melbourne from plane 2


‘Melbourne from Plane #9’, Tullamarine Flight Path, 28 January 2009, photo by Alicia Bee.

 ‘Sharpies’, Melbourne, 1973, printed 1977-78, photo by Rennie Ellis.



When I was born in the mid seventies sharpies culture was out. Sharpies had already ruined Sunbury Music Festival and taken over the pubs, and hippy families like mine retreated to the hills or quieter places to raise children, start folk festivals, community radio stations and the structures of the good Melbourne music scene we rely on today.

The only experience I had with Sharpies prior to recent times was in primary school when watching a group of young skinheads at Moomba celebrations as a female was hit for unknown reasons in a public space and humiliated.

I remembered how it was laughed at by the group of what would become 80s bogans, and how the domestic violence was considered taboo.

There are 2 different images of Sharpies one seen in Rennie Ellis’ 1973 image (above) of ‘sharply’ dressed males proudly showing off suspenders with jumpers, jeans, shirts and hats; and the latter group of skinheads seen often at music concerts and in the below footage shot by Carol Jerrems.

You can see the difference in the two Sharpies dinstinctly from their hairstyle, the first with short back and sides parted in the middle and the second developed the mullet of shorter hair with a longer whisp at the back and sometimes front.

Still photographer Carol Jerrems made a short film in 1975 featuring 15-year-old schoolboys from Heidelberg Technology High School.

Most of them had been expelled and, according to Carol had “preferred bashing, beer, sheilas, gang bangs, gang fights, billiards, stealing and hanging about”.

“So far I have myself only narrowly escaped rape but was bashed over the head by the main actor whilst driving my car which had been dented by the rival gang with sticks. They steal my money and cigarettes when I am not looking but I refuse to be deterred. My consequent kungfu lessons and panelbeating are not included in the budget,” Carol Jerrems 1975 as quoted from Girl In The Mirror.

Recently I was involved in a violent incident during a music video clip shoot of a story about a Sharpie. It was during a weird work situation in which the band, crew and cast members acted in sexist ways to share a “Sharpie Experience”.

Needless to say violent behavior, sexual harassment and practical jokes are all outlawed in today’s workplace and should not occur at any time.

An insight into the highly acclaimed and best selling book, RAGE: A SHARPIES JOURNAL written by Julie Mac.


In spite of some confusion with the descriptions found online the people on the other side of the SUNBURY music festival were followers of HARPIES.

HARPIES were a beautiful collection of SIRENS known to have mythical wings, goddess beauty and an amazing crown and mane of long hair.

Evolved from depictions of ANGELS these ‘harp playing’ females were actually just winged humans that sung an amazing song to lure males.

HIPPY men were attracted to their female beauty and were paired according with mates to start their new life away from the music festival rubbish tip and the worst part of the SHARPIES CROWD.

HIPPY MEN loved the BIRD WOMEN and often called them ‘BIRDS’ in fond terms not like SHARPIES who called their women ‘MOLES’.

NOTE that some male artists found online have often depicted HARPIES in unattractive terms, and portray the female temptress as UGLY BIRD WOMEN that males should not turn to in spite of how long they have been touring with the ARGONAUTS or how tempting her hair, breasts or wings were.

GOTHIC ARTISTS of the time sometimes did not paint a good image of HARPIES and this has altered how some people have viewed women over history.

Often only half a female body is seen with wings, claws and other weapons in some images of HARPIES. These bird images are often scary, yet they evolved from the Christian image of the ANGEL with HARP.

As a reflection of this even things to do with NESTS and EGGS were insulted as part of this culture that suggests that mating with a female and producing children was not a good thing for men.

HARPIES were also be depicted as ‘devil women’ and their powers of seduction are supposed to be diminished by such opposing artworks and descriptions of females warning that they are lesser than animals in the HUMAN RACE.

Hippies loved the FEMALE SPIRIT, and wanted to have sex with her.

Hippies loved the BIRD WOMAN, and wanted to nest and hatch eggs with her.

Sharpies wanted only to rape her.

Sometimes these SHARPIE males could create violent scenes of gang rape seen only in those mythical times in history.

Why anyone would choose a skinhead over a woman with beautiful natural long hair and an amazing voice was not known. But a trend developed that only caused scenes of violence.

HARPIES were beautiful and did not sink ships or bring bad weather or tidings.

HARPIES were ANGELS who played a HARP and whose voice carried over the ocean and all lands. How their image was altered to the birdlike devil woman who is mistreated is not known but it a reflection of societal backlash against the emancipation of women over time.

We need new artists to start painting a more beautiful image of the mythical creature the HARPIE and we will see greater respect for the power of ordinary females. And until then let this HARPIE watch over your reading of my blog with a warning to keep up with the laws that govern us SAVAGES and that we are all equal in the workplace and other areas of our lives.

[CARROL JERREMS was a HARPIE as was WENDY SADDINGTON, my mother, and all the women with beautiful natural flowing hair that did or did not miss the Germaine Greer book ‘The Female Eunuch’ which was a 1970 title about how HARPIES have been portrayed and controlled over time in society. ]


LEE CARDAN took over EASTERN BLOC STUDIOS after the name and house business was setup by JONATHON BURNSIDE who returned home to USA after a decade in AUSTRALIA in SYDNEY and MELBOURNE. BURNSIDE had purchased the old ATLANTIS studio used TONY COHEN and all of the good legacy has been handed down to LEE CARDAN a NEW ENGINEER still in his twenties.

ALICIA BEE – What have you been working on?

LEE CARDAN – Currently, I’m working on identifying what exactly it is that I want to contribute to the modern music scene. I find myself in an excellent position to connect with interesting musicians, and together we could offer something amazing. I just need to realise what that is, so I can put all my energy towards achieving it.

ALICIA BEE – Who are your first clients?

LEE CARDAN – My first clients were a local hard rock act called Errant Venture, and shortly after was Dragon (the big one). I love recording any style as the art is in the approach, but I feel my true talents lie elsewhere.

ALICIA BEE – What did you buy as the package for Eastern Bloc?

LEE CARDAN – With the purchase of EBS came the 1979 MCI 542 console and matching 1978 MCI 2″ 24 Track tape machine. And, the 1961 all valve plate reverb of course.

ALICIA BEE – Do you have anything new?

LEE CARDAN – To the package, I’ve since added all the elements needed to provide my clients with a warm aesthetic experience, as well as a healthy range of outboard equipment, microphones, and instruments necessary to employ production techniques from both the old school and the new.

ALICIA BEE – What is the last thing you learnt in sound?

LEE CARDAN – Last thing I learnt in sound is to listen, and trust what I’m hearing. I think this will be a life-long achievement.


You want to be a sharpie but don’t want to look or act like a bogan? Do it in a designer labels and feel that little bit better than the 1970s thug.

You want to dress sharp and warm in Winter but don’t like the itch of wool? These soft blended cardigans combine silk with wool and can be worn through the chillier parts of Spring. At AU$918 you can save on that Pacific holiday this year and invest in a European holiday for 2012.

Made in Italy, the French label also make a grey cardigan but that all wool and dramatically cheaper at AU$788, though perhaps less noir from Dior.

From the Fall-Winter 2011/12 range online you can buy them on this site and have them shipped in two days.

Please note the delicacy of the weave near the ribbing that gives a beautiful fashion finish to the wardrobe item that makes buying manstyle that little bit exciting. And remember not to fight in these knits because you don’t want to damage the weaves or pull the wool.



Wendy Saddington’s Copperwine-house sound reminds us that Australia had its own ladies reinterpret Nina Simone and overseas songs long before Gudinski discovered Gabriella Cilmi to answer for Joss Stone.

When Wendy Saddington sings we could easily give her the tired likeness of being Australia’s own Janis Joplin or Anita Slick or any other power blues lady that triumphed to impress with voice as an instrument in a male rock band. The sad thing is that when females sing today they still get compared to Janis Joplin and they have never heard Wendy Saddington or Renae Geyer sing so hard they cry.

Wendy Saddington openly balled her eyes out during her time in the 1970s. She wore thick heavy black lines around her crying eyes set in the middle of a head of amazing afro curly hair (later she even wore her makeup like tears of a mime clown).

Listeners could have fell down with the sound of her own breaking voice as Wendy Saddington gave her full diaphragm capacity to the audience at each performance.

When Wendy Saddington joined Copperwine they were already popular, touring with lead name vocalist Jeff St John. They had just released their Joint Effort LP and later in 1970 would record ‘Teach Me How To Fly’ single without her female second vocals with the idea that it would make the single less commercial to have her part on it; this was an Australian male rock music scene after all.

This reissue is a live recoding of a performance from the Wallacia Festival in January 1971; and is a taste of her short period with the band when her vocals could have been heard to lead Copperwine as crowd favorites and place an entirely different genre name on the band description. On that occasion Jeff St John was absent and festival guests were entreated hear female vocals for the entire show. Whether it was a success or it caused band friction is not known, but Wendy Saddington left Copperwne shortly after this period. The gig was recorded though and so magical that they put out this release later in September 1971 to remind people that they once had Wendy Saddington in the band if only for a short time.

‘Five People Said I was Crazy’ is my favorite anthem, but I never heard these songs the first time and don’t entirely need another Simone or Dylan version. It is one of 2 songs on this LIVE LP she wrote with Copperwine during this era.

Listen to the Bee-side first, if Winehouse had been able to take her hand I’m sure she would have given a good version of that song before she died; so it is just waiting for a listen from younger soulful ears and singers.

Australia got over its cultural cringe here in the early seventies by answering with vocals like these by Wendy Saddington, but it still would take generations for their daughters to cite local singers as their influence outside all those black ladies from America and the most commercial music of this period that came before their birth.

Just after her departure from Copperwine Wendy Saddington released the Warren Morgan penned ‘Looking Through A Window’ with Billy Thorpe and him supporting for a top 30 chart place. That single is also included on this re-release which presses down a diary of the 1970 -71 year of musical projects of Wendy Saddington with a nice booklet of information written by Ian Macfarlane out on AZTEC MUSIC.


Heidelberg Sharpies

By Alicia Bee 2011©

I did not escape from the second gang rape,

The cops began to stop sharpies confessing,

Bashed over the head from the main actor on tape,

You will see my photographs at Heidelberg.

They said the third assault was not all his fault,

Nor the sexual harassment and undressing,

The concussion head ached in the winter cold.

My skull changed shape moving up from the nape,

Sharpies left their violent mark with the pushing,

I stayed at home playing with the nighttime drapes,

You will see my photographs at Heidelberg.


Alicia Bee © 2011.