tour.

Young memories never get old

WHEN Chris Holmes heard Neil Young was playing Brisbane on his 1989 Lost Dogs tour he couldn’t wait to buy tickets.

Then he discovered an April 14 date at Coffs Showground had been added and bought passes to that too.

“I went with my mate Marty and my mum who loves Neil as well,” he recalled.

“Marty and I charged up with a few rums beforehand and arrived just as he came on stage.”

One of the world’s biggest rock stars played in an old style khaki circus tent.

“There was a smell of dope in the air and you should have seen the look on Marty’s face when Neil walked on,” Chris grinned.

“His jaw dropped in total awe and we could almost reach out and touch him.”

Chris said his mum, who is an artist, had done a small painting of the visiting musician.

“She wanted to hand it to him but we worried about his minders freaking so she gave it to one of them,” he added.

“She still worries Neil never got it and she’s 82 now.”

And what got Chris into Young’s music?

“Yes, Harvest started it for me ... think I’ll pack it in and buy a pickup, take it down to LA ... got all his albums on vinyl or CD and most of his DVDs.

“Haven’t listened to him lately but that doesn’t matter, he is timeless.”

The stories flooded into The Advocate after mention last Saturday of probably the most famous concert in local history.

Businessman John Phillips was engaged by his brother, an editor with Juke magazine, to write a review.

“They must have liked the piece because they asked if I could cover the Sydney venue as well,” he said.

“I took a mate with me and he actually got the byline for the story down south.”

Even today the family maintained contact with members of the Lost Dogs band and Phillips’ iPod contained photos sent from the States for the Buffalo Springfield reunion tour by bass player Rick Rosas featuring Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay.

Local fans Kris and Terry were also in the tent to watch Young perform.

“We went because Terry said we have to see ‘the legend’ and I thought it would be a bit slow,” Kris remembered.

“But after only a few acoustic numbers he said ‘let’s go electric’ and I was hooked.

“We’ve never experienced a concert so loud and had ringing ears for days.”

Before it closed, the pair was frequent concert-goers at the Civic Centre.

“Went to Yothu Yindi twice, Debra Conway and even Slim Dusty, embarrassed as I am to admit it,” Kris laughed.

Electrician Ken Darby worked with promoter Wane “Swampy” Jarvis at Stageline Productions and Frontier Touring and set up the site for Young’s gig and was another to comment on the amped-up performance.

“Local muso Bruce Chowdury said a good way to protect my hearing was to roll up some tissue and place it in my ears,” he said.

“Other memories were John Farnham’s show when an overhead rig for lighting gave way and John “insisted” on a better solution.

“The result was two Lindsay Bros cranes used to hold the rig until we could pack up.”

Young’s concert was one of the best David Houston attended and he saw a can of beer thrown on stage but the star kept on playing as he kicked it into the crowd.

“My wife went to the bar and a young woman sat in her seat and asked me if I wanted to go outside.

“I couldn’t believe it and wished my wife would hurry back so I could brag about it.

“When I said ‘no thanks, I’m married’ she dropped me like a school bag.

“Later I saw the girl walking out of the tent with some bloke ... never happened to me before or since.”

David bought a Lost Dogs t-shirt and wore it until it became an oil rag.

“I wish I’d kept it as it would be worth a small fortune now,” he added.

Or is that priceless ... and timeless?

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