They Dont Make Them Like They Used To

The other week my partner and I went to see some live music.

We went to the Flying Saucer Club at the Caulfield RSL.

Just like the wineries have worked out there is a dearth of live music, so have a couple of RSL’s in old Melbourne town. Caulfield and Oakleigh (The Caravan Club) have started to bring back some live music.

Performing were Jon English and Peter Cupples.

Upon taking our seats at the base of the stage (seats yes, we are nearing 50), on a communal table, I heard a comment from a “chap” as he also took his seat and the backing band came out on stage, “Geez the band look old”. I looked around and had a good look at the crowd. Mate, I felt like saying, have a look around, everyone is old, including yourself!

The partner, having had some significant admiration for the tall dark haired chap since he played the odd one out in Jesus Christ Superstar, was chuffed to be sitting at his feet. Onto the stage he strode, dishevelled, dark eyes, headband (up there with Dennis Lillee, Pat Cash and Mark Knopfler as a famous headband wearer) and guitar. Gravelly voice and schooner by his side.

Next to the big man was the somewhat impish Peter Cupples, looking incredibly like James Brayshaw, but with a slightly more weathered and realistic face. I have to admit, I can’t recall him singing this well when he fronted Stylus, but then again, I can’t remember much from those nights.
On to stage they came at 8.40pm (yes we are all old) and straight into it. Through the hits of yester year they went. There was a fair bit of banter and piss taking along the way, at their expense, at the industries expense and at the audiences’ expense. But through it all good humour, good vibes and taking the punters back 25 years to when life was simpler, worries were less and we were all a bit younger.

It was pure entertainment. Gone were the screaming girls (almost) and the rock star lifestyle. But it had morphed into a comfortable time where the music and lyrics could be appreciated and where we could laugh at the lame jokes and reminisce of the times gone by.

Sadly I saw the news today that he has tragically passed away and his circle of life has been completed.

He was a true entertainer Jon English, from singer to stage to TV to the local RSL. It is a circle of a career that we most follow in some form. It is the circle of life.

We are glad we had one last chance to see a great entertainer.


A mediocre local sportsman now paying for the sins of the past. Golf and walking the only options. As JTH said, you are not a golfer if you cant shoot under 85. Im not a golfer


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Thank you. Lovely thinking about all the great memories of this great entertainer and musician. Another legend hits the dust and will always be remembered.

  2. Andrew Starkie says

    Great tribute, Aussiegus. Yeah, another day, another rocker passes on. Loved JE’s TV mini-series work. And his voice, of course. Gravelly, with a fair bit of the morning after.

    I’m currently reading Jeff Apter’s bio on Johnny O’keefe. Very interesting account of early R&R. Apter’s books on Australian musicians are excellent.

  3. Scott McIntyre says

    Nice tribute, aussiegus. Jon English always seemed like such a genuinely warm and funny bloke, and all the tributes I have heard have emphasised his generosity and good nature.

    I have always admired his ability and willingness to have a go at different things over the course of a long career in entertainment. From being a frontman in a band to being a solo artist, an actor in historical dramas, a performer in musicals, starring in a highly successful sitcom – even some long runs in Gilbert & Sullivan. He was the kind of old-fashioned generalist performer who, regrettably, seems to be disappearing from our culture.

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