Sydney, 1969-70

Multiple Balloon were a cabaret-style band who played on the Sydney hotel and club circuit during the boom days of the American R&R scheme. Very little is known about this band, and their only significant claim to fame is the fact that their bass player was the late, great Charlie Tumahai. He played with the band for about a year from the summer of 1969 until late 1970, and during this period they recorded two singles for Jimmy Stewart's Sweet Peach label. 

Their first, released in late 1969, was a cover of Paul McCartney's "Fool on the Hill", which had already became something of an MOR standard thanks to the bossa-lite version recorded by Sergio Mendez & Brazil 66; it was backed by an original number called "Multiple Balloon", written by Barry Woods, who was presumably a member of the group. Their second single came out some time during 1970; the A-side was a Jimmy Webb composition, "Girl's Song", and the B-side was the song "Good News", written by the prolific American songwriting brothers Dick and Don Addrisi.

Tumahai left the group in the latter half of 1970; he then joined a revived version of Sydney pop band Aesop's Fables, followed by a six-week stint in Nova Express; the groups that launched the respective careers of vocalists Kerrie Biddell and Linda George.



"Fool On The Hill" (Lennon-McCartney) / "Multiple Balloon" (Barry Woods) (Sweet Peach SP-010)

"Girl's Song" (Jimmy Webb) / "Good News" (Dick Addrisi-Don Addrisi) (Sweet Peach SP-019)

References / Links

Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry
Who's Who of Australian Rock (Five Mile Press, 2002)

John Low
The Charlie Tumahai Story (originally published in Australian Music Museum)

Ross Laird / Screensound
The Sixties: Australian Rock & Pop Recordings 1964-69 (PDF document)

State Library of South Australia
Copyright notice, July 1999

Music Australia