1974 to 1976
Failing to turn up to his 5th form (Year 11) exams in 1973 at Springvale High School, Stuart Grant, along with 6 others from his year, repeated 5th form in 1974. This is the same year that Denise Rosenberg does 5th form and they start a 12-year relationship. Frank Lovece completed 6th form in 1974 and by 1975 was doing 1st year at Latrobe University. Dave Light left Springvale High School in 1973 to begin an apprenticeship in the Printing industry.
They all went to Springvale High school, but it was at Jim Addison's bungalow
Stuart singing "Tonight will be fine" in Jim's bungalow, Springvale 1975.
Denise's memories about Jim's bungalow in a 2017 talk from a Why Punk event at MPavilion.
their matriculation (year 12) at Springvale High school, Stuart and Denise moved to
get as far away from Springvale as possible (plus Stuart and Jim
Addison tried their
hands at grape picking in the Barossa Valley, which lasted about 2
comes over to visit occasionally but spends a great part of 1976 in New
by an appearance by The Damned (or the Saints?) on Countdown,
Stuart and Denise moved back to Melbourne, and along with Frank and Dave
a house at 72 Park Street St. Kilda and decided to form a band. Stuart,
and a guitarist friend called Rob formed The Moths, who played once at a
BBQ/Party/Cricket match in Cranbourne, Victoria to an unappreciative
of hippies. Denise started work in the office of the
photocopying/printing department at BHP (a job the dole office got her
because she could type - she could never get the "artist" dole pension
$50 a week due to her two years of typing classes at high school).
Thank you BHP for printing all the band posters and single covers as
Next door neighbour Steve Hill (original singer of Skyhooks and then Manager of Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons) moved into the "punk" house at 72 Park Street after being evicted and advised them to keep away from the "business". They ignored his advice and proceeded with their living room band practice, much to the disgust of the neighbours, including racing car driver Peter Brock. At Steve's farewell party to Melbourne, before he moved back to Sydney, to get rid of the ageing rock stars (including Red Symons) and hangers on who fill their house, they played the new "Suicide" LP, loud, and the house clears in 15 minutes.
1977 to 1978
Frank and Dave turned up to "Punk
Gunk" street gig in Carlton wanting to play, but they are dismissed by
other bands playing, not wanting to lend their instruments to the
Moths. The punks are horrified by a very drunk Stuart and Frank, who
smashing empty bottles on the street.
Dave and Denise (Frank moves to Sydney for
12 months) moved into a shop front residence at 246 Johnston Street
Fitzroy and set
up their expanding musical equipment in the front room. The instruments
of guitar (Stuart), bass (Dave), synthesiser and electric organ
drums (Dave Barnes) Their drummer, Dave B., also from high school, was
stop playing so much and keep it simple.
To simplify their style even more, the drums were replaced with a Roland Compurythym drum machine. Dave B., the drummer, left the band, not happy with the new instrument.
The band name was changed to the Primitive Calculators. They played their first gig at a party in Carlton, where they met Ollie Olsen and John Murphy and were asked to support their band Whirlywirld. Ollie said to Stuart "Hi, I'm your new friend. Where do you live? I'll be around." Ollie came to Johnston Street, Fitzroy a week later.
1979 to 1980
Dave Barnes replaced by the drum machine, Jim Addison was
roped into becoming the drum machine operator, but only played twice,
stage fright. During Jim's second gig, at the Universal Workshop in
Street Fitzroy, the plug was pulled on the band as they were too noisy
Frank returned from Sydney and replaced Jim. He also sung backup vocals and contributed words to new songs. Dave Light replaced his bass guitar with a Wasp synthesizer. Numerous effects pedals were used on all equipment and sound was blasted out of Marshall 50-watt amps.
Denise and Dave moved to another shop front
dwelling at 530 Nicholson Street, North Fitzroy and Ollie, Arne Hanna,
Matthew Errey and Lawton Ellery moved in next door 6 months later.
On May 15th, 1979 the Calculators supported Whirlywirld upstairs at the Crystal Ballroom. After the performance Denise was kissed on the hand by Daniel from Pipe Import Records who proclaimed that she was the first female synthesizer player he had ever heard of.
On July 2nd, they were back at the Ballroom, and the gig was recorded by 3RRR in a Live to Air Almost recording.
track tape was recorded in an outside recording van, but the production
their hands in the air and refused to mix such a weird noise. The tape
disappeared from 3RRR soon after the performance.
live version of "Glitter Kids"
(recorded by Dean Richards from Whirlywirld) was included in the Fast
and the Calculators drove up to Sydney
for their first and only national gig, and played at Rags (Chequers),
grand venue used by Frank Sinatra in the 1950s but in 1979 a rundown dump.
They didn't stay overnight, but drove back to Melbourne straight after
of the Calculators used their equipment and practiced in their front room
most of the day and late into the night. The Calculators decided to use
friends as support acts, as life was much simpler setting up only one
equipment during gigs and the Calculators only had a 30 minute set. An
emphasis was placed on "disposable bands" i.e. play once or twice and
reform into something completely different. All the Calculators formed
little band or played in other little bands.
"Little Band" nights were occassionally held at the Champion Hotel and unknown people start turning up to play their 3 song or 15-minute sets. No major damage to Calculators equipment was experienced, except for the odd broken guitar string.On March 7th, 1980 Denise and Marisa Stirpe left Melbourne to travel to Europe. Stuart left 6 weeks later and joined Denise in London, then after discovering how shit it was there, they moved to Haarlem in Holland as they both had EU passports and could get work there.
January 1st or 2nd, 1979
Party for Therese in Carlton where the band meet Ollie Olsen and John Murphy
2 gigs played at Universal Workshop, Fitzroy but 2nd one is cut short due to annoyed shopkeepers asking management to pull the plug, which they did.
This is an advertisement for the venue.
May 15, 1979
First gig at Crystal Ballroom, St.Kilda supporting Whirlywirld.
July 2nd 1979
Crystal Ballroom. recorded by 3RRR.
Recording of the Calculators was halted by an annoyed recording engineer in the van outside, and tape of the evening seems to have disappeared.
July 6, 1979
All Saints Hall, Fitzroy with MYL and PopGunMen
September 7th 1979
Hearts, Carlton, supporting Boys Next Door
September 15th, 1979 Star Club, downstairs Crystal Ballroom
September 26th, 1979
Exford Hotel, with MYL
Link to Alan Bamford review here.
18th October, 1979
Champion Hotel, supported by Little Bands
October 27th, 1979
November 2nd and 9th, 1979
December 19th, 1979
Champion Hotel, Fitzroy, Little Band night, EP launch
|December 31st, 1979 - Champion Hotel, Fitzroy, then Crystal Ballroom, St.Kilda
February 3rd, 1980
Champion Hotel, Fitzroy Little Band night
|February 6th, 1980
Exford Hotel, City
February 7th, 1980
Champion Hotel, Fitzroy
|February 23rd, 1980
Paradise Lounge, Crystal Ballroom
March 5th, 1980
Paradise Lounge, Crystal Ballroom
Family tree done by Denise in 1986