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Australian Road Crew Association’s ”Desk Tape Series” Entering New Era

The Australian Road Crew Association’s (ARCA) flagship fund raising initiative, The ARCA Desk Tape Series, is about to enter an exciting new era.

The exclusive tapes of concerts and gigs by some of the best known Australian acts (and two international guitarists) found a large audience from the beginning.

They included Neil Finn, Men At Work, Crowded House, Australian Crawl, Models, Albert Lee & Vince Gill, Wendy Matthews, Jimmy & The Boys, The Party Boys, Doug Parkinson & The Southern Star Band, Russell Morris & The Rubes, TMG, Goanna, Redgum, Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, Dave Tice & The Headhunters and Dutch Tilders.

On the AIR Independent Chart of the November 8 2021 AIR Charts, Models’ Live At The Overlander debuted at #14 – the first chart success for the series!

Full details of each release, with interviews, are under Black Box Records at:

Home – ARCA (australianroadcrew.com.au)

With the first 20 releases through ARCA’s own Black Box Records (via MGM) on all major streaming services, ARCA is looking at new outlets to issue CD and vinyl versions.

“The fans are very passionate about music, and they have made it quite clear they also want hardcopies via CD and vinyl versions to complete their collections,” says Ian Peel, who co-founded ARCA with fellow crew veteran Adrian Anderson.

“So we are looking at different avenues where these concert tapes can be found.”

The Series are being acknowledged by the wider music industry as important historical pieces as well as maintaining a residual income to help roadies and crew in crisis.

In mid-November 2021, Sounds Australia included them to its playlists.

The Triple M radio network and community stations did Desk Tape Series specials. TV networks Seven and Nine have expressed interest.

ARCA Crew Members recorded gigs on cassette for personal / band reference and enjoyment. Consequently these wondrous Desk Tapes are what crew and acts believe are superior live performances; quality at times is a secondary issue.

Now the tapes have become history.

In 2019 ARCA decided to use the tapes as a world-first program to assist raising badly needed funds and resources for Support Act’s Roadies Fund to provide financial, health, counselling and well-being services for crews.

A call was put out for the crew fraternity for their tapes. Over 100 were sent in. The series has generated $40,000 so far. Over 10 million streams and digital downloads globally.

All the artists have embraced the brilliant idea with open arms. US country superstar guitarist and Eagles touring member for the last 5 years, Vince Gill, thought the series unique to ARCA and Australia, and loved how it helped those in strife.

“Everyone’s in the same boat after COVID, and it’s great to be part of good people doing things like this to give a hand up,” he commented.

Artists saw the desk tapes as amazing freeze frames of different aspects of their careers.

It also allowed them to honour their crews, many of whom have passed on, real characters who helped shape the local music industry from the start.

“It’s devastating at the amount of talented crew that have gone. Its important to acknowledge and honour their contribution to the music industry, and support those that need help” Peel says.

The liner notes to each release also documents details of the show, the venue, the crew and band. These soon became acclaimed by fans for providing an alternative history of Australian rock music from a crew/production point of view.

Australian Crawl’s Bill McDonough regarded them “part of our family” and wrote the song “Love Boys” for them.

The band Models considered them “co-workers and part of the family”. Recalled Mark Ferrie , “They worked so hard, we were playing all the time.”

The ARCA website is being upgraded to allow live streaming and display more mementoes.

MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Matthews Media / mpmatthews@bigpond.co

MOBILE: 0418 536 637

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