Band’s permanent Address

Michelle Slater

An Adelaide band with Latrobe Valley roots has been honoured with a laneway and a mural renamed in its honour off one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares.

No Fixed Address Lane off Rundle Mall was officially unveiled by the City of Adelaide last month, in recognition of the band’s beginnings in the City of Churches and its contribution to Aussie rock.

No Fixed Address was formed in 1979 and included Morwell musos Ricky Harrison and later Nicky Moffat, who had been playing in Latrobe Valley outfit Black Satin.

Founding members Harrison, Bart Willoughby, Les Graham, and John Miller had put the band together while studying at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music.

The reggae rock band sang about important issues facing the Aboriginal community, taking on topics about colonisation and family connection to country.

No Fixed Address became the first Aboriginal band to tour overseas in 1984 and were inducted to the National Indigenous Music Awards Hall of Fame in 2011.

They also played with 80s Aussie rock legends including Cold Chisel, Mental as Anything, INXS and toured overseas with Peter Tosh.

Mr Harrison had previously told The Express that the band had hit walls in its early years when trying to find pubs to play live.

“We were a rebellious band, we had a song called Pigs, and Marijuana Blues, we were black-banned from playing in Adelaide venues,” Mr Harrison said.

“Back then, there were no Aboriginal bands playing in pubs, venue owners were very reserved putting on an Aboriginal band because they thought there would be trouble.”

He said the band went on to gain a live following, attracting a white middle-class audience.

“Every pub we play in was packed-out with both black and white audiences, it changed venues’ minds,” he said.

Lead vocalist and drummer Bart Willoughby said the band was very proud to have a laneway renamed in its honour.

“We hope this will help people learn about the influence our music had not only in Adelaide, but interstate and overseas,” Mr Willoughby said.

“Our band led the way for young up-and-coming Aboriginal bands. It wasn’t easy going against the mainstream and overcoming racism.”

The City of Adelaide is also renaming other laneways after musos with connections to the city, including Cold Chisel, The Angels, Paul Kelly and Sia Furler.