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Five decades on from Abbey Road


Spiderbait’s Kram (born Mark Maher) vividly recalls when his obsession with The Beatles began.

The drummer and vocalist for one of Australia’s most respected alternative rock bands was in high school when a friend handed him a tape with the Sex Pistols on one side and The Beatles on the other.

“It changed my life,” Kram tells Newcastle Weekly.

“The Sex Pistols and The Beatles – it was quite a different mixture, but I loved them both.

Abbey Road was on the tape and I really wore it out, especially side two.

Spiderbait drummer and vocalist, Kram.

“The different singers and style of music, I really got into [The Beatles’] variation, which has been a big part of my style and band.

“That variation can help you to have a bit of longevity and keeps things fresh for yourself.”

Kram has teamed up with Mark Wilson (Jet), Davey Lane (You Am I) and Darren Middleton (Powderfinger) as the supergroup, collectively known as ARC, prepares to perform a show in Newcastle this August to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road – The Beatles’ final recorded album.

Released on 26 September 1969 by Apple Records, it was an immediate commercial success, reaching number one in both the United Kingdom and United States.

Abbey Road spent 81 weeks on the UK albums chart, 12 weeks at number one on the Billboard chart, and was certified 12-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2001, selling in excess of 31 million copies.

The album’s iconic cover, which features the four band members walking across a zebra crossing outside Abbey Road Studios, has become one of the most famous and imitated images in the history of popular music.

Kram says the album’s longevity is simply down to it being “so f*****g good”.

“I listen to it all the time,” he says.

“We played at Ability Fest in Melbourne, which was put together by [Australian Paralympian] Dylan Alcott, about a month ago and we were asked to do a song off the show.

“So, we did Come Together and the crowd, a mostly young crowd, went nuts.

“For some reason, the album has stayed in the consciousness of pop fans everywhere.

“The production element, the way the record is produced, people are still fascinated by that.

“The scope of the technology at the time has had a great effect on where we are at now in modern times.” ARC will perform Abbey Road Live at Newcastle’s NEX on Thursday 22 August.

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