The Master's Apprentices

The Master's Apprentices

One could easily make the case for designating the Masters Apprentices as the best Australian rock band of the '60s. Featuring singer Jim Keays and songwriter/rhythm guitarist Mick Bower, the band's earliest recordings combined the gritty R&B/rock of Brits like the Pretty Things with the minor-key melodies of the Yardbirds. The compelling "Wars or Hands of Time" and the dreamy psychedelia of "Living in a Child's Dream" were undiscovered classics, although the latter was a Top Ten hit in Australia. Bower left the group after suffering a nervous breakdown in late 1967, and the Masters grew steadily less interesting, moving from flower pop and hard rock to progressive and acoustic sounds. Plagued by instability (undergoing eight personnel changes between 1966 and 1968), the group moved to England in the early '70s, achieving some cult success with progressive rock albums before breaking up in 1972.

The Master's Apprentices Discography

The Masters' Apprentices* Living In A Child's Dream (Single) Astor New Zealand 1967 Sell This Version
The Masters Apprentices* Undecided (Single) Astor Australia 1967 Sell This Version
The Masters Apprentices* The Masters Apprentices (EP) Astor, Astor Australia 1967 Sell This Version
A-7075 The Masters Apprentices* Buried And Dead(7", Single) Astor A-7075 Australia 1967 Sell This Version
AEP-4059, AEP 4059 The Masters Apprentices* The Masters Apprentices Vol. 2(7", EP) Astor, Astor AEP-4059, AEP 4059 Australia 1968 Sell This Version
A-7102 The Master's Apprentices Brigette(7", Single) Astor A-7102 Australia 1968 Sell This Version
A-7087 The Masters Apprentices* Elevator Driver(7") Astor A-7087 Australia 1968 Sell This Version
A-7126 The Master's Apprentices But One Day(7", Single) Astor A-7126 Australia 1968 Sell This Version
The Master's Apprentices 5.10 Man (Single) Columbia Australia 1969 Sell This Version
The Master's Apprentices Think About Tomorrow Today (Single) Columbia Australia 1969 Sell This Version
DO-8677 The Master's Apprentices Linda Linda(7", Single) Columbia DO-8677 Australia 1969 Sell This Version
The Master's Apprentices Turn Up Your Radio (Single) Columbia Australia 1970 Sell This Version
SEGO-70190, SEGO 70190 The Master's Apprentices Turn Up Your Radio(7", EP) Columbia, Columbia SEGO-70190, SEGO 70190 Australia 1970 Sell This Version
The Master's Apprentices Because I Love You (Single) Columbia UK 1971 Sell This Version
EA-9525 Master's Apprentices* Future Of Our Nation(7", Single) His Master's Voice EA-9525 Australia 1971 Sell This Version
DO-9821 Master's Apprentices* Love Is(7") Columbia DO-9821 Australia 1972 Sell This Version
EMI-10560 Masters' Apprentices* Rio De Camero(7") EMI EMI-10560 Australia 1974 Sell This Version
VOZT 039 The Master's Apprentices Because I Love You(12", Single) Virgin Records Australia Pty. Ltd VOZT 039 Australia 1988 Sell This Version
VOZ 043 Masters Apprentices* Birth Of The Beat(7", Ltd) Virgin VOZ 043 Australia 1988 Sell This Version
F.T.V.#5 The Master's Apprentices / The Groop (3) The Master's Apprentices / The Groop (3) - Cortina Jingle / Mandrake Wine(7", S/Sided, Single) From The Vault F.T.V.#5 Australia 1989 Sell This Version


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February 22, 2015
edited about 1 year ago
In late 1965, The Mustangs renamed themselves as The Masters Apprentices (deliberately omitting the apostrophe). Rhythm guitarist Mick Bower supplied the name because “we are apprentices to the masters of the blues—Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and Robert Johnson”. By early 1966 they were one of the most popular beat bands in Adelaide, regularly selling out concerts in the city, as well as making visits to outlying towns of Murray Bridge, Mount Gambier and Whyalla. Their first TV appearance, on Good Friday, was on a Channel 7 telethon hosted by Adelaide TV celebrity Ernie Sigley. They entered the South Australian heat of Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds and finished third behind The Twilights (eventual national winners).
Later in 1966, The Masters Apprentices shared a gig with pop star Bobby Bright of Melbourne duo Bobby & Laurie, who was impressed and recommended them to his label, Astor Records. A few weeks later, they were contacted by Astor, which requested a four-track demo. The band went to a local two-track studio to record it, but realised that they had only three suitable songs to record. Needing a fourth track, guitarists Bower and Morrison wrote a new song, “Undecided”,in about 15 minutes; the backing track was cut in about the same time. The title came from the fact that they were undecided about a name for the song when quizzed by the studio owner, Max Pepper. The biting fuzz-tone of Bower’s guitar on the track was a fortunate accident; it was caused by a malfunctioning valve in his amplifier, but the group liked the sound and kept the faulty valve in until after the session.
In August, the band made their first visit to Melbourne, which was at the time the centre of the burgeoning Australian pop scene. They made a strong impression with showcase performances at the city’s leading discotheques, The Thumpin’ Tum and The Biting Eye. Their debut single “Undecided” / “Wars or Hands Of Time” was released in October and gradually climbed the Adelaide charts, thanks to strong support from local DJs.
“Wars or Hands of Time”, written by Bower, is the first Australian pop song to directly address the issue of the Vietnam War, which was now affecting the lives of many young Australians because of the controversial introduction of conscription in 1965. 20-year-old lead singer Jim Keays was one of hundreds of potential conscripts whose birthday (9 September) was picked in a 1966 ballot. He was able to legally avoid the draft by signing with the Citizens Military Force (CMF, later renamed the Army Reserve) and eluded a “short back and sides” haircut with the aid of his girlfriend, who pinned his long hair up under his slouch hat whenever he attended CMF sessions.
The Masters Apprentices continued under various line-ups from 1965 until 1972, reforming briefly in 1987 and on several subsequent occasions. ~

Melody Maker Review by Ray Hollingworth
"Don't know much about this band but from this album I can tell you that they conjure up some extremely listenable material and, wait for it, actually produce that rarity of delights these days - originallity.
Maybe it's the strong use of acoustic guitar, maybe it's the blowing energetic scores and vocals 'Because I Love You' is one of those splendid shifting things.".(1971)..

The Masters Apprentices biography in prog archives.........................

The Masters Apprentices official web site....


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