Paul Hurst, Entertainment Promoter: 15th
interview one of south east Sydney's most notable
promoters, Paul Hurst.
discusses his career, how he got started, the business
today, tales from the road and more.
has always been one of my main interests from the
time I listened to the top 40 every Sunday night on
my tiny transistor way back in the 60s to playing
my first ukulele, finally progressing onto a guitar.
I finally had the courage to play House of the Rising
Sun for a friend and I was shocked when he said he
liked my rendition!
there I moved on to performing gospel music on my
own, supported other pioneering gospel rock acts such
as Freeway in the 70s finally forming my own contemporary
gospel band "Revelation" in the mid 80s.
Also had a stint as an Elvis impersonator and occasionally
when pressured will perform some Elvis gospel. I am
currently contemplating an act of "Elvis Singspirations"
featuring Elvis gospel songs of which there are plenty.
Seems Elvis has been cornered from all directions,
Hillybilly Cat, 50s rocker, 70s jump suits but what
about his gospel side? Remember he won his first Grammy
award for "How Great Thou Art"!
are the highlights of your career?
playing guitar and songwriting with Revelation in
the 80s. We traveled from hall to hall and from church
to church , in fact anywhere people wanted to listen
to us. Yes, we were asked for return engagements thank
God. Remember playing at a church dinner at Narrabeen
and Oscar the singer wowed them, with 10 encores!
is some of the greatest talent you have worked with
in the past 2 decades?
singer for Revelation, Oscar Santos from Maroubra,
the most impressive singer I have encountered over
the last decade or two. Oscar is a natural with a
relaxed, smooth style, somewhere between Elvis and
Tom Jones. Blessed with a great vocal range, managing
to hit all those high notes in "Unchained Melody"
Oscar is now a regular on the club circuit and gaining
a well-deserved reputation for professionalism.
singer I am really impressed with happens to be the
lead singer with the current pop band "Rockingham
Sugar" Gabby is a friend and I have seen her
talent develop over the last few years. Incredible
voice, sweet, listenable and memorable. Their first
CD is being launched later this month and I wish them
well. This band has it all, great singing, great musicians
and they write catchy melodies as well! Nice people
as well which is always a bonus!
my main motivation is my faith in Christ which keeps
me going. I have satisfaction and peace and that's
what counts more than monetary achievements.
my interest in the music scene I guess. So much talent
out there waiting to be presented to the public! Like
gold waiting to be discovered. Who will do the job?
are a few funny stories from the road?
Revelation story comes to mind. The band were booked
to play in Wollongong Town Hall for an evening concert.
We totally misjudged the time it would take our old
ricketty 1960 Toyota bus to reach our destination.
We finally turned up at the venue at 7.55pm and we
were on in 5 minutes. No time to set up the amplifiers,
so I just picked up my tiny 10 watt practice amp.
At least they could see I was playing, don't know
if they heard a note. All I could hear was the singer
standing next to me! Maybe we should have called ourselves
time I had programmed some chords into an electronic
synthesizer before a performance, believing like a
boy scout I had to be prepared. Well, half way through
the first song I dropped something on the floor, I
bent down but the keyboard kept playing minus my hands!
The audience were amazed thinking I was some type
qualities should a good promoter process?
courage and an intuitive talent for picking music
that will appeal to your target audience.
You have to believe in the bands you promote. They
have to be the type of band I would pay to listen
does the industry attract so many eccentric types?
you need to be a little eccentric at times to survive
the ups and downs. Keeping the energy batteries topped
up is a prerequisite.
is not just a steady 9 to 5 job. Dealing with a wide
range of personalities means we need to be all things
to all people!
there many "dodgy" promoters in the market,
or have most of these dried up over the years?
beware! Seriously I have not had many unpleasant occurrences
but still need to be vigilant.
are some of your life and career mentors?
Robertson, Australia's first rock and roller was a
major influence in my life. She recently passed away
and is sadly missed. Judy was an inspiration. Her
insights and knowledge of the Australian music industry
was incredible. She seemed to know everyone from the
50s to the 90s! A true professional, great attitude,
so positive and also a nice person. Supportive to
up and coming talent!
are your favorite venues in Australia?
Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL for the amazing mix
of talent they promote.
are the RSL clubs so popular in Australia?
else can you go to a show for a few dollars and experience
world class entertainment? To me this type of venue
is a much more intimate, grass roots experience than
joining several thousand in a large auditorium watching
a screen up in the air.
has the Internet had a positive and negative impact
on the entertainment business?
for tracking down and booking your favourite artist!
Email makes it so much easier to get in touch with
an artist you have only seen on the stage. Electro
fanmail. Good opportunities for young artists to self
publish on the net. Not so good I guess for commercial
you do business with Max Markson or Harry M. Miller?
to me? Have heard of Harry M Miller, would like to
meet him I guess.
is the greatest performer and promoter of all time?
the greatest performer and most probably his shadow,
the Colonel would be a hard act to beat as a manager/promoter.
are your thoughts on "Australian Idol"?
show, great talent, I watch it. It is filling a need
in the industry to promote young acts who need public
exposure. Whatever happened to Young Talent Time?
have you given back to the industry?
aim has always been to promote talent that deserves
to be promoted. If this means that it may cost me
something I have carried on regardless. Promotion
is almost everything in the music biz and there is
always someone out there needing a helping hand. I
have promoted major gospel concerts and my policy
is to invite one or two unknowns on the bill to give
them a break. Much has been given to me and I believe
I have the responsibility to give back to the industry.
note: An interesting, entertaining and insightful
interview with one of the industry's real great guys.
See you at the club soon!
Hurlstone Park RSL Club
Idol official website
Talent Time fan website
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