Tim Robinson

Mark Gillespie Demo Recording

The story Behind Mark Gillespie.

This is more of a blog to get information out there and add to the music history in Melbourne during the early 1970's. Much of Marks music has been documented since he released his frst LP record, but this article covers the pre-history of Marks songwriting career and the recording that got him started on his journey to bigger and better things. I have included some links to other sites sites that cover in detail some of the later activities and recordings Mark has made since.

This is also an attempt to identify those musicians who took part in this recording so that they can be credited for their work in bringing the songs that Mark wrote to some sort of proffessioanl finish. In most cases Mark just played a few chords and identified they key in which they were played and it was up to the individual musicians to add their own input to the recording. If you are able ton assist with the identification of the muso's in this recording please contact me via the Feedback Form and I will get in touch with you directly.


My part in the story starts in 1974

Swinburne Union Nights - A bit of pre-history.

Folk and Rock and Fims in the Ethel Swinburne Centre.

Mighty Kong [Big amplifiers] , Daddy Cool [best live sound mix] Spectrum


Moved on to Melbourne Sate College as recording Engineer in the [then] new muisc Department. I was responsible for setting up the Electronic Music Studio, which already had a Synthi VCS 3 Synthesiser [as used on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon"].



Two VCS3 synthesisers at the Melbourne State College. These formed part of the EMS [Electronic Muisc Studio] which also included a 'Mini Moog' synth, and later a number of Roland System 100 series synths and sequencers. These were all 'analogue' synths.


Peter Tammer - had done some work for Peter which involved recording sound for some of his films - "Mallacoota Stampede". This recording may not have happened if not for Peter Tammer, who, recognising Marks talent, undertook to have this demo recording made of Marks work.


Peter had known Mark Gillespie for a while and used one of his songs "Strutton the Mutton" in one of his films

The Recordng

Done in one night [going on till around 1.00am] with another mixing session following afterwards.


Final mix with Mark.

Equipment consisted of a Sony 4 track on 1/4" tape recorder for matering and a revox A700 2 track on 1/4" tape which the master mix tape was recorded.


The mixer was custom built [see below] to a proffessional specification and was used for both the recording and mixing process.

The custom built mixer used to produce the demo.

I desgined and built this unit over a number of months as there was no suitable equipment available at the time which the department could afford. It would be some years before commercial mixers would be available which could do this job


Mark went on his way once the final mix had been completed with a number of cassettes to give to people which had expressed interest in his work.

It was only many years later that I was digitising a number of old tapes from those years that the original master tape was rediscoverd. It was still in playable condition and the quality of the original recording was apparent. As the main relesse was on cassette at the time, the quality was not nearly as good as the master. I hope anyone listening to this recording today can see how good the original recording was and the similarity to Marks subsequent work which was released on vynal LP disk.

If you have any feedback or know of any musicians that took part in this recording, or any additional information that might be relevant, I would like to hear from you. Please use the email form on this web site to make initial contact and I will get back to you.

Only when looking back do you realise the impact on your life of the times you were living in. It all seemed so 'normal', this is what everybody was doing, it did not seem out of touch at all. The energy in the live music at the time reflected the times and the variety of styles meant there was a niche that most people could find that suited them.


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Last Updated 26th November 2019