Calling mothers, daughters, sisters, wives…come along to lunch

Pagoda Ballroom 1950s, Kath Bass (vocals), Harold Taylor (drums), Harold Bluck (piano), Jack Pateman (saxophone), Elmore Nylander (trumpet)

ALL women are cordially invited to lunch at the Grosvenor Hotel, Hay Street in East Perth, opposite the Perth Mint, Wednesday 4 October at twelve midday.

There will be entertainment and much merriment and frivolity, fine food and a taste of wine for the ‘game’.

Our hosts Richard and Tom run a mighty fine establishment and part proceeds of the lunch will be donated to Perth Legacy which look after the widows and families of our servicemen and women.

My business and manager type bloke, retired major, Vietnam veteran and now state representative for Legacy West Australia, Peter Heeney and I have been known to organise a function or two.

Last year seemed to be a tragic year and we both lost several really good mates.

One afternoon, while partaking in a thirst quenching, cool, palate cleansing, boutique, craft and hop friendly pale ale, I remarked to my beer drinking buddy that we should make contact with these recent widows and their close associates and try and organise some form of fun.

Just a few weeks ago, at the Perth Blues Club, (every Tuesday night from 7:30 till 11pm at the Charles Hotel) my longtime friend and super musician, vocals and piano, Sue Bluck was performing with one of her groups: The Grain.

I asked Sue if she would like me to get her a glass of wine.

She replied that she was fine and she was going to have one with her mum.

Well I’m no Einstein and I had met Mrs Bluck a few years ago at a Melbourne Cup day at the Charles and without revealing her age, I have it from a reliable source she was a sprightly octogenarian then.

That recent blues night, I decided I wanted to take Mrs Bluck out to lunch.

Little did I know until very recently that I was dealing with a songstress who was an intricate part of the Perth music scene sixty years ago.

Kath Bluck, (née Bass) was a popular performer who sang with the ABC West Australian Orchestra.

She was a feature vocalist on a radio show of the time called Linger

At this time, just after the war, the most popular venues in Perth where boy met girl were the Embassy Ballroom, the Pagoda and the Capitol.

The musical director for the celebrated ABC Orchestra was a gentleman named Harry Bluck.

The music worked its spell, wedding bells rang, and the band played on. Kath joined a trio with a blind vocalist Phyllis Frost and Olwyn Thomas called The Tritoff Trio who were heard weekly on 6WF.

Harry continued as the musical director of the ABC Orchestra for twenty years and Kath and his legacy will continue at our luncheon with daughter Sue performing for us.

Also performing, will another Perth prodigy Todd Johnston, Sir Lunchalot’s (Stewart Van Raalte) daughter, Elle Deslandes and Rick (Have a go yer mug) Steele.

Bookings will be essential and can be made at the Grosvenor Hotel, phone 9325 3799.

I know you find this hard to believe, but there were ten years in my life when I never touched a drop of the evil drink.

And then I turned eleven! Doh!

Cheers dears.

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Rick Steele was born in Auckland NZ. As a twelve-year-old, and armed with a new/old guitar self-financed, he was off to boarding school while a group from Liverpool began to alter music history. Five years and many songs later Auckland Teacher Training College beckoned, and during the two-year course a group was formed and during three years of primary school teaching, ‘The Vision’ recorded and had a minor hit. In 1971 Rick arrived in Perth and began a two-year stint teaching grade 4/5 at Eden Hill Primary School. Though songwriting beckoned and a recording contract was offered in NZ. With a new bride, the offer was too good to refuse and thus started four years of touring and performing on television and big festivals alongside groups such as Split Enz, Dragon and even Oz supergroup Little River Band. Along the way, two boys were born and in 1981 the family returned to Perth. Rick’s journalism career started in the 80s for a magazine called Girl About Town. Before moving on a short stint at Xpress Magazine where he interviewed pretend rock stars. Joining the Have a Go family in 2015 with his regular column he hasn’t stopped with his love of music and performing.