Monday, 18 July 2016
Why Do I love You/ Stay/Shakin' Out The Stones/I Wanna Be Your Life/It's My Time/Ain't No City/The Dispossessed/Kids In Cars/Temptation/Upside Down
Tamam Shud evolved from an instrumental surf band, The Four Strangers, which formed in 1964 in Newcastle with Eric Connell on bass guitar, Dannie Davidson on drums, Gary Johns on rhythm guitar and Alex "Zac" Zytnik on lead guitar. They released a sole single, "The Rip", in that year for Astor Records before Lindsay Bjerre replaced Johns on guitar and lead vocals. In 1965, as the Strangers, they issued a single, "Sad and Lonely", on Festival Records – it was an R&B offering influenced by the Rolling Stones. Late that year they changed their name to the Sunsets.
The Sunsets travelled to Sydney to perform regular gigs at various venues: Surf City, the Star Club and the Sunset discotheque. In October 1965 they released a single, "Bye Bye Goodbye", on the Leedon label and followed with "When I Found You" in March of the following year. They issued three singles on Festival, "A Life in the Sun Theme" (January 1967), "Love's Face" (June) and "The Hot Generation" (August); as well as an EP, A Life in the Sun. Their tracks were used for two surf films, A Life in the Sun (1966) and The Hot Generation (1967), both directed by Paul Witzig. Late that year Peter Barron replaced Connell on bass guitar and the group, now based in Sydney, changed their name to Tamam Shud.
Bjerre found the Persian phrase tamám shud (translated as "ended", "finished" or "the very end") in the closing words of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, an 11th century poetry collection.The line-up of Barron, Bjerre, Davidson and Zytnik played "acid-surf progressive rock" influenced by "psychedelic sounds of Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, Eric Burdon and The (New) Animals, plus the San Francisco stylings of The Grateful Dead" according to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane. They became a popular attraction at local discotheques and "head" venues, and like their contemporaries Tully, they often performed in association with a Sydney film and light show collective, Ubu.
Tamam Shud recorded the group's debut album Evolution in late 1968. It was financed by Witzig, who had commissioned the music: he used four tracks on the soundtrack of his surfing film of the same name. Because of Witzig's limited budget it was recorded live-in-the-studio, over a single 2-1/2-hour session, and mixed in 1-1/2 hours, with most of the tracks being first takes. The independent recording was leased by the CBS label and they were signed to Warner Brothers records due to its popularity. It was favourably reviewed by teen pop magazine, Go-Set. McFarlane felt it was "one of the first wholly original rock albums" in Australia. Jordie Kilby and David Kilby described it as "one of the most loved soundtracks of the period" and described how "Screenings of the film with the band in attendance were popular events up and down the coast."
Bjerre replaced Davidson and Gaze with Kevin Sinott on drums and Kevin Stephenson on reeds – the group took on a jazzier musical direction. Gaze returned in late 1970 after Kahvas Jute recorded their only album, Wide Open. Sinott and Stephenson left and they recruited a new drummer, Nigel Macara, who had worked with Gaze in Stonehenge. During 1971 Tamam Shud's line-up expanded by the addition of Larry Duryea (ex Heart'n'Soul) on percussion; they were regularly augmented on stage by multi-instrumentalist, Richard Lockwood (ex-Tully), and a jazz pianist, Bobby Gebert.
Tamam Shud reformed in 1993 with the line-up of Barron, Bjerre, Gaze and Macara to record an album Permanent Culture released in 1994 before disbanding in 1995; and reformed with the same line-up for the Long Way to the Top package tour in 2002.