Let there be rock!
One night in a club called “The Shaking Hand”
There was a ninety-two decibel rocking band
And the music was good and the music was loud
And the singer turned and he said to the crowd –
Let there be rock
From the 1970s to 1999, the Gold Coast was a hot-spot on the bucket-list of Australia’s live music touring circuit. With iconic venues like the Playroom, Bombay Rock, The Patch, Jet Club and Fisherman’s Wharf, the Coast played host to some of the hottest and most notorious international and Australian music acts; as well as some of our best local talent. From The Ramones and Cold Chisel at the Playroom, to INXS and The Go-Betweens at Bombay Rock; and Nirvana and The Violent Femmes at “Fisho’s”, this was an era of unparalleled and unapologetic music excess.
Let there be rock! celebrates this heyday of hard-core rock and entertainment on the Gold Coast through memorabilia, photographs and footage. Ephemeral in nature, the items on display here are now scarce and precious, tipping point reminders of nights of cranking original music, dollar pots, moshing, and greasy street pies. Memories too, may be triggered by portraits of favourite musicians, or photographs of rock gods and goddesses, taken from salvaged 35mm negatives and brought to life for a digital age.
Maker unknown, Playroom neon sign c.1980-1989, neon, electrical component, steel
Collection, Gallery at HOTA. Gifted by the citizens of the Gold Coast to future generations 2017
Rennie Ellis, Kym Hosking, Sheba, The Playroom, Gold Coast (detail) 1983, digital print, State Library of Victoria collection