December 11, 2012

Jon English & the Cast of "Ned Kelly" The Rock Opera- What Else Is New? - Updated

The Rock Opera "Ned Kelly" was written by Reg Livermore and Patrick Flynn.

This album was recorded in 1974, according to the record label. However, according to Jon English's site it says he sang this role in 1976 - see below.
It features Jon English as Ned Kelly, Trevor White as Aaron Sherritt, Reg Livermore as Sergeant Hare, Janice Slater as Ma Kelly, Arthur Dignam as Constable Fitzpatrick and Tony Rose as Constable McIntyre.

Included also on the recording were John Paul Young, or John Young as he was known then, and Peter Chambers as other Kelly gang members. As you can see there was much of the cast of the 1972 Australian production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" which I have covered in another post.

On this track: Jon English, Trevor White, John Paul Young, Peter Chambers and Arthur Dignam.

This is the first track on the album. I really like it as it has a nice upbeat tempo. 
As the story progresses the music becomes more sombre.

If you set your You Tube player to a larger mode there is plenty of information about it from the album cover.

As far as I can tell this version, with this cast, was not actually performed on stage but I could be wrong.

Update:The link above to Jon's site no longer works as the site is being updated.

From Doug Parkinson’s site:

More from “The Age"


Call it destiny or fate, but the recurring pattern to emerge in Livermore’s life is one where things could have turned out very differently. For instance, had Livermore’s musical Ned Kelly premiered anywhere other than in Adelaide, the show may have had more than one chance. The out-of- town tryout system long-established in the United States has never worked in Australia. 
Almost inevitably, when opening night comes, so does crunch time


Details for Various Artists - Ned Kelly, The Rock Opera
My focus here is primarily the musical, not the retelling of the Ned Kelly story.

I see it as a part of our musical cultural history.

The first ever feature film made in Australia was about Ned Kelly.
Then many years later there was one with Mick Jagger, and another much, much later with Heath Ledger.

The Ned Kelly version with Mick Jagger introduced me to the music of Waylon Jennings. 
That was a big plus!

For those who are too young to know Waylon Jennings was part of Buddy Holly's backing group, the Crickets.

After their last concert together with Richie Valens (Donna,La Bamba) and The Big Bopper (Chantilly Lace) they had to go to another gig.
The only way out was by bus or chartered plane.

Sadly the chartered plane didn't have much space so they tossed a coin for the seats.

Waylon lost the toss! A bad coin-toss saved his life. Until his death he never got over this incident!.

 Hence "American Pie" was written by Don McLean - and the line .."the day the music died" refers to this incident.

I think the mini-series, “The Last Outlaw”, was very detailed and well worth watching - probably the best version of the Ned Kelly story I have seen. 
This was actually made by the same team who made “Against The Wind”.
A shame they didn’t use the talents of Jon English and Mario Millo for the soundtrack of “The Last Outlaw”, as I think the soundtrack for “Against The Wind” is way superior to this.
Having said that it doesn't diminish the impact of the series.


There is much more on Ned Kelly on the internet, and of course one must not forget to mention the Sidney Nolan paintings. 

Ned Kelly was most definitely a legendary and iconic figure in Australia’s history so it is not too surprising that his story has inspired many people in all fields of the arts

Update #1:

Just found out that... “The Show originated as a 1974 concept recording and was subsequently adapted as a stage production, which opened on 4 February 1978 at Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney. 
Revised in 2000 with some new songs and lyrics.”

Via Youtube


Update #2

This article dated January 6th 1974 – The Sydney Morning Herald
lick to enlarge image.

Update #3 

Update: Such is life: 130 years on, Ned returns home to join his mother in Kelly country.

                                                      With thanks to The Australian.


Ned Kelly's Childhood Home Up For Sale


TINY Beveridge, a quiet rural township of barely 100 people about 40km north of Melbourne, doesn’t seem the kind of place that could produce a criminal, but it was a childhood home to Australia’s most notorious outlaw, Ned Kelly. 
And now, it could be home to you.

The legendary bushranger’s childhood home, a ­historic 1859 cottage built by his father John “Red” Kelly, is up for sale.

The property at 44 Kelly Street, being marketed by Andrew Bellino and Rocco Di Battista of Ray White Craigieburn, retains many of its original features, ­including a bluestone chimney, the original iron grates and wood-grained ledged and braced doors. Much of the building, unsurprisingly a little worse for wear, was built using materials found in local bushland.

The original cottage has been listed on the Victorian Heritage Register because of its unusual architecture, thought to be because of the Irish heritage of its builder.

The cottage has an earthen floor, with drainage running between rooms that reach the peak of the ­corrugated iron roof.
But the 1.45ha property also comes with a newer house, a modern, four-bedroom home built in 2002.

“This property not only includes a well-kept family home that is ready to move into, it’s also an opportunity to secure a piece of Australia’s history,” Andrew Bellino says.

“The heritage listing in place means that the former Kelly home has never been and will never be changed. The building as it stands today is exactly as it was when Ned Kelly lived there as a child.”

Kelly was born in Beveridge, but was thought to have moved to the house when he was four or five and lived there for half a decade.
The town itself is full of historical gems. The former Catholic church where Kelly attended school for a number of years, built from the same local bluestone in a gothic style, is perhaps the most impressive building.

Bellino says it is difficult to put a price on the ­property.

“There aren’t a lot of sales in the area and certainly none that are comparable to this property,’’ he says.

“Throughout the marketing campaign we’ll listen to what the market is saying and that will guide the price expectations on the property.”

The National Trust of Australia will be entering the bidding war.

As of Thursday the trust had scraped together $100,000 but is seeking help from the public to drum up the estimated $650,000 it believes will be needed to buy the house.

National Trust of Australia (Victoria) CEO Martin Purslow said they were committed to safeguarding and preserving the historic site for the future.

‘The Ned Kelly story has a resonance with Australians and international visitors worldwide and Ned Kelly himself is one of our most significant Australian cultural heritage folk heroes,’ Mr Purslow said.

The property is scheduled to be auctioned at 2pm on September 20.
Below: The real Ned Kelly. Picture credit: The Australian


Thanks to GR for almost all of the pictures. 


Jon English and Janice Slater during production. Many thanks to Garry for this picture.



Picture credit above: Fairfax

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♥♥Remembering Jon English♥♥