WELCOME BACK TO 4TR FOR 2022- POP GOES THE 1970’S – BRIAN CADD

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Show Me the Way (B Cadd\D Mudie) 1970 and Gingerman (B Cadd) – Brian Cadd 1972 and Your Mama Don’t Dance (K Loggins/J Messina) – The Bootleg Family 1973 and Let Go (B Cadd) – Brian Cadd 1974

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Brian Cadd (aka Brian Caine) was born in Perth, Western Australia (1946) and relocated with his family to Melbourne in 1961, he was a naturally-gifted singer/songwriter and trained pianist who was part of several fledgling bands in his early teens after leaving school. These included the Beale St Jazz Band and the Castaways who would become the Jackson Kings and it was here that Cadd (keyboards) would play with Ronnie Charles (lead vocals) for the first time. Cadd and Charles would be recruited to form a new lineup of the Groop, with bassist Max Ross and drummer Richard Wright, a well-regarded mod rock outfit who secured a residency at the Garrison Disco (Prahran, Melb) and cultivated a following amongst the well-heeled set of Melbourne’s discotheque glitterati. The Groop became key players in the mod rock transformation of the local scene following the rise of the Beatles and their tour here in 1964, and unlike many of their local competitors, they wrote their own songs, and performed them with conviction.  Above – Teenage Brian young rocker. Below L-R The Groop, Cadd, Axiom.  

 Cadd with guitarist Don Mudie would write several hits for the Groop – Woman Your Breaking Me and Such a Lovely Way, as well as Elevator Driver for the Masters’ Apprentices and also backed Russell Morris on his two psychedelic tours de force – The Real Thing and Part 3 Into Paper Walls.

Cadd then moved on to form arguably Australia’s first supergroup Axiom where he would again collaborate with Don Mudie on several seminal hit songs – Little Ray of Sunshine, Arkansas Grass and My Baby’s Gone. Ironically both the Groop and Axiom would pursue the dream of cracking the big time in the UK, playing their way across on a Sitmar cruise ship only to find that they were cruelly ill-equipped to compete in the most competitive music scene in the world at the time, and would return to Australia wiser but broke, and promptly break up.

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Post- Axiom in 1970 Brian Cadd and Don Mudie joined Ron Tudor’s Fable Records, and scored a #15 hit locally with Show Me the Way, a great addition to the God rock genre that had gathered pace in the early 70’s with such hits as Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon and Garfunkal)), Spirit In the Sky (Norman Greenbaum), Jesus Is Just Alright (Doobie Brothers), Day By Day Colleen Hewett) and The Lord’s Prayer by Sister Janet Mead. Inspired by the spiritual rock musicals Godspell, and Jesus Christ Superstar, and their respective cast recordings,  Show Me the Way drew inspiration from the Biblical tract Luke 23:24 which referenced the crucifixion and is partly included in the song’s lyrics “Forgive them Father, For they know not what they do, Please forgive them, ‘Cause that pain of mine is your pain…” and as a song it would have been a comfortable fit within the libretto of many of the live ecclesiastical musicals of the era. Musically the song was basically a piano-based ballad, but with interesting tempo and volume shifts, wah-wah pedal guitar, solid backing vocals, and it was very much the template for songs that would be released in the future by Cadd’s Bootleg Family Band.

Cadd’s mastery of the country rock crossover genre enabled him to imbue songs with a wide range of sounds – blues, honky tonk piano, Boogie-woogie, wistful country, and with Show Me The Way – a congregational spirituality.

In 1972 Cadd was continuing to explore the country crossover rock genre under the influence of  such US groups as the Band, Poco, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, and his next single was the wistful and rather enigmatic Gingerman which opened with tinkling piano and built through strings, flute, oboe and brilliant orchestration, Cadd’s vocals were sweet and heartfelt, but the video was disappointing as there seemed to be an intriguing narrative within this song that would have been enhanced by a more accessible story vid.

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In his memoir From This Side Of Things, Cadd explained how the chorus lyrics “Gingerman, follow me home… “came about. He had planned for the song to be an aural version of an old western movie, a cinema genre with which he was fascinated, and he pictured a cowboy receiving letters from his girlfriend in different places – Texas, Utah, and Memphis, informing him about the Civil War, his brother’s new girlfriend, the death of his father, and finally, about her leaving him for another man. Cadd had wrestled with the chorus and so he merely dropped the phrase “Ginger man, follow me home…”, into the song as a dummy lyric, a marker to which he would return and write the final words. But he couldn’t seem to improve on that dummy lyric, it had lodged in his subconscious, but he couldn’t explain why. It wasn’t until later that Cadd realized that the Gingerman in the song had been inspired by Sebastion Dangerfield, the principal character in one of his favorite novels, The Ginger Man by JP Donlevy. A contraversial story set in in post WW2 Ireland which was initially banned in many countries for obscenity, but has been justly accorded classic status since. Like many songs the lyrics to Gingerman will forever remain inexplicable, unfathomable, a quirk of the creative process of a songwriter. 

A moody, atmospheric story song from Brian Cadd.

Cadd’s numerous references to US placenames and history throughout the song reflected not only his fascination with America and its music, he had already co-written Arkansas Grass for Axiom, but his belief that it would also help him to cultivate success in that market for his songs. Cadd would subsequently claim that he found it hard to rhyme lyrics with place names like Wagga Wagga, Indooroopilly, Wangaratta, etc; but he certainly upset some DJs’ with his preoccupation with USA cultural references.

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Influential Melbourne DJ Stan Rofe (above) was particularly peeved, he pressured Cadd into changing a song entitled We Can Reach Georgia By Morning to use an Australian place name, and the song became Ford’s Bridge, a reference to a town in North Queensland. In retrospect Cadd regretted being pressured into altering his original artistic intent and yielding to the parochialism of others. Subsequently other local songwriters however would have no difficulty in referencing Australian place names in the future and Greg Macainsh (Skyhooks) and Paul Kelly are but two who have celebrated our unique locales – St. Kilda, King’s Cross, Lygon Street, Balwyn, Toorak for example- very successfully in numerous songs, and in Cadd’s defence he did include local references in songs in the future, with two locations near Ballarat – Shepherd’s Flat and Spring Hill- appearing as tracks on his Moonshine album, in 1974.

Brian Cadd would emerge as a solo singer/songwriter of considerable stature in the future, and he became Fable Records A&R manager in Melbourne, and the driving force behind their subsidiary record label Bootleg, which functioned as a shifting ensemble of performing, recording and production talent with Brian Cadd the consummate ringmaster.

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The Bootleg Family were the Antipodean version of Leon Russell and The Shelter People, a musical ensemble of diverse talent that had been hastily thrown together by Russell to support Joe Cocker’s 1970 tour of the USA. Russell was a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter/arranger/producer whose guest list on his 1970 eponymous album included such luminaries as George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Steve Winwood, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, Klaus Voorman, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Joe Cocker, and Merry Clayton. For Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour of the States the moving feast of talent included Rita Coolidge (Russell’s Delta Lady), Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, Jim Keltner, Jim Price, Carl Radle, as well as Russell, and Cocker’s support group the Grease Band. Below L-R Fable Records boss Ron Tudor, Poster for the Joe Cocker Tour, Bootleg Family Band.

Cadd’s Bootleg Family Band was formed in 1973 with Cadd (keyboards/lead vocals), Geoff Cox (drums), Penny Dyer (backing vocals), Louise Lincoln (backing vocals), Gus Fenwick (bass), Brian Fitzgerald (keyboards), Angela Jones (lead and backing vocals), Tony Naylor (lead guitar), and Russell Smith (trumpet), and became Fable’s in-house band, who also released their own material.  

Cadd was the Ringmaster and he produced the hits at Bootleg.

The Bootleg Family Band hit the top 5 with their debut record, a sparkling cover of the Loggins and Messina hit Your Mama Don’t Dance, after Fable Records owner Ron Tudor was able to procure an advance copy of the original from the States and so enable the Bootleg Family version to beat Loggins and Messina to the punch chartwise in Australia. It’s a simple teen rebellion song about kids who must comply with strict rules imposed by their conservative parents, who happen to get sprung by the police making out in the back seat of a car, so ending their night of passion. It was a catchy, boogie-woogie piano -driven number, perfect for Cadd and his merry band of plagiarists to cover. Cadd would pen the hit Don’t You Know It’s Magic for Johnny Farnham as well as the theme song for the risqué movie franchise Alvin Purple, starring Graeme Blundell and Jackie Weaver, as his songwriting continued to impress, and confirm his versatility and ability to adapt to various genres.

The Bootleg Family would revive Betty Everett’s 1964 hit the Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss) in 1974, with Angela Jones on lead vocals and classic girl group backing from Penny Dyer and Louise Lincoln, it charted #10 and would be revived in 1990 by Cher on the soundtrack of her movie Mermaids. In May 1974 The Bootleg Family performed at the Australian Section of Expo ’74 in Spokane, Washington, and as part of a short tour of the States performed on two iconic American TV music shows – Midnight Special, and Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.     

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The Bootleg Family band would back Cadd on his third solo album Moonshine, released in mid-1974 and Let Go was the first single lifted off that album and it was one of Brian Cadd’s best compositions.  The influence of the Band and the Eagles is reflected in the structure and country-tinged sensibility of this song, and Tony Naylor’s steel guitar and the keyboards of Cadd and Brian Fitzgerald combined to produce a memorable hit. The rock-steady rhythmic support of Geoff Cox (drums) and Gus Fenwick (bass) were also standout features, and backing singers Penny Dyer, Angela Jones and Louise Lincoln delivered soulful support to the mix; and complemented the plaintive lead vocals of Cadd, while subtle strings and orchestration also enhanced the production.

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Cadd has revealed in his memoirs From This Side Of Things (2010), that the inspiration for the song was the troubled relationship that his studio engineer Ross Cockle had with his then-partner, characterized by heated telephone conversations, and an uncomfortable coldness when they were together, which reflected in Cadd’s lyrics. But closer inspection of these lyrics raised more questions than they answered about Cadd’s own relationship with his first wife, dancer Wendy Bailey, whom he married in the 1969 and would divorce in 1978 after parenting twin sons Kristian and Jason with her  in 1974-“Walk away, leave well alone, you know you should/ To be in love has as much that’s bad as it has it’s good/ To counsel friends ain’t wi-ise but you sure need to see/ You should know that before you, she did the same to me…”, so we are left to wonder about with whom Cadd and Cockle were both romantically associated, or whether Cadd was just exercising some poetic license here. Brian took Let Go to #10 locally, and cover versions of this song by Gene Pitney and Dobie Gray were worthy of chart success, but Cadd scored when the Pointer Sisters made his Love Is Like A Rolling Stone, the B -side of their hit Fire, which was a million-seller.

Probably Cadd’s best composition, but some prefer A Little Ray of Sunshine.

In 1975 Brian Cadd relocated to Los Angeles and moved in with Chelsea Record company executive Linda Campbell, Wendy Cadd found out about the love nest arrangement and promptly relocated herself and the twins to live with her husband in LA in 1977, in an effort to save the marriage. But the relationship was fraught and the couple ultimately separated, Cadd resumed co-habiting with Campbell who he would marry in 1980 and have two children Jessica (1983) and Nicholas (1984).

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At the time Cadd was signed to Capitol Records and he released the album White on White in which he tried to embrace the musical styles of Elton John and Billy Joel, in a production helmed by Robert Appere, with whom Cadd did not have a successful working relationship. The album failed to chart, and in 1980 Cadd was part of French rocker Johnny Halliday’s backing band, but by 1989 he had returned to the States and settled in Nashville, where he lived for much of the next ten years. He opened the Salad Bowl Studio there where he focused on country and country crossover music, and wrote songs for Gene Pitney, Dobie Gray, Cilla Black, Glen Campbell, Wayne Newton, Bonnie Tyler, and Joe Cocker. Below L-R Flying Burrito Brothers with Cadd at far right, The Two Amigos Cadd and Shorrock, and Brian appearing on the 2021 APIA Good Times Tour with Joe Camilleri, Wendy Matthews, Vika and Linda Bull, John Paul Young, Kate Ceberano, Leo Sayer, and Deborah Conway.

Between 1991-93 Brian performed with the legendary country rock group The Flying Burrito Brothers but he returned to Australia in the mid- 1990’s and by 1996 he was living with his new partner Linda Newman in Surfers Paradise. Since his return home he has been active in production, performing and artist management, reuniting with his old Axiom bandmate Glenn Shorrock for numerous performances. Below – Brian Cadd and Amanda Pelman, 2016

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He was part of the 2002 Long Way to the Top baby boomer tour of Australia where he met and commenced a relationship with the show’s producer, Amanda Pelman, a former Mushroom Records executive; and her two children Olivia and Austin, from a previous marriage, would become part of Brian Cadd’s blended family of six. He re-assembled the Bootleg Family Band to release the studio album Bulletproof in 2016, the tracks ranged over an eclectic choice of genres including rock, folk, world, and country music, followed by a short tour.

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Cadd’s finely-crafted writing and performance skills have contributed inestimably to the success of such exemplary bands as the Groop, Axiom, the Bootleg Family and the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Brian was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007 as both a performer and a songwriter. At 75 years of age he has become a living legend of the Australian music scene, and the grizzled Wild Bill Hickock image of his later years is much the same onstage as it is off – embroidered western shirt, tasselled suede waistcoat, chunky Native American turquoise rings, flowing white beard and hair, with a twinkle in his eye, a song in his heart, and a drop of the doings close by.  

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