AU$ 14,014
pledged of AU$ 24,000pledged of AU$ 24,000 goal
145
backers
14days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, November 27 2019 1:00 AM UTC +00:00.

THE BONDI LIFESAVER BOOK

A book about Sydney's legendary 1970s Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll HQ

THE BONDI LIFESAVER BOOK

A book about Sydney's legendary 1970s Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll HQ

AU$ 14,014
pledged of AU$ 24,000pledged of AU$ 24,000 goal
145
backers
14days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, November 27 2019 1:00 AM UTC +00:00.

About

ABOUT THE BOOK: In 'Best Years of Our Lives' Richard Clapton sings, "Whatever happened to the days way back, the Bondi Lifesaver was always raging, standing here in Oxford Street and the ghosts are howling"... and my book is a way to get to know some of those ghosts by stepping inside the Lifesaver to discover memories & sordid stories from 120 musicians, roadies & punters; 180 rare photos; 75 posters, flyers & clippings and many tales of sex, drugs, rock & roll and gangsters all rolled into a 152 page, full colour, 240 x 270 mm softcover book.

It's the story of a much loved rock and roll fun park told by those who were there, which is tricky because we partied non-stop, rarely slept and brutalised our brain cells. From Bondi Beach to Kings Cross and the inner city there was too much music to play and hear, too much excess to exceed and too much indulgence to overindulge in. But if too much was never enough the Bondi Lifesaver was your home - whether you were a rock star, backline muso, roadie, music journo or punter. But in 1980 the Lifesaver, along with nearby terraced houses and the whole Bondi Junction block, got bulldozed and replaced by the Eastgate shopping complex and car park leaving no hint it ever existed.

ABOUT ME: I'm a musician, writer and graphic designer who started getting into live music in bars at the age of 15 and spent a decade and a half waging the war against sleep at places like the Lifesaver, Astra Hotel, French's Tavern and countless Kings Cross dives. I grew up in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, have lived in Tasmania off-and-on for ages, and return to my beloved Bondi Beach a few times a year with my partner Rebecca. 

ABOUT THE BONDI LIFESAVER: The Lifesaver, at 56 Ebley Street Bondi Junction, was Sydney's legendary 1970s rock n roll headquarters where the greatest Aussie bands and serious music lovers hung out and played. AC/DC's Bon Scott called it home and loved playing the pinball machines, chatting to people and riding his motorbike up the front steps. At different times Dragon, Jimmy Barnes and his brother John 'Swanee' Swan rented the adjoining terrace owned by the Lifesaver's John and Kim Parkes, and Jimmy and John's mother Dot even worked in the kitchen. DJs who spun vinyl in between bands included Angry Anderson and Marc Hunter and one of the hardest bouncers the place ever had was ratbag and best-selling writer Robert G Barrett. A crazed, well-known Sydney hit man once shoved a gun under a table and into promoter Michael Chugg's balls, all set to pull the trigger. The infamous Mr Asia drug syndicate made moves on the joint and Abe 'Mr Sin' Saffron offered fortunes and threatened violence so he could buy the place but settled for running the cigarette and pinball machines. A number of famous musicians met their future wives there and it was while chilling at the Lifesaver that Midnight Oil made the fateful decision to quit their day jobs and be a full time band - it was that kind of place, and we loved it.     

WHY I WROTE IT: In 2010 it occurred to me that the huge collection of rock and roll books I'd been amassing since my 1960s childhood hardly contained a mention of the Lifesaver. Then I googled and found almost nothing about this wonderful, debauched place - and not one single photo - and at that point I knew my music library was sadly lacking a key book and if I didn't attempt to write it nobody else would. I also decided to make it a bit of a social history of the lives of partying young music lovers in 1970s Australia, particularly Sydney. So after many years and much blood, sweat, tears and gin here it is!    

WHY I'M SELF-PUBLISHING: As a writer/editor/designer I've taken thousands of publications from concept to print for clients, and also do PR in that area and with my music business. Publishers usually get a basic manuscript which their well-paid writers, editors, graphic designers and pre-press artists turn into a lovely book all ready for someone to press a fat green button on a printing press. But I've done all that, my book's ready for inking, so there isn't much a publisher can offer me that I can't do myself. So here I am - knackered, stressed and probably insane - but with full creative control.     

HOW YOU CAN HELP: I have a December 2019 print run lined up and my express post distribution centre, aka my study, is ready to roll. But the only way the book will happen is if you support this Kickstarter campaign by pre-ordering now, whether that's $50 for one signed copy and a cool Bondi Lifesaver guitar pick (just a carton of beer's worth!) or a few dollars more to get extras and goodies! 

BUT WHEN YOU PLEDGE YOU DON'T PAY A CENT NOW as it's a credit card pledge. No money's deducted until after November 27, and then only if the funding target is reached. If the target isn't reached, your card gets no debit and no money goes to me and then to the printer - ie there'll be no book.

NERVOUS ABOUT GIVING KICKSTARTER YOUR CREDIT CARD DETAILS? Kickstarter is a reputable New York based public benefit corporation that’s received more than $4 billion in pledges from 16.3 million backers to fund 445,000 projects such as films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, technology, publishing and food-related projects. It’s a well-respected organisation and it’s safe to provide credit card details. As a buyer I’ve used it for years to order new albums from many of my fave musicians such as the great guitarist Paul Gilbert.

I'M PRINTING HERE IN HOBART NOT CHINA even though I got a China quote that was waaaaaay cheaper. I've done media and communications for the trade union movement for nearly 20 years so, despite the temptation to offshore it, I'd rather pay more and sleep at night knowing I haven't screwed Australian jobs. But... ouch. 

NOTE FOR TASMANIAN RESIDENTS: Express Post shipping across Australia is a flat rate of $15, including Tasmania, but if you want to arrange local pickup from Hobart just make your pledge, including postage, then email me at craig@skullbug.com and I'll slip a crisp $15 cash refund inside your book cover :)     

CONTRIBUTORS: The book contains tales and memories from John Paul Young, Don Walker (Cold Chisel), Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil), Kevin Borich, Helen Carter (Do Re Mi), Michael Chugg, Buzz Bidstrup (The Angels), Todd Hunter (Dragon), Dave Warner, Broderick Smith, Donnie Sutherland, Marcia Hines, Anthony O'Grady, Sally King, Ken Gormly (Cruel Sea), Michael Parks (Jimmy & the Boys), Ronnie Peel (La De Das, JPY), Warren ‘Pig’ Morgan (Aztecs, JPY), Dai Pritchard (Rose Tattoo), Gary Young & Wayne Duncan (Daddy Cool), Steve Kilbey & Peter Koppes (The Church),  Paul Christie (Kevin Borich, Mondo Rock), Warwick Fraser (Blackfeather), Chane Chane (La Femme), Ken Murdoch (Taste, Texas), Kerry Jacobson & Ray Goodwin (Dragon), Fifa Riccobono (Alberts Music), Greg Morris (Johnny Dole & the Scabs), Kim Parkes (Lifesaver co-owner), Mick Leyton (Lifesaver house band), Jen Jewel Brown and many more kickarse musicians, legendary roadies and keen punters plus folios of Lifesaver photos from some of the best 1970s rock photographers.     

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#1) PLEDGE $50 OR MORE - A signed book + Bondi Lifesaver guitar pick:   

#2) PLEDGE $60 OR MORE - Signed book + signed 'Stompbox' album + pick: 

#3) PLEDGE $80 OR MORE - Signed book + signed CD  + 3 picks + A3 poster: 

#4) PLEDGE $95 OR MORE - 2 signed books + 2 picks (save $5): 

#5) PLEDGE $100 OR MORE (50 only) - Name printed at front of book + signed book + signed CD + 4 picks + A3 poster: 

#6) PLEDGE $135 OR MORE - 3 signed books + 3 picks (save $15): 


#7) PLEDGE $400 OR MORE (1 only) - 2 signed books + Name printed at front of book + 2 signed CDs + 10 guitar picks + 2 A3 posters + The actual drumstick, guitar string, cassette and 1970s glass ashtray featured on the book cover + Framed photograph of the collage used on the book cover. (Only 2 prints of this un-cropped version exist, the other belongs to the author): 

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge with this funding campaign is simply meeting the funding goal, but I'm quite optimistic that it won't be a problem. If I get close I have a plan B that should ensure the full funding happens happens anyway, so I can go to print in December.

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  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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    Pledge AU$ 50 or more About US$ 35

    #1) SIGNED BOOK + LIFESAVER GUITAR PICK

    1. One signed book
    2. One limited edition Bondi Lifesaver guitar pick

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    Pledge AU$ 60 or more About US$ 42

    #2) SIGNED BOOK + CD + GUITAR PICK

    1 - Signed book
    2 - Signed CD of Craig's 'Stompbox' album
    3 - Limited edition Bondi Lifesaver guitar pick

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 80 or more About US$ 55

    #3) SIGNED BOOK + CD + 3 PICKS + POSTER

    1 - Signed book
    2 - Signed CD of Craig's 'Stompbox' album
    3 - Three Bondi Lifesaver guitar picks
    4 - A3 Bondi Lifesaver poster

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 95 or more About US$ 66

    #4) 2 SIGNED BOOKS + 2 GUITAR PICKS

    1. Two signed books ( a saving of $5)
    2. Two limited edition Bondi Lifesaver guitar picks

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    Pledge AU$ 100 or more About US$ 69

    #5) NAME PRINTED IN BOOK + EXTRA REWARDS

    1 - Signed book
    2 - Signed CD of Craig's 'Stompbox' album
    3 - Four Bondi Lifesaver guitar picks
    4 - A3 Bondi Lifesaver poster
    5 - Name printed prominently in '$PECIAL $UPPORTER$' box at front of book

    [NOTE If you contributed text, photos or items your name may already be on the ‘thank you’ page or inside the book. You can email Craig to check at craig@skullbug.com]

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 135 or more About US$ 93

    #6) 3 SIGNED BOOKS + 3 GUITAR PICKS

    1. Three signed books (a saving of $15)
    2. Three limited edition Bondi Lifesaver guitar picks

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    3 backers
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    Pledge AU$ 400 or more About US$ 274

    #7) ITEMS FROM COVER + ART + ALL REWARDS

    1 - Two signed copies of the book
    2 - Two signed CDs of Craig's 'Stompbox' album
    3 - Ten Bondi Lifesaver guitar picks
    4 - Two A3 Bondi Lifesaver posters
    5 - Name printed in 'SPECIAL SUPPORTERS' box at front of book.
    6 - The actual drumstick, guitar string, cassette (Rose Tattoo live at the Lifesaver) and 1970s glass ashtray featured on the book cover
    7 - Framed photograph of the collage used on the book cover. There'll only ever be 2 prints of this un-cropped version of the photo, the other belongs to the author.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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