I nearly fell off my chair.
No, it wasn't the third gin and tonic. It was a commercial on television. It was a cheap ad on Channel 31, where all the ads are cheap. You can probably buy a spot for $50 on Channel 31. You get a small audience but a good one. (The in-joke at the Channel 31 studios is that the '31' is their average audience number, and that Channel 10's name indicates its average viewer IQ. That slight is probably over-generous while The Biggest Loser is on air.)
In the ad, superimposed over a picture of a green field with a tractor in the distance was a line that read: Sunbury Backroads. Then three names scrolled onto the screen, in order: Chain. Madder Lake. Spectrum. Then the date came on and I knew I hadn't travelled back in time to January 1972 when these three bands last appeared on the same bill. I don't know which is the best. Chain was blues, Madder Lake was progressive rock and Spectrum was I'll Be Gone. They were all loud. One night late in 1973 - it was Melbourne Cup eve - I watched Madder Lake live on-stage at St Therese's parish hall; after the Dingoes had headlined with their new hit Way Out West (a song that was later murdered by James Reyne who makes every song sound as if he eats it and then regurgitates it). That night Madder Lake ground out a version of Twelve Pound Toothbrush that must have rocked every house in Essendon. The Sunbury festival had nothing on St Therese's hall that night. We used to go home from concerts like that and not be able to hear for days. Now we complain about our children wearing headphones.
I imagine the audience at Sunbury Backroads will include some of those who were last there during that festival in the heat of summer 1972. I wonder if they might recognise each other? Perhaps not. Last time they saw each other, many were long-haired, naked and stoned in the mud of Jackson's Creek.