1973 back to Australia

1973, back to Australia and I hooked up with fellow Maharaj Ji devotees Trevor Wilson (ex La De Das) and Lindsay Field and Kim O'Leary, formed Rhythm & Bliss which became Band of Angels. We toured Australia taking the 'gospel' to all the dark places namely the suburban pubs of Melbourne. We had moved to Melbourne by this stage as it had a thriving live music scene.

Billy T
L to R: JC, Ross Hannaford, Mick Holden, Russel Smith

Around 1975 I hooked up with Ross Hannaford and we formed Billy T. Billy T was a unique band in that it broke the mold of standard Aussie rock in pubs. With our own brand of blue-eyed soul and reggae we had quite a successful run in the Australian pub circuit.

Our tour support with legendary US band 'Little Feat' cemented our profile as the band most likely to do it in 76. Unfortunately Ross and I kept floating of to the US and Europe to play for Maharaj Ji and Billy T suffered the consequences of our absences. The rest of the band basically got jack of it and I can't remember if we got sacked or if we called it quits. But whatever, the band eventually dissolved.

I don't think Ross was ever all that happy in the band. It is often difficult having two dynamic guitarists in one band and Russel Smith was and still is a great guitarist. I think he and Ross always had trouble defining their roll with each other musically. Maybe they should have taken heed of the title of our only album 'No Definitions'!

L to R: Geoff Bridgford (ex Bee Gee),Joe Creighton, Ross Hannaford

Having said that, there were many many moments where they rose to great heights and complimented each other superbly. Billy T was a great live band and with a bit more focus probably would have made a bigger imprint on the industry than it did.

NEXT: chapter 6 - Around 1978 I met Mark Gillespie