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Interview with Michael Wade, musician and theatrical musical director [sound recording] / interviewer, Barry York
Bib ID 2992319
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Wade, Michael, 1947-
Access Conditions Access open for research; written permission required for personal copies and public use during the lifetime of the interviewee. 
Description 2001 
6 digital audio tapes (390 min.) 

Wade speaks his memories of childhood in Sydney; the absence of his father and frequent lengthy periods of absence of his mother; his grandmother; the family's standard of living; his childhood imagination and games; schooling; stepfather; radio as a "savior"; his attraction to popular music; guitar playing; formation in 1960 of band "The Ramblers"; the Galea family of Sydney who took him in; musical influences; the formation of "The Midnighters" (1963); recording for RCA; song-writing; "Goofy foot" (surfie song, 1963); drugs; Johnny O'Keefe; "Climax" band (1965-68); Kings Cross (1960s); performing for US Army in Vietnam (1968-69); observations of changes in music styles, venues and audiences over the years; work for "Jesus Christ Superstar" rock opera (1972); formation of "Baxter Funt" band; Marcia Hines; Reg Livermore; marriages and children; John English; revival of Jesus Christ superstar" and "Hair" (1977-78); writing of hit song "Hot Town" (1979); establishment of studio at Bondi (1980s).

Wade speaks of the music industry; sheet music engraving; computer music; work on musicals "Rasputin" and "Nunsense"; attitude to various musical genres; attitude to censorship; interest in numerology; involvement in corporate events; current situation in life and commitment to semi-autobiographical fictional writing.


Musician, composer, arranger, musical director and music engraver, Michael Wade was born in Sydney, NSW, on 17 April 1947. In 1960 he co-founded the pop music band "The Ramblers", which marked the commencement of a career as a professional musician that spanned nearly four decades. In 1963, the Ramblers became "The Midnighters" and signed their first recording contract. RCA released the band's first single "Goofy foot", written by Michael, that year. Between 1965 and 1968, the band's basic line-up performed as "Climax". In 1972, Michael's exceptional technical abilities as a guitarist resulted in his appointment to the Australian production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" (JCS). In 1974, the rhythm section of the band he led for JCS formed itself into the band, "Baxter Funt". Baxter Funt regularly backed Marcia Hines at the start of her career and provided musical backing for Reg Livermore's stage shows, such as "Betty Blockbuster Follies".

When his band broke up in 1980, the basic line-up could be traced back to the Ramblers of the early 1960s. In the late 1970s, Michael was musical director, arranger and conductor for the revival of JCS and also for the revival of the stage show "Hair". During the 1980s he operated his own studio and worked as a sheet music arranger-engraver. His use of computer music in the rock opera "Rasputin" made him an Australian pioneer in the field. In the 1990s, he worked as arranger, composer and musical director for various corporate events and in 2001 began writing semi-autobiographical fiction.


Preservation and user cassette copies made.

Recorded on Dec. 3-4, 2001 in Canberra, A.C.T.

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary and corrected transcript (typescript, 120 leaves) 
Subjects Wade, Michael, 1947- -- Interviews.  |  Musicians -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Theatrical producers and directors -- Australia -- Interviews.
Other authors/contributors York, Barry, 1951-

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Members of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori communities are advised that this catalogue contains names and images of deceased people. All users of the catalogue should also be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written.