Back in 1986, when I was nineteen and just embarking on making my youth suitably dissolute, Australian indie rock’n’roller Stuart “Stu Spasm” Gray came to stay in Perth for a holiday and hang out with his old mate Brett Ford and Brett’s wife Melanie, in their rock’n’roll fashion boutique Wheels & Doll Baby, upstairs in 931 Hay Street.
Stu, Brett and Peter Hartley played as Lubricated Goat, a band name that Stu had used previously in Sydney working with Martin Bland. Brett and Pete were also in the Kryptonics at the time. They recorded half of Lubricated Goat’s first album, Lubricated Goat Plays The Devil’s Music.
(I also repeatedly played a tape at Stu of The Affectionate Punch, first version, by the Associates, which gave him the absolute shits.)
Here’s my live review from Party Fears #5:
That article ends saying that there was probably no future for Lubricated Goat. This turned out not to be the case:
I remember my dad’s mate talking to me about Lubricated Goat’s 1988 nude TV appearance, trying to get his head around it. Absolutely the most suburban people in existence suddenly found out who Lubricated Goat were. They made an impact.
(A few years later, 931 Hay Street was the home of Mark Coddington’s extremely hip basement studio and weekend party spot, Initiation. We used to rehearse there in 1991 with the Black Orchids, which later became Danny Ruggero’s band Kitty Magic. I improved the field of rock’n’roll considerably when I gave up trying to play a bass. 931 Hay Street was gutted by office developers in 2001.)
Stu eventually went to America, where he’s alive and well and still playing. There’s a documentary about the life and times of Stu Spasm in the works — I Should Have Been Dead Years Ago, directed by Jason Axel Summers of Magic Umbrella — and I contributed the photo I took for the Party Fears article. I got the loved one’s DSLR and took a high-quality photo of the original print of the photo taken with my extremely crappy plastic-lensed 1980s compact camera and sent it in.
A better digitisation probably isn’t possible — you can already see the film grain in this one. But it’s a damn fine shot, if I say so myself. And now the Wikipedia article on Stu has a photo. I even uploaded a spare.
I have the boxes of photos on hand now, and I’ve meant for years to go through them with a negative scanner. (The way this usually works is that someone buys a twenty-five-year-old negative scanner that runs under Windows 98 and needs a computer with an ISA bus, scans their collection and sells the scanner on.) But my cameras were consistently so crappy that photos of the photos would probably do the job. Also, I need to get around to it or have a startling reason. But anything’s possible.