Slow Beer

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Beer News - 'Beer War Comes to a Head'

'Beer War Comes to a Head', Peter Michael, Herald Sun, 31 March 2007

"When Slim Dusty first crooned the hit 50 years ago, he could never have imagined the war of words that would foment.

In a nation that loves a drink: "There's nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear; Than to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer."

Today, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the April 1, 1957 recording of Australia's first hit single, there are two claimants to being the original Pub with No Beer.

One is the Lees Hotel -- on the site of the former Day Dawn Hotel -- in Ingham, far north Queensland; the other is Taylors Arm on the mid-north coast of NSW.

The southern claim to fame makes Ingham Mayor Pino Giandomenicio mad.

"Those bloody New South Welshmen. You can't trust them," growled the stoutly built cane cocky yesterday.

"There should be a bounty on them when they cross the border. It makes me mad when people try to steal glory that belongs to Ingham.

"The truth is this is the Pub with no Beer. Nobody is ever going to take it from us."

But they have. The Taylors Arm, near Kempsey, runs a Pub With No Beer festival, boasts the website and even sells a boutique beer branded Pub with No Beer.
Nobody disputes the facts. When bush poet and Ingham cane farmer Dan Sheahan trudged 32km into town in 1943 only to find visiting US soldiers had drunk the Day Dawn dry of its wartime quota, he sat down and penned what was to be later adapted by songwriter Gordon Parsons.

Parsons, who drank at the Taylors Arm, which ran out of beer in the '40s, rewrote old Dan's poem using familiar characters from his own bar and gave it to Dusty in 1957.

In his memoirs, Walk a Country Mile, Dusty said: "Dan wrote a very fine poem, Gordon built a great ballad."

Barry "Bloody" Fuller, 75, spokesman for the Pub with No Beer in NSW, said he did not begrudge Ingham's claim.

"It's a song, there is some similarity to Dan's poem, but how many songs have `I love you' in the title?

"Contrary to rumours, the enigma started with old Dan but somewhere along the line, when this pub ran out of beer, away went Gordon and wrote the now-famous song."



Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Counters
Free Counter