Hard Rock Cafe | Melbourne

Hard Rock Cafe | Melbourne

Hard Rock Cafe | MelbourneLong before Hard Rock Cafe (franchise version) came and went in Melbourne, Melbourne had it's very own Hard Rock Cafe located on the corner of Flinders Street and Spring Street Melbourne.

Largely forgotten in the history books, it served as the home of live music for bands like AC/DC and Skyhooks in the 70's.

Michael Browning managed Hard Rock Cafe, run by Jack Swate and Robert Meisels.

Today, it's Shell House but back in the 70's, Hard Rock Cafe was in this amazing old building with bands playing in the basement with a 50's restaurant on the top floor. To the left of the corner entrance are 3 openings that roadies used to access the basement.

It was not the Federal Coffee Palace which was located at 555 Collins St, Melbourne, demolished in 1972. The building's look similar but had distinctly different turrets.

Interestingly, while Michael Gudinski is a well known name in Australian music circles, it was Michael Browning that opened one of Australia's first discotheques (Sebastian's Penthouse) and managed some of Australia's best known bands including AC/DC, Python, Lee Jackson, Doug Parkinson In Focus and Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs.

Michael Browning met AC/DC at Hard Rock Cafe on 16 October 1974. Only weeks earlier the band had sacked their lead singer Dave Evans and recruited former Valentines vocalist Bon Scott. In November 1974 AC/DC parted with their first manager Dennis Laughlin signed Browning as their new manager and relocated to Melbourne.

Gigs | Hard Rock Cafe

45 Known Gigs for Hard Rock Cafe - australianmusicdatabase.com

Thursday 1st August 1974 Skyhooks
Wednesday 2nd October 1974 Hot City Bump Band
Thursday 3rd October 1974 Pantha
Thursday 3rd October 1974 Sanctuary
Thursday 3rd October 1974 Renee Geyer
Friday 4th October 1974 Atlas
Friday 4th October 1974 Hot City Bump Band
Saturday 5th October 1974 Hot City Bump Band
Saturday 5th October 1974 Pantha
Sunday 6th October 1974 Skylight
Wednesday 9th October 1974 Cloud Nine
Thursday 10th October 1974 The Bootleg Family Band
Friday 11th October 1974 Phil Manning
Friday 11th October 1974 Hot City Bump Band
Saturday 12th October 1974 Pantha
Saturday 12th October 1974 The Bootleg Family Band
Sunday 13th October 1974 The La De Das
Wednesday 16th October 1974 Skylight
Thursday 17th October 1974 Pantha
Friday 18th October 1974 Madder Lake
Friday 18th October 1974 The Dingoes
Saturday 19th October 1974 Skylight
Saturday 19th October 1974 Glenrowan
Sunday 20th October 1974 Skylight
Wednesday 23rd October 1974 Hot City Bump Band
Thursday 24th October 1974 The Dingoes
Friday 25th October 1974 Skyhooks
Friday 25th October 1974 Skyhooks
Saturday 26th October 1974 Rock Granite
Wednesday 30th October 1974 AC/DC
Thursday 31st October 1974 Hot City Bump Band
Friday 1st November 1974 The Dingoes
Friday 1st November 1974 Skylight
Saturday 2nd November 1974 AC/DC
Saturday 2nd November 1974 Bakery
Sunday 3rd November 1974 AC/DC
Wednesday 6th November 1974 Skyhooks
Friday 13th December 1974 Skyhooks
Tuesday 31st December 1974 Skyhooks
Friday 28th March 1975 AC/DC
Saturday 2nd August 1975 Little River Band
Friday 22nd August 1975 Little River Band
Saturday 20th September 1975 Little River Band
Saturday 18th October 1975 Little River Band
Saturday 8th November 1975 Little River Band

AC/DC | Hard Rock Cafe

? Oct. 1974
16 Oct. 1974
23 Jan. 1975
25 Jan. 1975
30 Jan. 1975
2 Feb. 1975
13 Feb. 1975
14 Mar. 1975
27 Mar. 1975
28 Mar. 1975
6 Apr. 1975
13 Apr. 1975
19 Apr. 1975
? May 1975
17 May 1975
30 May 1975
28 Jun. 1975
2 Sep. 1975
13 Sep. 1975
Melbourne Source: ac-dc.net

Hard Rock Cafe - Spring Street, CBD

Previously known as the Victoria & Albert (aka 'Berties') discotheque during the mid to late 1960s when the likes of psych-pop bands Zoot, The Twilights, The Wild Cherries, Cam-Pact and Doug Parkinson In Focus held court. Berties also played host to the development of the early '70s progressive scene - Spectrum, Jeff St John and The Copperwine, Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs, King Harvest, Daddy Cool, Blackfeather, Syrius, Chain etc.

Promoters Michael Browning and Rod de Gruchy re-opened the venue in 1974 as the Hard Rock Cafe, whereby Coloured Balls, Split Enz, AC/DC, Buster Brown, The Dingoes, Renee Geyer Band, Ariel, Madder Lake, Ayers Rock, Daddy Cool and The Pelaco Bros could play till all hours, while guitarist Lobby Loyde's open Jam Nights were a weekend highlight. Browning went on to manage AC/DC. Source

Tower House

Tower House, used to stand on the corner of Flinders and Spring. A prominent corner tower of similar design to the Rialto in Collins Street dominates a comparatively subdued but eclectic facade combining Tudor, Queen Anne and Mannerist sensibilities. Iron cresting on the roofline contributes to a picturesque effect. Served as home of the Public Schools Club of Victoria. Vacant lot eventually made way for Harry Seidlers ugly Shell House corporate headquarters and the underground rail loop.

❊ Address & Contact ❊

Hard Rock Cafe | Melbourne⊜ 1 Spring St Melbourne | Map
1 Spring StMelbourne

❊ Web Links ❊

Hard Rock Cafe | Melbourne 

Image source: Hard Rock Cafe

Michael Browning BIO

❊ Also See... ❊


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