Tag Archives: Brian Cadd

Brian Cadd, true legend of Aussie rock.

Brian Cadd.

Few if any Australian artists have had as long and varied a career as Brian Cadd. From No 1 hits, to film soundtracks, from performing, to recording and songwriting for the likes of John Farnham, Donna Summer, and a host of other household names, as well as touring and recording both in bands and in a solid solo career, this man has done it all.
Born in Perth, Western Australia, he was the first born son of a soprano singer who suffered from stage fright, and, when Brian showed an interest in music by ‘plunking away on an old piano’, she became the Stage Mum cliche that we are so familiar with, and signed him up for everything that she could.

This led to an audition for a band that eventually secured a regular slot on Perth’s newly birthed Channel 7 T.V. show, ‘Children’s Channel 7.’
“I first editioned for a New years eve family show on Channel 7. I was terrified. I don’t remember much about the night but we got a call the next week from one of the producers at Channel 7, saying they wanted to keep our little band together, so I was on television every week. After doing that for a year, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was only about 12 at the time.”

Brian had a couple of early attempts to crack the American market as a performer, but it was as a songwriter that he made waves.

“As a wave of people started moving towards America,it didn’t matter to any great degree what you did. As long as you did something, you would touch part of the American industry. Even if a songwriter wrote 1 or 2 songs, and they made it on to radio, or even an album, that was one step forward for Australians as a whole. Back then, there weren’t very many Aussie writers, so every little bit made a difference.”
“ That changed in the 70s, when as more and more Australians went there and worked, the industry became very much more aware of us and the great , untapped pool of talent that was here in Australia”.

Some songwriters draw on real events and real people, while others are able to paint a picture that is honest and authentic by putting themselves in other people’s shoes.

“ I’ve gotta say, very few songs I have written out of the 400 or so in my metaphorical bag of tricks, are actually about someone real. Having said that, I am very aware that even if the song isn’t about you or your personal experiences, as long as you get the story right…as long as you get the truth..(Brian emphasises the word ‘truth’) it will resonate with the audience.”
“One thing I realised about Country music at a very early age (I think I was about 8) was the value of absolute truth. If you say something to an audience, and it is the absolute truth, and they need to hear that,then it will be a truth to them”

Over a career that has spanned 6 decades, Brian has performed in almost every venue and situation imaginable. The big shows and the smaller ones hold equal importance in his heart.

“The best shows can be huge or small. I love the intense moments looking out at thousands of people, where you can only see the first 50 rows or so, and the rest of the crowd just disappears .They just look like ants. The energy is amazing.. You never get used to it. Equally enjoyable are the more intimate shows, where there is no fourth wall. The audience is as much a part of the show as you are. There is no divide. Some were in old ex theaters, for example. They are some of the most memorable. That connection with the audience is something special.”

Not just a performer and songwriter, Brian has worked on soundtracks for quite a number of films, first in Australia, then in the U.S.A.

“The first film I did was ‘Alvin Purple’. It was a very important film for the time, because A. it was very successful and B. It was very naughty. There weren’t many films at the time that were allowed to be naughty. What made it so great was , I think the sum was greater than the parts. Apart from the actors and actresses, not many people, including myself, actually knew how it was done. They were just winging it. They were just cowboys, ya know. They were running on instinct. It was a lot of fun, because there wasn’t someone standing over you saying ‘I want a bit more of this and a bit less of that, and I hate the chord you used there’. It was absolute freedom. I enjoyed films. Although I enjoyed them, I think i would rather just write songs for movies than write scores

The new album, ‘Dream Train’ is noticeably more country in flavour than much of Brian’s previous efforts. This happened almost by accident..

“Even though I started out writing country music when I was very young, I’ve always been on the rock side of things , so it never occurred to me that country was something that I wanted to do. Then, last year, I went to the record label and said ‘Its about time for a new album’. I just did my usual thing and rounded up a couple of songs to see what I could come up with. After a few weeks, I looked in my metaphorical bag, and thought ‘These songs all fit together really well, but they’re really kinda country’.I had moved back from New York to the Gold Coast, and I found this studio, ran by an absolute lunatic named Watto, who was just brilliant, and he rounded up a crew of phenomenal musicians that were some of the best that Australian Country music has to offer, and they had all gravitated to this studio. I thought that was too much of a coincidence.
“We started recording, and it was just extraordinary.”

Brian has played Cairns many times in the past, and is enthusiastic about his upcoming gig.

“I love Cairns. I have loved it since way back. The audiences up there love their music, and they’re not afraid to say it loud. I always have a great time in Cairns. I’m bringing ‘The Desperadoes’ with me. It’s going to be a big night .I’m excited. The boys are excited. We even have clean underwear and everything”

You can catch this legend of Australian music at Cairns Performing Arts Centre this Saturday, July 13th. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8pm. This is your chance to see a true Australian musical icon.

Tickets are available through TicketLink.

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