Friday, 20 November 2015

Newcastle Music #3: Heroes - "The Star And The Slaughter"

Contrary to popular belief, Cold Chisel were NOT on stage at the Star Hotel in 1979 the night the crowd rioted over the pub's closure. The band who were were called Heroes. Chisel memorialised the social upheaval surrounding the riot, as that resonated with their audience.

Heroes played that night for an emotional crowd for nearly 3 hours and when the band were starting their final encore, the police stormed the venue and tried to take the gear off the band, including the mic of the singer. The singer had his jaw promptly thumped in the scuffle and then it was on for young and old. A riot ensued with cars upturned and set on fire. 43 arrests were made and 12 injuries.

The sleevenotes to the Cold Chisel album "Chisel Gold" note that "The closing of the hotel on Wednesday, September 19, 1979 was the last straw for a generation which had seen massive unemployment, government cutbacks and little future in an age of economic rationalism. To take away rock & roll was good grounds for a stand-up fight which is what the police got when they arrived in force. Police cars were overturned and burnt, civilian cars were attacked and the Star riot – the largest public disturbance since the Springbok tours of the early Seventies – scared the shit out of the establishment."

Heroes issued this, their own memorial of the event on their first LP in 1980.

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