Category: Australian independent label

Date: 1969-70

Location: Sydney, NSW

Ownership: unknown

Distribution: Festival


The very shortlived Caesar's International label was established during 1970 by the proprietors of the Caesar's discotheque in Sydney. 

The label's first single was "Satan" b/w "Satan Woman" by expatriate NZ band Freshwater. This double-sided "concept" suite was inspired by the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders in Los Angeles, and it became a Top 40 hit in Sydney, peaking at #28, although Glenn A Baker has written that there were calls for it to be banned at the time. The A-side was written by organist Peter Sheehan and the B-side by guitarist Murray Partridge. "Satan's Woman" has been anthologised on Raven's essential Aussie progressive rock compilation Golden Miles, and Australian band Box The Jesuit covered "Satan" on the 1990 various artists compilation Waste Sausage

The second Caesar's single was "Can't Shoot Your Brother Down" / "Ups and downs" by the R.J. Taylor Band, led by Robert J. Taylor, formerly of James Taylor Move. One of the former members of the group, keyboard player John A. Bird, has confirmed that the band was signed to the Caesar's label, and he reports that they worked extensively for Caesar's disco in Sydney, playing up to ten gigs a week there during 1969-70. Following his stint in this group, John went on to join Country Radio

The first and second Caesar's singles were produced by Rory Thomas, who played keyboards in several notable groups including The Questions, The Affair and Heart'n'Soul. Rory became one of the most prolific session arranger-producers in Sydney and featured on many recordings made in this period including singles by Melissa.

The third (and apparently last) Caesar's International single was the Maple Lace cover version of The Pipkins' novelty song "Gimme Dat Ding", which was co-produced by John Jennings and John Francis (aka John J. Francis). It co-charted with The Pipkins version in Sydney, where it reached #6, although it was beaten in other cities by the rival version recorded by Frankie Davidson version for Fable. 

According to Noel McGrath, the management of Caesar's Disco drafted in their resident act, The R.J. Taylor Band, who recorded the song live, direct to a mono tape recorder. John A. Bird confirmed that he played piano on the single, which featured vocals by Gerry Anderson and George Blanche. After the single came out a touring version of Maple Lace was put together to capitalise on the success of the record; its members included the late Harry Slee (vocals), Ted "The Head" Katrakazis (guitar) and Doug Rea (bass, ex Downtown Roll Band).

No other recordings on this label are known. In early 1971 Caesar's Disco was badly damaged or destroyed by a fire (which also destroyed all the equipment belonging to the band Fanny Adams) and this presumably led to the closure of the business.



Cat. # Date Artist Title Notes
CP-001 May 1970 Freshwater "Satan"
"Satan's Woman"
Produced by Rory Thomas
Sydney #28
CP-002 1970 R.J. Taylor Band "Can't Shoot Your Briother Down"
"Ups and downs"
Produced by Rory Thomas
CP-003 June 1970 Maple Lace "Gimme Dat Ding"
"Can't Stay Away From You"
Produced by John Jennings and John Francis
Sydney #6

References / Links

Thanks to Michael Hunter and Billy Cooney for label images and to John A. Bird for information on the Robert J. Taylor Band and the "Gimme Dat Ding" single.

Ross Laird / Screensound
The Sixties: Australian Rock & Pop Recordings 1964-69

Psychlist's Australia Singles List 1966-72