Lost Newcastle - Carol Duncan
Did Little Richard REALLY throw his jewellery into Newcastle’s Hunter River?

Did Little Richard REALLY throw his jewellery into Newcastle’s Hunter River?

August 26, 2022

It's often rumoured that Little Richard - considered the founding father of rock music - suddenly found God while on tour in Australia in 1957 and threw his jewellery into Newcastle's Hunter River.

But is it true?

It is known that Little Richard, born Richard Wayne Penniman, came from a deeply evangelical background in Macon, Georgia, and that after his Australian tour he returned to the US and began studying theology.

In this episode, Carol Duncan speaks with Dr Roland Bannister about his research in finding out the truth behind this amazing story.

10 Years of History and Mystery - ABC Newcastle August 2022

10 Years of History and Mystery - ABC Newcastle August 2022

August 22, 2022

It started with a brick and has led to a community of nearly 70,000 people connecting over a love of history and mystery. 

This is Lost Newcastle. A corner of the internet where you can have nice things! 

ABC Newcastle's Kia Handley spoke to founder Carol Duncan.

Joe Camilleri - Not Afraid To Fly

Joe Camilleri - Not Afraid To Fly

March 20, 2022

Carol Duncan music feature interview with Joe Camilleri (Jo Jo Zep, Black Sorrows) - July 2014

Victoria Theatre - Nancy Tapp

Victoria Theatre - Nancy Tapp

May 21, 2021

The Victoria Theatre is the oldest theatre still standing in NSW. Opened in 1876, it was rebuilt in 1890/91 and added to the NSW State Heritage Register in 1999. 

Nancy Tapp performed at the Victoria Theatre in the 1950s and in this podcast, reminisces about the theatre and the shows she danced in. 

The Wallis Album - Carol Duncan speaks with Aunty Nola Hawken& Ron Ramsey

The Wallis Album - Carol Duncan speaks with Aunty Nola Hawken& Ron Ramsey

May 11, 2021

After 194 years, a previously unknown album of drawings from 1818, including landscapes and portraits of Aboriginal people from the Newcastle region, returned to Newcastle for a brief exhibition by the State Library of NSW.

In this episode, Carol Duncan speaks with Aunty Nola Hawken, descendant of 'Queen' Margaret and Ned of Swansea; and the Director of the Newcastle Art Gallery, Ron Ramsey.

Recorded 2012. 

Cathedral Park - Resting in Pieces

Cathedral Park - Resting in Pieces

June 29, 2020

How often have you stopped for a rest on one of the low stone retaining walls at Blackbutt Reserve? Chances are, you’re sitting on the remains of the early headstones from Newcastle’s first European burial ground at Christ Church Cathedral. Find out more at lostnewcastle.com.au

The Wallis Album - Carol Duncan & Dr Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian

The Wallis Album - Carol Duncan & Dr Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian

March 27, 2019

The Wallis Album

 
After 194 years, a previously unknown album of drawings from 1818, including landscapes and portraits of Aboriginal people from the Newcastle region, returned to Newcastle for a brief exhibition by the State Library of NSW.
 
In this episode, Carol Duncan speaks with Dr Alex Byrne, the NSW State Librarian and Chief Executive, about the significance of the album.
 
[Recorded 2012]
 
 
Friday Music Show | 24 January 2014 - Mark Tinson, Pete de Jong, John Paul Young, Russell Morris, Ty Penshorn

Friday Music Show | 24 January 2014 - Mark Tinson, Pete de Jong, John Paul Young, Russell Morris, Ty Penshorn

January 14, 2018
It was my birthday. What would you do? Mark Tinson, Pete de Jong, Mac, John Paul Young, Russell Morris, Ty Penshorn, 
Friday Music Show | 3 October 2014 - Part 1 Bella , Part 2 Grant Walmsley on Malcolm Young

Friday Music Show | 3 October 2014 - Part 1 Bella , Part 2 Grant Walmsley on Malcolm Young

January 14, 2018
Friday Music Show with Bella, and Grant Walmsley on Malcolm Young AC/DC.
Friday Music Show | 12 September 2014 - Mark Tinson, terror alerts, Jimi Hendrix & Pat has burgers with Led Zeppelin

Friday Music Show | 12 September 2014 - Mark Tinson, terror alerts, Jimi Hendrix & Pat has burgers with Led Zeppelin

January 14, 2018
In which Mark Tinson joins me to discuss terror alerts & Jimi Hendrix, Pat calls in to brag about having burgers with Led Zeppelin during their Australian tour, local artists Adam Miller and Jason Lowe. 
Don Walker | Cold Chisel - 2014

Don Walker | Cold Chisel - 2014

January 14, 2018
Don Walker - 2014
Alex Smith | Moving Pictures - 2013

Alex Smith | Moving Pictures - 2013

January 14, 2018
Alex is a Newcastle kid! In this 2013 interview, he talks about the effect of their record company collapsing at the height of their career.
Stevie Wright | The Easybeats -2009

Stevie Wright | The Easybeats -2009

January 14, 2018
In 2009, I had the chance to interview the legendary Stevie Wright - lead singer of The Easybeats in the 1960s and trouble rockstar ever after. I was warned in advance that I should pre-record the interview as Stevie was 'a bit slow' after years of serious drug and alcohol abuse. Happily, I didn't find him at all difficult to chat with. Indeed, Stevie's openness about his heroin addiction and his desperation to shake it are incredibly moving. 
Tony Robinson 2012

Tony Robinson 2012

January 10, 2018
Tony Robinson talks about how to encourage a community to care about its history.
Tony Robinson is perhaps best known to an older generation of television viewer as Baldrick from Blackadder, but to younger generations he's known as the guy leading archaeological digs on Time Team or the poor unfortunate host up to his knees in a tank of urine in Worst Jobs In History (that story was about tanning hides for leather).
In December, 2011, Tony was filming in Australia for his series Tony Robinson's Time Walks in which he visits cities to reveal their history.
Carol Duncan caught up with him in Cathedral Park, what was Newcastle's first burial ground at Christ Church Cathedral, to find out how we can continue to encourage people to care about their local history.
'I think the most important thing we can do is to talk to your kids about it. I know I have such a vivid passion for history is because my dad used to talk to me about his adventures in World War II,' said Tony.
'Not that he had a glorious war or anything, he was just a fitter working on the Spitfires and Hurricanes, but he was a working class boy and it was probably his first time away from home for any extended time and he had so many adventures, his eyes used to shine when he told me about them.'
'I got this vivid picture of what it must have been like to be an ordinary aircraftsman in World War II, a time far beyond my ken as a little boy, so I've always - as far back as I can remember - had an understanding of things before I was born.'
How does Tony Robinson perceive Australians and our feelings about our own history?
'There's always a feeling that Australians, white Australians particularly, feel a bit embarrassed about the brevity of their history. I think the history of the last 200 years here has been quite extraordinary', he said.
'This notion that a combination of a handful of free settlers and lots and lots of pretty hard-nosed convicts - a lot of them political dissidents remember, so these would have been people who dreamers, utopians, political activists in Britain who wouldn't have been able to get a look in, but here suddenly they had a whole continent they could take command of and the psyche of people here seems to be so different from what's happened virtually everywhere else in the world and I think it's remarkable and to be celebrated.'
'But the story of human life here prior to Captain Cook is absolutely fascinating and it's always tantalising to me with indigenous people that so much of their history and archaeology is so fragile.'
Ben Gillies - Silverchair/Bento 2012

Ben Gillies - Silverchair/Bento 2012

January 10, 2018
Silverchair have been one of Australia's most successful bands for the last 20 years. Drummer Ben Gillies joined Carol Duncan in the studio for a chat about his solo project - Bento, and why he continues to call Newcastle home.
Daniel Johns, Chris Joannou and Ben Gillies were just kids doing work experience at a Newcastle radio station when I first met them nearly 20 years ago. Those three boys have gone on to become strong and confident men and wonderful musicians - collectively and individually. I suspect the whole town is pretty proud of them.
In 2012, the band have celebrated 20 years of Australian and international success, 21 ARIA awards from 49 nominations, 6 APRA awards, and all five of their studio albums have reached number one of the Australian album charts.
Over the last few years the three members of the band have also gone out to do their own musical projects and drummer, Ben Gillies, came into the studios to talk about life, music, growing up in public, and taking the leap into solo performance.
What was it like, being a kid, being thrust into that level of media interest and intrusion? "We were pretty unaware. Blissfully unaware. We were too worried about playing our music and running around and going to diners and just being teenage boys. We had good people around us, so we were fairly sheltered."
The members of Silverchair studied at Newcastle High School when Peter McNair was principal. "He was a really good school principal. I remember a few times, the three of us would rock up to his office - in a good way, we weren't in trouble - but we had these grand ideas of putting concerts on at the school and we'd sell him on why we had to do it and how we could make it happen. He was really accommodating. I'm pretty sure he wasn't supposed to do some things he let us get away with. He let us put on concerts, we'd rehearse in the music room and do all kinds of stuff."
It's often suggested that parents are the biggest obstacle to their children pursuing their dreams. Parents want their children to be secure, to 'have a good job', so convincing your parents you want to be a rock star, and then actually pulling it off, must be quite a coup! "We were young enough to just go with it. We were still just teenages running around so we were living in the moment. But we were setting ourselves up for a long-term career, we weren't thinking 'let's just go out and milk this for all its worth and then it's all over'. We were conscious of making long term things. And our parents were as well, all the people around us. We were very lucky."
Ben Gillies late 2012 released his first Bento album, launched with the single Diamond Days and a fabulous video featuring a very interesting young actor. "He's a family friend of the producer. We did a bit of casting to have an l a few different possibilities but, the producer just said I know the young boy to do it. He gets right into character. His whole family really helped out, they were really accommodating. He's just seven."
"It was a two day shoot, we did his stuff first then we did the performance stuff with me. He rocked out, there were a few moments he was on the performance stage and Holly, the producer, came up and said he'd been asking, "Why is it all about Ben today, it feel like this music video is all about Ben today. Why isn't it about me as much today!"
Bento isn't Ben's first solo effort outside Silverchair, he's previously released music with Tambalane, "Tambalane was a stepping stone really. Kind of like a summer fling. I think I really wanted to write with another person, because I hadn't had that responsibility of writing on my own."
" Outside Silverchair there isn't the infrastructure and the big budgets and all that. Doing stuff independently, it's almost a lot more pressure on the songwriter. Everything is you, there's no one else to take the load a bit. For me to do something outside of that with Tambalane was that step to get to Bento, to give me the confidence to do my own thing."
"It's scary as hell but I think it's one of those things where I don't want to be a old man, sitting in a pub somewhere drinking a beer thinking, 'Why didn't I give that a crack back when I had the chance."
"The thing with Silverchair as well is because it is such a big beast, and it's great, I love that side of what I do, but it does take up a lot of energy and time. So I've never really had enough drive to do my own thing. Silverchair going into indefinite hibernation has just given me the time and the freedom to be able to do it. Now I have that confidence to think, 'Bugger it, I'm going to do my own thing'. The confidence, the motivation, the time, the effort, it was the right time."
"You do have to have that understanding that people are subjective. Everyone in the world isn't going to love your music. But you still want it to be received positively. The reaction has been amazing. It is you putting your neck out there. It's almost like you're standing in front of people, the full monty saying, 'Here I am, check it out. Here it is, I can't change it, and it is what it is."
So. Silverchair's 'indefinite hibernation'. What gives?
"Even if you do work with someone for 20 years, and you go to work from 9-5, you still have some time to yourself, and can do other things. It kind of feels like a business relationship with a marriage on top of it. You spend so much time with those people, not just the guys in the band, but management and crew. All these other things can come into it."
"I think the reason Silverchair has had such good longevity is because we've been able to recognise when we all need to take a breather and go and do other things. The funny thing is, we've done it three or four times and every single time people say, 'What's happening, where you are going?'. We've done this before, and it's nothing new."
"There's nothing worse than breaking up and deciding that all we really needed was time, then coming back to it and saying we're reforming. It's much better to say we're taking a breather and you come back and nothing's changed. We don't want to do a (John) Farnham 'final tour' several times. That's a genius move though, you've gotta admit."
And on to Bento and selecting musicians to work on his new baby.
"We were in the studio in Sydney and the producer and I would clunk away on different instruments. We'd just get on the phone, if we were working on something and thought it's needed a nice piano part or whatever it was we'd call friends and it was whoever was close by. Whoever was within 10 minutes of the studio, they would come in. Out of that we actually got three guys who became pretty stable throughout the record. And they helped mesh the whole thing together."
"It is a new project and I can't assume that Silverchair fans are automatically going to come to Bento. I just have to get beyond that and make other people aware of it. This is the first step in many, I have to keep making music and getting it out there. They way the music industry is these day, you really have to have that social media stuff in people's faces. And videos and photos. I love that stuff. It's so much fun. As long as you make it fun, I think people can connect to that and feel like they can have involvement and see behind the scenes."
"I've always said creativity breeds creativity. The more you do it, the more ideas you get, and the more it snowballs. I've already got 20 songs ready for another record and I keep calling my manager and saying 'I've got this whole new concept for another record and it's going to be great and we can do this...' and she just laughs and says, 'OK, just slow down!"
Success on the scale of that enjoyed by Silverchair over the last 20 years should mean that Ben Gillies could choose to live anywhere in the world, yet he remains based in Newcastle (as Daniel Johns often does, too).
" I think Novocastrians all know it's a pretty special place. I've had some Sydney friends who have moved here purely out of necessity and after six months, they'll be like, 'I had no idea how good this place is!' and I say, 'What do you think I tell all my friends?!'. Its feels like (Newcastle) it's connected enough to the world, it's two hours to Sydney but it's just out of the way enough that it's quiet and you can relax."
Will Ben Gillies be delivering another Bento album?
"I think it will go off on a different tangent. It will still Bento, Bento is my baby. It will be a bento box but different, it might not be sushi, it might be a tuna sandwich!"
Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App