Ted Mulry Gang: 'This One's For Ted!'
On July 1, one of the greatest and most popular Aussie bands of the ‘70s, the Ted Mulry Gang, will wind up the leg of their 2017 ‘This One’s For Ted’ tour at NORTHS.
The iconic 70’s pub rock band are performing a number of gigs to honour the band's charismatic singer, Ted Mulry, who passed away from brain cancer in 2001. Original remaining band members, Les Hall, Gary Dixon and Herm Kovac, will be joined by Ted’s younger brother Steve on vocals, with original AC/DC bass player and good friend, Mark Evans, taking Ted’s place on bass.
Drummer Herm admits to having reservations when the idea of a reunion was first floated to him. “We hadn’t played together since Ted passed away, so I virtually had to learn drums again. People were saying to me, ‘Oh, it’s like riding a bike,’ and I’d say to them, ‘Yeah, I’ve ridden a bike, but there’s some hills that I can’t get over now that I used to,’ he laughed.
The turning point came for Herm after talking to Mark. ‘When I asked him [about reforming TMG] he said, ‘This will be great. This is a legacy band. We’re going to remind people of Ted’s legacy; his great songs and singing,’ and when he said that I thought, great I’ll do it.”
In their heyday, TMG along with their compatriots AC/DC shaped the classic guitar-driven and boogie-influenced Alberts Oz Rock sound. Discussing their success, Herm says, “It was a good, tight band and we weren’t too serious or too up ourselves as musos. Whenever people came to see us on stage it was like a party. We played well, and we had a sound which was a cross between the Faces and The Stones and Status Quo. It was a meld of all our influences, but it came down to that we had a lot of good songs.”
TMG’s biggest hits saw them vying against some of the most commercially successful international acts for the top spot on the Australian music charts.
“We couldn’t get past ABBA’s ‘Mama Mia’, and then all of a sudden we were the first Australian band to dislodge ABBA from the number one spot with ‘Jump In My Car’. It was number one for 11 weeks, and it was in the charts for nearly a year. And then when ‘Darktown Strutters Ball’ came out, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Darktown Strutters Ball’ kept swapping places at number two, but we couldn’t get past ABBA’s ‘Fernando’.
‘Jump In My Car’ entered the charts again in 2006 when David Hasselhoff’s cover reached # 3 in the UK. Discussing the song’s appeal, Herm said, “It was a rock song, it was a pop song and it was a gimmick song in a way. It was all those things rolled in. And I tell you what, if we hadn’t come up with ‘Darktown Strutters Ball’ and then ‘Crazy’, ‘Jamaica Rum’ and all our others singles, we were right in the category of being a one hit wonder with that song because it was so big and so different. We were extremely lucky that we could follow it up with other hits, or we would have been in the same basket as ‘Shaddap Your Face’.
The ‘This One’s For Ted’ set-list showcases all of TMG’s hits as well as paying homage to the successful solo singer/songwriter career Ted had prior to TMG.
“In the middle [of the show] the band walks off stage, and Gary, as a tribute, sings “Falling In Love Again’ and ‘Julia’ with an acoustic guitar, and everyone sings along with that.
“We’ve got a few gigs under our belt now, and the band’s really tight and it just really rocks. The last few gigs we did just recently, the band was really on fire. And we get to do ‘It’s A Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)’ which is a bonus for me.”
Date: Saturday, July 1 Doors: 7.30pm Show: 8pm Cost: $35.00 Tickets: At the door, by phoning 3285 2733 or at www.proticket.com.au