Ted Mulry Gang reflect on the glory days and continuing their late frontman’s legacy

Ted Mulry Gang reflect on the glory days and continuing their late frontman’s legacy

Words by Tammy Walters

In 1969 one of the greatest events in music history took place, Woodstock –­­ a celebration of peace, a celebration of community and a celebration of music.

Five years later, solo star Ted Mulry started a gang. Signing with Albert Productions, Ted Mulry Gang was born and their smash hit ‘Jump In My Car’ dethroned ABBA, pushing ‘Mamma Mia’ off the top spot on the Australian charts.

After a long fruitful career, the original gang, Herman Kovac, Les Hall and Gary Dixon, sadly said goodbye to the band’s namesake in 2001.

“When Ted passed away I didn’t touch my drum kit for 16 years. I had no interest in it, but I still produced records, I own a recording studio, so I was still in the music but I didn’t want to play,” explains drummer Kovac.

With some arm-twisting the gang reunited in 2016, recruiting Mulry’s brother Steve and Sherbet’s Tony Mitchell to stand in for the legendary frontman and bassist. They’ll be appearing at the Woodstock-dedicated event, Wanstock, going down at Shoppingtown Hotel in March.

“When we did the first lot of shows in 2016 we had Mark Evans, the original bassist for AC/DC who was a good friend of ours, on for the shows. Mark is now touring with Rose Tattoo so we got Tony Mitchell from Sherbet. We used to tour with Sherbet and it’s worked out perfectly as a bit of fun.”

Speaking of AC/DC, the band will be including an AC/DC tribute in their set for their fellow Albert Productions alumni and former band mate.

“A lot of people aren’t aware that Les and I were in a band with Malcolm Young for three years before TMG was formed, so we do ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top’ as a tribute to Malcolm. A book is coming out this year about it,” Kovac confirms.

“God, I had to share a caravan bed with him! We were the two small guys in the van so I had Malcolm’s dirty socks up my nose and he had my bare feet up his nose. I slept with Malcolm Young, that’s your headline right there!”

The band will also do a tribute to Ted Mulry’s solo work with Gary Dixon doing acoustic versions of ‘Julia’ and ‘Falling In Love Again’. On top of the musical tributes and celebrations there will be a major reunion of other sorts. Joining the event lineup is Get Rocked, which consists of members of Hush and The Choirboys, both of whom have an extensive history with TMG.

“Choirboys used to be our support band before they were Choirboys and I actually got them their record deal with Albert Productions so there’s a strong connection there,” Kovac recalls.

“Members of Hush are on the bill as well and I think last time we played with them was about 40 years ago – I remember I was car sick on that Great Ocean Road and I never wanted to go on that road again. That was just before ‘Jump In My Car’ broke so it will be good to catch up with those guys. We’re even bringing down our accountant who used to do all of Hush’s accounts so he can have a big reunion with both bands as well.”

With the strong Albert Productions representation come Wanstock, Kovac promises punters will be taken back to the golden age of the famed label.

“We come from that staple of Albert Records and that Albert sound was a big part of that Australian pub rock scene. We still use the same sort of gear, so we’re going to sound like our records, we’re going to sound like that era musically.”

Ted Mulry Gang perform at the Woodstock-inspired Wanstock when it hits Shoppingtown Hotel on Saturday March 14. Grab your tix via Eventbrite