Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Dance Hall Days Again; Guitarist in Practice for Last Show

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Dance Hall Days Again; Guitarist in Practice for Last Show

Article excerpt

HUMANS OF THE SUNSHINE COAST

With Janine Hill

THE year was 1964.

The Beatles had dominated the charts. Holden was selling the EH. Midge Farrelly had won the world surfing championship.

And a band called the Valiants made up of a bunch of mostly surf-loving boys from Balmoral High in Brisbane, was the hottest show on the Sunshine Coast.

The Valiants -- singer-guitarist Keith Barton, lead guitarist Phil James, bass player Russell Mann, and drummer Col Mahoney -- played at dances at Danceland at Cotton Tree over the Christmas-New Year period that year.

Keith remembers mischievous Maroochydore lifesavers emptying two sacks of cane toads on to the middle of the dance floor as a prank on New Year's Eve.

"The girls were standing on the seats on either side of the room," he said.

Keith, now 70 and retired at Caloundra, and two of the band members were into surfing and never needed much of an excuse to drive to the Coast.

"At that time, if there were more than six or seven surfers at Noosa main beach, it was considered to be crowded," he said. …

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