Rollo. Breaking Ground (And Bad) Since the 80's
It all started in 1983, Rollo jumped up on stage over 30 years ago with the ‘Anorchistic Sadists’ who then went on to form, “Anochistic cowboys and then we changed it to the Nocturnal Tea Totallers, then we turned that into Bad Ronald, which turned into Blowhard in 1989.”
It was around the same time when Rollo started to collect pubes of the stars by requesting via snail mail that they be sent to him in exchange for his own crotch hair, “I have a whole photo album full.” The priceless nature of this kind of collection is overwhelming to say the least. As is his connection with Jello Biafra, “Back in the 80s, he wrote me a letter because he bought some Bad Ronald Singles and he wanted me to help him find these Australian records he was looking for so we just started swapping records together.”
“I have a whole photo album full [of celebrity pubes]”
The connection doesn’t stop there with Rollo’s hero, “I met him last year but way back, I couldn’t play a show one night, the only show I couldn’t play and he came out to see us [Blowhard] play. The guys called me said Jello was there - and I was like bullshit.”
It wasn’t only the Dead Kennedy’s frontman that was on the hunt for Rollo, his own band members were dedicated followers from a young age. Long time bassist of Blowhard and now Spike city, Greg Jard begged his parents to take him to see Rollo at the tender age of 12 and he has been hooked on punk ever since, "I used to take the train from my parent's farm to West End to watch Bad Ronald rehearsals."
The conversation takes a path to Hiedleberg Street. A 12 bedroom house, responsible for the core of the Brisbane music scene established in 1990. Providing digs and a creative space, the house has seen residents from bands including SixFtHick, serious Goth rockers Misery and of course Blowhard and Bad Ronald. The grand house was covered in posters and enough tom foolery to keep even the most easily distracted glued to the present including the ceremonial burning of plastic Jesus' by the aforementioned dark lords.
From these humble beginnings, Rollo as the frontman of the now legendary Blowhard has toured the world, most notably, Europe in the early 90s, “We went to Europe, Amsterdam, Germany we were meant to go to Switzerland but we ran into a fire hydrant on the way.” Rollo, please explain, “We had 2 vans at that stage and when we were on stage the night before, one member decided he didn't want to go to Switzerland so took off with one of the vans."
"We packed all our shit in another van when were going down the highway, we ran straight into a fire hydrant.” No hire cars in sight thanks to a 60 car pile up on the motorway, Blowhard had to extend the tour and to their amazement, they ended up play ing a stadium tour with MTV Award Winners Dog Eat Dog, “We ended up touring around all the stadium joints with them that was unbelievable.”
Fashion Faux Pas in Support of the People
First landing in Brisbane 6 years ago, Blowhard was the first show this writer had the pleasure of reviewing and the sight of Rollo’s ever changing outfits would always find their way into a review for their sheer imagination. His most recent, yet to be revealed fashion faux pas in support of the medical staff who have just been screwed by the Queensland Government, “I was going to do my ode to the medical workers tonight, I was going to use a big box of surgical gloves but I had trouble tying the knots up to make a big balloon suit. That was going to be my outfit tonight but I need to put a little bit more research into it.”
Why did you form to Spike City? "I just like playing music and Blowhard had been around forever and we got labelled as a ska band." Moving forward out of respect, "Some of the members weren’t in the band anymore and have been my life long friends so we changed the name and hopefully lost the ska label."
"With Spike City, we’re not trying to conquer the world, we're Just trying to think of excuses so my wife will let me out every couple of weeks."
EP coming soon...
Photo by Jeff Ram Photography