Memories of Macainsh’s film
This was an amazing concert, a one time event that I feel so privileged to have experienced, and thanks to Greg Macainsh is now a part of Sharpie folklore history. It was called ‘Summer Jam’ because the last band to play that night was a compilation of various members from all of the concert’s bands, on stage together in a massive jam session finale. That’s what drew over 1000 Sharpies from the suburbs of Melbourne to the one event, to be there when 2 of our ‘Rock Icons’ Lobby Loyde and Billy Thorpe jammed together on stage.
As more and more Sharps came to the venue you could sense that this was something special, the atmosphere was electric. Groups of Sharpies were a common sight in the city and suburbs but I’m sure that no one in Melbourne had any idea how prolific we had become in number; not even us. Extra security and police began arriving as our numbers swelled, and at one point they decided that it was a ‘full house’ and closed the entry, but a few hundred Sharps still outside in the queue had other ideas and an external fence was flattened to the ground, and a stampede slammed through the security and cops waiting on the other side. Some poor buggers got nabbed and were escorted out, but for those of us who made it in, it was a brilliant day.
I’m the guy with the Mohawk at 2:17 in the clip, aged 16, a Frankston Sharp at the time, later that year a Melbourne Sharp. It was an awesome sight to see so many Sharps together in one place, and all came in good spirits with only one purpose, our common love of rock music. No one wore their gang identification so there wouldn’t be any trouble, and those that did arrive wearing them very quickly took them off (a few shirtless guys in the clip). A lot of new friendships were forged between Sharps from different suburbs and gangs, much to my benefit in many future encounters, eg. being on your own on a train when an unfamiliar Sharpie gang gets in the carriage and gathers around you, and one says ” he’s ok, I know him, met him at the showgrounds concert”.
There were many more concerts after this with large gatherings of Sharpies but none to match the enormity of this one, as they were mostly at Festival Hall or Dallas Brooks Hall (no fences!). What is also amazing about that day is the era in which it happened – – no internet or mobile phones and many didn’t even have home phones, so word of this concert was passed around by mouth after hearing about it on 3XY, (the only rock radio station at the time) and the masses gathered.