This is only a partial story. Big Don, an American submariner, a big guy built like a bouncer, came up with the idea of setting up a hamburger joint with milkshakes and a jukebox on the concrete terrace. He had the whole corner opposite the Scarborough Hotel. This area became known as The Snake Pit.
I particularly appreciate reading things written from the perspective of someone who was 'there at the time' as you said when we met. There's so little available on the internet, and like it or not, that is now the primary source of information for many.
This is only a partial story. It's not an attempt at an holistic, unbiased historical account of the era. Rather, it provides an idiosyncratic thread in the rich tapestry of 50s and 60s life in Perth's rock'n'roll scene.
Perth's rock'n'roll history was forged on Scarborough's foreshore, on the pavement, across from the old Scarborough Hotel, on a concrete-terraced pit that became know as "The Snake Pit" in about Big Don, an American submariner, a big guy built like a bouncer, came up with the idea of setting up a hamburger joint with milkshakes and a jukebox on the concrete terrace.
He had the whole corner opposite the Scarborough Hotel. This area became known as The Snake Pit. Kids travelled from all over Perth - Victoria Park, Fremantle and Midland - to be entertained by the rock'n'rollers, or to rock to the jukebox.
It played straight through.
No one had to put money in, so there were no fights". As Andy says "You had to live it". Dancing often went on till midnight. Kids danced, got hot, swam, cooled off, and danced again.
Everyone stopped to watch the really cool dancers. You'd hear "Let's go have a look. So-and-so's going to dance now. He's a really good dancer" and everyone would traipse off. The Snake Pit was well "policed" by the dancers.
They saw it as "a happy, fun place, so they kept it under control". They saw it as special, a place for teenagers, something of their own, so they kept the peace. Andy Andros was known as "the Pit Boss" in those days. He helped diffuse conflict and organized a lot of dance partners.
Because of his duties, his hamburgers and milkshakes were free, and he had his own parking spot. The core blokes at the Snake Pit wore black jeans and black t-shirts with desert boots and black or white socks.
The girls wore mainly jeans, or skirts and petticoats. They either danced bare feet, or in desert boots with iridescent pink, orange or lime green laces.
When "you looked down on the Pit you'd see a seething mass of mainly black with bits of bright colour wriggling, or seething, around.
This is what led to the name The Snake Pit.
So the Snake Pit was born". Some of those guys are still performing today: Diane Lewis and Andy Andros today One day a promoter, Joe Lynch, brought down a team of boxers and set up a ring in the Pit and challenged the rock'n'rollers to fight.
The boxers only won one fight, the rock'n'rollers won five or six. That started former bantam weight titleholder Andy Andros' boxing career.This is our list of BACK 2 BACK Hits 45 RPM VINYL Records made especially for jukeboxes.
Currently most of the below items are out of print, but we are keeping the list online because it contains the most popular jukebox songs.
Check out If I Could Write A Song As Beautiful As You by Billy Crash Craddock on Amazon Music. Stream ad-free or purchase CD's and MP3s now on rutadeltambor.com Country Music Songs with Lyrics & rutadeltambor.com index Country Songs Collection of + songs (modern and traditional), with lyrics and chords for guitar, ukulele, banjo etc.
Folge - ** Thema: in memoriam (44). Floyd Dixon & Mari Jones with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers - Real Lovin' Mama; Floyd Dixon - Oo Ee Little Girl; The Valentines - The Woo Woo Train. Country Music Songs with Lyrics & rutadeltambor.com index Country Songs Collection of + songs (modern and traditional), with lyrics and chords for guitar, ukulele, banjo etc.
Snake Pit Days: A Fragment of Perth's Rock'n'Roll History. Andy Andros, Diane Lewis and Dr Cecilia Netolicky Uploaded 24/6/ It seems timely to begin documenting Perth's rock'n'roll history, while participants are alive, and their memories remain reasonably intact.