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Merritt in Music Made By Legends

Merritt in Music Made By Legends

Who: Max Merritt
Where: Western Suburbs Leagues Club
Author: Jade Lazarevic
When: Friday September 12, 2003

WHEN the LONG WAY TO THE TOP concert spectacular completed tours of Australia in 2003 and 2002, it paved the way for a rock'n'roll revival.

New Zealand born star MAX MERRITT, who regards Australia as his real home, was one of 30 legendary artists who revisited the hits of the past during the nostalgic tour.

Although Merritt has been based in the US for the past 22 years, his involvement in Long Way to the Top placed him back in high demand.

This year, he has toured with fellow muso DOUG PARKINSON and his band THE METEORS and recorded new material for the first time in a decade.

``Since Long Way to the Top there has been a lot of interest and I have more work than I can do at the moment, but it's better to be that way than the other way,'' Merritt said.

``I think the show has helped everybody because it has brought it to people's attention that there is still a lot of good music out there that isn't necessarily done by 16-year-olds.

'' Merritt made a humble step into music in 1957 when he formed the basis of the band The Meteors.

By 1959, the band had supported JOHNNY O'KEEFE and had a string of hits with Get A Haircut, Kiss Curl and C'Mon Let's Go .

In 1963, the band flew to Australia but it wasn't until its return a year later that it really made its mark.

The band appeared on Johnny O'Keefe's popular Sing, Sing, Sing program, supported the ROLLING STONES and had a hit with the single Shake .

But success was stopped short in 1967 when the band was involved in a car accident.

It was a year until the band could return to touring and it made a triumphant comeback with the release of the album Max Merritt & The Meteors.

The band embarked on an unsuccessful tour of the UK but returned to a warm response in Australia when it appeared at the SUNBURY FESTIVAL in January 1972.

By 1974, things had turned sour when the band's manager left.

Merritt continued with his career and met with CLIVE DAVIS of ARISTA RECORDS in 1975 and released the hit single A Little Easier .

The Meteors returned to Australia for a tour in 1976 to promote the release of the album Out Of The Blue before calling it a day.

Merritt relocated to the US where he has been based ever since.

But since his stint in Long Way To the Top, Merritt has spent more time in Australia and is considering buying a property in the country.

``I was planning on getting a place back here in Australia because I am spending so much time here now that I'm probably going to move back here in some form or another whether its permanent or not.

``But I would like to have a house here where I could stay for a while.

'' Merritt is on tour with the new-look Meteors with whom he recently recorded four new tracks.

The songs are included on the band's new IN CONCERT DVD which was recorded at Melbourne's CROWN CASINO .

``I haven't recording anything commercially for 10 years so it was a lot of fun to get back in there although it's still not as much fun as performing live.

MAX MERRITT & THE METEORS will perform at WEST LEAGUES CLUB on Friday night.

``I will do about three or four new songs, but obviously folks want to hear the older songs because that's what they come along to hear and that's what they remember you for.

``I still love playing the old songs and I'm just very grateful that we have had the chance to have a few hits along the way.

'' Tickets are on sale from the club.

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