The Mercy Beats - a popular band made up of local Salvation Army members - performs at the Maroochydore Hotel in December 1967.
The Mercy Beats - a popular band made up of local Salvation Army members - performs at the Maroochydore Hotel in December 1967. Sunshine Coast Heritage Library

The times were a-changing

IN 1967, when the Sunshine Coast was officially named, the Vietnam War was in full swing, The Beatles were topping the charts with their Sgt Pepper album and the world was changing forever - both musically and culturally.

The changes were reflected on the Sunshine Coast as much as anywhere.

Live music was still king, with local bands such as The Mercy Beats and The Gemini Four rocking local venues.

Surfing music was booming and the younger crowds liked nothing better than doing The Stomp at their local hall.

It would be a few more years before places such as Surfair, Thommo's Pub and the Reef Hotel began packing the punters in to hear some of the biggest names in the country.

Cold Chisel, INXS, Midnight Oil and The Angels all played here during the heady days of the late 1970s and 1980s, when people like Bill Glasson and Ashley Robinson were running the venues and booking the talent.

A young Barry Charles arrived in Noosa and soon made his mark, playing some memorable gigs and eventually establishing the Full Moon Dances at the Verrierdale Hall.

Drive-in theatres were all the rage but if you wanted take-away for dinner, the food was good but the selection limited to fish and chips, burgers or maybe some Chinese - until the likes of Annette Sym came along and taught us how to eat healthy again.


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