SCOPERISE: So have you met any well known musicians?
DANTE: There have been a few chance encounters. Firstly, I knew a keyboard player in Tasmania called John Nyman. He was an acquaintance I met through Mack Lancaster. He was a cheeky lad known for his quick wit and good keyboard chops. At that stage John played in a band called Room 101 and in another cover band I cant remember the name of but they played many of my favourite songs. He later joined Geisha who topped the charts and performed their hit 'Kabuki' on Countdown in 1985. Their biggest hit was 'Part Time Love Affair' in 1986. I liked their new wave 'power' synth and guitar style which was reminiscent of Psuedo Echo or American band Mr Mister or UK band 'Reflex' (another band I really liked from that era).
I met Johnny again in Sydney in 1987 again through Mack and at that stage John had become a sales manager at Allan's Music store. That was a stroke of luck because he sold me a Roland MT32 and a Yamaha TX81Z for below cost price. The Roland MT32 became my favourite multitimbral MIDI Synth Expander for many years until the Emu Proteus came out (I bought one in 1990 when I had moved back to Melbourne). John lived in a unit with a great view of Sydney Harbour and of course his home studio with loads of great gear.
That era was kind of memorable to me because of course it became apparent that you could have a home based high tech MIDI studio equipped with a computer and produce music at a high high quality that bands were no longer entirely reliant on expensive studio time.
Of course, in the 1980's you still relied on tape so I had purchased a Tascam 38 which I kept until around 1994. That was replaced by up and coming digital audio sequencers running on personal computers a couple of years later.
SCOPERISE: Yes I remember Geisha. Anyone else?
DANTE: In the mid 80's I had moved to Canberra and there some friends threw me a birthday party and gave me as a birthday gift 'The Blurred Crusade' album by The Church. I really loved that album and hadn't really listened to 'The Church' much before that. Before that though in 1981 they had their huge debut album 'Of Skins and Heart' - also a great album.
At that stage I lived with flatmates in the town of Kingston. Then Nick Ward moved into a corner house just opposite. He was the drummer for The Church on their first album but left the band before their second album. Nick got me to open a concert jam he held in his large backyard paddock of me performing guitar backed by my computer. No one had seen that before in those days so I was a kind of novelty act. Later on I lent him my Tascam 244 Portastudio and helped him to record a couple of tracks with it.
The Portastudio was a great device at the time more or less starting the cassette multitrack revolution. Nick also helped me with some speaker boxes - he was very handy with electronics and also built a home studio of sorts where he recorded with local acts.
SCOPERISE: What about later years - any more brushes with Fame?
DANTE: John Perry is a good friend who played with the Channel 9 band, Marsha Hines and a few other luminaries as well as winning a Talent Show with a performance of Caravan. He's a great drummer who has been playing, gigging and teaching for decades. He never stops and just keeps on keeping on.
Other than that, in the mid 1980's I met Colin and Denny Burgess (ex Master Apprentices) due to my friend Mack playing in their band 'His Majesty'. Mack also performed keyboards on Tiny Tim's release of 'Highway To Hell' and 'I Love Rock and Roll'.