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The Australian Road Crew

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Albert Lee and Vince Gill with Aussie friends LIVE at The Prince of Wales Hotel 1988 Tape to be dropped June 1st.

Albert  Lee and Vince Gill

with Aussie friends

LIVE at The Prince of Wales Hotel 1988

Tape to be dropped June 1st.
BLACK BOX          relief logo        desk tape series logo

Albert  Lee and Vince Gill

with Aussie friends

LIVE at The Prince of Wales Hotel 1988

Tape to be dropped June 1st.

Albert Lee and Vince Gill, with Aussie friends, LIVE at The Prince Of Wales Hotel, 1988 is the 15th release of the Australian Road Crew Association’s (ARCA) Desk Tape Series.

Albert and Vince 1500

Highly acclaimed US-based country music guitarists Vince Gill and Albert Lee are the latest artists to throw their support behind ARCA’s Desk Tape Series.

The live show at The Prince of Wales Hotel Bandroom in St Kilda, Melbourne in 1988 was part of a 10-date run, which included a run of shows at The Prince of Wales Hotel. The backing band was comprised of two legendary Aussies, Malcolm Wakeford on drums and Graham Thompson on bass.

The live tapes are made straight off the mixing desk and made by a road crew member, in this case it was the sound engineer for the tour, another great Aussie, Noel Bennett.

This is the latest in the Desk Tape Series, created by the Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA) to raise funds to provide financial, health, counselling and well being services for roadies and crew in crisis.

They are released on ARCA’s Black Box Records, through MGM Distribution and on all major streaming services.

Thanx to Nprint for the artwork, Phil Dracoulis for the mastering, and Albert Lee and Vince Gill, and the Aussie band, for their support of roadies and crew. Awesome.

The Albert Lee and Vince Gill with Aussie friends, LIVE at The Prince of Wales Hotel 1988 tape, and all the ARCA Desk Tape Series live recordings are available through:   (Please paste into browser if it fails to work)

Apple Music / iTunes
Black Box Records
YouTube Music

Now a country music superstar, winner of 22-Grammys and who last toured Australia as part of The Eagles, Vince Gill was still establishing his solo career when the Australian tour took place.

Now based in Nashville, he knew Albert Lee when they were both living in Los Angeles and moving around in the same music circles.

On Live at The Prince of Wales Hotel, 1988, Vince can be heard laughingly telling the audience, “I was the only one in the US stupid enough to play after Albert Lee!”

Thirty three years later, Vince exclaims, “That’s still true! No one plays like Albert. He has a swing and a bounce, and so intoxicating to play with.

“There’s absolutely no competition when we play together, just total admiration.”

In 1988, Albert Lee enjoyed legend status among other musicians.

Born in England, he was “the guitarist’s guitarist”, for his technical virtuosity and for playing his Telecaster at breakneck speed.

This was the time of squealing feedback courtesy Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. Lee wanted to play country music and thought he’d try his luck in Los Angeles in 1974. He was embraced there, recording and touring with heaps of musicians, notably with the Everly Brothers and Emmylou Harris.

“We were the youngsters who picked up the mantle after the great country names like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard,” Albert recalls.

“That’s when I first met Vince. He was more into bluegrass. But he and Ricky Skaggs would tell you I was an influence on them picking up the guitar.”

Listening to Live at The Prince of Wales, 1988 brought back memories.

 “I wasn’t nervous about hearing those old tapes because I knew we played well,” Albert says. “But we wanted to do this for ARCA’s Roadie Fund. Being a crew member is tough and there’s no pension, so it’s all I could do to help.

“I don’t think there’s a fund like ARCA’s in America, not that I’ve heard of. But I do know musicians are doing charity shows for crews.”

Vince put the spotlight on the relationship between musicians and crews.

“The sound, the lights, everything’s done for you. So many guys who do that are musicians themselves. Maybe they never made it up to that level of musicianship or singing but they love being around people who love the same things.

“It’s been a crazy 12 to 18 months and it’s apparent everybody is struggling. Everyone’s in the same boat, and there are a lot of good people doing things like this to give a hand up.”

On Live At The Prince Of Wales, 1988, the mood is both laid-back yet intense, the crowd cheering them along as they exchange licks, harmonies and affectionate stage patter.

ALBERT LEE2 307 gallery  Vince Gill1

Albert Lee                                        Vince Gill

The set included Lee’s “Evangelina”, ”So Sad” and cover of John Hiatt’s “Pink Bedroom” while Gill contributed “Colder Than Winter” and “Just Enough To Keep Me Hanging On”.

Because of time constraints in rehearsing with their Australian backup band, much of the second part of the set was filled with uptempo rockabilly classics as “One Way Rider” and “Tear It Up”.

“Sweet Little Lisa”, which Albert Lee had recorded with Dave Edmunds, saw the duo joined on the night by Stephen Housden of Little River Band. They knew him from LRB’s American tours, and had dinner with him before the show. Also at the meal was Russell Morris, whom they knew when he lived in the US. Morris was in the audience that night but didn’t join them on stage.

The classics “That’s Alright Mama” and “Mystery Train”, popularised by Elvis Presley, were more a tribute to the King’s guitarist Scotty Moore.

Vince: “We grew up listening to things like ‘Mystery Train’ and ‘That’s Alright Mama’, we were all influenced by Scotty Moore.

 “Those were some of the earliest things we heard, a bit of rock, a bit of rockabilly, a little bit of country twang, those songs were perfect and timeless.”

Albert: “I still do some of those classics in my set. I rest them but they always keep coming back!

“I really admired Scotty, he was one of my earliest heroes. I met him when we played at a big concert at Abbey Road Studios in London.

“Sad to say I never had the time to sit down and talk. He was pretty shy. I’d love to have picked his brain on a number of things. I had his phone number but sadly I didn’t take the chance to call.”

The 1988 tour was pulled together by folk music promoter and wine grower Andrew Pattison. In 1973, he and a friend drove in an old London taxi from England through Europe and Asia and ended up in Australia where he ran the Troubadour club in Melbourne

Pattison, who donated the live tape to ARCA, originally planned for the tour to include Rodney Crowell but the schedules clashed.

“The tour with Vince and Albert was the most enjoyable I’d ever done. They were so down-to-earth and of course great musicians. They stayed at my home, and my wife washed their clothes.”

He recalls taking them to a birthday party at a friends who also ran a winery, in Hanging Rock.

Neither were household names at the time, but one of the guests realised Vince was a top golfer, “a scratch golfer” who had no handicap.

“Why didn’t you become a professional golfer?” she asked.

Vince replied in his typical matter-of-fact style, “Because I can sing better!”

ARCA would like to thank the following sponsors of The Desk Tape Series:-

Sponsor                  Industry Roles
Showtech                 Rigging                             
CMI                          P.A and Production                       
Clearlight                  Lighting                                       
DSE Trucks              Transport                                     
Scully Outdoors        Outdoor Production            
Gigpower                 Crewing and Staging                    
Lock and Load          Crewing                            
Chameleon Touring   Production and Lighting                          
JPJ                           P.A and Lighting                                               
Novatech                 P.A and Lighting      
Phaseshift                Lighting                                       
Show FX Australia    Pyrotechnics                      
Event Personnel Australia       Crewing                            
Norwest                   P.A and Lighting Production
Nprint                      Artwork

Ian Peel and Adrian Anderson
ARCA Co-founders and Directors.

Note from founders:-

"ARCA and The Desk Tape Series is a small way we can help our mates get some self-worth and recognition for their contribution to the Aussie music industry and help if they are in crisis. It is a great honor for us to be able to present these memories to all."

All Hail Roadies and Crew

"Looking after OUR OWN with FEELING and a WHOLE LOTTA LOVE

All enquiries contact :

          Adrian Anderson      0409 789 440
          Ian Peel            0415 667 221
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