Melbourne Bitter and the Hawkings Brothers

Enough of this fancy shit let’s get down to some real, beer – Melbourne Bitter. No I would never deem to drink the stuff, but I have been known  to muse upon their  advertisements , and I will again.

It’s an omnibus today – Melbourne Bitter and the Hawkings Brothers, and partnership built on hops and country music.

The Hawkings brothers were no chumps, they won a couple of Golden Guitars, toured the US and played the Grand Old Opry (the only Australians to ever do so). But they weren’t adverse to selling out. Mike Brady style they seemed more than happy to pen some tunes about beer.

Now I’m going try to put these in order. Let’s start with this one – The year is 1971. Shaft has just been released, Led Zepplin have played Stairway to Heaven live for the first time. The world is a  changing. But Australia Isn’t. We were still wearing horn rimmed glasses with cravats, modern dancing consisted of nothing more than bopping up and down and moving your head from side to side like you were at a Beatles concert. Oh and eskys hadn’t been invented so we still kept the beer in barrels.

Now what you need to know is that in a decision that was actually quite ironic CUB were positioning Melbourne Bitter as the country beer. Why? Maybe because people from the country weren’t none too bright and thus likely to actually drink this stuff. And what makes the country the country? Waving at people, Check shirts, Bangos, square dancing, and at the 44second mark possibly the ugliest person to appear in an ad ever.

Then we moved into the Colour era, there were seismic shifts in the country life. The young whipper snappers were leaving the country and heading for the big smoke to make their fortunes. So of course you needed and ad where these young executives would need to catch the bus home, take off the tie and party. Unfortunately now the parties didn’t involve dancing, just standing around and smiling, and it was obviously all downhill for the Melbourne Bitter brand ever since.  

On another note the only person I know who likes Melbourne is MB, but he’s from Geelong so I guess that makes sense.


2 thoughts on “Melbourne Bitter and the Hawkings Brothers

  1. The Hawking Brothers. A top country music band. Russ Hawking- rhythm guitar, Alan Hawking- lead guitar, Gary Newton-Bass, George Xanthos- Pedal steel guitar and Joe Attard- Drums. The first Aussie band to appear on the grande ole Opry in America. They won a number of golden guitars at Tamworth and have Gold records for their album sales. They appeared on the Don Lane and Bert Newton shows and also channel 7’s color machine ads. The band also toured with many of the fine American artists that came to Australia…the likes of Johnny Cash and Buck Owens to name a few. Im proud to say I knew these gentlemen very well. As a youngster I was privileged to see alot of there accomplishments as I am the bass players daughter. LOve these guys and their music. Itll live on forever in my sole. x

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