1987 1995


For most of the period between 1987 and 1989 the only music that Rod took part in was the Unity Hall gigs with 'All Hat Jazz'. However, after moving to Katoomba in early 1989 an attempt was made to revive the band using musiciams that he had met at the Wentworth Falls Bowling Club during the Friday night ''jam' sessions. These included Larry (a drummer who had formerly led a 'Heavy Metal' band in Sydney), John Stuart (session guitarist, writer of film music, elder brother of drummer Hamish, etc.), Rupert Jeans (whom Rod had known in Sydney and was now living in Katoomba) and Alex Cennaro (accordionist, keyboard player, music teacher and Rupert's better half at the time). This line-up also included harmonica/mandolin player, Al Meadows.
This attempt was unsuccessful for a variety of reasons and a few gigs were done at the Bowling Club under the BEACHHEAD name, but using a variety of different players.

On one such occasion the band was as follows:

Rod ‘Beachhead’ JEFFERY – main vocals/leader
Tony BURKYS – electric lead & rhythm guitar
Alan MEADOWS - harmonica/mandolin/vocals.
Unknown (either Dave CLAYTON, or Rodney 'Eddy' EDWARDS) – electric bass guitar
Larry ? – drums

That particular night also included a variety of sit-ins including (I think) Mick Young on tenor saxophone, Maddy Young on guitar, John Stuart on electric lead & lap-steel guitars and Al Ward on vocals and guitar.


By 1990 Rod had met Rodney 'Eddy' Edwards through Dave Brown who managed the Bowling Club at Wentworth Falls. He had also formed a musical partnership with Al Meadows, whom he had known as friend for close on twenty years (maybe longer). Al, by this stage was working in the AV Department at the 'FAIRMONT Resort' in Leura with both Eddy and sound engineer, Nigel Croydon.
'Eddy' had been a professional musician since the age of 15 and had toured with various bands throughout Australia over the preceding 19 years. Al Meadows had variously been a member of the EAST NEASEND Spasm Band, the 'Original' SWEATY PALMS ORCHESTRA, Hokum-on-Somble and DUCK SOUP. To mention but a few. All that remained was to find a bass player and drummer.
Blue Mountains based guitarist, John Stuart pointed them in the direction of Adam Sivell, the young drummer in a 'metal' band called CODA and one connection was sorted. As far as a bass player was concerned, they were just as lucky when a friend who used to come to the Club for the 'jam' sessions turned out to be the ex-wife of a bass player who had not long arrived from Bundaberg in Queensland. This was Nick Hazzard, a six foot six inch 'gentle giant' who had played in a country/bush band called MUDDY CREEK in his native Queensland.
The band rehearsed for several months and included Japanese exchange student, HIROSHI (who was living with the Meadows family) in the band on alto saxophone. At home in Japan he had led his own 'Count Basie' style big band! This also led to even larger audiences whenever the band played as most of the students, all friends of Hiroshi, turned up to every gig. Unfortunately, towards the end of 1990, Hiroshi had to head back home to Japan.
The first gig the band did was at the 'Warehouse' in Katoomba on a cold winter's night in June 1990. Spirits were not dampened, however, and the evening was a huge success. The band played many very successful gigs in and around the Mountains throughout the remainder of the year and on into 1991. The band was booked for a series of gigs between Lithgow and Sydney to have taken place over the last week of September and first week of October, culminating with a performance on the 'Main Stage' at the 1991 Manly Jazz Festival. However, three members walked out beforehand and most of these jobs went by the wayside. With the help of a couple of friends from the jazz world, Rod and Adam DID perform at the Festival.
During its lifetime the band also recorded a couple of tracks in a 'studio-like' environment in the front room of Rod's Katoomba house and one of these, I GET EVIL, was used on the self-titled cassette from 1993.

The 'Regular' Band
Rod ‘Beachhead’ JEFFERY – main vocals/leader
Rodney 'Eddy' EDWARDS – electric lead & slide guitar/vocals
Nick HAZZARD – electric bass guitar/vocals
Adam SIVELL – drums
HIROSHI – alto saxophone

The '1991 Manly Jazz Festival' Band
Rod ‘Beachhead’ JEFFERY – main vocals/leader
Bob SEDERGREEN – piano
Tony BARNARD – guitar
Malcolm SEDERGREEN – alto saxophone
David ELLIS – acoustic bass
Adam SIVELL – drums

One other gig that had been booked prior to the band's collapse - at the Bald-Faced Stag Hotel in Leichhardt. What could have been a disaster was saved at the last minute by help from a few friends.

The 'Bald-Faced Stag' Band
Rod ‘Beachhead’ JEFFERY – main vocals/leader
Tony BARNARD – guitar
Chris STAFFORD – electric bass guitar
Adam SIVELL – drums

William IRVING - guitar
Maddy YOUNG - guitar
Mick YOUNG - tenor saxophone

After this a trip to Melbourne which saw Rod performing with old friends Bob and Malcolm Sedergreen at the 1991 Melbourne Homegrown Blues Festival in St. Kilda, the Melbourne Arts Centre and the Limerick Arms Hotel on Melbourne Cup Night with the BLUE MOUNTAINS BLUES WHALERS. A band that also included young slide guitar sensation, Matt WALKER.


The early part of 1992 saw a one-off gig at the Kurrajong Heights Hotel/Motel where the P.A. spat the dummy and the bass player arrived an hour late after getting the starttime wrong. In the end it all worked out fine, though it was truly just a one-off band.

The Kurrajong Heights Band
Rod ‘Beachhead’ JEFFERY – vocals/leader
William IRVING – guitar
Chris STAFFORD – electric bass guitar/vocals
Adam SIVELL – drums

Beachhead's Blues:
Within a couple of months Rod started rehearsing a new line-up which initially featured himself and William with another friend, Gary Kohrmann. Gary was a dedicated 'blues' follower and bass player who had led (or played in) several BLUES bands including one called SMOKESTACK LIGHTNIN'. It was at Gary's insistence that the band, at this time, changed its name to BEACHHEAD'S BLUES.
The drummer was once again someone pointed in our direction by guitarist John Stuart. His name was Tim Reeves and his main claim to fame was that he had been the drummer in British pop band
MUNGO JERRY when they had their worlwide hit with IN THE SUMMERTIME in the early seventies.
The band also initially included a harmonica player,
Luke Davies who only played one gig with the band (an outdoor gig in the Beer Garden of the pub at Wiseman's Ferry on the outskirts of Sydney).
He did, however contribute a tune,
Mr. LONESOME. A crowdpleaser that remained as part of the band's repertoire 'til the end.
Luke was initially replaced by Al Meadows for a short time. Al appears in all the publicity shots taken of the band in June 1992 during a rehearsal at Gary's property in Riverstone (Sydney) and performed a few gigs with the band. The last being the band's first gig at the Commercial Hotel in Bathurst NSW.
That particular night started out looking like a disaster in the making when the first set audience dwindled from around ten people to one. However, it transpired that they were actually leaving to either ring friends to tell them to come, or going out to other venues to collect them and bring them back to hear the band.
Mick Young also turned up at the gig that night and sat in playing tenor sax. Al suggested that we should replace himself with Mick. Particularly as the band was about to embark on its first interstate tour - to Queensland. We took his advice and when the band left for Brisbane in August Mick was our fifth member.
An extremely well recorded 'live' archival recording of the band (it was done by the sound engineer on the night) performing at the Mt. Pleasant Hotel in Gympie during the tour exists as does an extremely bad recording of the band playing at the Commercial in Bathurst a couple of months later.
The latter recording is only bad because it was done on a hand held portable from the back of the room with around two hundred people between it and the band.
Shortly after returning from the tour,Tim took his leave of the band because of a family situation that had developed and was replaced by the ever reliable Adam Sivell. Another northern tour followed shortly thereafter.

Not long after this Willy left to join a 'covers' band and was replaced by former 'Smokestack Lightning' guitarist, Peter Arndell. This particular line-up lasted 'til around July of 1993, 'though Mick Young had left by that time and had been replaced by Rob Gray on harmonica.

Beachhead's Blues - Mk. I
Rod ‘Beachhead’ JEFFERY – vocals/leader
William IRVING – guitar/vocals
Mick 'Micky Magic' YOUNG - tenor saxophone
Gary KOHRMANN – electric bass guitar/vocals
Tim REEVES – drums

Early 1993

Beachhead's Blues - Mk. II
Rod ‘Beachhead’ JEFFERY – vocals/leader
Peter ARNDELL – guitar/vocals
Rob GRAY - harmonica
Gary KOHRMANN – electric bass guitar/vocals
Adam SIVELL – drums

August 1993 - December 1995

In early 1993 Rod, his wife Shirley and harmonica player Rob Gray were instrumental in getting the Sydney Blues Society: Blue Mountains Chapter (later 'BLUE MOUNTAINS BLUES Society') off the ground.
Included in the idea was a Monday night 'Jam Night' at the GEARINS Hotel in Katoomba. The 'house' band would be BLUES MOUNTAIN who would open and close the night with a set and in between times would provide any additional backing required by those wishing to perform on the night. (BLUES MOUNTAIN was actually a stripped back BEACHHEAD'S BLUES.)
During the first of these sessions, two young Sydney-based guitarists turned up to play and absolutely tore the house down. They were Matthew Ross (eldest son of ABC-TV presenter Peter Ross) and his friend Matthew Dwyer.
They had heard about the sessions from Matt Ross' mother who had met Rod and Shirley at one of the Medlow Bath 'OLD POST OFFICE STORE' Jazz sessions a week or two previous to that first 'jam' session.
The boys turned up to nearly every Monday night session and became firm crowd favourites as well as close friends of Rod and Shirley, spending nearly every night that they appeared at their home in Katoomba.
BEACHHEAD'S BLUES Mk.II was never really a going concern and Rod approached Dean Edgdecombe from 'SNAKE OIL/BLUE STEW' about joining him in a revamped BEACHHEAD'S BLUES to feature Matt Ross on guitar, Mick Young on tenor saxophone (once again), himself (Dean) on bass and Adam Sivell on drums. Dean jumped at the chance, however, plans went a little awry when, following the first rehearsal at Katoomba, Rod and Adam Sivell had an irreparable falling out over a 'Disco' being set up at the final Mk.II gig at GEARINS on August 7th, 1993. Neither had Mick turned up for the rehearsal.
The band were due to go 'into the studio' on Sunday 15th to record tracks for an album to be released at a later date and it was decided to replace Mick with Matthew Dwyer and hire Adam Barnard for the recording session plus a support that the band were to play for Wollongong band, 'WHOSE MUDDY SHOES' at GEARINS on the 14th at the monthly B.M.B.S. Concert.
This line-up rehearsed all afternoon on the 14th, then played to local critical acclaim that night, even being congratulated by the members of WHOSE MUDDY SHOES, then fronted up at 'Manor House' Studios in Bullaburra the next morning for a recording session that extended well into the evening. Rod returned the following day to record the lead & backing vocal tracks. Studio owner/singer, Shaylee Wilde was engaged to add an extra harmony to the band's version of the Howlin' Wolf classic, SPOONFUL.
The following weekend Rod, Shirley and the two Matts headed west to the DUBBO JAZZ Festival where they played about four sets over the course of the weekend before heading for a holiday/promotional visit to Melbourne. During one of several radio interviews the band was invited to appear at the 1994 Honeybend Creek Rock & Blues Festival to be held in February 1994 on a property North-East of Melbourne.
Also, while in Melbourne, the boys sat in at BANJOS in North Melbourne and again at the Windsor Castle Hotel in Windsor as part of the M.B.A.S. Blues Jams. This latter with Geoff Achison, formerly of 'Dutch Tilders and the Blues Club' and a friend of Rod and Shirley's since Rod's first foray into the southern capital in 1989 when he performed at the 'Homegrown Blues Festival' with Bob Sedergreen. That same year both recorded segments for ABCTV - Geoff with 'Dutch'/Rod with Bob - that were aired some twelve months later.
They also attended 'Dutch' Tilders 52nd Birthday celebrations at his (then) regular Sunday afternoon gig at the Station Tavern in Prahran where Rod dueted with 'Dutch' on a long forgotten tune. Probably best so!
On returning home to Katoomba Rod was informed that he had been unceremoniously 'sacked' as president of the Blues Society that he and Shirley had helped to create earlier that year and had given so much time to. He wasn't then an still isn't impressed with those responsible and has never forgiven, or forgotten.
A regular drummer was still hard to come by and Adam Barnard agreed to fill the spot 'til a permanent replacement could be found. As a result he was the band's 'regular' drummer from then until a gig at SOUP PLUS Restaurant in Sydney on February 17th, 1994 on the eve of the band leaving for its first 'interstate' tour. Over that period he played another fifteen gigs with them including the 1993 LITHGOW BLUES MUSIC Festival and a Queensland /Northern Rivers tour. He was replaced by Max 'Thumpa' Farrell from February 18th until Max left in mid-November and was replaced by Boston-born, Frank Corby.
During Max's time in the band he toured Victoria twice, played many 'local' Sydney/Blue Mountains gigs, recorded an album's worth of material 'live' at the Unity Hall Hotel in Balmain (never released), played the North Coast/Northern Rivers twice, did an extended tour of Queensland and the Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival as well as numerous South Coast and country gigs.
Frank's first gig with the band was 0n November 18th, 1994 at the ZIG ZAG Railway, Clarence NSW as part of that year's Festival of the Valley celebrations. However, he didn't join permanently until December 11th when he played atthe Unity Hall Hotel. At all other gigs between these dates the drum chair was filled by Darryl McKenzie, formerly of 'Nutwood Rug/Lock, Stock & Darryl/Lonesome Boogie' to name but a few.
In the littlover twelve months remaining,the final gig was at the Harbour View Hotel in The Rocks (Sydney) on December 22nd, 1995, the band played both the Thredbo Blues and Thredbo Jazz Festivals (held in January & May 1995 respectively), an entire season as the 'house' band at AZIFAZ Restaurant in Jindabyne, plus many other gigs and festivals. Dean was not always available and on different occasions his bass slot was filled by Chris Stafford (Pete Morand's JIVEBOMBERS), Harry Brus (Renée Geyer Band/Kevin Borich Express), Chris Bailey (ANGELS/GANGGAJANG), or Raoul Hawkins (current BEACHHEAD).
The band's final set at the Harbour View was literally packed to the rafters with the band (and crowd) in the mood to party and Frank's parents visiting from the States. The regular start time was ignored and the band kicked in around 6:30pm and played 'full-tilt' until closing time!

The Band(s)
Rod ‘Beachhead’ JEFFERY – vocals/leader
Matt ROSS – guitars/vocals
Matthew 'Doc' DWYER - lead, rhythm, slide gutars/vocals
Dean EDGECOMBE – electric bass guitar/vocals
Chris STAFFORD – electric bass guitar/vocals
Raoul HAWKINS – electric bass guitar
Harry BRUS – electric bass guitar/vocals
Chris BAILEY – electric bass guitar/vocals
Adam BARNARD – drums
Max 'Thumpa' FARRELL – drums
Darryl McKENZIE – drums
Frank CORBY – drums

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