CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

THE MUSICAL

CRUISIN’ The Musical is undergoing a change, a change that brings it into line with current trends and protocols. We are updating the title, the script and the characters to make this show even better while retaining the original music score and songs which stand alone in this outstanding all Australian show.

Copyright 1990-2021 Rod Christian and Peter Waterman

For more information contact the Agent David Spicer Productions here:

https://www.davidspicer.com.au/shows/cruisin-musical

SYNOPSIS CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

Book, Music and Lyrics By

      Rod Christian and Peter Waterman

Ó 1990-2021

All Rights Reserved.

2016 Edit by Hal Davies

2021 Edit by Glenda Prideaux

Artwork by Gordon Mitchell, SPECARTS

This book belongs to David Spicer Productions.

www.davidspicer.com

P.O. Box 2280 Rose Bay North NSW 2030 AUSTRALIA

PHONE: 0422 307 700

Email: david@davidspicer.com

UNAUTHORISED PERFORMANCES of CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL are STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

This work is copyright Rod Christian and Peter Waterman. All rights reserved.

CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

            A MUSICAL IN TWO ACTS

THIS CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL is a vibrant, energetic and engaging musical story which follows a young Italian kid – VINNIE RUSSO – as he struggles to escape from his father’s expectations of him. Instead all Vinnie wants is to take his place in the late 1950’s world of motorbikes, rock and roll – and girls!

SYNOPSIS

ACT ONE – Scene 1

The Year is 1959. We are in Johnny Angel’s Rock ‘n Roll Club, a teenage hangout.

Johnny Di Macchio aka Johnny Angel is a streetwise character who ten years earlier managed to escape a potential career in crime in Italy by emigrating with his old friend, Vincenzo Russo to Australia. Resisting all efforts on the part of Vincenzo for him to join the Russo family business, Johnny has invested all his time, money and energy on a rundown eatery and milk bar in town and, to the dismay of his friend Vincenzo, has transformed it into a thriving rock ‘n roll venue. Here, Vinnie Russo, Vincenzo’s son, a 17-year-old high school student has a casual job as a cleaner and bottle washer at the club as well as juggling his time playing the accordion in his father’s wedding band. Unknown to most Vinnie has a secret ambition to play the lead guitar in a band and to that end has purchased an electric guitar with the money he has earned at the club. Johnny is proud to be staging the annual Battle of the Bands at his club for the first time with the grand final being held in a couple of weeks’ time on New Year’s Eve. This is a big event for Johnny and the success of the competition will ensure his club survives well into the future of this crazy Rock ‘n Roll phase. To renovate the club and stage the event Johnny has had to borrow a substantial sum of money from a local crime syndicate, and they now want the return of their money with interest– a major reason why Johnny has to make sure that the competition packs the club out. With everything resting on the local band Cruisin’ led by Phil Stanton (18) to attract the customers and become the resident band, Johnny is optimistic that for him and his club the sky’s the limit!

The action starts with the Cruisin’ band rehearsing on stage but Johnny is far from happy with what he hears and complains to Phil about his lousy guitar work. Vinnie looks on with more than an interest –wishing he could prove how good he is. Vinnie’s other interest in the club is Pamela, a beautiful blonde who works for Johnny. However, on more than one occasion Johnny has told Vinnie that Pamela is well and truly off limits because he sort of fancies her himself.

As well as the obvious rivalry between Phil and Vinnie over the guitar playing, Vinnie also has another issue with Phil as he suspects that his younger sister Maria is seeing Phil behind their parents’ back – something that concerns Vinnie a great deal.\

Scene 2

The Russo Home. It is early evening and Maria arrives home late from school. Rosa, her mother, has witnessed her being dropped off by Phil on his motorbike and is none too pleased. Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Vincenzo and Vinnie who are having a disagreement of their own. Vinnie is trying to persuade his father to let him play his guitar at the next Italian wedding they are performing at but Vincenzo is having none of it – The guitar is simply not an option! Vinnie is told that he must forget about his guitar playing and crazy rock ‘n roll music and settle down to build a future for himself – possibly with a University degree and a nice Italian girl -friend.

Scene 3

Maria has taken advantage of her father playing at Bianca and Gino’s wedding and has met Phil at the band’s hangout. Vinnie on his way to the wedding stops by to give Phil a good talking to about Maria and is shocked to find Maria with him. A fight breaks out between Phil and Vinnie with Vinnie coming off the worst.  Angry at each other, both Vinnie and Maria threaten to tell on each other to their father – Maria for seeing Phil and Vinnie for planning to play guitar in a band. For the moment there is a stale mate between them as Vinnie takes off to lick his wounds.

Scene 4

Bianca and Gino’s Wedding Reception. The reception is in full swing when Vinnie arrives, all dishevelled and with a bloody nose. Vincenzo is angry because he thinks Vinnie is letting down the Russo good name and sends him off to get cleaned up. When Vinnie returns to play his accordion, his downcast mood soon picks up when he hears his father announce that Pamela is one of the bridesmaids and that she is going to sing the bridal couple’s favourite song. Vinnie is delighted when Pamela asks him to join in singing with her.

After the number the single girls line up for the catching of the bouquet tradition. It is caught by Giovanna, a rather large, young and plain looking Italian girl who Vincenzo thinks would make the ideal partner for his son. Thinking this might be a perfect opportunity for his son and Giovanna to get to know each other better he looks around for Vinnie but his son and Pamela are nowhere to be found. When he does eventually find them Vincenzo is furious with Vinnie’s attitude and grounds him for the next week.

Scene 5

It is the night of another Battle of the Bands Heat and a local band Johnny Tornado and the Hurricanes make a huge impression on the customers at Johnny’s. After being paid another visit by the two heavies from the local crime syndicate Johnny is getting desperate and gives Phil an ultimatum to find a better guitar player who will beat all the competition. Reluctantly Phil recommends Vinnie but tells Johnny that he won’t be able to come to the club because he has been grounded by his Dad for sneaking off with Pamela at the wedding. Johnny tells him that he will make things good with Vinnie’s Dad providing Phil gets Vinnie to the club in time for the next performance.

Scene 6

The Russo Home. Vincenzo and Rosa are having a quiet evening at home. Vinnie is in his bedroom supposedly studying but in fact he is practising madly with a tennis racquet in place of his confiscated guitar. Maria is spending the night at Giovanna’s. Vincenzo is not too happy when Phil arrives asking to see Vinnie and warns him about keeping away from his precious daughter, Maria. Phil finds Vinnie in his room and tells him about the situation at the club. Vinnie can hardly believe what he is hearing when Phil begs him to go with him and even promises to lend him his guitar for the gig. Eventually Vinnie agrees and arranges to meet Phil outside choosing to escape his confinement by going through his bedroom window. After Phil has left Vincenzo is incensed when he hears him roar off on his motorbike and tells Rosa he is going to have a man to man talk with Vinnie about the Phil and Maria situation. When he finds Vinnie’s room empty, Vincenzo is like a man possessed as he rushes from the house after his son.

Scene 7

Meanwhile back at Johnny’s club the patrons are getting restless waiting for the next band to perform. Among the customers are Maria and a very nervous Giovanna who have escaped from Giovanna’s house to catch the action at the club. Giovanna eventually starts to relax when the nerdy Neville takes an interest in her but she is ill-prepared when she is thrust on stage with Maria and Pamela as a fill-in group until Phil and Vinnie arrive. Their song is a huge success and finishes just as Vinnie gets there. Handed Phil’s prize guitar Vinnie goes on stage with the Cruisin’ band and blitzes the competition. The reception the band gets is overwhelming but not everyone is pleased with what they hear.

Vincenzo has arrived at the club and his worst fears are realised when he sees his son performing at Johnny’s Angels. The situation comes to a head when he orders Maria home, but she screams at Vincenzo to get away from her and rushes from the club followed by Vinnie.

          ACT TWO – Scene 1

Act Two commences as a continuation from the last scene of Act One. Rosa has followed Vincenzo to the Club and now rushes in and hears from Johnny and the ensemble what has happened. Furious with the questions he is being asked and frustrated by the whole situation, Vincenzo cries out in anguish and takes off to find his children.

Scene 2

Maria and Vinnie are sitting in a nearby park wondering what to do now. Maria is planning to spend the night at Pamela’s house while Vinnie’s only option is to ask Phil for help and go to the band’s hang-out. Hearing their parent’s calling off-stage, Maria and Vinnie take off arranging to meet the following morning. Vincenzo enters exhausted and near to breaking down as he thinks he has lost his children forever. Rosa and Johnny do their best to comfort him and to persuade him to allow the children more freedom and not to be tied down by the rigid traditions of the past. The mood lightens as the three friends start to reminisce about coming to Australia. Eventually Rosa persuades Vincenzo to come home with her and wait for the children there.

Scene 3

We see a very despondent Maria and Giovanna sitting in Pamela’s bedroom. Giovanna is particularly concerned about the punishment her parents are going to give her for sneaking out of the house and thinks that a life as a Nun in a convent would be preferable. This introduces some light-hearted banter between the girls which lifts their mood considerably. Pamela enters with the bad news that her parents have phoned Maria and Giovanna’s parents to let them know where they are. Awaiting their inevitable doom they decide to cheer themselves up by rehearsing another song to sing at Johnny Angel’s. Giovanna’s mother comes to take her home, as does Rosa to fetch Maria. Rosa is sympathetic with her daughter’s situation and lets her know that she is always there for her no matter what happens.

Scene 4

Vinnie has spent an uncomfortable night sleeping on an old mattress in the shack. Phil arrives with an uninspiring breakfast of donuts and is alarmed to hear that Vinnie is having second thoughts about playing in the final heat at the Club that evening. To make him see sense Phil blurts out about the nasty situation Johnny has got himself into with borrowing money and how much he needs the competition and the business it will bring in. Desperate to help, Vinnie rushes off to make amends with his Dad and to discuss what to do about the Johnny situation.

Maria arrives at the shack to tell Phil that her father has agreed to them seeing each other but before she can, Phil starts to make disparaging remarks about Vincenzo and threatens to deal with him should he stand in his way again. Not liking what she is hearing Maria takes off telling Phil she is having second thoughts about being his girlfriend.

Scene 5

Vincenzo is getting desperate waiting for Vinnie to return home. He wanders into Vinnie’s bedroom and starts to think over all the hopes and dreams he had for his children. Vinnie arrives and is reconciled with his father but then tells Vincenzo that he has some bad news about Johnny. Meanwhile in the kitchen Rosa is surprised when she sees Johnny at the back door. He has come to see if the children have come home and, more importantly, to see if Vinnie is going to be allowed to play in the band that night. Sensing that there is something wrong Rosa asks Johnny what is wrong but he shrugs it off as being nothing. When Vincenzo enters the room he makes Johnny confess what he has been up to and tells him how stupid he is to get involved with people like that again. Johnny is remorseful and promises not to do it again, convinced that a successful night at the club that evening will ensure the Club’s success well into the future. Vincenzo eventually agrees to let Vinnie play and hands him back his guitar.

Scene 6

It is New Year’s Eve at Johnny Angel’s and the final act is Cruisin’. Everyone is there to hear the band play including Vincenzo and Rosa. The band is a huge success and wins the whole competition. The excitement is interrupted by the arrival of a very glamorous Giovanna on the back of a Harley-Davidson motor bike. Giovanna has decided against a life in a convent and vows that for the New Year she will no more be a good Italian girl. Giovanna is a huge success with the boys, but she only has eyes for Neville. The party mood continues when an Elvis look-alike arrives on stage – to everyone’s surprise it is Vincenzo who announces that there’s no more Caruso for him, that from now on it is all Elvis. The Year 1960 is counted in. Everyone is reunited and the mood is one of great celebration for all the exciting changes the New Year will bring. Music has become the instrument of reconciliation – bridging the generation gap and creating a new cultural harmony – and optimism for the future.

CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

CHARACTER SYNOPSIS

PRINCIPALS:

VINCENZO RUSSO: [BARITONE]

(Papa) Italian, Mid 40s, ruggedly handsome features. Quick tempered, domineering and set in his ways, but also has a humorous side to his character. He is a traditional Italian musician and operates a smallgoods business. His family comes first!

ROSA RUSSO: [SOPRANO]

(His wife) Italian, late 30s, compassionate, well -meaning. Her family is foremost in her life. Loving wife to Vincenzo, very protective of her children. Gentle, sincere and has a hidden sense of humour.

VINNIE RUSSO: [TENOR]

Age 17, background Italian. Feisty, good looking. Loves girls, Elvis, Rock and Roll and guitars. Wants to realize an ambition to become lead singer of the CRUISIN’ band. Desperately wants to “fit in” with the new teenage rock and roll scene. Very musically talented. He has aspirations to “reach the stars”.

MARIA RUSSO: [SOPRANO]

Age 16. Pretty, background Italian.

On the surface, seems innocent but loves boys, music and dancing.

She is the apple of her mother’s eye. She is also very musical and fashion conscious.

JOHNNY ANGEL: [TENOR]

Mid 30s, (real name Johnny Di Maccio), originally a friend of the Russo family. He is “street wise” with “connections”! He is clever at manipulating people.

PAMELA SANDERSON: [ALTO/SOPRANO]

Age 17, blonde, blue – eyed and gorgeous. Pamela is a trend setter, right up with the latest fashions and worldly. She is an outstanding singer and dancer. She falls for Vinnie.

GIOVANNA PAPARDE: [ALTO]

Age 16. Very large, plain girl with glasses and an abundance of black hair. She is the “Good Italian Girl” in Papa’s dream and the perfect match for his son VINNIE. She is initially shy and reserved with a hidden sense of humour.

PHIL STANTON: [TENOR]

Age 18, a “Bodgie”. Rides a Harley Davidson and hangs out at the Dynamite Shack, the bikies’ clubhouse. PHIL is rugged and good looking in his own way. Has more than a passing interest in Maria. Leads the CRUISIN’ band.

MINOR CHARACTER ROLES and EXTRAS.

NEVILLE

Age 18. Very nerdy, tall guy. Lusts after Giovanna.

CARMELLA

Giovanna’s Mother

MAN #1

Underworld Heavy type

MAN #2

Underworld Heavy type

BIANCO and GINO

Bride and Groom

CHORUS OF SINGERS AND DANCERS (as many as possible)

These need to be a mixture of ages ranging from 16 to 60. They play the Club’s patrons, workers, band member’s relatives, and relatives and friends at the wedding of Bianca and Gino.

CRUISIN’ BAND – Guitar, TONY, Bass, VINCE, Drums with PHIL out front as guitarist/vocalist

RIVAL BAND: Johnny Tornado and the Hurricanes – Guitar, Double Bass and Drums with JOHNNY as lead vocalist.

WEDDING BAND: MARIO, organ and TONY, drums.

ORCHESTRA: 13 piece. Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Trumpet 1 Trumpet 2, Trombone, Piano, Keyboard, Bass, Guitar and Drums.

Professional scores for all instruments, including complete Conductor’s Score.

Vocal rehearsal score with piano accompaniment.

CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

SCENES AND MUSICAL NUMBERS

OVERTURE

ACT 1

SCENE 1:      JOHNNY ANGEL’S ROCK ‘N ROLL CLUB

#1 – Cruisin’ – Phil and the Band

SCENE 2:      THE RUSSO HOME

#2 – Good Italian Girl – Vincenzo and Rosa

#3 – Holding Onto a Dream – Vinnie and Rosa

SCENE 3:      THE DYNAMNITE SHACK

#4 – Listen To Your Heart – Phil and Maria

SCENE 4:      BIANCA AND GINO’S WEDDING

#5 – Rejoice – Vincenzo and Ensemble

#6 – When a Boy Meets a Girl – Pamela and Vinnie

#7 – Someone in the Crowd – Vinnie and Pamela

SCENE 5:      JOHNNY ANGEL’S

#8 – Bet Your Heart on Me – Johnny Tornado and the Hurricanes

SCENE 6:      THE RUSSO HOME

SCENE 7:      JOHNNY ANGEL’S

#9 –     Boys Were Made to Hug and Kiss – Pamela, Maria and Giovanna

#10 –   Can You Really Dig? – Johnny, Vinnie, Phil and the Band

#11-     Get Back! – Vincenzo, Johnny, Vinnie and Ensemble

INTERVAL

ACT 2

SCENE 1:      JOHNNY ANGEL’S

#12 – What’s He Gonna Do? – Johnny, Rosa, Vincenzo and Ensemble

SCENE 2:      A PARK

#13 – Don’t Cry For Me – Vinnie and Maria

SCENE 3:      PAMELA’S BEDROOM

#14 – If That Boy Only Knew – Pamela, Maria and Giovanna

#15 – It Takes A Woman – Rosa and Maria

SCENE 4:      THE DYNAMITE SHACK

#16 – Don’t Break My Heart – Phil

SCENE 5:      THE RUSSO HOME

#17 – I Had A Dream – Vincenzo

#18 – This Crazy Rock ‘N Roll – Johnny, Vincenzo and Rosa

SCENE 6:      JOHNNY ANGEL’S

#19 – Cruisin’ – Vinnie, Phil and Ensemble

#20 – No More Good Italian Girl – Giovanna and Neville.

#21 – Goodbye Caruso, Hello Elvis – Vincenzo, Vinnie and Ensemble

#22 – Celebrate – Vincenzo, Rosa, Cast and Ensemble

#23 – Cruisin’ – Ensemble

Bookings/Inquiries: David Spicer Productions:

https://www.davidspicer.com.au/shows/cruisin-musical

ULURU SUITE for Orchestra and Chorus

I Rod Christian, composer of the composition ULURU SUITE for ORCHESTRA and CHORUS, acknowledge the Anangu people, Traditional Custodians of this sacred land titled Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, their language Pitjantatjara and their culture and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. 

 

In this composition, ULURU SUITE for Orchestra and Chorus, I have tried to encompass the early beginnings of ULURU through to the present day, the spectacular sunrises and sunsets, the bird and animal life there, the spiritual connections, the sometimes relentless harshness of the heat, the storms and remoteness of the area.

Above all, I have paid tribute to the beauty and the spirit of this sacred place where the Indigenous Anangu people traversed the song lines of their land and settled here some 20,000 years or more ago. The choral section relates this story and talks about the language, the legends and the meanings of the Anangu language.The orchestral prelude depicts the beginnings of time when Uluru was first formed, the sunrise, the bird life and the call of the spirits.

First conceived from early December 2014 as a choral work for SSA voices and piano.

In December 2016 I composed the Prelude to the choral work for full orchestra and the choral section. I used Logic X and East West Symphonic Orchestra and featured is Chelsea J Gibson on vocals. Joining her is Justin Freind Tenor and Perry Joyce, Bass. 
In 2018 I completed the Second Movement to this work. This is an Andante piece and represents Kata Tjuta, the National Park where Uluru is situated.

In 2019 I began work on the Finale which sums up the beauty and at the same time the harshness of this beautiful landscape, sacred to the Indigenous Anangu people of this area. 

I am currently working with theAustralian Government andthe  Elders of the Anangu  to obtain permission to perform this work in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANZAC DAY 2020 Virtual Choir Tribute

This is the page where you can access the Virtual Choir link to my Anzac Day Tribute 2020

This is a tribute to my parents on Anzac Day 2020. I formed a “Virtual Choir” to perform two of the songs from MATES and then collated each person’s contribution on video to present this tribute which is released here on Anzac Day 2020. I would like to thank all who contributed to this project.

Access the video here:

https://youtu.be/nVKjg040shs

This goes live on Anzac Day, Saturday 25 April 2020

I would like to thank all of the singers and artists who took part, contributing all their videos and singing their hearts out. The result is overwhelming. These people are all listed below.

VIRTUAL CHOIR ANZAC DAY TRIBUTE 2020

SOPRANOS

Gloria McQuillan   Heather Ryan    Amber Reid   Chelsea Gibson    Mim Meakin                       Shirley Lizza   Briony Barratt    Elizabeth Boothman   Jenny Vivian   Sue Lake   Bev Thornton  Susan Yong   Katherine Freind  Katrina de Felice

ALTOS

Katie McMahon Melissa Gall   Deb Rimmer   Hayley Martin   Sarah White   

TENORS 

Perry Joyce    Glenda Prideaux   Luke Joslin   Justin Freind   Pat O’Connell  Trevor Gibson   Josh White  Greg Spehr Jacynth Cox Trevor Gibson

BASSES      

Hugh Robertson   Ed Hartley   Kevin Holloway   John Ariaans   Ray Parr                                  Greg Rimmer   Kim Shearman   Peter Hurst    

TRUMPET  The Last Post and Reveille   

Betty Young

Simply All The Best Choir (SATB)

Rod Christian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My name is ROD CHRISTIAN and I ran a very successful choir, the Rejoyce Choir with Perry Joyce for three years at U.W.A. I have an extensive musical background including music teaching in high schools directing  bands, ensembles and choirs for over thirty years. My new choir venture is titled Simply All The Best (SATB). I have named the choir this as we will only perform classic songs from the best of the repertoire of pop jazz and musical theatre. Some of these are my personal compositions and arrangements. The repertoire will include songs from my musical theatre repertoire to be performed in concert. Choristers will need to have had some musical knowledge and should have some basic knowledge of reading choir music. Selection will be done at an informal audition. Glenda will be the administrator and will handle all queries enrolments, fees, music books and notices to go to the choir. she can be reached at glam2704@yahoo.com At this stage we will be rehearsing in the Post Newspaper building in Onslow Road Shenton Park on a Thursday evening starting at 7 pm until 9:00pm and following school terms, with breaks for the holidays. A normal term will be 10 weeks in duration at a cost of $15 per person per week. This is to be paid by the term in advance. This fee covers all music and coffee, tea and refreshments during the break. This will be an exciting choir and an opportunity to meet like minded people who love music, singing and belonging to a community choir. The Subiaco Post which is run by my brother Bret will provide all the advertising and articles for choir events. I will be calling for auditions in January so please register your interest by emailing Glenda for more details.glam2704@yahoo.com

So if you are a soprano, alto, tenor or bass we need you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. 
Rod Christian (Director) and Glenda Prideaux (Administrator)

E mail

glam2704@yahoo.com

“MATES” a WW II Musical.

Yvonne Antoine at work in Print Hall WA Newspaper House. circa 1936

Yvonne Antoine at work in Print Hall WA Newspaper House. circa 1936

 

Yvonne at age 98.Photo taken in 2016

Yvonne at age 98.Photo taken in 2016

 

 

This is a fascinating story about my parents, Ron and Yvonne Christian (nee Antoine) set during World War 2. They met in 1935 while both working at The West Australian Newspaper and the rest, as they say, is history.
I took mum (100 years old March 2018) to see the Print Hall and she showed me exactly where the pay window was and can remember everything very well. I decided five years ago to write my next big musical based on their story, which from that point in 1935 is so interesting.
I have been interviewing my mother in short sessions for the past 7 years, from 2012-2017. She is still very alert now at 102 years of age in 2020, and her memory is still okay. The musical “MATES” is now completed after eight years work. 18 original songs are featured in this musical set during WWII, 1939-1945.

Print Hall 2013-1

 

 

 

 

 

Newspaper House Clock

Yvonne Antoine in the VAD Uniform 1941

Yvonne Antoine in the VAD Uniform 1941

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VAD contingent Perth 1939

 

2/16 Battalion WW2

Captain Ron Christian WX3093 M.C.and Bar 2/16 Battalion

Yvonne Antoine WW2 copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Military Cross Citation

Military Cross Citation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mum was a pay clerk at the West Australian Newspaper office at 125 St Georges Terrace. Dad was lining up for his pay in Print Hall (which has recently been restored to its original condition).

I took mum (who turned100 years old March 2018) to see the Print Hall and she showed me exactly where the pay window was and can remember everything very well. I decided seven years ago to write my next big musical based on their story, which from that point in 1935 is so interesting.

Photos and Articles from WW2.

RH Christian-MCRH Christian-BarTimeline:

My parents eventually fell in love.

Mum joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment (Dalkeith) in about 1935/1937.

Dad proposed to Mum at the Embassy Ballroom in William Street Perth in 1939 just as WW2 was declared.This is a scene from the musical where the action is down at the Embassy Ballroom in William St Perth WA.
This is the song “Saturday Night.” The Embassy Ballroom is packed with people who are out for a good time trying to forget about the impending war ahead. Ron, Yvonne and Bret Langridge are there along with their friends enjoying the music and dancing. There are three girls out front of a big dance band and they are singing the song.

“SATURDAY NIGHT.”

Click here:

https://youtu.be/4xdq0nwhSi4

Dad’s best mate, Bret Langridge, was also keen on mum.
Dad and Bret joined the 2/16th Battalion when war broke out and went to train at Northam Army Barracks. They were subsequently sent to Syria in the Middle East in 1941.
In 1941 Mum was was one of those from her VAD detachment who volunteered for service in the Middle East. She was attached to the 7th AGH and travelled on the Queen Mary. She was later also attached to the 6th AGH.
Dad heard she was there and came down from the battlefields to the makeshift hospital where mum was stationed. They spent their “day off” together in Palestine. Bret Langridge was also there.
It was then they began planning a wedding, and Dad was keen to have it at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Dad’s Battalion was then brought home by Curtin to defend Australia. He went to Queensland where he trained with the 2/16 Batallion for New Guinea.
Mum stayed in the Middle East until February 1943 when her detachment returned to Perth. Dad returned briefly from New Guinea where he had been an integral part of the Kokoda Campaign as a Captain of the 7th Division 2/16 Battalion. He won his first Military Cross for bravery at Isurava/Abuwari when he helped plan the attack on Shaggy Ridge north of Kokoda and defeated a Japanese advancing party “with only the remnants of his platoon.”

 

 

 

“BRIGADE HILL on Kokoda” c. Rod Christian 2017.

This is the music that accompanies the scene in the musical.

Bret Langridge was killed at Kokoda – he and Dad had been close friends. They both became Captains and both contributed a lot to the successes of the campaign.

Bret had intimated to mum that if anything ever happened to Dad, he would look after Mum.
The irony is that Bret was killed in new Guinea and dad never got over it.

WHY SO YOUNG” copyright Rod Christian 2016

This is a song featured in my new WW2 musical, “MATES!” based on my parents’ life experiences during WW2. The song is about a father longing for his son, Bret Langridge to return from war. He has been called to duty on the Kokoda Track in New Guinea in the 2/16th Battalion. The father is writing a letter to Bret asking the question “Why So Young”- my only son! Bret is sitting on his stretcher bed and replies to his father’s letter. Bret’s sister Joan also joins in the song. The trio captures a moment in the musical where we question whether Bret will indeed make it home.

This is a video extract of the song which featured in a recent showcase of MATES.

Bret is killed in action on Kokoda the very next day! The REQUIEM scene in the musical is where he is formally buried in Port Moresby New Guinea.

I have set “THE ODE” by Laurence Binyon to a SATB chorale.

This is from Scene 12 in Act 2. Vocalist Perry Joyce.

 

When the Kokoda Campaign had finished, he returned home briefly to Perth where he married mum at Star Of The Sea Church in Cottesloe on 26 February 1943. See AWM website reference here: AWM website.

This is the wedding song my father sings to my mother at the wedding ceremony. It is titled “Another Chapter, Another Page.” The artists on the recording are West Australian vocalists Louise Anton Miller and Perry Joyce.

 

She had brought Egyptian lace home from the Middle East, and her boss at WAN got last-minute permission from the Minister for the Army to be married out of uniform. This story was carried by the West Australian Newspaper and she had many offers from dressmakers to make her wedding dress in time for her wedding.

After the gruelling Kokoda Campaign, the Battalion was sent to Borneo to further stop the Japanese at Balikpapan, and Dad won his second Militay Cross for bravery.
Mum went back to work and transferred to the commercial staff as Secretary to the CO of Hollywood Hospital.

This is a very telling story about my parents’ early lives together. Recently the family came across some actual footage of the events at Kokoda on an ATN Channel 7 film made back in the 50s. Dad is actually interviewed on this programme which I have restored to DVD. It is a fascinating account from various people who served in the Middle East and in New Guinea. Please view this here. We Were Anzacs 1956.

Please also see photos taken by Yvonne Antoine in the Middle East on the AWM website.

“Song for WESTERN AUSTRALIA” for SCHOOLS

The Mt Pleasant Primary School Choir with Director Ms Jenny Coleman and Composer Rod Christian

The Mt Pleasant Primary School Choir with Director Ms Jenny Coleman and Composer Rod Christian

Year 4/5 Class Poseidon Primary School with Marie Paragelli and Rod Christian Composer.

Year 4/5 Class Poseidon Primary School with Marie Paragelli and Rod Christian Composer.

Hello Primary and Secondary music teachers. This song is gaining momentum and popularity in WA schools and choirs. Recently 4 Primary schools, Leeming Primary School, Mt Pleasant Primary School, Creaney Primary School and Poseidon Primary School in Heathridge performed Western Australia at their assemblies. The reaction was amazing, so much so, I have decided to publish the work so that all schools and colleges and choirs can access the song. You can now purchase the song in single or two part harmony complete with piano score and full backing track. The package now available is. 1. A full backing track. 2. A complete piano/ guitar/vocal score. 3. A video of the song that can be projected on an AV screen while the song is performed.This appears below featuring extracts from the video.  Total cost is on application, depending on your requirements. This also covers the copyright for reproducing multiple copies of the score. Please contact me here directly for more details: rodmusic@bigpond.com

I will invoice your organisation and send the package to you on receipt of payment.

I have just completed a recording of the choir at Mt Pleasant Primary School singing “Western Australia” under the direction of  Ms Jenny Coleman. View the video below:

Click here to view the first two pages of the score.

WA Song SAMPLE Pages 1-2

Lyrics reproduced below:

WESTERN AUSTRALIA Lyrics Copyright 2007 Rod Christian

Listen to and watch excerpts from the video featuring Courtney Murphy on vocals.

Karri Valley / Margaret River Suite

Voyager Margaret RiverI am working on a piece called the Karri Valley/Margaret River Suite which I started way back in 1990. This was inspired by a number of visits to these places including wineries such as Voyage (see picture),and my impressions musically of certain landmarks (Karri Forest Pemberton WA).The second movement of six movements is scored for piano, strings and oboe. The genre is contemporary Jazz and the influences are from my rock/jazz days as a performer on guitar, bass, piano/keyboards and percussion. The medium I use for the sequenced backing is Logic Pro X as well as live performers, namely Roger Garrood, Paul Millard and Mike Collinson to name a few. Featured is the Second Movement titled “Tranquillo” which reflects the tranquility and beauty of the Karri Valley near Pemberton Western Australia.

[mp3j track=”KV.mp3″ title=”Click to play track here:”]

Video:

Songwriting and Publishing

Rod Christian

I compose music from a variety of genres including pop, r&b, rock, jazz, contemporary, dance, classical, film, documentaries and commercials. There are two main sites where you can log in.

Press play to hear my latest additions at Soundcloud 

 

Search Reverbnation artist – Rod Christian. I publish songs under my own label Yendor Music. Contact me direct through this website or on Facebook.

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Music for Film

In my recording studio Hotel Sorrento.

In my recording studio Hotel Sorrento.

I am currently writing/producing/ recording/ maketing my songs and pitching them to major movie and advertising clients all over the world.
At present two of my songs, “Just In Time” and “Tranquillo”, an instrumental composition for oboe, piano and strings are being considered for an advertising campaign and a major motion picture in the US.”Just In Time” has just been selected by WOA records on thier No 1 hits CD Volume 4 which will be distributed to radio networks and played all over the world.
These compositions can be heard on my reverbnation website here. reverbnation website

Flashback Rock ‘n Roll Showband

Flashback Showband Red Herring 1998

Flashback Rock ‘n Roll Showband was formed in 1988 with fellow musician and friend Peter Waterman. Peter and Rod were already discussing writing a musical Cruisin’ at this stage of their respective teaching careers. This became a reality in 1995 with the first production at the Dolphin Theatre University of Western Australia. The band Flashback was very popular as a corporate band and provided backing for much of the development of Cruisin’ the Musical in the early stages. Regular appearances at the Parmelia Hotel Christmas shows and New Years Eve were highlights of the band’s success.Members of the band: Rod Christian Lead Guitar/Vocals, Peter Waterman Lead Vocals/Guitar, Trevor Cooksley (dec.) Piano/Keyboards/Vocals, Paul Millard Saxes/Flute, Norman Buchanan Drums/Vocals.