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Choirboys front man Mark Gable to shock audiences


Mark Gable is planning to get a bit risqué with Newcastle audiences next month.

The Choirboys front man will bring his songs and stories to Lizotte’s in a show that promises to have Novocastrians in stitches.

Great Australian Rock ‘N’ Roll Stories is touted as being a “tell-all show of some of Australian Rock ‘n’ Roll’s greatest”.

Gable himself says it is a “spilling of the beans” of sorts, which the 80’s rock man confesses might get him into trouble.

“It’ll be fun,” he said. “I’ll be having a ball.

“I take a lot of risks. I’m going to be slapped down for it.

“In fact, mates from other bands have been calling me and sayin’ ‘Please don’t mention me.’”

Warnings and beseeching for privacy have only spurred the funny front-man on.

“They know I’m crazy,” he said. “The things people have told me over the years are ridiculous.

“They’re too good not to share.”

Some of the secrets Gable shares include Bernie Lynch’s infidelities while married to Grace Knight, Chuck Berry’s weird work tactics, meeting a Divinyls band member under a table in a nightclub, and what happened to a pair of Iggy Pop’s pants.

The stories stem from more than 50 years working in the Australian music industry – a career that began when Gable was just 13.

“I started as a drummer,” Gable said.

“That is the hardest instrument to learn you know, drummers really are very talented.

“Then I went to keyboard and then to lead guitar.

“But then I realised you could do the least amount of work and get more chicks if you were the lead singer, so that was for me.”

The band’s most popular song, Run to Paradise, is still one of Gable’s personal favourites.

“I love the song, I still love the song,” he said.

“It’s like a child – you give birth to it and it runs away and it then belongs to someone else.”

The song was, in fact, the result of an afternoon of simple strumming.

“It was just a doodle in the beginning,” he said.

“I was doodling on my guitar and it just happened. It’s pretty simple, it was just three chords but I guess it all came together.”

And what about the song’s love interest, the girl Gable thought was always going to be the one?

“She’d be in her 60s now,” he said. “Jenny Webber was her name.

“I don’t know what’s happened to Jenny. She was real. She worked at David Jones.

“I got a job as a window dresser at David Jones just so I could meet her.

“She knew I wanted to meet her so she avoided me I think. But the first time I spoke to her I was bitterly disappointed.”

Hindsight is a valuable thing though, Gable said.

“I did learn a good lesson – that looks aren’t everything.”

And what about playing in Newcastle?

“I’ve played at many, many places and yes I’ve played at Newcastle many times over the years,” he said.

“It was one of my first gigs away. Oh, it was scary then. This was back around 1976. Hunter Street was a scary, scary place. It was all working class and it was all men.

“It’s a million light years away from that now. Now it’s one of the best towns, not only in Australia, but the world.”

For something random, Gable decided to add some useless information about his favourite colour.

“It’s red, or blue. It used to be blue but now it’s red.”

You get an idea of how crazy this interview went.

“I’ve done this show before,” he said.

“A woman came up to me after and said: ‘I sat there for 20 minutes and had no idea what you were on about and then all of a sudden it just clicked.'”

Gable will bring his show to Lizotte’s on Friday 14 August.

Dinner and show tickets cost $97, while show only tickets are $39.

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