Sorry to ask, but what is up with Doc and how’s he doing?
Doc is doing well and responding to treatment a little better than we had hoped. Hes generally in good spirits, of course this can take the wind out of your sails So it’s a long bumpy road, but he’s extremely thankful for all the support of his many fans and peers.
How important to the history of Australian rock n roll is Doc Neeson?
Very much so, Doc is an integral part of the landscape, as much as Bon Scott and Jimmy Barnes. He has transcended a generation of fans and Is the master of Australian rock theatrics.
In I989 you joined The Angels. What was it like recording ‘Beyond Salvation’ in Memphis with Doc & the band?
It was a little surreal, i was a snotty nosed little brat, essentially coming from an Angels AC/DC cover band. But i had an infinity with that style of music, Its something inside that just naturally guides you through the musical process without thinking. I remember the first track i laid down was the title track, did it in 1 take. I stood there with a few of the guys watching on, probably praying , and it just pumped like a machine gun, and i think we all knew from that 3 minutes that it was going to work out.
‘Beyond Salvation’ went to #1 and is The Angels most successful double-platinum selling record. What makes that album so special?
Well, it is something special thats for sure, im not sure if it was the Australian water that year, but a few bands delivered their finest work around the same time, Ghost Nation by H&C was another special moment. I think for the Angels, there seemed to be an injection of life and a youthfulness in the attitude of everyone. It was enjoyable, everyone was having fun and in a good frame of mind. Terry Manning the producer seemed to also be able to pull some magic from the band. The songs before we went into pre-production were I thought, brilliant, and then once Terry got hold of us, they became monsters.
What was is like playing in a band with Doc Neeson at the peak of his talents?
Doc is a different, intriguing character, he is always deep in thought and careful with his words. A very worldy character, so for me being young and impressionable, He was very intimidating yet at the same time welcomed me with open arms into the fold. He certainly has always been a wordsmith, but to be a part of that process was something very special, when the title of the album came up, I was blown away, it is such a strong visual lyric.
One time AC/DC drummer Simon Wright and you are good friends and musical collaborators. Tell us about some of the exciting projects you’ve worked on with Simon?
Simon is such a great bloke, the first time i met him was in L.A , i was asked to play some rhythm guitar on an AC/DC tribute album that had players from all over the world on it. Guys from Kiss, Def Leppard, Dio etc etc.. Simon knew im a bit of a Malcolm Young fan (just a bit i said …ha) and my style of playing lends itself very much to Mal. Eventually i ended up living with Simon and his family for a while and we became good friends. We had a ball recording and ended up playing some killer tracks on the album together. A little while ago, i wanted to pay tribute to what would have been Bon Scotts 65th birthday so Simon came to Australia and we enlisted the help of former AC/DC bass player Mark Evans, And we had ourselves a couple of gigs that i will never forget.
Your band Australian Rock pays homage to the best Pub Rock in the world, Aussie pub rock. Take us through who is in the band and please touch on their Oz Rock musical pedigree?
Yeah, i get to play alongside some guys that are part of the aussie heritage of rock.
Bob Spencer is a guitarist in two significant Australian rock bands in the 1970s, 1980s, and now in Skyhooks and The Angels. In 1977 he replaced Red Symons in Skyhooks and in 1986 joined The Angels, He remained with the band until 1992 and returned in 2012.
Ian Hulme is best know as the bass player for The Choirboys, the Australian hard rock band from Sydney formed in 1979 with mainstays Mark Gable on lead vocals and Ian Hulme and were later joined by drummer Paul Wheeler. Their hit “Run to Paradise” reached No. 3 on the Kent Music Report Singles Chart in late 1987. The related album, Big Bad Noise peaked at No. 5 on the Albums Chart in April 1988. The Choirboys recorded the Evolver album in 2002 and 2003 in between going on an extensive tour of Australia and New Zealand and continue to do tour.
Peter “Maz” Maslen is best known for his days in Boom Crash Opera and has performed live and/or as a recording drummer for many top Australian artists including: Natalie Imbruglia, Delta Goodrem, Mark Seymour, Men at Work, The Seekers, Belinda Emmett, Archie Roach, Bodyrockers, Icehouse, Jimmy Barnes, Diesel, Jimmy Little and Braindead Lovers.
Alfi Rocker is one of Melbourne’s most enduring and experienced Rock singers, armed with over 2 decades and thousands of ‘live” performances throughout Victoria since exploding onto the Melbourne Pub rock circuit in 1990 with his first band “Dirty Deeds”, gaining him a well earned reputation as a dynamic, powerful front man and his name – ”THE ROCKER”.
Which artists can we expect to hear acknowledged in your live performance?
We concentrate on mainly AC/DC The Angels and Rose Tattoo, as well as paying tribute to our respected bands so theres a little Choirboys Skyhooks and Boom Crash opera in there as well
So, there is a Doc Benefit in Sydney on Monday 15 April at The Enmore Theatre that you’re playing at, but on the Saturday night, 20 April, at the spiritual home of rock n roll Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane Melbourne your headlining the ROCK FOR DOC Benefit along side King of The North. How did you interstate guys know how to select and book King of the North, Melbourne’s best live rock act?
A friend of mine in Melbourne said checkout this band on youtube, im like , ok sure.. It was a clip of them supporting Chisel in Melbourne and i was blown away by the big sound of a duo and the maturity of writing in their song. And the drummers a freaky looking dude you’d keep your daughter away from. I thought, this all smells a bit like rock n roll. Add a couple of cool dudes in the mix, what more could you ask for. Great band.
What can we expect from the Australian Rock For Doc live show at Cherry on Saturday 20th April?
What you’re gonna get is 5 Rock musicians playing some of the best rock songs this country (nay the world) has ever delivered, with passion and energy. The vibe in the room will be something special as we are there for a cause that has touched many many people and all in the knowledge that they are doing their bit to help out.