Melbourne’s first 1960’s rock star, singer/songwriter Johnny Chester visited the RPP FM studio this week and caught up with the charming Judy Banks-Phillips and ‘spruce-up’ Bob Phillips on their Sugar n’ Spice radio program.
Known as ‘Ches’ in the entertainment industry, Johnny spoke candidly about humble beginnings back in the radio days of 3UZ saying “People stood up and took notice of me because I just wanted to have a ‘crack’ at it.”
His shared stories touring with the Beatles 50 years ago which was both memorable and awe-inspiring. Playing to screaming teenagers in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand, the Beatles took a fondness to Johnny and his music with a passing comment from John Lennon that instilled his confidence and eased his nervousness. The comment most likely contributed to Ches’s success.
Johnny described the Beatles as nice guys, enjoying meals together and attending Paul McCartney’s 22nd birthday in Sydney. “In the same age group and being part of the music scene in the 1960’s with similar music influences, I got on very well with the Fab Four.”
During Johnny’s interview with Bob & Judy, some of his popular songs were played including a ballad he wrote about loneliness. “You know,” he said, “Loneliness is the most debilitating emotion one can inflict on oneself.” The song was beautifully written accompanied by a ‘moving’ melody.
Ches spoke briefly about working with RPP FM Station Manager, Brendon Telfer back in the good old days of radio.
Johnny Chester also toured with Ray Orbison, Dion, and the Everly Brothers in his ‘hay day’.
Bob & Judy were delighted to have the opportunity to interview Johnny on Sugar n’ Spice.
If you want more to hear more interviews with famous entertainers , rock star s and celebrities, tune into Sugar ‘n Spice with Bob & Judy every Thursday 9-11am on 98.7FM and 98.3FM Frankston.
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Words Debra Mar
Image captured by Rab Siddhi
Pictured: Bob & Judy in Studio 2 interivews Johnny Chester about his experience in the 1960s when the Beatles came to town.
Written by: RPP FM Helper