Melbourne/Sydney, 1969-70

Linda George (vocals)
Ken White (guitar)
Peter Walsh (organ)
Wayne Lanham (bass)
Craig Forbes (drums)
Dave Clark (sax)
Ken Schroeder (sax)
Ian Hellings (trumpet)


Named after the well-known William S. Burroughs novel, Nova Express was one of several Australian bands of the late Sixties / early Seventies that were modelled on the influential American groups Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago, whose music mixed soul, pop and R&B with jazz and featured prominent soul-jazz horn arrangements. Nova Express differed from many of these groups in that it was fronted by a female lead singer, Linda George, a talented young vocalist from Adelaide whose powerful, soulful voice soon brought her to national attention.

In mid-1970 Nova Express scored a surprise win over Zoot (who had just topped the Go-Set Pop Poll) in the Victorian final of the Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds, but both groups went on to represent Victoria in the national finals in Sydney. The group's only single, released on Columbia in 1970, was a strong version of "Piece of my heart", the song made famous by Janis Joplin, backed by "Around The Block". A rare film-clip of Linda and Nova Express performing "Around The Block" on the ABC-TV pop show Hit Scene was posted on the YouTube website in June 2007 (See Links, below)

After leaving Nova Express Linda worked with The Marlboro Big Band, The Barry Veith Band, and the Opus Big Band and toured Vietnam with Brian May & The ABC Showband. She launched her solo career in 1972, signing with Melbourne label Image. She scored several Top 40 hits; her biggest was a version of the Mann-Weil song "Mama's LIttle Girl", which reached #9 on the national charts in August 1973. Linda also gained conssiderable acclaim for her role as the Acid Queen in the all-star 1973 concert production of The Who's Tommy



"(Take Another Little) Piece Of My Heart" / "Around The Block" (Columbia A-9014)

References / Links

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

Noel McGrath
Encyclopedia of Australian Rock (Outback Press, 1978)

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

YouTube videos
Nova Express (with Linda George) performing "Around The Block", Hit Scene, 1970