From when I began this series in 2017, I have been surprised at just how many former members of well-known bands from the ‘60s and ‘70s now live and still entertain in the local area and for this issue, our “Entertainer of the Island” is former Pink Finks and Running, Jumping, Standing Still guitarist and now local resident, Rick Dalton. Currently the bass guitarist in a band which is known by the name “Dave Deano Rick & Steve,” Rick Dalton made the decision to become a professional musician at the age of twelve when, while on holidays with his mother, he saw a group of guys setting up a band and reckoned it looked like a good idea.
Featured Image(above): Bossmen xpress members Rick, Charlie and BJ pictured without their fourth member Hadyn
‘At first, I asked for a banjo and my Aunty bought me a tin banjo with strings that were virtually unable to be tuned,’ Rick told me. ‘Because that resulted in me not being able to produce a good sound, I became a bit discouraged with it all. It wasn’t until I was about fifteen that my mum took me to a music shop where we purchased a nylon string guitar,’ he said. Following a while spent playing surfing and Shadows music alongside a couple of others including Ross Hannaford, a harmonica and trumpet player by the name of Ross Wilson happened along and joined in.
Rick pointed out that he was always the one who found places for the band to play at, and one of those venues was a downbeat jazz club which they turned into a blues club. ‘I’m not sure whether we were very popular with the jazz fans but they seemed to like us,’ Rick remarked. Before long, an advertisement for a band to play at a venue in Rosebud prompted the band members to come up with a better name than what they had and this r6esulted in the birth of “The Pink Finks.” ‘At the time, we were all still at school and I made the decision to leave, moving into a garage in Brighton,’ said Rick.
‘Unfortunately, the other guys’ parents became concerned that I might drag them away from school as well and this resulted in me being basically made to leave,’ he said regretfully. Quickly recovering from this disappointment, Rick joined a band by the name of “The Polka Dots” as lead guitarist and recalled the time when they were desperately in need of transport to a gig. ‘The mother of one guy owned a VW and we packed it up with the drum kit, two amplifiers, three guitars and all of the band,’ Rick told me. ‘One of us was working the pedals while another changed gears and someone else was steering,’ he added.
The next chapter in Rick’s career was when he, Ian Robinson, Andy James and Doug Ford joined up to become “Running, Jumping, Standing Still” and became quite popular within the local music scene, appearing at a variety of venues and doing a segment on the Channel Ten “Go Show.” There were, as is the situation with most musos at one time or another when they struggled for money and Rick mentioned the times when they would pull into a service station and put seventy cents worth of fuel in the old blue bus that they ended up with after a tour.
Running, Jumping, Standing Still
‘We went on a tour in this bus and when we returned, we never got paid by the promoter so we kept the bus and lived in it,’ said Rick. ‘I went around to ask for our money but got met with a knife. I think that he was trying to scare me and it certainly worked,’ he said. A trip to his parents’ motel in the country was the start of a series of events that would see Rick become a family man and, as many do when life gets in the way, put his music career on hold.
He told me that a downturn in the business world prompted his move from Victoria to the Sunshine Coast where he commenced a successful TV antenna business which he operated for about fifteen years before moving to our part of the world. During his time at the Sunny Coast Rick played in a band which entertained under the name of “Bossmen Xpress” and folded after the singer moved away.
As seems to be the case with most musicians who move to the area, Rick went along to check out the “Locals Only” afternoon at the Blue Pacific Hotel and from that visit, he became the bass guitarist there for a number of years. His current band, “Dave, Deano, Rick & Steve” play at The Beachmere Tavern on alternate Sundays and are also available for bookings. Anyone who would like to enquire about having the guys play at an event is welcome to call Rick on 0448 976 900.