Wednesday 24 April 2024

John Burch's memories of John Meredith

Click images for larger size.

As promised, with our 70 year anniversary this year, here is a short history of my association with BMC.

Around 1957/58 when I was at school, I had a friend by the name of Bob Smith. We were both in the cadet band at school. Bob's Mother was a friend of John Meredith and John came to our school a few times and played and taught us some Australian bush songs. He was a great ambassador for BMC.

Bob made a Bush Bass with the help of John, and I would go to his place on some weekends where we would play around with some Aussie music and bush songs. Bob also made a Lagerphone so we could make plenty of noise with not much music - lots of fun. John was there on a few occasions as well. I think Bob and I attended BMC one time with John M.

I had decided to try and teach myself to play guitar around this time and I learnt to play by watching someone else and following them. That was my first contact with BMC.

Later in the early 60's I had a friend, Barry Collerson who was a member of BMC and we used to play some music together, usually around a campfire.

Fast forward to 1974 when the production of Reedy River started at the New Theatre in Newtown. That show required a band for every performance (about 5 a week) and the show ran for a long time. Barry was a part time musician in the band and asked me if I wanted to play a few nights. I did so and played once or twice a week until the show finished. That's when I first met Jamie Carlin,  Frank Maher and Ralph Pride, (among others) whose names I don't remember.

When the show finally wound up, the Reedy River Bushmen band was formed, and we played as a band for a number of years.

Photo from John's collection 

My career and family then took priority and I quit the band and lost contact with BMC.

I still had occasional jam sessions with Barry from time to time but didn't play very often.
About 10 years ago I took up the guitar again and then decided to re-join BMC and have enjoyed it ever since!

John celebrating his 80th birthday, Feb 2024  (Sandra Nixon photo)



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