Bassist Harry Brus Interview PT 2 (Australian Guitar Magazine)

I recently shared part 1 of the interview I did with Harry Brus for Australian Guitar Magazine and now I’d like to share part 2 with you.

Harry’s a great player!

Australian Crawl

He had an incredible career having played with the cream of Australian musicians and singers so there’s quite a story to tell which is why I wanted to sit down and talk to Harry.

I recently asked Harry who he thought were the most significant acts that he played with.

When I shared the previous interview I talked about 2 of those acts, Renee Geyer & Kevin Borich, so now I’d like to talk about another 2 of those significant and important acts that Harry cited.

If you were to compile a list of the most popular Australian Rock bands…“Australian Crawl” would have to rate highly and really could have had the international success that other Australian bands like “AC/DC” & “INXS” achieved had they stayed together.

Harry joined the band at the end and played on their last studio album “Between A Rock & A Hard Place”.

Harry Brus and Aussie Crawl

Leo Sayer

Australian Crawl recorded 4 studio albums “The Boys Light Up” which had songs like “Downhearted”, “Beautiful People”; the next year they released “Sirocco” which featured “Lakeside”, “Errol” and “Oh No Not You Again”.

Their next album was recorded in Hawaii with Mike Chapman producing “Sons Of Beaches” which also reached number 1.

Next they released an EP that yielded their most successful song “Reckless”.

With a song list like that it’s easy to see why they were such a popular live act and they released 2 live albums to capture the excitement of their performances: “Phalanx” in 1983 and “The Final Wave” from 86 which Harry played on.

Another act that Harry Brus plays with is Leo Sayer who is today an Australian citizen (although born in England) he now resides in the Southern Highlands a little south of Sydney.

Leo Sayer was a hit factory all of his own with a huge catalog of hit songs behind him and it was his manager, Adam Faith, that got his career started.

Brus, Adam Faith & Leo Sayer

Adam Faith had been one of England’s big stars from the late 50’s until the early 60’s when he went into management.

Leo Sayer was in good hands under Adam Faith’s management.

He bloomed with a string of hits like “Giving It All Away” which Roger Daltrey of “The Who” also recorded.

Soon, however, Sayer was unfortunately and surprisingly facing bankruptcy so he took Adam Faith to court.

They settled out of court with Faith handing over a substantial amount and Leo looking for a new manager.

Adam Faith was actually John Barry’s creation and it’s a very interesting story…

We know John Barry today mostly as the composer of 11 of the James Bond movie soundtracks with their accompanying hit songs.

Often called the “godfather” of movie soundtracks with movies like “Dances With Wolves”, “Out Of Africa” and “Midnight Cowboy” to his credit and that’s without mentioning the Bond movies, so John Barry ranks as one of the greats.

Composer John Barry

Hailing from York John Barry’s father owned a chain of cinemas in the north of England and the young John helped his dad in the running of the cinemas, selling tickets, showing people to their seats and being in a situation where he saw a lot of movies.

It was kind of like doing a masters degree in film.

His mother was a classical pianist so it was inevitable that he’d merge his inheritances from both parents together and create a career as a premier league movie composer.

John Barry spent his national service years in Cyprus and with his down time he taught himself to play the trumpet and also did a Jazz arrangement course by correspondence so he knew how to write for an orchestra.

When his army time was over he went back to England and put his band, “The John Barry 7” together which became a very popular dance band.

Soon opportunities opened. The first was when the BBC asked him to work on a “Rock & Roll” show called “Drum Beat” because the BBC wanted to compete with a similar show on another channel that featured Cliff Richard.

Barry called Adam Faith in as Cliff Richard’s opposite number which launched his career.

So all of that experience then went into making Leo Sayer’s career and here he is today continuing his musical odyssey.

Harry Brus is a part of all this history so I think this interview is valuable on that level as well as insightful for anyone interested in music and its story.

Hope you enjoy,

Steve

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