Once I was a Word Warrior …

Another archive from my dim dark past digitised for your amusement and/or amazement.  For a short period, I was a ‘Word Warrior’.

Header photo Allan Gregory and Liz Hall at Word Warriors Gig at Bonbeach, Victoria, 1991. Photo by Dennis Woodley.  

Below, Flyer from One-C-One Folk Club, Brunswick, Victoria 1990.

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Word Warriors was a Melbourne-based spoken word and music act that was active in the late 1980s-early 1990s.   Allan ‘All Ego’ Gregory wrote poetry in an Aussie vernacular that is now almost extinct, and his work is definitely best appreciated in his own voice. His  background as an auctioneer comes through strongly in his delivery.  He was active in Melbourne poetry for many years before teaming up with guitarist and singer-songwriter Dennis Morrison.

Morrison had a long musical pedigree, and played with many bands from the early sixties, most notably with Johnny O’Keefe’s band as a bass player.  To Allan’s work he added his own songs about urban life, and put music behind some of Allan’s poems. They’d been performing as a duo for some time when Liz Hall joined them in 1990, making the act a trio. Liz provided backing vocals, and a few of her more well-known performance poems were added to the mix.   There are few photos or recordings from  this time, Allan has passed on to the Great Beyond and Dennis hasn’t been sighted by anyone I know since the early 1990s. 

These tracks were recorded live at radio 3CR by producer Florenz Ronn, kept in Liz’s drawer for many years, and now finally digitised by Hayley at Entropic Organ, Sydney.   

NB:  I believe there is another extant cassette of the Word Warriors as a duo, that contains some different, but equally great, material, including Allan’s famous ‘Race call’ and Dennis’ tribute to Johnny O’Keefe. If anyone has a copy  and would like to digitise and add them to this site, please contact Liz via this website or via her facebook page.

Copyrights remain with the authors and/or their descendants.

 

4 thoughts on “Once I was a Word Warrior …

  1. Leigh Gregory

    Hi Liz I am Allan’s son Leigh Gregory

    (leighgregory@me.com) 0409818959

    FYI Allan’s grandaughter Lexie Gregory has followed in his footsteps and is a talented upcoming writer, actor and director.

  2. Kerry Herrmann

    Hi Liz great to see this. Loved those days.Am in touch with Dennis. If you want to get in contact with him
    Cheers

    1. Liz Hall-Downs

      Hello Kerry. Thanks for making contact
      I’m surprised to read this, the general consensus was that he probably was no longer alive, it’s been so long since anyone had seen or heard of him.
      Regardless, I doubt there’s much for us to say to each other, we did not part on good terms – but I still wanted to preserve the work he did with Alan for posterity – and I hope he is glad about it. Alan’s son contacted me and was really thrilled about it, he had not heard his father ‘sing’ before. And his own family are continuing to be involved in the arts in various ways.
      Note that Sjaak de Jong posted here that he has a copy of the earlier Word Warriors cassette, which was actually released to the public. If anyone who still has a copy wants to put up the money to digitise it I’d be happy to add the tracks to the Soundcloud channel.

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