Rewind 1982: Cold Chisel, Mental As Anything and Divinyls at Noosa Football Park

On 9 January 1982, a quartet of Aussie bands came together at Noosa Football Park for an evening of rock. On the bill were Cold Chisel, Mental As Anything, Divinyls and Roostars. The concert was scheduled to run from 4pm to 11pm with tickets priced at $10.

Greedy Smith performing with Mental as Anything on 9 January 1982 at the Noosa AFL grounds. 33263 Alan Grills photographs of touring bands. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image number: 33263-0001-0013

According to the Noosa News (15/1/82), the concert drew a crowd of approximately 12,000 with the newspaper boasting that it was the "biggest open-air non-metropolitan concert ever staged in Australia". The crowd were relatively well-behaved with only six arrests. The concert caused “traffic chaos” within the Noosaville region, though police praised the “efforts of the organisers and the attitude of the crowd saying the feeling between patrons and police was good.” The influx of people over the weekend also overwhelmed local eateries; "You couldn't get a feed in Noosa after the concert", said promoter Jim Murtagh. "Every sandwich bar and takeaway place was sold out. It was amazing."

Four photographs taken by Alan Grills on the day are now part of State Library’s collection. The images feature the bands Cold Chisel, Mental As Anything and Divinyls.

Formed in Adelaide in 1973, Cold Chisel is one of Australia's most beloved pub rock bands. By the time of this concert, Chisel had released three studio albums (two of which entered the Top 10 albums chart). Their fourth album, Circus Animals, released in March of 1982, made its way to No.1, staying in the charts for 40 weeks. Their hits included Choirgirl (No.14), Cheap Wine (No.8), You Got Nothing I Want (No.12) and Forever Now (No.4). The band were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1993. Band members Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss would go on to have successful solo careers.

Cold Chisel playing live at the Noosa AFL ground on 9 January 1982. 33263 Alan Grills photographs of touring bands. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image number: 33263-0001-0001

Mental As Anything were formed in Sydney in 1976. By January 1982, the band had released three studio albums, with 1981's Cats and Dogs climbing to No.3 in the album charts and producing two Top 10 singles, If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too? and Too Many Times, reaching numbers 4 and 6 on the chart respectively. The Mentals would achieve international recognition in 1985 with their hit song, Live It Up. They were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2009.

Mental as Anything performing on 9 January 1982 at the Noosa AFL grounds. 33263 Alan Grills photographs of touring bands. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image number: 33263-0001-0014

Divinyls were formed in Sydney in 1980 and by the time of the Noosa concert were yet to achieve the recognition they would later receive. Their debut single in 1981, Boys in Town would get to No.8 in the charts. Between 1983 and 1996, Divinyls released 5 studio albums, with three reaching the Top 10. In 1990, Divinyls briefly came to the attention of international audiences with their massive hit, I Touch Myself - reaching No.1 in Australia and No.4 in USA. They were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006.

Chrissy Amphlett performing with The Divinyls on 9 January 1982 at the Noosa AFL ground. 33263 Alan Grills photographs of touring bands. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image number: 33263-0001-0012

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