Dusty In Oz
Dusty Springfields’s Australian performances
Thank you to Pam for kindly allowing us to reproduce her notes and clippings.
DUSTY’S 1964 SYDNEY, AUSTRALIAN PERFORMANCE REMEMBERED BY PAM
After Dusty’s Perth (and other major cities) tour with other 60’s legends such as Gerry and the Pacemakers, Dusty flew to Sydney to play at the Stadium, part of a complex of rambling buildings called White City where the tennis used to be played. According to an article remembering Dusty’s visit in 1964 written in 1967.
“When screaming fans mobbed “the Liverpudlians” at Sydney Airport in 1964, the only girl in the visiting English group was almost lost in the confusion. She was a pale-faced nervous blond who, critics said later, put everyone else to shame “for good singing”. Her Name? Dusty Springfield.”
We now switch to oral history as remembered by Pam:
The Stadium was an old building usually used for boxing and wrestling matches. My overwhelming memory of the place was of corrugated iron – there was a high fence made of it around the place and huge wide gates also of corrugated iron. Inside the “stage” was really just the elevated boxing platform with the ropes around it taken down. The audience sat all around the stage and the entertainers had to approach the stage down long aisles flanked on either side by the audience. They left the stage by another aisle in a different direction.
“What about props, scenery, etc. I asked.
There was none of that – Just Dusty, an orchestra and a mike having to play to an audience that sat around her in 360 degree fashion”.
God, that must have been hard to do – and what are the acoustics like in a boxing stadium! Dusty, without her glasses must have had nightmares about the entrance and exit arrangements. Nevertheless, Pam was enchanted enough to go back in 1967 when Dusty next visited and see her many more times at Chequers. By the way, Pam tells me she also saw The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison and Paul and Paula (who?) at the Stadium too before they tore it down in the late 60’s. Dusty coped with the rudimentary facilities in a very basic Oz of the time.
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