At the first Mystrys and Kontacts reunion in August 2006, we all swore that we would try to keep in touch and have another meeting when convenient. Mystrys bass guitarist Charlie Bayliss and I decided that Saturday 17 March 2007 would be a mutually suitable date for most of us, so I arranged to take a week off from performing and go to Melbourne for a few days. I arrived on 14 March and stayed with my very good friend and fantastic singer, the late Tony Paris and we met up with Charlie for dinner.
Of course I also visited my daughter Alicia, who was then at university in Melbourne. Unfortunately, almost at the last minute, Mystrys rhythm guitarist Kevin Thomas was booked to play at a function from which he could not escape, so he sent his apologies. Kontacts rhythm guitarist Joy Pownall was caught up in Queensland and was most sorry that she could not fly down to Melbourne for the reunion.
Prior to my trip, I was contacted by Iain McIntyre, the author of some definitive Australian musical history books, who was broadcasting a music program on Radio 3CR in Melbourne. He had discovered that The Mystrys and Kontacts were having a reunion. Iain asked if I was interested in being interviewed, so we made arrangements for this on Friday 16 March, the day before our reunion dinner.
When I arrived at the 3CR studio, I was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to famed music historian and author Ian Marks, who was publishing the very interesting music magazine Foffle. We did the interview for about 30 minutes, had a lot of laughs and informed the listeners all about The Mystrys saga and how our identities were the best-kept secret in Australian music history. Click on the media player under the picture, then click the Play button to hear the interview.
Music historian and author Ian Marks and Ziggy, with author and radio interviewer Iain McIntyre at Melbourne radio station 3CR
On the evening of Saturday 17 March 2007, we met at the Piccolo Mondo Restaurant in Lygon Street Carlton. Present were Mystrys members Charlie and me, Kontacts members Davida Dowal and her husband Robert, drummer Kaye Keele and her father Fred, singer Alison Lafferty and her husband Keith and famed publicist and Mystrys songwriter the late Bob King Crawford.
We all had a very tasty dinner and an outrageously funny and enjoyable time until midnight. Many jokes were told, old stories flew thick and fast and Mystrys and Kontacts scrapbooks and memorabilia were produced, bringing back more nostalgic memories of those great days so many years ago. Kontacts rhythm guitarist Joy Pownall phoned from Queensland and we all had a chat to her. As before, we all swore to keep in touch and not let the memories of The Mystrys and Kontacts die out. The following photos were all taken at the reunion - yes, this is what rockers look like when they grow up.
The Mystrys, Kontacts and their very dear families and friends having a great time
Davida, Bob and Charlie
Kontacts lead singer Alison Lafferty
Kontacts drummer Kaye Keele
Kontacts lead guitarist Davida Dowal
Mystrys bass guitarist and lead singer Charlie Bayliss
Renowned media consultant, publicist and Mystrys songwriter the late Bob King Crawford
Our very good friend and famed vocalist the late Tony Pantano was performing his regular gig at the Campari Restaurant in Port Melbourne, so Charlie, Tony Paris and I decided to go and watch him sing and socialise. I also received a big surprise when two musicians whom I had worked with around 40 years ago, the late pianist Genya Kostromin and trumpeter Paul Gregorevich turned up. We all had a marvellous afternoon, talking about old times again and just remembering all the outrageous characters that were on the Melbourne music scene in the 1960s and 1970s.
Ziggy's good friends for over 40 years, famed vocalist Tony Paris, pianist Genya Kostromin and trumpeter Paul Gregorevich
Bob King Crawford, Charlie Bayliss and very good mate and renowned performer Tony Pantano
Just to show you all how far back we go and to embarrass my old mates by dredging up this ancient picture, Charlie had been in a rock band called Isy And The Dynamics with Tony Pantano when they were teenagers and I had known Tony from the time I entered the music business at 17 years of age. Here is a publicity shot of The Dynamics, clearly displaying the hairstyles, clothes and pointy shoes that all good rockers were wearing back then.
All this may seem kitschy now, but we had a lot of fun in those innocent yet wild days when we were serving our apprenticeships in show business and the memories, like our musical workmates and friends, are deeply treasured. The really sad news was the death of Tony Pantano in January 2023 and he will be sorely missed.
Isy And The Dynamics, with Tony Pantano on the stool and Charlie Bayliss on the far right
I was most sad when my time in Melbourne came to a close. I went back to Sydney the next morning, as I had performance commitments to fulfil.