Redgum Photo Gallery
- Years of Toil With a Bunch of Mates
When Brian Medlin, convenor of the Politics and Art course in 1975,
suggested that some people might like to co-operate on a music project,
three people raised their hands.
Schumann, Michael Atkinson and Verity Truman were as yet unaquainted
It came to light later that Michael thought John was a loudmouth,
John thought Michael was wet, and neither of them had really noticed
Verity because she was very quiet.
immediately fell into a deep and meaningful relationship with each
other and wrote about eight songs. They performed the songs to the
class and met such a strong and positive reaction that Michael,
John and Verity decided to accept some of the invitations that followed
to play at various gatherings.
a function held by the Progressive Art Movement, Chris Timms, a
former student of Flinders University Philosophy, offered his services
as a violinist. A friend from university, Steve Brown, suggested
the name Redgum and for want of anything betterm the quartet adopted
started on the South Australian campus circuit. The strikingly original
material and the uncompromising delivery won them a small but very
supportive following. A campus tour of Melbourne was organised and
during that hectic week, the ABC recorded some of their songs. Community
radio 3CR taped the band and played the songs regularly to a responsive
band returned to Melbourne several times during 1976 and 1977, sometimes
sponsored by 3CR, sometimes by progressive groups, to play concerts,
rallies, benifits and the odd pub. Redgum quickly established a
sizeable and quite general audience.
in Adelaide, Redgum performed "live to air" for 5UV, the
radio station attached to the University of Adelaide. At folk concerts,
union nights, rallies and benifits, Redgum would appear sporadically
in Adelaide until their self-produced show 'One more boring Thursday
night in Adelaide' established them outside of campuses. This show
was part of the Festival of Arts Focus program in 1978 and was listed
by The National Times as an attraction not to be missed.
was shortly after this, and numerous enquiries in Adelaide and Melbourne
as to the availability of tapes, that 3CR asked Redgum's permission
to run off tapes for the people who had asked for them. On hearing
that there were two hundred people listed as wanting copies the
band decided to make an album.
sales of the album "If You Don't Fight, You Lose" surprised
everyone concerned. It became Larrikin Records' best seller and
received airplay on most on the non-commerical stations around the
the strength of the album, Redgum ventured to Sydney and Newcastle.
They played a number of shows for the Amalgamated Metal Workers
and Shipwrights Union, a concert at the Balmain Town Hall and a
couple of folk clubs.
is interesting to note that all this time, Michael, John, Chris
and Verity all held full time jobs in Adelaide. Michael was teaching
part time and studying, Verity had disappeared into the bowels of
the Public Service,
Chris was Academic assistant at the South Australian School of Art
and John was an English and Drama teacher at Marion High School.
Trips interstate were made on weekends and in school holidays. This
madness persisted until December 1980.
bands trip to Melbourne in 1980 saw Dave Flett playing bass and
Gordon Mclean drummin. In Adelaide, Chris Boath played bass and
Geoff Gifford played drums.
the middle of 1980 Redgum began work on 'Virgin Ground', their second
album. It was released late in 1980 and, like its predecessor, it
met strong critical acclaim.
John, Chris, Verity and Chris Gunn made a number of important decisions
regarding the bands future in 1981. The five friends decided to
give up full time employment in favor of Redgum. Tom Stehlik, an
Adelaide drummer was recruited and with Dave Flett Redgum passed
the sixth month mark as a professional band.
band's third album, 'Brown Rice and Kerosene', introduced the single
'100 Year On/ Nuclear Cop'. The Redgum Songbook 'Stubborn Words,
Flagrant Vices' was also published in 1981.
In May 1982, long-serving member Chris Timms left the band to be
replaced by Hugh McDonald (violin, guitar, vocals). The 12-inch
EP 'Cut to the Quick' was released in September 1982 and contained
1983 Redgum was one of the biggest crowd-pulling bands on the Australian
scene. The live album 'Caught in the Act' produced the classic song
'I was only Nineteen (A Walk in the Light Green) which reached #1
and stayed in the top 40 for four months.
in the act was produced by former folk musician Trevor Lucas (author
of Poor Ned)
1984, the Redgum line-up comprised Schumann, Truman, Atkinson, McDonald,
Stephen Cooney (bass,didgeridoo, mandolin, banjo), Michael Spicer
(piano) and Brian Czempinski (drums).
fifth album, Frontline, was released in August 1984. A compilation
album 'Everythings Legal Anything Goes' was released in November
toured the UK and Europe in the latter half of 1985 and released
a compilation album in a number of territories. The band was well
received on the festival circuit and earned itself a strong and
loyal following in London during its time there.
may 1986, co-founder John Schumann surprised fans by leaving the
band. He signed with CBS as a solo artist and he recorded the album
'Etched in Blue' at the Music Farm in Byron Bay in 1987. Schumann's
touring band included Mal Logan, Louis McManus, David Dharamaesena,
Mark Peters and a trio of backing vocalists Deborah Paul, Melinda
Pike and Nicky Schultz.
In 1989 Schumann produced a childrens' record, 'Looby Loo', for
CBS. In September 1992 he recorded the single 'Eyes on fire' on
the Sony label. This was the first of two singles released from
the 1993 album 'True Believers'.
the meantime, Truman, Atkinson, McDonald and Spicer continued on
as Redgum, recording the album Midnight Sun. Redgum's final single
was 'Roll it on Robbie/Empty Page' which reached #34 in May 1987.
Atkinson left Redgum in 1987. His departure precipitated the bands'
break-up soon thereafter.