"GOD" by Coloured Balls - proof the studio recording existed!

"GOD" by Coloured Balls - proof the studio recording existed!

Posted 15 May 2017

 

The first part’s about a year long, the second part’s about four years long…” - The Coloured Balls record "GOD"

This is wild. One of the most legendary Aussie bands of the ‘70s was the Coloured Balls, who were fronted by one of Australia’s most legendary guitarists, Lobby Loyde. One of the Coloured Balls most legendary tracks is "GOD" (which apparently stood for ‘Guitar Over Drive’ or ‘Guitar Over Dose’), which only ever appeared on the collection "Summer Jam", recorded live at Sunbury ‘73. A massive 15+ minute (that version anyway) instrumental piece that builds on waves of high powered electric guitar and a thundering rhythm section, it’s one of the cornerstones of the Coloured Balls’ status internationally, and very much the kind of track that myths are made of. Indeed the myth about "GOD" was that a studio version was recorded – people even sighted the tapes some years back apparently – but shelved and then lost.

Well, it’s not just a myth after all. Here’s proof that it exists, or at least existed: an ABC TV GTK interview with Lobby from back in the day, recorded at Armstrong’s Studio in South Melbourne. The interview is basically all about the track, and Lobby says they recorded it a couple of weeks previous, possibly for their new album, and then, WE GET TO HEAR IT. Well about  5 and half minutes of it at least (we hear it start and end but there’s at least one edit at about 4:55 on the clip). And while we watch Lob and the other Coloured Balls, together with sundry girlfriends, shake their heads and get into it in a wonderfully out of it kinda way, all the while, there’s Armstrong’s studio whizz John Sayers working the faders. Yes he’s actually mixing it while the ABC folks are filming! This is history in the making folks. The sound is not too great, but its more than listenable, and yep, musically it’s incredible and historically it’s almost beyond belief!

So play it loud, and once you’ve done that, go to the video we’ve added below it, which is Lobby and his pre-Coloured Balls band the Wild Cherries playing a nascent version of the same piece. Then, for the complete "GOD" overdose, we’ve got the last version that Lob and the Coloured Balls apparently ever played, at a Lobby Benefit Concert (he’d already been diagnosed with the lung cancer that killed him by this stage) organised by old mate Billy Thorpe at the Palace in Melbourne on 29 August 2006

 Wild Cherries 

Last performance by Lob

 

And if you love this stuff and don’t have it, make sure you check out Festival Record’s great 2CD collection Boogie! featuring the Coloured Balls, Aztecs, Madder Lake, Sid Rumpo, Buster Brown, and a whole lot more. Yes it’s still around but hey it won’t be forever!

 - DL

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