Corner Hotel, Richmond
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2012)|
|The Corner Hotel|
|Address||57 Swan St, Richmond, VIC 3121|
The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria is one of Melbourne's most popular and respected medium-sized rock venues. In 2005 it celebrated its 10th anniversary with the current owners (who also own the Northcote Social Club), however it has been a pub since the 19th century and a live music venue since the 1940s.
In 1871 David and Jane McCormick obtained the first proper liquor licence for the pub. It thrived because of its close proximity to the Richmond railway station. In 1881 it was renovated by William Malone, with upgrades to the accommodation being put in place as well as better quality liquor. Malone owned the pub until 1895. From 1895 until 1929 the pub changed hands no less than seven times. In 1929 it was taken over by Nelly O'Connor and her husband, up until 1935.
It is thought to have started hosting live music during the 1940s jazz era. During the 1950s it was owned by the Melbourne Cooperative Brewing Company, an offshoot of Carlton and United Breweries. This was the peak time of an Australian custom known as the six o'clock swill, where venues were forced to stop serving alcohol at 6pm. This law was a hangover from World War I and operated from 1915 until it was abolished in the mid-1960s (1966 in Victoria). It meant that workers would rush to pubs after finishing work and consume as much alcohol as possible before the bar closed.
In 1966 the pub was demolished and rebuilt in a slightly shifted location, to make space for the widening of the railway lines.
In 1995 current[update] owners Tim Northeast and Matt Everitt took over and made a host of further improvements and renovations. In 2005, they celebrated their 10th anniversary of owning the pub as it remains an iconic and respected institution of the local music scene.
Bands that have played there
During 1988 Mick Jagger toured Australia, supporting his solo album Primitive Cool. He played five stadium shows at the (now) Rod Laver Arena, but also wanted to perform an unannounced gig at a grungy pub. News of the "secret" gig was hinted at in the street press magazine Inpress and over 3000 people turned up to a venue only licensed to hold 700. The police attended and women fainted, but the show went ahead. The gig is now part of local legend. Every Bottle shop in the area sold out of cans of beer at the end of the night, the street was covered in green and gold cans of VB. which had to be cleaned up by the Corners staff with help from Ian "Molly" Meldrum. Mick Jaggers original song list from the night was given to The Corners Publicist & Media guy Alan Evers-Buckland by Jagger which was featured in The Ages Newspapers history of the Corner Hotel. Blues legend Charlie Musselwhite was headline act for the night, he ended up as Micks support act.
Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour also played an unannounced show at the venue in 1988, with all-star band The Fishermen. 45 loyal Corner regulars turned up on the night and paid $6.00 only knowing that that Fisherman had to be good as they were playing the Corner, did they get a pleasant surprise.
Local band TISM have played there frequently, including during their "motormower phase", where they would run lawnmowers on the stage. After one gig in 1988, one of the mowers was stolen from their bandroom.
The late Elliott Smith played two shows during his only tour of Australia with Quasi at the Corner Hotel in 1999. Joe Strummer of The Clash played one of his last tours there before passing away in 2000.
Crowded House played one of their last gigs there, before their famous farewell show at the Opera House. They also played a Sunday night show for a small fee ($2,500.00AU) their last Aussie Show before they went Top Ten in the USA.
Selected international acts
Selected Australian acts
House of rock, Chris Johnston. Published in theage (melbourne) magazine, Issue 13, November 2005.