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John Carroll

by John Carroll last modified Jan 10, 2009 09:54 PM

John Carroll

I first lived in Melbourne in 1963 (Newman College, Melbourne University, Faculty of Medicine), and was introduced to Frank Traynor's Jazz Club by a then friend whose name I have forgotten. I had been at boarding-school with him at St Patrick's CBC in Ballarat, and his family lived near the Maribyrnong Creek in the Essendon area. His father was a WW2 pilot who had severe facial scarring from burns. If my old friend turns up through your Traynor network, I would like to be back in touch with him.

What I do remember very clearly is being at St Silas' Hall in Albert Park (or maybe South Melbourne), listening to Frank Traynor's Jazz Preachers, wearing the obligatory black duffel, black skivvy, black (or at least dark) jeans, black suede "brothel creepers" (I forget the polite name), and not talking to anyone. It was not the place (for me at least) to meet girls. So I moved on to places like Powerhouse and The Thumping Tum and the Little Reata and something in Toorak Rd that had a number in its name. 431 maybe?

If I remember correctly, Traynor was associated with Glenn Tomasetti, "Dirty" Dick Barnes, and others who worked the Lorne SLSC in the summer, and "The Arab" cappuccino bar also in Lorne. Was the "Arab" Tony Bilson's operation?

A few years later I was a fan of Smacka Fitzgibbon at his North Melbourne venue. But I remember little of that, except for Smacka's striped jacket. And, of course, the music.

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