Ivan Pongracic (The Madeira) interviewed The Atlantics for Double Crown Records’ Continental Magazine. The interview was conducted by email between January 2013 and March 2014 and is so lengthy that it was presented as two parts over two issues. The first part covered their early days from 62′ to 65′ (issue 21) and the second part covered what has become known as their Garage Days between 65′ to 70′. Also included is their come back, between 2000 to 2013. (issue22).
Here’s a sample of the interview from part 1 in issue 21.
Ivan: Jim, do you remember when you and Theo bought your first Strats?
Jim: I remember that it was Peter’s father that helped us buy the guitars under ‘hire-purchase’ with himself as guarantor. I think he also got Peter’s drums for him, too. He was always a stout supporter and motivator for the band as he was a drummer himself.
Peter: We bought our Strats in 1962. We bought the sunburst Strat first, and then the red Strat. In both cases, my father had to act as guarantor for the loans to buy the Strats. We paid 232 Pounds for each guitar – that was about AU$464.00 for each at that time [ed: roughly US$6000 today]. We put the Strats through a Fender Bandmaster amp. That was our sound at the time. We recorded “Bombora” and many of our earlier recordings using the Bandmaster amp and the Klemt Echolette for echo effects for the lead guitar. Both Theo and Jim used the Bandmaster for lead guitar. We bought the Fender Bandmaster at the same time we bought the Strats. We had no choice in the matter because Vox amps were not available at that time. The Echolettes we also bought in 1962. We had two of them. The Vox amps were bought later, probably 1964.
Jim: To the best of my memory, our Bandmaster only had one big speaker [ed: 12” tone-ring cab]. For a while it was the only amp we had, and both Theo and I played through it at the same time. Then we bought our first Vox amp, a piggyback AC-30, but it was really bassy. So we used the Fender for lead and the Vox for rhythm. Theo and I used to swap sides every time one of us had to play lead. Ahhh, the old days… lol!
Ivan: Are you saying that “Bombora” and those other early recordings were done with both Jim and Theo playing through the same amp?
Peter: Yes, that’s correct! They were both playing through the Bandmaster. I’m not sure which songs anymore, it’s been so long. I know this: “Moon Man”, “Dark Eyes”, “Bombora”, “Greensleeves”, “The Crusher” and “Hootenanny Stomp” were definitely recorded that way. I think the whole Bombora LP was recorded that way.
Ivan: How big of a deal was it to buy the Stratocasters and the Bandmaster? Fender instruments must have been very rare in Australia at that time.
Jim: Yes, they were, and it was a big deal. We had to order them from the States through a local shop here in Sydney, I think it was J Stanley Johnston’s. Of course, I ordered the Fiesta Red model. We were so excited when they called us and said the guitar had arrived, but that soon turned a bit sour when I discovered that they hadn’t sent a Fiesta Red but a Dakota Red. Still, it looked so mighty and new and exciting that I just kept it and used it – and still use it now. It is a 1961 pre-L Strat.
Get the magazines to read the full interview ……. www.doublecrownrecords.com