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|Frederick John Negro|
|Born||1959 (age 59–60)|
Richmond, Victoria, Australia
|Genres||Rock, punk, country|
|Musician, songwriter, satirist, cartoonist|
|The Editions, I Spit on Your Gravy, Gravybillies, The Band Who Shoot Liberty Valance, The Brady Bunch Lawnmower Massacre|
Frederick John Negro was born in 1959 and grew up in Richmond. In 1979 Negro formed a post-punk group, The Editions, on drums with Roz Dear on vocals, John Durr on guitar and David Yob Hoban on bass guitar. By the following year Dear was replaced by Sherine Abeyratne on vocals. From 1981 to 1982 they issued three cassette albums, Aggression, Recession and Obsession, on their own label, Orgasm Records.
Negro left The Editions in 1983 to form punk rockers, I Spit on Your Gravy on vocals and drums. Initial line up included Jason "The Big J" Banner (Australia's 8th best guitarist) on guitar, David Yob Hoban on bass guitar, and Scotti "Stix" Simpson on vocals and drums. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described their early performances as "shambolic, drunken affairs, replete with on-stage brawls and members barely able to stand upright, let alone play their instruments". Negro was often "dropping his pants in public" and would deliver "other on-stage obscenities".
In February 1985 the group issued their debut six-track extended play, St Kilda's Alright, which they co-produced with Paul Elliott for Man Made Records at York Street Studios. It included a ten-page booklet, "Suck This Fred Nile", that local police declared was "obscene" and confiscated all available copies due to Negro's "debauched" cartoons and photocopied pornographic images. As for the music itself, McFarlane declares it was "desperately inept and sounded like it had been recorded at the bottom of a dam".
Also in 1985 Phil "Grizzly" Miles joined I Spit on Your Gravy on rhythm guitar and vocals. They issued a studio album, Fruit Loop City, in June 1987, which was co-produced by Miles and Peter "Poyt" Walker for Virgin Records. They disbanded in the next year, Negro and Miles promptly formed Gravybillies, as a country music, spoof band.
Late in 1987 Negro and Miles formed a rock group, The Band Who Shot Liberty Valance, with Phil "Good-One" Bryant on drums and Trevor Pennington on bass guitar (both ex-Corpse Grinders); and Terry Fosters on harmonica. McFarlane described this group as "lager louts [who] were the ultimate charmless, inner-city party band". In October 1988 they issued an album, Outlaw Death Lager Drinkers from Hell, on Virgin Records. This group broke up in 1989; Negro and Fosters formed The Brady Bunch Lawnmower Massacre, which "continued the drunken hillbilly theme". The line up included Paul Barnett on bass guitar, Garry Mansfield on guitar; and former bandmate, Simpson on drums.
In 1988 he formed The Brady Bunch Lawnmower Massacre, a country-punk fusion group with Garry Mansfield (guitar), Paul Barnett (bass), Scotty Simpson (drums) and Terry Foster (guitar, harmonica); they disbanded in 1993. Punk-influenced I Spit On Your Gravy had also disbanded by the end of the 1980s but Fred has maintained a significant underground presence in Melbourne, Australia with regular appearances in his other bands, and today contributes a weekly 'Pub Strip' to the Melbourne street press, and until major renovation in 2009 MC'd the long running Karaoke night at the Greyhound Hotel, St Kilda, Victoria.
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