The Reserves Recalled
The Reserves were formed in our youth. The original line up all stemmed from the same year at Taroona High School where we finished fourth year in 1975. The Reserves were assembled in stages - transforming ourselves from music consumers to purveyors. The first stage entailed the most musically talented amongst us acquiring and learning an instrument, namely guitar, and then setting the rest of us on the course to musicianhood. We acquired instruments and amplifiers. A name was decided upon on one afternoon's round of pubs. At some stage we got ourselves a practice room. We got a routine. We practiced. We got tight. We wrote songs and raided our record collections for songs to cover. Bo Diddley’s classic “I’m a man” was good for starters. We found a copy of Nuggets at Salamanca Market and were inspired. We discovered the magic of WIRE and bar chords. Pink Flag got plundered.
At some point we introduced ourselves to the public. We played at parties around Hobart for a while. Our first drummer despite his best efforts proved unsatisfactory as our musicianship improved. We auditioned new drummers through an ad in the local paper and eventually settled on a northern suburbs boy who transformed the band. We got tighter. We made our pub debut at "The Man at The Wheel". We were pretty raw. One of our mike stands was made from a rake and a bicycle wheel. We butchered a number of songs. Even a relatively simple song like “Gloria” collapsed in an inglorious heap. I doubt parents were impressed. We continued to improve. Gigs came up regularly at “The Red Lion” and “The Hope and Anchor”. Punters would ask for the usual round of Stones and Creedence covers but we were unable to comply. We were an oddity. We were amateurish in comparison to more professional musicians. We had our fans and our detractors. We antagonised some people. “Shattered Revolt” was written in reaction to violence directed against us after a gig at a party where we finished up getting a rock through the rear windscreen of the car for our troubles.
Hobart had a fairly healthy inner city band scene during the late seventies / early eighties. It was punctuated by an excess of cover bands although bands such as ourselves, Dingo Rose, The Quits, Sweet Poison, The Press and Mr X wrote original music. The Reserves were never really part of the Hobart band scene. We stood out because of our batch of original material and obscure covers but never had the clothes or attitude to blend in with other bands. We were however accepted enough to get regular gigs and supports but it is doubtful we were ever considered cool. Coolness however was not one of our aspirations.
As a band The Reserves were not together for a long time before they broke up sometime in the early eighties. Time went by in a blur of alcohol and youthful angst. They existed long enough to produce a set of recordings that are still in possession by the band. From a personal point of view I believe the majority of them have well and truly stood the test of time. No embarrassment there. As time went by some ex Reserves and associates went on to become Hey Mook. Another ex Reserve has expanded his musical boundaries beyond Rock and Roll and composes classical music. The bass player in the final line up continues to write songs and poetry and performs as Travelling Hail on occasions. The author of this article was formerly the manager of The Mooks in their salad days and lives in the hope that someday our combined ventures will bear fruit.
November 2000 AD.
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