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Encyclopedia entry for 'Gotham City' LETTER:

Formed in 1982
StyleRock
 Original line-up: Rob Tillett (guitar, synthesiser, vocals)
 Album: Radioactive (Boulevard/EMI, 1982).

History
Although Gotham City did exist as a band for a short time at the end of 1982, the project was essentially a solo effort by Rob Tillett. Tillett had been active on the Adelaide rock scene since the mid-1960s. His first band was Tattered Sole, followed by Brunswick Blues Vision.

Tillett formed psychedelic/cosmic blues rock band Red Angel Panic (RAP) in 1968 when director Doug Anders recruited Tillett to provide the musical backing for his stage play Rites Underground. RAP provided the musical backing for Anders' second stage play, Viet Rock, in late 1969. The association resulted in RAP's debut single, `Viet Rock'/`Private Investigator', for the Nationwide label in late 1970. The A-side was a scathing attack on the futility of the Vietnam War, while the flip side was a ballad with a sprawling organ arrangement.

By that stage, the band's line-up comprised Tillett (guitar, vocals), Ron Anderson (vocals), Ken Skinner (organ), Chris Bailey (bass; ex-Tattered Sole), Chris Timms (violin) and Peter McCormack (drums). The band's contemporaries on the early 1970s Adelaide scene included Fraternity, Rashamra, Musik Express, Moonshine Jug and String Band, Buffalo Drive and Glassweb. RAP was one of the first outfits of the day to espouse a social and political agenda. The band played the college circuit, as well as the usual round of moratoriums and protest marches.

RAP issued a second single on the Nationwide label, `Good Old Rock'n'Roll'/`I'm Swinging', in 1971 before calling it quits. Chris Bailey joined Headband and later turned up in Oz rock favourites The Angels and GANGgajang. Meanwhile, Tillett ploughed on with a variety of bands including Sheep in Fog, Johnny Ego and the Allstars, Rock'n'Roll Express and The Gods. Tillett very briefly joined The Angels as bass player in 1976 before the band relocated to Sydney. By 1980, Tillett had written enough of his own material to record an entire album. Tillett issued his solo album, Radioactive, and its single, `Don't Call Me'/`Give Me the Part' (October 1982), under the Gotham City banner on his own Boulevard label. Helping out in the studio were Chris Bailey and fellow Angel Buzz Bidstrup (drums), plus English session players Simon Eyre (guitar) and Carlos Morales (guitar).

Radioactive featured mainstream rock and pop, ranging in sound from the Alan Parsons Project to REO Speedwagon, Icehouse to Mondo Rock. The touring version of Gotham City comprised Tillett, Steve Reinthal (guitar), Matthew Hughes (synthesiser), Trevor McSweeney (bass), Ralph Hooper (sax) and Anthony Smythe (drums). The album was not successful and the band was short-lived. Tillett continued to work with a variety of bands and in 1993 he formed acoustic folk outfit The Meercats with Mick Bradley (vocals, flute), Tony Becze (guitar), Moses Carmen (keyboards) and Taliska Hollow (bass). The Meercats issued a cassette album, Urban Swamp, in 1994.



Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop / Ian McFarlane 1999
under licence from Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd

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