Tamam Shud

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This article is about the Australian rock band. For the unexplained death at Somerton, Adelaide in 1948, see Taman Shud case.

Tamam Shud were an Australian psychedelic and progressive rock and surf rock band, formed in Newcastle N.S.W. Australia. The band had previously gone under the name Four Strangers then The Sunsets then finally they settled on the name Tamam Shud in 1967 after moving to Sydney and adding a new member Peter Barron on Bass Guitar. They released two albums, Evolution (1969) and Goolutionites and the Real People (1970) before disbanding in 1972. After a lengthy hiatus they reformed in 1993 to release a third album, Permanent Culture in 1994 but disbanded again in 1995.[1][2]

History[edit]

Tamam Shud evolved from the Newcastle surf band, The Four Strangers later to change their name to The Sunsets, in 1967. The group released two acclaimed LPs, recorded independently, which have both become sought-after collector's items. The band's name, meaning 'finished' in Persian was taken from the closing phrase of Omar Khayyam's Rubayyat, and this phrase (Tamam Shud) was found in a very rare edition of Fitzgerald's translation (a story related by Tim Gaze's father in the "secret" track at the end of their 1994 reunion album). The original lineup soon became a popular attraction at Sydney discoqtheques and "head" venues, and like their contemporaries Tully, they were often performed in association with the pioneering Sydney film and lightshow collective Ubu.

The original lineup recorded the group's debut album Evolution in late 1968. It was financed by filmmkaer Paul Witzig, who commissioned the music as the soundtrack to his surfing film of the same name. Because of Witzig's limited budget, the album was recorded live, in a single 2-1/2-hour session, and mixed in just 1-1/2 hours, with most of the tracks being first takes. The independent recording was leased to the CBS label and achieved some commercial success thanks to promotions in the Australian pop magazine Go-Set.

In 1969, teenage guitar prodigy Tim Gaze (who was just 15 when he joined) replaced Zytnik on lead guitar. In January 1970 Tamam Shud performed at Australia's first outdoor rock festival, the "Pilgrimage for Pop", held at Ourimbah, north of Sydney, on the NSW central coast. During early 1970 the group signed with the newly established Australian division of Warner Bros. Records, for whom they recorded their second LP, the environmentally-themed Goolutionites and the Real People, but in June 1970, soon after it was finished, both Davidson and Gaze left to form progressive rock group, Kahvas Jute with bassist Bob Daisley and singer-guitarist Dennis Wilson.

Bjerre replaced Gaze and Davidson with Kevin Sinott (drums) and Kevin Stephenson (reeds) and the group took on a jazzier musical direction,

Gaze returned to Tamam Shud in late 1970 after Kahvas Jute recorded their only LP.[3] At this point Sinott and Stephenson left the group and the band recruited a new drummer, Nigel Macara, who had previously worked with Gaze in the trio Stonehenge. During 1971 Tamam Shud's lineup expanded further with the addition of percussionist Larry Duryea (ex Heart'n'Soul) and they were regularly augmented on stage by multi-instrumentalist Richard Lockwood, formerly of Tully and noted Sydney jazz pianist Bobby Gebert.

The band toured solidly through 1971 and late that year, following the breakup of Tully, Lockwood became the permanent sixth member. Their next recording was the single "Got A Feeling" / "My Father Told Me", released on Warner Bros. in January 1972. The group was invited to contribute music for the soundtrack for the Alby Falzon surf movie Morning of the Earth and Falzon initially wanted Tamam Shud to provide all the music, but after G. Wayne Thomas took over as producer, other artists were added, and Tamam Shud's involvement was eventually reduced to just three tracks - the instrumental track "Bali Waters" (featuring Lockwood on flute), and the songs "Sea The Swells" and "First Things First". On the day that "First Things First" was recorded, Bjerre had throat problems, so the vocal was recorded by Tim Gaze, however, when the film premiered mid-year, the group was surprised to discover that, without their knowledge, Thomas had erased Gaze's voice and added a new lead vocal by Broderick Smith (then the lead singer of Melbourne band Carson). Gaze and Macara also provided instrumental backing for other musicians who performed songs on the soundtrack. Notwithstanding these problems, the soundtrack LP (released in May 1972) was a major commercial success, becoming the first Australian film soundtrack album to earn a gold record award, despite the fact that it received almost no airplay on Australian commercial radio. The three Tamam Shud tracks became the group's swan-song; these were compiled on the Bali Waters EP, which was issued later in 1972.

Shud continued to tour through the first half of 1972, playing the Mulwala Festival in April, and making more trips to Melbourne in May and July, but in August 1972 Bjerre announced the imminent breakup of the group, which was attributed to management problems, "fear of musical stagnation" and the band's frustration at not being able to record another LP. They played their final shows in Melbourne on 1 September 1972 at Sebastians disco, with MacKenzie Theory and Toads, 2 September 2 at Garrison, with Madder Lake, and 3 September at Sebastians, with Blackfeather and Carson.

Tamam Shud reformed in 1993 with the line-up of Barron, Bjerre, Gaze and Macara to record an album Permanent Culture released in 1994 before disbanding in 1995; and reformed with the same line-up for the Long Way to the Top package tour in 2002.

A Re-Mastered collection of Tamam Shud's essential music, "Tamam Shud 1968-1972" was released in 2002 to coincide with the "Long Way To The Top" tour, including;

"Evolution" (1968) - Lindsay Bjerre (vocals, rhythm gtr), Peter Baron (bass), Zak Zytnik (lead gtr), Dannie Davidson (drums). Recorded at United Sound Studios, Engineered by Spencer Lee. Produced by Tamam Shud.

"Goolutionites and the Real People" (1970) - Lindsay Bjerre (vocals, rhythm gtr), Peter Baron (bass, fuzz bass), Tim Gaze (lead gtr, piano), Dannie Davidson (drums). Recorded at United Sound Studios, Engineered by Maurice Wilmore. Produced by John Bromell.

"Got A Feeling" (1972) from the Bali Waters EP for the surf film "Morning Of The Earth" - Lindsay Bjerre (vocals, rhythm gtr), Peter Baron (bass, fuzz bass), Tim Gaze (lead gtr, vocals, harpsichord), Nigel Macara (drums, vocals), Richard Lockwood (sax, clarinet, flute), Larry Duryea-Taylor (congas, percussion). Recorded at PACT Studio. Produced by G Wayne Thomas.

Members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Evolution (1969)
Goolutionites and the Real People (1970)
Permanent Culture (1994)
Tamam Shud 1968 - 1972 (2002)

EPs[edit]

  • Bali Waters - 1971

Singles[edit]

  • "Evolution" / "Lady Sunshine" (1969) CBS BA221706
  • "Stand in the Sunlight" / "I Love You All" (1970) Warner Bros.
  • "Got A Feeling" / "My Father Told Me" (1972) Warner Bros. WBA4007
  • "Stay" / "Election Day" / "The Fire" (1994) CDS Polydor 853221-2
  • "Shakin' out the Stones" / "What's Your Problem" (1994) CDS Polydor 853902-2

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ McFarlane (1999). Encyclopedia entry for 'Tamam Shud'. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  2. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) TAMAM SHUD entry. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  3. ^ McFarlane, 'Kahvas Jute' entry. Archived from the original on 19 April 2004. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  4. ^ "Who's who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 

External links[edit]