|MILESAGO: Australasian Music & Popular Culture 1964-1975||Groups & Solo Artists|
Sydney, ca. 1968
John Bryson (guitar, songwriter)
Ross Teasdale (guitar, songwriter)
Mel Gleave (drums)
Graham Cook (bass)
The Innocent was one many bands playing in and around Sydney in the 1960s who had a solid following in their local area, but never broke out to wider recognition. The Innocent's home turf was the St George region in Sydney's south. They played mainly at local Police Boys Clubs and church youth-group dances, where they regularly pulled in several hundred people to their gigs.
As often happened in those days, such local dances could be pretty wild affairs. Former Innocents bassist Graham Cook recalls one memorable dance in the suburb of Bexley which degenerated into a mini-riot. The dance was invaded by local 'sharpies' -- a fairly common occurrence at suburban dances in those days -- so one of the other band members dashed out to a nearby phone booth and called his older brother, who happened to be a member of a bikie gang. Within minutes, dozens of bikies had arrived on the scene to take on the gatecrashers, and full-scale brawl erupted.
Like some of their better-known contemporaries (such as The Dave Miller Set) The Innocents were strongly influenced by the heavier 'alternative' sounds coming from overseas, typified by Jimi Hendrix and Cream, and they played many covers by these acts. But they were somewhat unusual, in a period when most local bands plied their trade playing only covers of current hits, because guitarists Bryson and Teasdale wrote their own material, which the band often performed in concert. Graham Cook recalls that the group made some private 'demo' tapes of their original material, but what has become of these tapes is not known.
References / Links
Many thanks to Graham Cook for this information.