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Billy 'Bass' Wolf Tribute @ the Tote

with The Actioneers, The Shimmys, Mach Pelican, Rocket Science
Sunday, 24th April 2005

I was planning on just going to the Bendigo Hotel, but after something happened there I decided to leave early. Even though I had already paid on the door and waited over an hour for my friends, I didn't want to stay there.

Having a drink at the Tote, I went into the dunny and saw a couple of members of Mach Pelican with the hair gel and combs out doing their hair. I hadn't met them before so I didn't know what to say.

The Cobra bar was already open and when I went up there the other members of Mach Pelican were enjoying a video of Guitar Wolf and swapping stories about the band with the barmaid. I could have spent the entire night up there, watching videos and chatting up women and had a great time, but I decided to stay to see the bands. In between sets I went back upstairs to get a drink and to watch more of the videos of the band.

The Actioneers were up first and played a really great set. I hadn't seen them before, but they are a hard rock type band who seem to be fairly new on the scene. They played some excellent songs and some Stooges and MC5 covers that the crowd really got into.

I had seen the Shimmys at the "Girl's in the Garage" gig a few months ago and they played just as well as I remember them. This time I got to say hello to them after their set and sign up for their mailing list, so hopefully I will be seeing them much more in the future.

Mach Pelican was the band I was most looking forward to on the night and they did not disappoint. The crowd really got into them and was singing along to some of their songs. The highlight of their set and the night was when they performed two Guitar Wolf covers and the crowd went nuts.

I know a lot of people really like Rocket Science, but I had already seen the best band of the night in my opinion so I only stayed for two songs of their set. Luckily 'Wild Zero' was still playing upstairs so I took a seat at the bar and watched it with a drunk Japanese dude who wandered in and out of the bar.

It was about 1am when I left the pub and Rocket Science was just finishing their set. I know it would have kept going after that, but I didn't want to stay out too late. It was nearly 2am by the time I had walked into the city so I ended up going straight to bed when I got home.

During the night I learnt that Billy 'Bass' Wolf was only 38 when he died of a heart attack, which is only 9 years older than me. Toshi from Mach Pelican really should be congratulated for organising these shows (there was also one in Sydney) to raise money for Billy's family. As Mach Pelican said, Guitar Wolf were their "ROCK 'n ROLL Heroes" and Billy will be long remembered.

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