Years: 1968 – 1972; 1976 – 1978
Styles: Acid Rock, Folk Rock, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Jon Blake - Bass Guitar (in band: 1968 - 1969)
Michael Carlos - Bass Guitar, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Sitar, Vocals (in band: 1968 - 1971)
Richard Lockwood - Bamboo Flute, Clarinet, Flute, Maracas, Percussion, Piano, Reeds, Saxophone, Violin, Vocals (in band: 1968 - 1972)
Robert Taylor - Drums (in band: 1968 – 1970; 1976 – 1978)
Terry Wilson - Flute, Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1968 - 1970)
Graham Conlan - Bass Guitar (in band: 1969)
Murray Wilkins - Bass Guitar (in band: 1969)
Ken Firth - Bass Guitar, Drums, Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1970 - 1972)
Colin Campbell - Acoustic guitar , Guitar, Veena, Vocals, Wind chimes (in band: 1971 - 1972)
Shayna Stewart - Vocals (in band: 1971 - 1972)
Andrew "Frizby" Thursby-Pelham - Guitar (in band: 1976 - 1978)
John "Bass" Walton - Bass Guitar (in band: 1976 - 1978)
Bill Tahana - Vocals (in band: 1977)
Tully formed in Sydney in late 1968, and along with Tamam Shud (with whom they often performed) they were the doyens of the Sydney underground - progressive scene in the late 60's and early '70s. Their lyrical and expansive music and their interest in mysticism and esoteric philosophy was at some remove from the earthy blues/boogie ethos of contemporaries like The Aztecs, but they built up a strong following on the Sydney underground scene and the Melbourne concert circuit.
The original Tully lineup were all veterans of the Sydney club scene. NZ-born John Blake was a seasoned trouper whose CV included The Dee Jays (1959), The Chessmen (1961), Jimmy Sloggett Five (1963-64) and Max Merritt & The Meteors (1965). Carlos and Blake had both been members of Little Sammy And The In People (1966-67). Carlos, Lockwood, Blake and Taylor linked up in the 1968 lineup of Levi Smith's Clefs, the Sydney R&B band led by veteran R&B singer Barrie "The Bear"McAskill. (These two seminal Sydney club bands, now little remembered, had a huge roster of prominent players during their lifetimes and were a fertile training ground for many leading musicians of the '60s and '70s, with Levi Smith's Clefs giving birth to both Tully and Fraternity.)
When Carlos and co. split from the Clefs at the end of 1968, they renamed themselves Tully. Like Tamam Shud, they took their musical leads from British psychedelic and progressive bands like Family, Spooky Tooth, Traffic, and The Nice, and the from highly influential American West Coast scene. Like Shud, Tully's early career also had close associations with Sydney underground media collective UBU; indeed, they premiered at the final UBU Underground Dance at Paddington Town Hall on January 4,
Shortly after their debut, they recruited singer/guitarist/flautist Terry Wilson (ex-Slime Men, Terry Wilson & The Swing Shift, The 69ers).
The other break clinched Tully's reputation as one of Australia's top bands - they were chosen as the 'house band' for the Australian production of the controversial American 'tribal love rock musical' Hair which premiered at the Metro Theatre, Kings Cross on 4 June 1969. Billed as "Tully + 4", the group was augmented by extra musicians for the production -- veteran jazz drummer John Sangster (percussion), Mick Barnes (guitar) and Keith Hounslow (trumpet). Vocalist Terry Wilson joined the cast of the show and sang the featured number "Aquarius". Tully stayed with the production until early 1970 (when they were replaced by Luke's Walnut) but they performed on the original cast recording that came out late in 1969 on the Spin label, which went on to earn a Gold Record award from ARIA.
Towards the end of 1969 bassist John Blake left the group. He was replaced first by Graeme Conlan (ex-The Second Thoughts, White Wine) and then by Murray Wilkins, until Ken Firth was eventually recruited as a permanent replacement.
In January 1970 Tully was one of the top-billed acts at Australia's first rock festival, the Pilgrimage For Pop, held at Ourimbah on the NSW Central Coast over the January Long Weekend, and organised by their old mates, the Nutwood Rug Band.
Tully signed with EMI and their excellent self-titled debut LP was released on the Columbia label in July 1970; it charted well, spending eight weeks in the Top 40 and peaking at #8. Around this time Michael Carlos became the proud owner of one of the first Moog synthesisers to be brought into Australia, and they became the first local band to use one in live performance. Such was the public profile of Dr Bob's new instrument (thanks to The Beatles, the Beach Boys and Walter Carlos) that Tully's concerts were co-billed as "Tully and The Moog".
In late 1970 Richard Lockwood and Ken Firth contributed to the debut LP Hush by Sydney band Extradition, released in June 1971 and now a rare collector's item. Both bands had been closely associated for some time, and shared similar musical outlooks, which led to Extradition members Colin Campbell and Shayna (Karlin) Stewart joining Tully at the start of 1971. Campbell played an important role in the later part of Tully and he wrote or co-wrote a considerable proportion of the material on both the Sea Of Joy and Loving is Hard albums.
Meanwhile, Terry Wilson and Robert Taylor both left the group in December 1970. According to rock historian Noel McGrath, this was largely due to the fact that Carlos, Firth and Lockwood were adherents of the Meher Baba sect (popularised by devotees like The Who's Pete Townshend) -- an interest Wilson and Taylor evidently did not share. Taylor was not replaced, and Tully continued to perform without a drummer.
In 1971 Tully moved to EMI's new progressive label Harvest, and released their only single, the spiritually inspired Krishna Came / Lord Baba which came out in May. This was followed in June by their second LP Sea Of Joy, the soundtrack to the surf film of the same name by Paul Witzig, who had also previously worked with Tamam Shud. But just before it was issued Michael Carlos quit the band to rejoin Levi Smith's Clefs. Tully continued on without him for several months before finally splitting. Lockwood had been gigging occasionally for some time with Tamam Shud, so he did the logical thing and joined them. The band had stockpiled enough material prior to the split for EMI to compile a third and final LP which was released in 1972 as the album Loving Is Hard.
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