16 Jan 2024

New ARCA desk tape release: Anne Kirkpatrick and Alan Bowles featuring HOTSPUR

LIVE at the Pier Hotel Frankston 1987. Tape released on January 12th 2024. The Anne Kirkpatrick and Alan Bowles featuring HOTSPUR live recording is the 37th release of the Australian Road Crew Association’s (ARCA) Desk Tape Series.

The Series was created by ARCA to raise badly-needed finances for Support Act’s Roadies Fund to provide financial, health, counselling and well being services for roadies and crew in crisis. Over 40+ artists have now thrown their hats in the ring to help.

The Desk Tape Series recordings are made off the sound desk by a crew member – in this case sound engineer Simon Glozier– and released on ARCA’s Black Box Records through MGM Distribution and on all major streaming services.


Thanx to Anne Kirkpatrick and Alan Bowles for the photos, Nprint for the artwork, Phil Dracoulis for the mastering, and especially Anne and Alan and HOTSPUR for their support of roadies and crew in crisis.

Anne Kirkpatrick and Hotspur Set

  • 1 Lights In The Mirror
  • 2 Baby With You
  • 3 Lights On The Hill
  • 4 Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes
  • 5 Honky Tonk Girl
  • 6 Careless Heart
  • 7 Indian Pacific
  • 8 Long Ago Shoes
  • 9 Come Back Again
  • 10 Queen Of Hearts
  • 11 I Got You
  • 12 Oh Lonesome Me

Alan Bowles and Hotspur Set

  • 1 Wabash Cannonball
  • 2 Oh Darling
  • 3 The Wanderer
  • 4 Hillbilly Highway
  • 5 Don’t Fence Me In
  • 6 I’m Walkin’
  • 7 It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
  • 8 Ghost Riders In The Sky
  • 9 Six Days On The Road
  • 10 Digging Up Bones
  • 11 T For Texas
  • 12 Ring Of Fire
  • 13 Short Road To Love

Hotspur Lineup At Show

  • Danny Arnott     – drums, vocals
  • Andrew Forrer   – bass, vocals
  • Martin Hope      – electric guitar, vocals
  • Craig Reeves      – keyboards
  • Alan Bowles       – vocals, harmonica, guitar


  • Simon Glozier    – Sound Engineer

The Anne Kirkpatrick and Alan Bowles featuring Hotspur Live At The Pier Hotel Frankston 1987 live tape and all the ARCA Desk Tape Series recordings are available through Black Box Records – ARCA ( and the following: (paste into browser if it fails to work)

  • Amazon
  • Anghami
  • Apple Music / iTunes
  • Boomplay
  • Black Box Records
  • Deezer
  • MGM
  • Pandora
  • Shazam
  • Spotify
  • TenCent
  • Tidal
  • TikTok
  • YouTube Music

Like other ARCA releases, Anne Kirkpatrick and Alan Bowles featuring Hotspur Live at the Pier Hotel Frankston 1987 also works as a historical document.

 The gig at the Pier Hotel in Frankston, in front of a full house of country music fans in its main room and filling the downstairs bars, was part of a run of three outer Melbourne shows.

HOTSPUR backed country hitmaker Johnny Chester. When he was off the road, Alan Bowles did front man duties, booking them via his Famous Country Music Entertainment Agency as well as for other singers including Jimmy Little, Lee Conway, Reg Lindsay, Donna Fisk, Allison Durbin and B.J.McKay.

Bowles invited Sydney-based Anne Kirkpatrick, daughter of Slim Dusty and Joy McKean, to perform the three shows. At the time, she was flying high with her Come Back Again album.

“What I remember about that gig was the audience was so appreciative of what they were doing,” Simon Glozier, the sound engineer for the night says. “The desk I used was an old Allen’n’Heath, to keep costs down, and I was very surprised how warm the tape sounded. It needed very little to sweeten it up.”

“I’ve got a wide musical taste. I was the house guy for the Seaview Ballroom (in Melbourne) during its punk heyday. But I’ve always been a big fan of country music, too, as long as it’s not of the dead dogs and billabongs variety. I liked Anne’s voice and what she was doing.”

The other reason for the show’s warmth was that Glozier, Bowles and Hotspur had worked the country music circuit for decades, and their paths crossed constantly.

Martin Hope was best man at Glozier’s wedding, Forrer invited him to his, and Reeves frequently flew the freelance sound engineer to New Zealand for his New Years Eve shows.

Anne Kirkpatrick

Two songs in Anne Kirkpatrick’s set pay tribute to her music royalty parents, Slim Dusty and Joy McKean.

Written by McKean and a hit for Dusty, “Lights On The Hill” tells of a truckie carrying a heavy load losing control of his rig after being blinded by headlights, hitting a pole and veering off the road, and realising that he’s about to die.

“It won the first Golden Guitar in January 1973 at the Country Music Awards of Australia in Tamworth for song of the year for mum and best single for dad,” recalls Kirkpatrick. “It’s become the Australian go-to trucking song.”

It’s been covered by Keith Urban, Troy Cassar-Daley, Lee Kernaghan, Mental As Anything, and American bluegrass outfit Del McCoury Band.

Dusty and McKean were patrons of the Lights On The Hill Trucking Memorial erected in Lake Apex Park in Gatton, Queensland, in memory of truckies and coach drivers – and of course road crews – who lost their lives on the road.

Another song “Indian Pacific” captures the scenes as the famous train covers the Nullabor over 4,352 km (or 2,704 miles) and McKean’s love for books and characters sees lines as:

“Beside the line a drover waves

His battered old grey hat,

And kids are catchin’ yabbies

Down by the river flat,

And a woman hangs her washing

In the backyard near the line,

As the Indian Pacific’s rollin’ by.”

Anne relates: “Paul Kelly rated Joy among the best songwriters, they were good mates, they kept in touch, they both loved books and he really respected her.”

“Indian Pacific” was inspired by the mammoth 10-months-a-year Slim Dusty tours of the 1960s which travelled 48,280 kms (30,000 miles) and went across the Nullabor and back every year.

Kirkpatrick began travelling with the family band aged two and recorded in her early teens, before rising to prominence as a solo artist in the mid 70’s.

 Anne & a few like-minded musicians formed the Anne Kirkpatrick Band, making the rounds of the inner-city pubs in Sydney, building a following for herself with residencies such as their Monday nights at the Civic Hotel in Goulburn St where Mental as Anything and Mi-Sex also played regularly.

She attended Macquarie University where most of her friends became teachers (some fellow pupils went on to form The Wiggles).

But for Kirkpatrick, coming from a musical family meant making music was always her destiny. Her solo shows ranged from kids music to music theatre. Brother David is a singer songwriter.

At the time of the Pier Hotel show, her son Jim Arneman was two years old, and travelled on and off with his mum. Jim later formed the band Small Town Romance and became a film maker who was behind the 2020 doco Slim & I.

In 1987, Anne Kirkpatrick’s career was taking off, after she teamed up with producer Mark Moffitt. He suggested she do a country version of Daddy Cool’s 1971 hit “Come Back Again”, which its writer Ross Wilson regarded as his best from the DC era. Anne’s version was the title track of the album Anne was promoting at this Frankson gig.

Anne’s collaboration with Mark Moffatt led to her next album ‘Out Of the Blue’ being heralded as a watershed album in Australian country music and won her an ARIA and a couple of Gold Guitar trophies.

“Light In The Mirror” came from country/bluegrass band The Flying Emus, formed in 1984 by siblings songwriters John and Genni Kane. They were long-time friends of Anne’s, and had played on the Come Back Again album.

“It’s a beautiful song, I still sing it today.  John and Genni are great songwriters, I recorded quite a few of their songs.”

The folk-country “Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes” is a traditional Carter Family song from 1929, “Queen Of Hearts” was a hit for Jewel, “Oh Lonesome Me” a Number One from 1957 for Don Gibson with Chet Atkins, and “(I’m A) Honky Tonk Girl” was the debut single in 1960 for Loretta Lynn.

Alan Bowles

By the time of the Pier Hotel show, Alan Bowles had made a name for himself as a hot multi award-winning harmonica player much in demand for sessions, recording new songs and running his booking agency with Cash Backman which supplied acts for around 40 venues and ran several festivals.

His mother had taught herself boogie-woogie piano, and he learned drums and guitar at high school. He got a harmonica when he was in the Scouts, and he performed on it at their jamborees.

When someone scoffed he wouldn’t have a future playing the instrument, he thought, “Yeah? Watch this!” He went on to win the National Harmonica Championships at Tamworth two years in a row, and in demand to do recording sessions.

He acted in the Phar Lap, Squizzy Taylor, the Slim Dusty films. Also TV’s The Flying Doctors, The Sullivans, Carson’s Law, Prisoner and Bellbird.

He jammed with many bands and went on tour with The Ferrets around the time of their hit “Don’t Fall In Love”.

Alan Bowles wrote songs with the Bass player Ken Firth, one of which was used as the title track of Ian “Molly” Meldrum’s anti-heroin doco On A Slide Going Down. It was released by Mushroom music on the Festival Records label. Alan performed the song on Countdown with Joanna Kamorin who was touring with the Lou Reed band and agreed to sing the song.

Bowles’ weary smoky voice – “I started smoking when I was 12, and I had a pretty hectic lifestyle” – it worked a treat on country songs.

Alan’s songs on Live at the Pier Hotel exhibit a love and understanding of all facets of country music.

Some go as far back as 1927 with Jimmie Rodgers’ “T For Texas” (also known as “Blue Yodel No.1” and back to 1934 with Cole Porter’s cowboy song “Don’t Fence Me In.”

Others are from the 1950 and 1960s like Dion’s “The Wanderer”, Fats Domino’s I’m Walkin'”, Buddy Holly’s  “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” and Dave Dudley’s “Six Days On The Road”, with a nod to the 1980s with Steve Earle’s Hillbilly Highway, The O’Kane’s “Oh Darling”, Randy Travis’ “Digging Up Bones” and Eddie Rabbitt’s “Short Road To Love”.

But the choice of songs show a definite affinity to Johnny Cash, with “Ring Of Fire”, “Ghost Riders In The Sky” and “Wabash Cannonball”.

It was no surprise that Alan played the American singer in the Johnny Cash & June Carter production ‘Walkin The Line’, and, in 2010, played Cash in The 4 Highwaymen, a tribute band to supergroup The Highwaymen made up of Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson.

The Four Highwaymen sold out their shows, and released an EP with an original tribute to each of the characters.

“I channel Cash always with the vibe of paying homage and doing it with respect. Our journeys had parallels in good and hard times, the million miles on the road and the prison experiences.”

When he was a kid, his teenage mother escaped her violent husband with her children. But she couldn’t look after them – they lived next door to an entertainment park in St Kilda and Alan used to play truant to go there – and at 12 he was made a ward of the state.

“I was a bit of a rascal and living a wild life. I got pinched for something minor, and I was in a home for the Salvos in Box Hill for three years.” He was disciplined heavily and sexually abused.

In his mid-teens, when he asked his mother where his music and entertainment flair came from, he was told his father was famed entertainer, actor and comedian Maurie Fields.

They’d been filming the same TV shows without realising.  Years later he tried to get to know his father better by booking a tour for him. But he found Fields distant, so he moved on.

A year after Pier Hotel, Alan was involved in a three day festival which lost $100,000. His partners ducked, and he was left with the debts.

“Many bands that I got so many jobs for shit-canned me off over one (failed) gig, so I gave up the Entertainment agency, and after a while, joined the youth justice system, wanting to give something back by becoming a Music teacher and Mentor.”

That job ended after ten years when he accosted an inmate bullying a disabled boy. At that time, his partner was diagnosed with cancer, and he cared for her for four years until she passed.

He ultimately returned to his favourite loves, music and performing.

A favourite on-the-road story concerns going to America with Cash Backman & The Players. A show in Memphis was “a BBQ festival to 200,000 people. Each year they’d do a tribute to a different country, and that was year was Australia, so we played with a whole bunch of Aussie acts.

“The next day the promoter contacted us to say that ZZ Top and Chuck Berry were doing a show together the next night, and invited us to get up and play. But by then we were back in Los Angeles and didn’t have the money to return to Memphis. So that was one that got away!”

ARCA would like to thank the following sponsors of The Desk Tape Series:-

Sponsor                            Industry Roles

  • Showtech                         Rigging                           
  • CMI                                   P.A and Production                     
  • Clearlight                          Lighting                                    
  • DSE Trucks                       Transport                                  
  • Scully Outdoors               Outdoor Production          
  • Gigpower                         Crewing and Staging                            
  • Lock and Load                 Crewing                          
  • Chameleon Touring        Production and Lighting                        
  • JPJ                                      P.A and Lighting                                            
  • Novatech                          P.A and Lighting    
  • Phaseshift                        Lighting                                    
  • Show FX Australia           Pyrotechnics                    
  • Event Personnel Australia   Crewing                          
  • Norwest                           P.A and Lighting Production
  • Nprint                               Artwork

Ian Peel and Adrian Anderson, ARCA Co-founders and Directors.

Note from founders:-

“ARCA and The Desk Tape Series is a small way we can help our mates get some self-worth and recognition for their contribution to the Aussie music industry and help if they are in crisis. It is a great honour for us to be able to present these memories to all.”

All Hail Roadies and Crew

“Looking after OUR OWN with FEELING and a WHOLE LOTTA LOVE”

All enquiries contact :

Adrian Anderson     0409 789 440

 Ian Peel                        0415 667 221


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