Ted Mulry was an Australian icon; being at the forefront of the pub rock movement, Ted along with his band The Ted Mulry Gang, dropped numerous top-charting hits such as ‘Jump In My Car’ and ‘Crazy’ before he tragically passed in late 2001. Ted’s life and achievements are honoured annually on his birthday with people coming from all over Australia to attend the ceremony and pay their respects. This year however, TMG have something special in store for Ted’s 70th birthday with the This One’s For Ted tour, which will be travelling around Australia and featuring the original surviving line-up.
The bands drummer Herm Kovac recalls his journey with Ted, which started in 1971 at a local gig. “There was a concert at the Tropic in 1971 and they had about six acts playing. Ted Mulry was on the line-up as he had just had a hit with the song ‘Julia’ and my band Velvet Underground was on there that had Les from TMG and Malcolm Young of AC/DC who was also in that band, so there was a lot of future talent at that gig that night and everyone met each other,” Kovac explains. “So we met Ted and then whenever he did solo gigs, we volunteered to back him on tour. Then Ted went over to England and came back and said ‘I’ve seen the light; I’ve come across all these bands’ (T-Rex, Slade, Status Quo) and he said ‘I want to be in a rock band’. So this was someone who had about three or four hits in Australia as a solo artist and then took a step back to make a band and split everything four ways,” he says.
Adapting to the rock band dynamic, Kovac remarks how collaborative the song writing process was. “Because Ted used to write ballads and Les could write all these rock riffs, they started writing together,” he explains. “Les would come in with a tune from start to finish; the case in point being ‘Jump In My Car’ and then Ted would write lyrics along to that. And then sometimes it would be the other way around. But songs like ‘Jump In My Car’ and ‘Jamaica Rum’ were all co-writes between Ted and Les.”
After not playing shows with each other for over 18 years, Kovac is very excited about getting the gang back together, especially considering some of the newbies they have recruited.
“Ted’s got an anniversary event that happens every year, so we are carrying on his 70th birthday with ‘This One’s For Ted’ and it’s with the surviving original members and Ted’s younger brother Steve is doing the vocals. Because Ted played bass and Steve can’t, we have got AC/DC’s original bass player Mark Evans, who played on ‘Long Way to the Top’ and all the other classic’s from the Bon Scott line-up, so that means we get to play an AC/DC cover as well,” Kovac laughs before concluding.
“We are back in Geelong on Friday the 13th. The last time we were in Geelong would have been about 18 years ago and I remember the Geelong show going really well because I shared a room with Daryl Braithwaite,” he says. “We have been down there a few times before and it’s always a great show!”
When & Where: The Sphinx Hotel, North Geelong – October 13.
Tickets: Meal & Show $70 | Show Only $35
Written by Alex Callan