f REMEDY - Rose Tattoo Interviews


Here's an email interview I had with former Tatts guitarist John Meyer. John co-wrote many of the best songs on the Tatts' 1984 "Southern Stars" album, and was an integral part of the Tatts blistering live shows from that era. Enjoy!

1) Where did you grow up?

Born Three Springs, WA...grew up in Perth.

2) When did you start playing guitar and how old were you? Who are your guitar heroes?

Played Drums from 12 to 14, took up Guitar at 14. Guitar heroes: Peter Green, Hank Marvin, Early Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Leslie West

3) What was your first serious gig?

First serious Gig was in a Band called "The Stugwar Express" (rawguts backwards!!!). I was 16.

4) Were you in many bands before your time in Rose Tattoo? What styles of music?

Bands before Rose Tattoo were mainly WA Bands: Fatty Lumpkin, Everest, Saracen...usually more your "Heavy Rock" type Bands...but I also played in a couple of Jazz-Fusion Style Bands (Monday night hobby type gig!). I moved to Sydney in '82 and joined Swannee, then the Sharon O'Neil Band.

5) How did the Rose Tattoo gig come about?

Met Angry in '78 (he was a Guest DJ at the "Bondi Lifesaver Gig", Everest were doing our 1st gig in Sydney) He sent a bottle of Jack Daniels backstage. What a guy!

6) Were you a fan of the band?

To be honest, apart from "Bad Boy For Love" and "We Can't Be Beaten", I hadn't paid too much attention. But this all changed when a friend took me to a Tatts gig in Sydney 82. Robin Riley was in the band and it was an awesome gig. (Energy and Grunt!)

7) Was there an audition?

Well no, but my first "jam" with the band I thought we were trying out drummers !

8) Speaking of which...whatever happened to short time Tatts drummer Robert Bowron?

He was very good drummer, but as for the reasons for his departure, I believe it was a "personality clash" with another member of the band...or something like that!

9) Were you concerned about living up to the Rose Tattoo "legend", so to speak?

Not at all...I was having a great time!

10) Did you know Greg and Scott before the Tatts?

I didn't know them but I was a fan of Scott's Drumming. I saw "Jimmy and the Boys" once and Scott's playing ability stood out to me.

11) How long did it take for the new Tatts lineup to find it's groove?

I think once we finished "Southern Stars" we all felt more like a real Band.

12) Once the lineup was set, did you start playing out, or working on songs for the new album?

We did a few gigs and started putting down ideas from the word go.

13) You are co-author of 7 songs on the Southern Stars album, had you written much before?

I wrote heaps before, not a lot is actually recorded on albums, but I've still got a few desk tapes!

14) What was it like working with Angry in the songwriting process?

Working with Angry, the guys, one of the best times that I can remember.

15)I've been told by someone who was there, that the Tatts shows of 1984 & 1985 were white hot, what are some of your memories of playing out during that time? Which songs off of Southern Stars really kicked ass in the live setting?

The gigs were LOUD!!! Songs I liked playing were: I Wish, Butcher and Fast Eddy, Southern Stars, Freedom's Flame.

16) How did the Tatts experience come to an end? Was it expected?

I decided to leave (late ‘85). I wanted to play music where I could play more lead guitar. I went back to Perth for a couple of months, and then returned with Chain.

17) Following the Tatts stint you got back with Saracen? How did that come about? Why the name change to Trilogy in Europe?

Saracen became Trilogy after I left in ’82. When I went back to Perth after the Tatts, we did a few very successfull “reunion gigs” and recorded an Album. Trilogy already had an album out in Europe so they called it Trilogy 2 over there (something like that!)

18) You also have played with Chain?

Yeah, I went back to the Blues and joined Matt Taylors Chain ('87-'92). Chain was a great time, playing my roots. We made a couple of albums: “Australian R and B” and ”Blue Metal”. I also made some guest appearances on Matt Taylor's solo Cd's.

19) At some point later, you formed "John Meyer Band". What was the lineup and musical style? Was it a good time? Successful? Any releases?

I mainly played Blues with the John Meyer Band, but did bring out Instrumental CDs “John Meyer” in 1992 and “Shaman” in 1999. I stopped regular gigs in 1996 and concentrated on my Studio and Jingle business.]

20) So what have you been up to recently?

I formed a Record Label in 2000 (Magpro) with a business partner and we have a Recording Studio. I’m currently producing 3 albums due for release in 2002, all of our acts are under 18. I still teach a little guitar and produce advertising music and doco (documentary) music.

21) What is your perspective on the Rose Tattoo experience 16 years later?

16 years on......like I said before: ”One of the best times that I can remember!"

22) What does the future hold for John Meyer?

I hope that our label does well, and when time permits I want to make a Bluesy Guitar album with lots of self indulgent solos!

Copyright © 2002 by Peter Gormley

© 1997-2007 by Peter Gormley

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