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The Rock-itt : June 2011
I first came in contact with Malcolm Hill a couple of years ago when picking up the phone at home a rather heavily accented English voice said, “Is this the Rock-itt magazine? I’ve just picked up a copy of your Rock-itt from the Time and Tide Hotel and there’s not one thing in your sports section about Manly United Football Club”. After that first introduction, Malcolm went on to become one of our most prolific feature writers, capable of covering any feature that was asked of him. But one thing I found out about Malcolm after working with him over the past two years was that he is a very modest man, never wanting to discuss the fact that he has rubbed shoulders with most of the biggest names in the music business. That is why I had to virtually twist his arm firmly up his back to get him to bring to you this wonderful two part feature. My wife Julie, our daughter Lauren, then 14 and I arrived on the Northern Beaches in October 2000. A couple of weeks later I started work as Director of Promotion for EMI Music at their offices at Cremorne. We found a house in Frenchs Forest and our plan was working fine so far. I had been with EMI Music in the UK since July 1st 1974, that’s a hell of a long time with the same employer. My plan was to find my way into Australia in a similar position to the oneIhadintheUKandthenassoon as was possible I would retire and have the rest of my life in the Sun, generally having a good Aussie time. Have I done it? Well, yes almost but it wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped. I’ll take it from the top. I was born in 1950 in the same hospital as Stan Laurel, of Laurel and Hardy fame. Ashton under Lyne was the place, then in Lancashire, now part of Greater Manchester in the North West of England. My Dad had been a wagon builder on the Railways and my Mother, a Welsh lady worked for wholesale greengrocers. I would have been an Aussie a lot earlier but my poor old Dad after applying to be a Ten Pound Pom contracted Tuberculosis and was no longer acceptable to Australia so that big idea was delayed for a few years, 46 to be precise! I had an Uncle, my Mothers brother Ron, who I never got to meet because he was killed in World War II. Ron had been a music fan and my first exposure to music was via his collection of 78rpm Gramophone Records. I got to play them when we visited my Grandmother in Aintree, Liverpool on weekends. It must have broken their hearts to hear Ron’s music being played but it stirred in me an interest in music that has been with me the whole of my life. When I reached my early teens, around 1963, obviously the whole Beatles thing was going on and we already had a school rock band. They were quite good actually and I wanted to be part ofit.MyDadagreedtobuymea guitar as long as I took formal lessons. I just wanted my own ‘axe’ so I agreed. He bought me a 15- Pound Hofner acoustic, even then I had wanted a Fender Tele but no matter, money was tight and I was on my way. Dad found me a tutor and off I went. Here’s where my whole life took a turn! The tutor was a very nice guy and a great player, unfortunately he was a great player of Hungarian folk tunes and I wanted to be in the Rolling Stones!! I stuck it for three months but I just couldn’t bear what I had to play. I told my Dad I wasn’t going to go for lessons anymore and he said that was fine. The day after he sold my guitar and that was the end of me as a Rock God. I couldn’t join the school Rock band as a musician but it turned out that I wasn’t bad as a DJ. At 14 years of age I built myself a set of DJ decks, the band let me plug into their PA system and a Roadshow was born. I had started to collect records before my tenth birthday, I will own up to the fact that my first ever record bought was a 78! Seems impossible really that the ancient technology was still in use but I became the proud owner of “I’m A Pink Toothbrush, You’re a Blue Toothbrush” by Max Bygraves! I even remember tripping up and falling down on top of it smashing it to pieces a few months later. My first 7 inch vinyl record was Marty Wilde’s cover of “Rubber Ball” on Phillips Records, little did I think that 15 years later I would be his daughter Kim’s record promoter and drive her to With Kylie in 1998 or was it just a dream??? One of my favourite shots. I said to the guy on the left, "If we stand here , we 'll get photographed between Cliff Richard and Robert Palmer. Bi ngo!