Sydney 1972

Larry Duryea (percussion)
Jon English (vocals)
Bobby Gebert (piano)
Bobbi Marchini (vocals)
Danny Robinson (vocals) - concerts only
John Robinson (guitar)
Russell Smith (guitar, concerts only)
Teddy Toi (bass)
Steve Webb (drums)


Studio group Duck was the brainchild of musician and producer G.Wayne Thomas; created from the nucleus of Sydney club band Hunger, it featured some of the best performers in Sydney at the time, under the leadegsubip of ex-Blackfeather guitarist John Robinson. Duck headed to Melbourne and recorded a highly regarded album of rock and R&B covers, cut at Armstrong's Studios and engineered by the legendary Roger Savage. Laid was one of the first local albums recorded by the fledgling Australian division of the Warner group and was released on the Warner Brothers label.

Issued in mid-1972, it featured Jon English and Bobbi Marchini on lead vocals, with backing provided by John Robinson, renowned jazz pianist and session cat Bobby Gebert, percussionist Larry Duryea (ex Tamam Shud), former Aztec Teddy Toi on bass and Steve Webb on drums. The LP was given only limited release and is now a prized collectors' item.

The album featured a wildly eclectic mix of cover versions. They included some popular tracks such as Neil Young's "Southern Man", Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine", John Lennon's "Mother" (performed by Bobbi) and a sterling rendition of Nick Gravenites' "Buried Alive in the Blues" , the track written for Janis Joplin's last LP Pearl, but released as an instrumental because Joplin died before she could record her vocal. Other tracks were more obscure -- Frank Zappa's "Dog Breath" and "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up", the title tack from the Zappa-produced solo album by former Captain Beefheart guitarist Jeff Simmons, and "Memo To Turner", the 'theme song' from the cult Mick Jagger-James Fox film Performance.

Two singles were released -- "Sweet Inspiration" / "Southern Man" came out in May 1972 (the A-side is the only track that does not appear on the LP). It was followed by "Maybe I'm Amazed" b/w "The Man in Me" (September '72). A touring version of the group was put together, but by the time it was ready to go on the road Jon English had joined the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, so he was ably replaced by former Wild Cherries frontman Danny Robinson; former Company Caine guitarist Russell Smith was also added for some gigs.

Duck lasted only a short time as a live act. According to a contemporary press report, Bobbi Marchini was hospitalised with appendicitis in late 1972 and by the time she came out of hospital the group had already dissolved.

After Duck ...



May 1972
"Sweet Inspiration" / "Southern Man" (Warner Brothers WBA-4018)

Sep. 1972
"Maybe I'm Amazed" / "The Man in Me" (Warner Brothers WBA-4023)


Laid (Warner Bros WS-20008)

1. "Maybe I'm Amazed" (Paul McCartney)
2. "Southern Man" (Neil Young)
3. "Anyway That You Want Me" (Chip Taylor)
4. "Dog Breath" (Frank Zappa)
5. "Buried Alive In The Blues" (Nick Gravenites)
6. "Memo To Turner" (Jagger-Richard)
7. "The Man In Me" (Bob Dylan)
8. "How Long Before I'm Gone" (Zager-Schefrin)
9. "Ain't No Sunshine" (Bill Withers)
10. "Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress" (Cook-Greenway-Clark)
11. "Mother" (John Lennon)
12. "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up" (Bruister-Simmons)
13. "Do Right Woman" (Penn-Moman)

Produced by G.Wayne Thomas
Engineered by Roger Savage
Recorded at Armstrong's Studios, Melbourne

References / Links

Ian McFarlane
Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (Allen & Unwin, 1999)

Glenn Robertson
Bobbi Marchini website