From St Kilda To Kings Cross

A completed PhD investigating the geography of live music in Sydney and Melbourne between the 1980s and 2000s.

August 1991: some sample advertisements and letters to the editor from the Sydney street press

Hello –

Here’s a small sample of items in the Sydney street press of August 1991 that caught my eye while I was at the State Library of NSW recently. For my own selfish and diversionary reasons I particularly enjoy old letters to the editor and find them either depressing or funny (like a lot of human anxieties seen from across time), while the venue advertisements can give snippets of everyday life for Sydneysiders in 1991. For example, one might partake in “recession session” at a nightclub, which sounds like a real downer but perhaps it was fun at the time.

Also in 1991 there are still quite a few suburban Sydney venues hosting regular big name bands, from Dee Why to Gladesville to Sylvania, and cover bands are a controversial topic, along with changes to nationalizing radio network JJJ, the popularity of Vanilla Ice, Betty Boop’s recent tour (the one with the miming thing in Frankston), and the 90s generally. And I’ve included at the end a feature on the Prices Surveillance Authority recommendations regarding CD prices in Australia (over $25! in 1991!), with some familiar faces but a very different Australian music industry, unaware or unconcerned in 1991 about “the internet”.

Enjoy!

Ad for Banjo's Bayview Tavern, Gladesville, August 1991

Ad for Banjo’s Bayview Tavern, Gladesville, August 1991

"Play this number and you could win a record deal", August 1991

“Play this number and you could win a record deal”, August 1991

"Recession session", August 1991

“Recession session”, August 1991

"Rock circuit" - venues in Dee Why, Wollongong, Sylvania and more, August 1991

“Rock circuit” – venues in Dee Why, Wollongong, Sylvania and more, August 1991

"NO COVERS", August 1991

“NO COVERS”, August 1991

Ad for St George Leagues Club, August 1991

Ad for St George Leagues Club, August 1991

Ad for Strawberry Hills Hotel, August 1991

Ad for Strawberry Hills Hotel, August 1991

"Concern over the treatment of Betty Boo", "Thirsty for metal", and a message to Elvis - letters to the editor, August 1991

Concern over the treatment of Betty Boo, thirst for metal, and a message to Elvis – letters to the editor, August 1991

Bruce Willis and JJJ - big in 1991

Bruce Willis and JJJ – big in 1991

"Sick of cover bands", August 1991

“Sick of cover bands”, August 1991

"Cover bands aren't my favourite bands but...", August 1991

“Cover bands aren’t my favourite bands but…”, August 1991

"Disillusioned at 25", August 1991

“Disillusioned at 25”, August 1991

"General disillusionment", August 1991

“General disillusionment”, August 1991

"Dizzy in Adelaide" - the buzz of Sydney vs "only four job offerings - that's it!" in de-industrializing Adelaide, August 1991

“Dizzy in Adelaide” – the buzz of Sydney vs “only four job offerings – that’s it!” in de-industrializing Adelaide, August 1991

"If Vanilla Ice sells out", August 1991

“If Vanilla Ice sells out”, August 1991

"Gay music?", August 1991

“Gay music?”, August 1991

Some Sydney music venues listed by suburb in "On The Street", August 1991

Some Sydney music venues listed by suburb in “On The Street”, August 1991

"Musicians, copyright and the PSA" - concern over the changes recommended by the Prices Surveillance Authority - some familiar faces but a very different pre-internet Australian music industry, August 1991

Feature on concern over changes recommended by the Prices Surveillance Authority – some familiar faces but a very different Australian music industry, August 1991

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2 comments on “August 1991: some sample advertisements and letters to the editor from the Sydney street press

  1. Vanessa Berry
    October 30, 2014

    I would love to read an anthology of Drum Media letters – a few years ago I did some research in the State Library with Drum Media and On The Street and found the letters similarly diverting. Such urgency and passion! And that whole alternative/mainstream shift playing out made me remember how important it seemed at the time.

  2. sarahtaylor247
    October 30, 2014

    Yes that would make a great read! They really are earnest (fair enough – they had just been through the 80s) but since it’s the printed press they had to pass through an editor. Hence they have reasonable spelling and grammar and don’t go completely batshit agro within the space of four headings like internet comment streams. They are already starting to look like strangely fancy olden days letters to me.
    What was your Drum and OTS research on? I’m sure you would do something cool with it!

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This entry was posted on January 7, 2013 by in Samples Of Old Gig Listings and Opinion Pieces.

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