Tales from the Conti: blues promoter, journalist, flight of stairs

Article by Red Dirt Girl

The Conti may be gone, but the legend lives on. And, of course, there’s a darker side. This is a story about big men with short tempers and the small women they pick on…

Okay… I’ve been wanting to tell this story for a LONG TIME…

We’re talking about MAUL PURPLY*. Ah yes, the man who is still building his inglorious reputation on the drunk-fat-tattooed-yob-fest that was [name of 70s rock festival deleted]. Ah, those were the days – when men were men, and women didn’t give ’em any shit. So it must have been disconcerting when a… certain female journo… accosted him at the “rockabilly riot” gig (none of the bands actually played any rockabilly, but I digress) that he had booked at the Conti.

Why did this intrepid woman place herself within beer-breath, armpit-whiffin’ distance of Mr Purply? because he had clambered on stage during Rockbottom James & the Detonators’ set, grabbed the mic and, swaying and slurring, invited a couple of “lovely young ladies” up onto the stage with him. He then held forth about the virtues of the two women’s breasts, inviting comments from the audience, who were strangely silent by this point (and the band was kind of shuffling their feet uncomfortably behind him). It was a wet t-shirt contest without the soap suds.

When our heroine informed him that she thought that sort of thing was somewhat out of place at the Continental, Mr Purply replied, “Get the fuck out of my club”. When she challenged the claim that it was his club, he saw red. He grabbed her by the upper arm (the finger-mark bruises were visible for a week), slammed her into the glass door at the top of the stairs and then threw her down the first flight of stairs. Being sober (ha), she didn’t lose her footing but slammed into the reception desk.

She then turned round, a little flustered by this point, and asked “Do you enjoy beating up women?” This statement had a strange effect on Mr Purply. He ran down the stairs after her, fists raised, and two security staff had to restrain him.

It was quite pleasing to learn that later that night, Mr Purply fell unaided down both flights of stairs.

Charges weren’t pressed as the female journalist was going overseas five days later. The female journalist now regrets this a great deal, but thanks rocknerg.org for a bit of gutter-press-style revenge.


Which blues promoter punched out one of the publicans at the Queenscliff Music Fest and started a bar brawl? Which blues promoter was thrown out of backstage areas because he was trying to sign acts to “HIS” international blues festival in December this year? Which blues promoter got thrown off the international blues festival’s board of directors two months ago – who can imagine why? – and is setting up his own “rival” blues festival at the Espy. The headliners? those legends of Sunbury, CHAIN. Whoo, that should pack ’em in.

* Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

3 thoughts on “Tales from the Conti: blues promoter, journalist, flight of stairs

  1. I’ll think of something and whip up a new category… …’dirt’ is good. Maybe I’ll add ‘rant’ or ‘opinion’ too…

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