In January 1980, after returning from a holiday in Queensland, Rod joined up with old friends guitarists 'Rod' Lewis and Peter Acland as lead singer in pub band, MATTHEW STREET. Although the sojourn didn't last very long it did last long enough to play one gig at the (then) Bidwill Clock Tavern and another at the Greystanes Hotel both in Sydney's outer-western suburbs.
The band played any number of sixties and seventies 'pop/rock' standards including Tequila Sunrise (the EAGLES), Ain't No Sunshine (Bill WITHERS), Wonderful Tonight & Cocaine (both Eric CLAPTON).
It was a really strange band in which the leader/rhythm guitarist, Ken was missing a finger on his chording hand and the drummer was as deaf as a post. The very last gig that Rod did with them was at the James Ruse Tavern at Rouse Hill, once again in Sydney's outer-west, and it was actually a almost a BEACHHEAD line-up with Gary Dryden on guitar for the evening and Louise Elliott playing saxophone and flute. And only pre-dated the first line-up of that band by a couple of months.
In the final months of 1980 BEACHHEAD was wound up (very much at the instigation of Phil LORD) with Rod, guitarist Murray OSBORNE, bass player Grant WATSON and Phil joining singer /guitarist /songsmith Andy GRAY in what was to be a 'new' music band featuring, in the main, Andy's originals. Initially there would be quite a few tunes from the 'old' BEACHHEAD repertoire as well - just to fill out the sets.
The band's first gigs were at the Leichhardt Hotel followed by a 'one-off' at the Kings Cross Rex Hotel in Sydney playing to a drunken Friday evening 'after-work' audience.
First-up gig in 1981 was at Tiger Lil's in Glebe playing to an audience of three on New Year's Night - a highly unenjoyable experience!
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