Photograph, publicity, Roy Orbison, paper / chipboard, photographer unknown, used by Max Moore, Australia, 1965
This is one of a group of mounted photographs collected by Sydney-based tour manager Max Moore and displayed in his office. It is relevant to the history of concert tours of Australia by overseas artists in the 1960s, and helps illustrate the career of promoter Harry M. Miller.
Max Moore (23 January 1923- 26 December 2011) was one of Australia's most experienced tour managers. In a career spanning five decades, he organised tours for three high profile concert promoters: Lee Gordon, Harry M. Miller and Kevin Jacobsen.
Towards the end of 1963 Moore joined Harry M. Miller's Pan Pacific Promotions. During his three and a half years there, Moore managed tours by The Rolling Stones, Judy Garland, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Dusty Springfield, Peter & Gordon, The Beach Boys, Tom Jones, Herman's Hermits, Shirley Bassey, The Yardbirds, The Searchers and many other artists. By this time British bands had moved to the forefront of the rock 'n' roll scene.
The American singer Roy Orbison toured Australia for Pan Pacific Promotions, in January-February 1965, on a bill that included The Rolling Stones and The Newbeats. Usually Miller hired the Sydney Stadium and Melbourne's Festival Hall as concert venues, but as the rival promoter Aztec Services had an arrangement with Stadiums Ltd, Miller sometimes found these venues unavailable. For the Stones/Orbison/Newbeats tour, he used the Manufacturers Pavilion at Sydney Showground and the Palais Theatre at St Kilda, Melbourne. Miller spent $40,000 converting the Manufacturers Pavilion to a concert venue, constructing a high stage. The venue reportedly had good acoustics and a capacity of 7500. Orbison became ill during the tour and fans were disappointed that he was unable to perform at all the Sydney concerts.
Even before the explosion of rock 'n' roll in Australia, Max Moore had managed tours for Lee Gordon by some of the greatest names in American show business. These included Nat King Cole, Johnnie Ray and Harry Belafonte. The tour by Bill Haley and His Comets in January 1957 was the first of many rock 'n' roll tours promoted by Lee Gordon. Moore managed visits by some of the greatest American stars of 1950s rock 'n' roll: Little Richard, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers and Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. Along with American film and television, the consumption of rock 'n' roll was part of a post-World War II cultural shift in Australia from British to US influences. Lee Gordon's concert tours helped to create the Australian rock 'n' roll industry, by bringing local support acts to the attention of large stadium audiences.
With Alan Heffernan, Moore ran Lee Gordon Records, an independent record company that created the Leedon label. Lee Gordon went into a swift decline in the early 1960s, leading to his death. As a result, Max accepted an offer to join Col Joye Enterprises in 1962, working for Joye and his brother/manager Kevin Jacobsen, who was to become one of Australia's most successful entrepreneurs. He worked for Harry M. Miller's Pan Pacific Promotions until 1967, before returning to work with Jacobsen until 1995.
Seeking no publicity for himself and remaining busy in the background, Moore was reliable, enterprising, professional and greatly admired as a gentleman in the cutthroat world of show business. He looked after the entertainers' needs on tour and many expressed their gratitude by signing publicity photos of themselves with a dedication to Max Moore. He often earned their friendship as a result. He became a close friend of John Denver and was devastated at the singer's death in a plane crash.
Moore's 2003 autobiography 'Some Days are Diamonds' is a valuable record of the Lee Gordon years and an insider's account of the daily operations of the Harry M. Miller and Kevin Jacobsen organisations: the triumphs and the flops, the gimmicks and the schemes, the pranks and the tantrums. It paints a vivid picture of the old Sydney Stadium, the first wave of Australian rock 'n' roll culture, the 1960s British beat boom, touring entertainers in regional Australia and large arena tours of the by the likes of ELO, Kiss and Springsteen.
Max Moore retired in 1995 after forty years in the business. He died on in 2011 at Bundanoon, New South Wales, aged 89.
This photograph is one of a series collected by Max Moore, as a reminder of the entertainers with whom he worked during his long career as a show business tour manager based in Sydney. Artists' managers or agents sent photos of their entertainers to the Australian promoters, to be used for publicity purposes in concert programs, newspapers and magazine articles. From his earliest days with promoter Lee Gordon, Moore would often ask the artists to sign the photos, and many autographs include a warm dedication to him. This photo dates from the period when Moore worked for Harry M. Miller's Pan Pacific Promotions (1963-1967). Moore continued the practice of having touring artists sign publicity photos which he then had mounted on chipboard. For many years the photographs were proudly displayed in his office, as pictured on the cover of his 2003 autobiography 'Some Days are Diamonds'.