How do you cram in almost 40 years of friendship into a few paragraphs? I’ll give it a go.
I first met Craig back in the early 80’s through a mutual friend Tom, who I worked with off & on helping him with his sound and lighting business, on the Central Coast. Tom was the science teacher at The Entrance High School where Craig went to school. Craig used to pop into Tom’s to pick up or drop off equipment.
I do remember seeing Craig in “S’cool” the musical and remembered his standout performance, which stuck with me.
A year or two passed, and I’d formed my first band, “Far East.” We gigged at all the local venues, at the same time “Alex Cleg & The Y-Fronts” were playing the same venues. They soon became just “The Y-Fronts” It must have been a year or two later that my band had split, and I’d joined a heavy metal band called “Overkill.” This was a happening band, and we packed out venues all the time.
Little did I know that Craig and Mark (Y-Front’s bass player) had come to a few gigs to check out my playing. Well before I knew it, I was now being poached and was playing in two bands from opposite ends style-wise—Overkill heavy metal and The Y-Fronts, a mish-mash of Steve Miller, Aussie Crawl, The Police, Thin Lzz, and some originals that were kinda funk-rock style. We gigged for about 12 months, having a blast writing originals and hanging out, and then it stopped. Craig moved to Sydney to pursue acting more seriously and then to Melbourne to join “Neighbours.”
Forward to 88/89, Craig asked us to move to Melbourne. He wanted to put The Y-Fronts back together. So off to Melbourne I went. It’s from here I could actually write a book, so I’m going to jump through this.
We had a great time playing around Melbourne and the country as The Y-Fronts. Man! We had some funny and good times, until the record company got involved which is when the horrible name Check 1-2 was born, and then it all turned to shit for everyone, but more for Craig. Luckily for me, I didn’t sign the record contract, but Craig did, and now he was stuck with them.
By the end of 1990, it was all over for the band. Craig was now doing Home & Away and then the first installment of The Rocky Horror Show. Then, he moved to the UK, where we lost contact, which must have been around 92/93, I think?
Fast forward to 99, I was living at Bondi Beach at the time. We all had mobile phones now, and out of the blue I get a call, Dave, it’s Craig. Craig who? I asked. ,Craig Mac. Holy shit! Where the hell are you? I’m in Australia filming an Olympic games promo for the UK. We’re filming it down at Bondi Beach. I’m literally a block away, I’ll see you soon. Now we hadn’t been in contact for 6/7 years, Craig’s back for a second, hears on the grapevine that my mum had passed and somehow manages to track down my number to check that I’m ok. That’s the kind of friendship we have.
By this stage, my band Welter (still together today) had just released our first album, so I took him a copy. We only caught up for a while, and he was off again. Three months later, Craig rings me from Queensland from a movie set to tell me how blown away he was by Welter’s music.
From that day, if Craig was ever in town (not very often), he’d always come and sit in on a gig, and it was always such a pleasure to have him play, and boy did we have some great gigs.
Craig and I weren’t finished with our music though. The Y-Fronts got railroaded by the record company, so we never had the chance to record the album we should have. So we formed the band Mullet, a piss-take name of the mullets we used to have back in the 80’s. Something we’ve always been able to do is laugh at ourselves, and there’s been a lot of laughing, believe me.
Craig and I started recording and gigging in between his busy schedule, having a blast, no management and no record companies, just us. We would book a studio, just the two of us and Russell our engineer, and we’d just record. Craig would then play bass and add keys if needed. We always have so much fun hanging out, whether it’s in the studio or across the road at the local cafe.
There are sometimes very large gaps in our friendship due to work and schedule commitments. Sometimes, it’s months, other times years, but the one thing that’s always constant is when we do catch up, it’s like it was yesterday we saw each other. It’s always been like this, and it always will.
We love each other like brothers, and we just love playing music together, whether it’s Mullet, or a musical Craig is writing, or filling in on a Welter gig. This is something we will do until the day we are carted off to the great gig in the sky, and then, we’ll be playing with every idle having the best jam two mates could have because it will never end.
Dave Williams (Welter Music)