Bombay Rock

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Bombay Rock
Bombay Rock poster.jpg
Poster for Skyhooks gig at Bombay Rock 1980.
Address 1 Phoenix Street Brunswick (cnr Sydney road)
Melbourne
Australia
Coordinates 37°46′14″S 144°57′40″E / 37.770465°S 144.96117°E / -37.770465; 144.96117
Owner Joe Gualtieri
Opened March 1977

The Bombay Rock was a rock music venue located in Sydney Road, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia,[1] which ran from 1977 to 1991 when it was destroyed by fire. The venue had previously been located in Bourke Street in the city under the name of the Bombay Bicycle Club. Operated by Joe Gualtieri, it was described in the 1980s as "...an old style rock barn ... with all the style and grace of a converted factory" and was to the working class, what Billboard was to the Middle Class.[2]

The Bombay rock was renowned for both the range of important Australian bands that performed and the regular violent fights among its patrons, with hardly a night going by without a fight. Australian Photographer Rennie Ellis captured a number of performers at the venue in the 1980s, including Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons,[3] Other bands to play there included INXS, Australian Crawl, The Angels, Cold Chisel, XTC,[4] The Sunnyboys,[5] Flowers, JAB, The Church, Kevin Borich,[6] The Sports, Lonely Hearts,[7] Sherbet, The Zorros and Skyhooks.[8] Once established, Bombay rock also hosted a number of international acts including Eric Burdon, Steppenwolf, The Knack, Bo Diddley, and New Zealand band, Mi Sex.[2]

The album: Stars: Live At Bombay Rock, was recorded at Bombay Rock on the 18th of October 1979. Nick Cave performed several times in the late 1970s with his band The Boys Next Door.[9]

The Bombay Rock features in the film Death in Brunswick representing itself as a dangerous and sleazy music venue.[10] Ray Argal's film The Models[11] includes footage of the Bombay Rock.

The track "Beautiful People" (1979) by James Reyne of Australian Crawl includes a reference to the Bombay Rock night club in Brunswick.[12][13]

It was frequented by some famous gangland identities including Judith Moran and Alphonse Gangitano.[14]

Following reconstruction after the fire, the building retained its 19th-century facade, and became the site of the Beach Nightclub, but as of March 2012 the building, had last been used as an office supplier, but was vacant.[15]

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