The Bedridden

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The Bedridden
Origin Canberra, Australia
Genres Indie
Folk-rock
Anti-folk
Punk
Years active 1989–1993, 1995–2002, 2005
Labels Round Records
Army of Nerds
Past members Barnaby "Baterz" Ward
Benjow
David M. Lewis
Spaemen
Kirsty Stegwazi
Lillybub
Andy Wiffler
David Wiffler
Razz Mussen
Alex Miller
Mahatt

The Bedridden was an Australian cult band that performed and recorded, somewhat sporadically, between 1989 and 2002. The Bedridden reunited for a series of concerts in 2005 to promote a live album that was recorded in 1998. The band were noted for regular break-ups and constant line-up changes. Song-writing and lead-vocal duties were shared amongst the members of the band, creating a somewhat eclectic style and an evolving sound due to the departure of key members. They created a strong fan base around the Australian pub rock scene, especially in Adelaide which was considered to be the home of the band.

History[edit]

The group formed in 1989 in Canberra and quickly moved to Adelaide where the band remained until Baterz's death in 2002. The original members were Baterz (guitar), David M. Lewis (guitar), Spaemen (bass guitar), Kirsty Stegwazi (guitar) and Lillybub (cello).

The group recorded their first album It's All Fun And Games Until Someone Loses An Eye later in 1989 and it was eventually released through the Adelaide-based label Round Records in 1990. The album introduced some of the groups most well-remembered songs, including Bateman's Bay, Stephen McKenzie, and the Sesame Street tune Capital I.

With the release of their first album, the band toured the Australian cities of Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne, developing a stronger fan base. Their second album, Big Scary Cow, was released in 1992, again through Round Records. This second collection featured Bedridden favourites including 2/11/1968, Midget, and their second Sesame Street cover, Born To Add.

Between 1993 and 1995, The Bedridden had their longest falling out. Some of the members pursued solo careers, most notably Baterz and Kirsty Stegwazi, and the band members were spread over several states within Australia. This was the longest period of inactivity from the group during Baterz's life.

By 1996 founding band member Baterz had developed an important name for himself as a solo artist. He invested in equipment to set up his own recording studio and label called Army of Nerds and, with recording gear in place, brought back various group members to record the third album as a band, I Told You it Wouldn't Work in 1998. The album had a much cleaner and defined sound, with stronger arrangements than seen before. The tracks included Agent of Satan, Darren Williams, and their most-recognised song The Drowning of the Daddo Brothers.

In various incarnations, which featured Baterz, Benjow, Dave Wiffler, Dave Lewis, Lillybub, and others, The Bedridden performed sporadic shows in Adelaide and Melbourne, perhaps every few months until late 2001. March 2002 saw the release of a new Bedridden single, Inland Sea, which was to herald a fourth album.

The fourth album never materialised, due to the untimely death of Baterz at age 33. Baterz was a haemophiliac and, as a young teen, was diagnosed with HIV which he had contracted via a contaminated blood transfusion. In 2002, his condition worsened and lesions were discovered in his brain, affecting his co-ordination and forcing him to give up performing. Baterz died in July 2002. Triple J, the national youth radio network, broadcast a tribute to Baterz and his music on their Artery program.[1] As Baterz was one of the main driving forces behind The Bedridden, the band stopped performing and the unfinished recordings were shelved.

In 2005, a new incarnation of The Bedridden performed a series of shows in Adelaide, Ballarat, and Melbourne to launch a live recording of the band - The Anthem Of The Crown & Anchor, a collection of live recordings from performances in July 1998 in Ballarat and Melbourne.

Incarnations[edit]

The 2005 incarnation[edit]

This incarnation performed a series of shows to promote the release of the The Anthem Of The Crown & Anchor, a live album recorded by the 1998 incarnation of The Bedridden. Lillybub did not perform at the Melbourne show.

The 2002 incarnation[edit]

  • Baterz
  • David M. Lewis
  • Razz Mussen
  • Alex Miller

Aside from performances, this incarnation released the Inland Sea, a 5-track EP.

The 2000 incarnation[edit]

  • Baterz
  • David M. Lewis
  • David Wiffler
  • Razz Mussen

Track 4 from Inland Sea, a live recording of The Drowning Of The Daddo Brothers was performed by this incarnation.

The 1998 incarnation[edit]

  • Baterz
  • Benjow
  • David M. Lewis
  • David Wiffler

This incarnation released the album I Told You It Wouldn't Work. The live album The Anthem Of The Crown & Anchor, released in 2005, was recorded during this time.

The 1992 incarnation[edit]

This incarnation of The Bedridden released the Big Scary Cow album.

The 1989 incarnation[edit]

This incarnation recorded and released the first Bedridden album, It's All Fun And Games Until Someone Loses An Eye, in 1990.

Other members[edit]

Although he doesn't feature on any of the recordings, Andy Wiffler performed with the band for a period during the 1990s and is considered a member of The Bedridden.

According to the liner notes of The Inland Sea, Lillybub is "always occasionally around". He doesn't feature on the recordings for the years after 1992 but was playing shows and may be considered to be a member of all the incarnations.

Discography[edit]

Releases[edit]

  • It's All Fun And Games Until Someone Loses An Eye album (1990, Round Records)
  • Big Scary Cow album (1992, Round Records)
  • I Told You It Wouldn't Work album (1998, Army of Nerds)
  • Inland Sea EP (2002, Army of Nerds)
  • The Anthem Of The Crown & Anchor Live compilation (2005, Army of Nerds)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Triple J, Artery, 1 August 2002

External links[edit]