From scooters to ski pants, from white lipstick to winkle pickers, STARK RAVING MOD! is a celebration of the 60s-revival Mod subculture in 1980s Australia.

Posted: March 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Mod | No Comments »

CHECKING IN

Martin Mahony

With their usual military-precision organisation Don and Gary Hosie had travelled to Melbourne earlier in the year to line up gigs and venue confirmations, as well as sorting out cheap accommodation for the majority of the Sydney contingent at the Great Southern Hotel in central Melbourne.

The planned itinerary for the 1981 Easter long weekend in Melbourne :

Thursday April 16 Hornsby Coach Tours pick up mods in Sydney at Central Railway 8:00PM to go to Melbourne (headed off about 8:30PM).

Good Friday April 17 Magic Bus arrives Melbourne around 9:30AM. The Sets perform at Jump Club that night, supporting Paul Kelly and the Dots.

Saturday April 18 Little Murders, Division 4 and Sets at the Crystal Ballroom.

Easter Sunday April 19 The Sets and the Models at Macey’s.

Easter Monday April 20, 9:45AM The ‘Magic Bus’ departs Melbourne and returns to Sydney around 10:30PM.

On arrival outside the Great Southern Hotel in central Melbourne, everyone quickly checked in an unloaded their gear in the appallingly cramped rooms. No one complained as they were paying doss-house prices (around $8 a single, $14 a double) for the accommodation, but I distinctly recall not having an option to share my room because I found I could either: a) Open the wardrobe door, or b) Open the room door, but not both at the same time as there was insufficient space to swing both doors open without hitting the bed.

Everyone was intent on only using the hotel as a crash-pad and focused on the days and nights of escapades ahead.

Good Friday in the centre of Melbourne in 1981 was not exactly pulsating, so many of the Sydney crowd congregated in a New-York style alleyway (complete with West Side Story external metal fire escapes) behind the hotel that servedĀ as a private workshop for those tinkering with their Lambrettas and Vespas shipped down by rail during the week.