Tag: Dallas Crane


dallas-craneThis fortnight we’re absolutely delighted to have Steve Pinkerton, frontman for super 2000s band The Anyones share with us his top ten records. Nowadays you will find Steve fronting the ever-awesome Ronson Hangup (along with a cast of fine gentlemen!) and also playing the drums for Melbourne legends Dallas Crane. Steve has delivered us some great tunes over the years – look for “Rubin” and the undeniably glorious pop of “Pocket“, both from The Anyones’ self-titled record. In more recent times check out the rollicking “Shades Of Stones” from the Ronson Hangup’s self-titled debut. And whilst on the subject, where is that second Ronson LP?! …Surely can’t be too far away! It promises to be a classic. – LT

Steve: My approach to My Top Ten Albums was to list the albums that had the greatest emotional impact on me in my formative years – I may rate other albums higher but these albums had the powerful combined effect on me of environment, circumstance and time.


ALICE COOPER Welcome To My Nightmare (1975)

stevep-acoope-welcomSome of you who associate Alice Cooper with the era of the single “Poison” and beyond may be asking “what the fuck Steve?” (not to mention Alice’s occasional right wing outbursts – although next to Ted Nugent he’s positively Trotsky) but let me tell youse…from ’69 – ’77 Alice Cooper was the perfect mixture of irreverence, horror movie and sensational rock/pop. My older sister Jane introduced me to this – and it certainly had an impact. Originally signed by Frank Zappa to a 3 album deal, by 1974 Alice had essentially gone solo with a sensational backing band (shared with Lou Reed) that included the amazing Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter on guitars and producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Kiss, Lou Reed). Welcome to My Nightmare was a concept album that was also made into a finely crafted theatrical performance. I loved the production, the story line, the guitars, the drums and the songs that ranged from the melancholy (“Only Women Bleed”) to great pop/rock (e.g. “Cold Ethyl” and “Department of Youth”) – oh and a touch of necrophilia.


AC/DC High Voltage (1975)

stevep-acdc-highvoMy brother’s birthday present – we gave this album a good flogging and were suitably amazed by Angus’s skills on “Baby Please Don’t Go”, romanced by Bon on “Love Song” and inspired by Phil’s drum roll on “Show Business” (which was one of the first things I learnt to play on drums). My strong memory is playing “She’s Got Balls” over and over just to annoy my Mum (surprisingly she had difficulty hearing Mozart’s influence). My brother was also responsible for introducing me to Slade and ELO.



ELTON JOHN Greatest Hits (1974)

stevep-ejohn-greateYep dark, gritty, subversive – ok maybe not – my Dad gave me this album on cassette and I fondly remember a beach holiday on Sydney’s central coast where I was rarely seen without my mono tape deck, weighing circa 2 kilos, and single ear piece with this album on high rotation (well it probably took 10 minutes to rewind the tape so perhaps medium rotation). What can I say, wall to wall melodies and lush recordings. It was number 1 in both the US and UK for weeks selling about 17 million. Favourite tracks included “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, “Bennie and the Jets” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”.


KISS Alive! (1975)

stevep-kiss-aliveThere are groundbreaking albums like Bob Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde, The Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds – and then, ahem, there’s Kiss Alive! A gift, this album was really the record that precipitated my love for rock/pop music – I would definitely love to be able to say it was Frank Zappa’s Mothermania but alas. My Dad surprisingly brought this back for us (unsolicited) after a trip to the USA and the first thing I remember was being obsessed with the front cover (outfits, makeup, rock poses, etc). A “live” album, there has always been great debate over how much is actually “live” (some say it’s only Peter Criss’s drum tracks) but this was always irrelevant to me – and regardless, I always enjoyed Elton John’s “Bennie and The Jets” with its deliberate and heavy-handed crowd noise overdub. I particularly loved the tracks “Strutter”, “Black Diamond” and “C’mon and Love Me”. Kiss were big fans of Slade and named the album after Slade’s Slade Alive. Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper) subsequently produced the album Destroyer so you can see there’s a theme to my formative years. Inspired by the New York Dolls (Peter Criss grew up with NYD’s drummer Jerry Nolan), Kiss took the cartoonish theme to a new level – a child’s dream.


THE ROLLING STONES It’s Only Rock And Roll (1974)

stevep-rollin-itsonlAs schoolkids my friends and I were obsessed with the Rolling Stones and their albums, bootlegs, movies, etc. Not necessarily my favourite Stones album  – I still love it because it reminds me of my school buddies and Year 12. It was the last album featuring Mick Taylor and was the first produced by Jagger/Richards as the Glimmer Twins. There are two highlights for me – the tracks “It’s Only Rock and Roll” and “Time Waits for No One”, which features a lead break by Mick Taylor that rivals his effort on “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”. The lead break is so familiar to me I think I could sing every note from memory – yet surprisingly it’s a song that the Stones have never played live (possibly because Mick left the band shortly after). Dave Larkin recently revealed to me that he is also a big fan of this track so we give it an occasional butchering at Dallas Crane rehearsal. Just after we had finished Year 12 my best mate Bern and I snuck in (me underage) to the Chevron Hotel on St Kilda Rd to watch John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, which featured members Mick Taylor and John McVie (Fleetwood Mac). We stood directly in front of Mick Taylor in awe – and in total fear of being kicked out. After the show we waited for them to appear and asked for a photo – and they couldn’t have been happier to oblige. The photo featuring a beaming Mick, John, John and Bern is still on my wall. Bern had just received his driver’s licence so we jumped in his mum’s car and chased their minibus down St Kilda Rd –John McVie decided to show off to their entourage and climbed out his window to shake my hand at 80kmh. I still remember Mick Taylor et al in fits of laughter.


LINDA RONSTADT Simple Dreams (1977)

stevep-lronst-simpleThis album was essentially forced upon me by stealth by my older sister Jane who flogged it to death at full volume. At that stage I was struggling between the LA sound and British New Wave – and my music collection was favouring the latter. Linda Ronstadt’s subsequent albums also reflected these British influences with songs written by Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe. The songs on Simple Dreams range from tracks written by Buddy Holly (“It’s So Easy”) and The Rolling Stones (“Tumbling Dice”) to my favourite tracks written by Warren Zevon which include “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me” and “Carmelita”.  “Carmelita” resonated with me because it’s indicative of the other 70s 3-minute tragi-romance songs that I was drawn to such as Bad Company’s “Shooting Star”, Rod Stewart’s “Georgie”, Hot Chocolate’s “Emma” (later covered by Urge Overkill) and even John English’s “Hollywood 7” (although admittedly these were a tad more heavy-handed). This certainly inspired the track “Rubin” on The Anyones’ second album.


THE BEATLES Revolver (1966)

stevep-beatle-revolvI won’t bother going into another vivisection of this album – suffice to say that as kids we were always surrounded by music (particularly classical music) thanks to my mother – but vocal harmony wasn’t her focus. So when I discovered The Beatles, and in particular Revolver (and Rubber Soul) it opened an amazing new world. I’ve been a sucker for a harmony ever since.




THE JAM Sound Affects (1980)

stevep-jam-soundaMy first band out of school was comprised of my brother Mal and I, Nick Murphy (i.e. the genesis of The Anyones) and also Bern (mentioned above in the Mick Taylor experience) and we were essentially a garage 60’s inspired rock band – The Jam were a significant influence. Sound Affects was an easy transition from Revolver as the track “Start” was almost a ‘lift’ from “Taxman” – but it never bothered me. “That’s Entertainment”, “Boy About Town”, “But I’m Different Now” and “Pretty Green” were other faves. It reminds me of our first gig where some aggrieved patron promptly slashed the tyres of many of the patrons – wasn’t me… promise.


THE SMITHS Hatful Of Hollow (1984)

stevep-smiths-hatfulThis album was the soundtrack to my university days, new friendships and tedious first year philosophy conversations. We knew it all – and thought we ruled the world. Morrissey and Marr perfectly framed the experience. In short, brilliant lyrics, melodies and lots of guitars. I was lucky enough to support Morrissey in The Anyones (and he’s been pestering me to be his ‘bestie’ ever since…).



LED ZEPPELIN Physical Graffiti (1975)

stevep-ledzep-physicIn the 90s I did some backpacking around the Philippines with Nick (The Anyones) and this album was my travel companion (via Walkman). It’s an intimate musical experience when the conditions are rough, the budget tight, the scenery stunning – and mobile phones/internet non-existent. A double album, I was seduced by the dry, powerful production (some tracks recorded on the Rolling Stones Mobile studio) – and, of course, the drumming.



The Ronson Hangup’s website

Dallas Crane’s website


davelarkinWelcome to the second instalment of My Top Ten with the man behind Australian rock stalwarts Dallas Crane, Dave Larkin. His White Falcon is the best lookin’ guitar in Melbourne ladies and gentlemen and along with his own voice he can certainly make it sing. Check out some of my favourite moments from Dave’s own great records: an absolute ripper of a track in “Right Under The Wind” from Dave’s Gun Street Girls self-titled (2009); some great jangle guitar interplay on “Open To Close”, from Dallas Crane’s self-titled record (2004) – a more restrained moment with a great Beatles Rubber Soul vibe; and check out the more sentimental “Sold Me”, a classic cut from Dallas Crane’s Twenty Four Seven (2000). Enough from me, enjoy Dave’s selections!


THE BEATLES White Album (1968)

topten-beatlesThe White Album for me is probably the reason I ever followed a path in the music biz. I’d play this album as a kid relentlessly, especially “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” which my mother would constantly downgrade as nothing but ‘evil rubbish’. I was, and still am, a Beatles fanatic. Nobody got close to them in the rock Pantheon. They were many years ahead of their time, and they still bring me so much joy to this day. It’s a happy place and the White Album, as chaotic as it is, is living proof of what a band, even in emotional and administrative tatters, can muster up with the right blend of genius.


WIPERS Over the Edge (1983)

DRL-wipers-overthWipers were a band I discovered in parts over the years, hearing one song here, one song there, thinking to myself how good they were without ever making the full commitment to lashing out on a record. “Over The Edge” was a song I heard on a radio tribute to Kurt Cobain’s death, and I remember how hard it hit me on first listen. So raw and mean, and beautifully primal in its delivery. When I finally got my hands on the album some years later I was absolutely blown away by the incredible guitar playing and superbly crafted melodies that sat beneath the darkness of singer Greg Sage’s nonconformist bluster. It’s a regular go-to in my collection.


TELEVISION Marquee Moon (1977)

DRL-televi-marqueI came to hear about Television in my early twenties. I was an ardent student of Triple R’s Galactic Zoo to the point where I’d tape the show if something else came up on a Thursday afternoon, and “Marquee Moon”, all of its glorious seven minutes, was the one song I heard on that show that shifted the poles for me like no other. The clever layering of these simple guitar phrases against each other blew me away, and it became a very influential album on how Dallas Crane went about putting their songs together from there on.


Rain Dogs (1985)

DRL-twaits-raindoOne of the first ever Tom Waits songs I heard was “9th and Hennepin” – a late-album spoken word number that dragged me down an alley I’d never been down before, and haven’t wanted to ever leave since. Waits’ expository penmanship and vivid recall ‘from the yellow windows of the evening train’ was enough for me go mining into an extraordinary catalogue and immerse myself in the very wonderful Waits universe, and Rain Dogs was the first official album I enjoyed a long happy marriage with. I would routinely give this album to everyone for their 21st birthday present, almost forcing his Cookie Monster-meets-Louis Armstrong warblings upon any recipient in sight. He’s not for everybody, but for me he’s the greatest American lyric writer that ever lived.



DRL-captai-safeasI absolutely love the Captain! The tones on this record, and the amazing songs that make up Safe As Milk became a tour van staple for Dallas Crane over the years. His willingness to corrupt and deform pop-rock’s algorithmic blueprint makes the voyage so special. Safe As Milk for the Captain is about as ‘safe’ as it gets for his vast catalogue too. It’s a strange world of psychedelic-cubist dementia, but always the trusty go-to when the outside world is coming on a little too beige.


The Low Road (1991)

DRL-beasts-lowrOne of my favourite Australian bands of all time – the Beasts of Bourbon were largely the reason I got into the Melbourne live music scene as a late teenager. Seeing them for the first time around ‘The Belly Of The Beasts’ era in the early 1990s, the Beasts for me codified everything great about Australian rock’n roll and its trashy bourbon-soaked bluesy origins. They were beautifully loose, and torrid in melody, made special by the leaning tones of Kim Salmon’s guitar, and Tex Perkins’ irrepressible presence as one of Australia’s greatest ever frontmen.


Curtis (1970)

DRL-cmayfi-curtisCurtis is a ray of light. His songs are delicate in their spiritual genesis and always talk of love. His ability to merge glorious string-laden arrangements with the black American struggle is remarkable feat, and this album stands out for me in its unique ability to give you a cuddle as you tap along to his champion boogies. I find myself particularly playing Side 1 over and over, getting lost in the golden trilogy of “The Other Side of Town”, “The Makings of You” and “We People Who Are Darker Than Blue”. It’s been a regular ‘after-a-few-wines’ album for me that I haven’t even gotten close to getting bored with yet.


ENNIO MORRICONE Peace Notes: Live In Venice (2008)

DRL-ennio-peaceEnnio for me is probably the greatest musician in the world. He could have retired after penning the peerless “The Good, the Bad and The Ugly” theme for Italian Western filmmaking maestro Sergio Leone, but we hadn’t even heard the start of what was in the tank. His melodic stylings are so evocative, it’s hard not to utter some sort of whimper when hearing classics like “Cinema Paradiso”, “A Soldier’s Theme” and “The Mission”, which somehow didn’t win the Best Film Score Oscar at the 1987 Academy Awards. This album goes through all his glorious past with absolute style and sophistication and is a regular go-to when it’s time to zone out for an hour.


MILES DAVIS Kind Of Blue (1959)

DRL-mdavis-kindofMiles is a genius and this is arguably his finest work. Having really only come together in the studio to record Kind Of Blue in 1959 not really knowing the songs, the band’s performance on this largely improvised masterpiece is nothing short of incredible. I love this album, and it was the one album that got me interested in the very wonderful world of jazz.



Secret Treaties (1974)

DRL-blueoy-secretBlue Oyster Cult are one of my favorite bands of all time. I rate Buck Dharma as one of the finest guitar players in rock history, and I can’t believe it took me 35 years to discover this album. Their occasional wacky-with-cheese lyrical stylings that talk about everything from girls to planets take the edge off the brilliantly arranged songs of general chaos. It marks a time when these guys would have maybe gone missing in the looming shadow of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, but it’s a fun place and definitely worth the ride if you’ve loaded up the rocket with fuel.


Dallas Crane website

Dallas Crane Facebook