Veteran Geraldton rocker seeks memorabilia

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Former Geraldton resident Dave Brinsden is trying to track down photos of his old band, The Undecided.
Camera IconFormer Geraldton resident Dave Brinsden is trying to track down photos of his old band, The Undecided. Credit: Supplied

In the late 1960s, when bands such as Cream and The Kinks were king, a young Geraldton outfit called The Undecided were making their own name.

They would regularly play at the Freemason’s Hotel, Geraldton Yacht Club, and the Porthole nightclub, as well as in Northampton, Carnamah and Dongara.

Last year, former lead guitarist Dave (Fred) Brinsden was sent a photo of the band performing in 1968 at what he believes was the Northampton RSL Club.

It shows a 16-year-old Brinsden with band members Kenny Sullivan, John Mitchell, Gary Cream, and a barely visible Steve Meade on drums.

Now, Brinsden — who joined The Undecided in late 1967 and now lives in Perth — is calling on anyone with old photos of the band to get in touch.

He said he had particularly fond memories of his humble beginnings in Geraldton.

“To get your first guitar and form a band when the period was just blossoming ... it was just so exciting,” he said.

“I remember we had a little 15 watt amp and we all shared it — we had to.

“We didn’t have a bass player at first either — we didn’t see it as being important.”

As The Undecided honed their skills, they became one of Geraldton’s top live acts.

“It was always between us and the other band, The Narcotics,” Brinsden said.

“There was a bit of good rivalry and competition. They were more of your rockers, we were more modish.”

Brinsden said Geraldton had four drive-ins at the time, which were all popular haunts.

Other amusements included mainstream sports and keg parties in the sand dunes at Greenough.

But live music was also a major source of entertainment.

The Undecided perform at what is believed to be the Northampton RSL Hall in 1968. From left: Dave Brinsden, Kenny Sullivan, John Mitchell and Gary Cream. Drummer Steve Meade is obscured.
Camera IconThe Undecided perform at what is believed to be the Northampton RSL Hall in 1968. From left: Dave Brinsden, Kenny Sullivan, John Mitchell and Gary Cream. Drummer Steve Meade is obscured. Credit: Mitchell family

Brinsden recalled playing back-to-back Friday night gigs at the Freemason’s and the Porthole, where things could get “pretty wild”.

“I remember one night ducking a chair and it just about cleaned up our drummer,” he said.

“There was lots of biffo — all sorts of fights would start off. It was part of the scene in those days, and that was just the way it was.

“Nowadays it wouldn’t be tolerated.”

The band’s line-up underwent several changes until, eventually, certain members joined with members of The Narcotics.

“Myself and the second bass player, Mick Lambert, joined up with Geoff Travis, Dick Mullane and Steve Hanson, who came out from England in the early ’70s, and we formed a band called Nirvana,” Brinsden said.

In 1973, Brinsden and Geraldton keyboard player Lindsay McDonald joined English band Moonlight, and spent a decade touring Europe, the former USSR, Norway, and even the Middle East.

Lambert, who still lives in Geraldton, went on to play with local acts The Stunned Mullets and The Moresby Rangers.

“I’ve been playing music in Geraldton for 50 years, and TheUndecided was one of the best bands I ever played in,” Lambert said. “We had two singers who were both really top of the line ... and Dave’s a very good guitar player.

“We played classic songs, they were done with enthusiasm, and the band was red hot.”

After The Undecided disbanded, Cream started playing bass.

“I played in a trio, mainly at the Marquis Hotel, and also in a cabaret band, playing at the Walkabout Hotel,” he said. “That band eventually regrouped in Perth for several years.”

Anyone with old photos of The Undecided can email dbrinsden@northernminerals.com.au

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