Rock 'N' Roll Knows No Limits!


Or, Love Has No Borders, Nationalities or Genders.


I first met the ultimate rock 'n' roll band, Guitar Wolf, while my band Rocket Science were touring with them in Victoria some 20 years or so ago. I thought I knew a thing or two about rock 'n' roll. They taught me that this was way too much thinking. Rock ‘n’ roll is not something you think about. It’s something you are, or are not.

I thought I knew how to drink a lot of beer. Ha!

I thought is was important to tune your guitar. Wrong again.

I thought I knew about dedication. Drum Wolf playing hyper energetic, an hour and a half long sets while clad head to toe in leather proved I didn’t.

Guitar Wolf have removed every extraneous and incidental element from their rock 'n' roll. They do away with song form, ensemble playing, sometimes even rhythm itself, in their pursuit of all that is holy about this art form. Shapes. Postures. Attitude. Fearlessness. Slogans. Leather. Flames. Volume. Narrative. Otherness. Inclusion. Impeccable manners. This is what’s important.

Flash forward to December 2011 and I find myself as PBS’ Production Manager, I am charged with the care of Studio 5, and a lot of the mixing.

Guitar Wolf arrive for their session in full leathers (remember, this is for radio, and it’s summer!).

We greet each other and re-acquaint ourselves, despite the barrier I face as a useless Westerner that can only speak one language.

They pick out the biggest and loudest amps that we have, and turn them ALL the way up. To 11. ALL OF THE WAY UP.  EVERY KNOB ON EVERY AMP. This is still not enough so they ask for amps to be fed to foldback monitors. This is the first and only time I have been asked for this.

They smash the living shit out of it, as you can hear here.

The loudest thing I have ever witnessed in Studio 5.


They drink beer, they hang out.  And then they are gone, in a cloud of smoke, flame, heaving amplifiers and stunned PBS staff.

Fast forward again to November 2019, I have just returned from a tour in Japan, and have the pleasure to mix The Let’s Go’s, yet another fantastic Japanese rock 'n' roll band. The leader of this band is the daughter of Guitar Wolf leader, Seiji. This is Sakura Anno, who plays bass, and that bass turns out to be the one that Billy Bass Wolf used in Guitar Wolf until he sadly passed away. We chat about Guitar Wolf, Billy, rock ‘n’ roll, Japan etc. Sakura worked and studied in Australia and speaks English very well. I have picked up a little Japanese on my visit so the conversation is easy.

As predicted, they absolutely kill it. They hang out, drink beer, pose for photos and then they are gone.

I hope to see them all again one day, maybe even in Japan! Ah travel, how I miss you.

Listen back to The Let’s Go’s here.