PERFORMANCE: Australian Tours by Overseas Artists 1964-75




Melbourne Town Hall, Thursday 28 January, 1972

Sydney Town Hall, Friday 29 January, 1972

Brisbane Festival Hall, Saturday 30 January, 1972

Meadows Technicolour Fair, Meadows, South Australia, Sunday 30 January

Welsh-born singer Mary Hopkin toured Australia for the first time in January 1972 on a double bill with renowed American singer-songwriter Tom Paxton. The whirlwind tour started in Sydney. The tour arrived on Tuesday 25 January at 4.55pm, where Mary went straight into press conferences. She spent the night at The Commodore Chateau Motel in Kings Cross and over the next two days, Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27, Mary taped made promotional appearances on Sydney radio and taped several television shows, including BANDSTAND and and GTK. She also attended a reception hosted by EMI where managing director  Ken East presented her with a gold record for sales of her hit single Those Were The Day's by .

The tour party then flew on to Melbourne (on T.A.A.) for a concert on Thursday 29 at the Melbourne Town Hall. On Friday 28 January they flew back to Sydney for their Sydney Town Hall concert, then went on to Brisbane's for their Festival Hall concert on Saturday 29.

The final date of the tour was near Adelaide on Sunday 30 where they performed at the now little-remembered Meadows Technicolour Fair, a large outdoor festival held near the town of Meadows, on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide. Although a successful event that drew some 30,000 people, the Meadows Fair has since been totally overshadowed by the Sunbury Festival in Victoria, which was held over the same weekend.

A couple of rowdy crowd members threw a beer can and a stick onstage during Mary's set, but she did not walk off, as had been claimed in some media reports at the time, although bassist Willeden was struck by the piece of wood and left the stage just before the last song the end of the set. In a conversation to tour chronicler Gary O'Brien, Mary confirmed that she did not walk off and that her set was well-received apart from that one disruption. Hopkin and Tony Visconti flew back to England the same day. Tom Paxton had been one of the stars of the recent Isle of Wight Festival, and was so billed in advertising for the tour. His performance at Meadows was reportedly the highlight of the event.

For the tour Hopkin was accompanied by a small group consisting of a string quartet, a guitarist and a bassist. The bassist was Gary Willeden. and Hopkin's guitarist was her then husband, the famous musician-arranger-producer Tony Visconti. American-born Visconti established a hugely successful career in England in the late '60s as engineer for Essex Music, a company run by producer Denny Cordell. Visconti's engineering and production credits include many famous recordings by UK artists including The Move, Procol Harum, Joe Cocker and The Moody Blues. By 1972 he was well on the way to becoming a famous producer in his own right, most notably for his chart-topping work with Marc Bolan and T-Rex, and David Bowie's album The Man Who Sold The World. In later years he produed several more legendary albums for Bowie including Young Americans and the acclaimed "Berlin trilogy" of albums, Low, Heroes, and Lodger.

For a comprehensive overview of the tour focussing on Mary Hopkin, we recommend Gary O'Brien's excellent website Mary Hopkin in Australia 1972, which includes a scan of Gary's ultra-rare copy of the original Meadows Technicolour Fair programme leaflet, press clippings, reviews, exclusive photos and more.


Mary Hopkin in Australia 1972

Mary Hopkin International Site

Tom Paxton official website

Tony Visconti official website (coming soon)

Corrections? Additions? Were you there? EMAIL us to add your contribution.