Part Two: An Interview with Australian Jazz composer/guitarist Peter Boothman

Jan.s: Peter, can you tell me what the driving force is behind your playing?

Peter: One of my motivations was to make a living without doing a boring 40-hour a week day job all my life Jan. Of course, always there is the love of music. I didn't actually start playing till I was 20, but for years before that I was endlessly at the radio listening to any music I could find, Sixties Rock, Jazz, Latin you name it. When I started learning guitar the driving force was to play with others, get into a band. When that happened it was a joy.

Jan.s: Who were you learning from Peter?

Peter: At first I taught myself, but being into jazz I soon realised I'd taken on a huge task & decided that some tuition would speed things up. My first teacher was Jack Richards at Guitar City. I owe him a lot, great player, great teacher. Later I would take a few lessons from Don Andrews, George Golla and from Antonio Losada for classical guitar. However in jazz, once you have the basics, the best way to learn is to listen to a lot of jazz and transcribe solos from record, and then when you start doing a few gigs that's when you really start to learn.

Jan.s: Who were the first players you joined up with?

Peter: Actually Jan, they were not jazz musicians. I teamed up with some local Bondi boys who were into Everly Bros, Roy Orbison and The Shadows. It was all a bit rough but we had fun; and we did do a few small gigs. Then I moved on to working in small clubs. I could read music (Thanks to Jack Richards) and reading guitarists were rare so I got a fair bit of work & experience in that area. The first real jazz I played was with Phil Treloar and Tony Ansell, that was in the late 60s, right at the start of our musical careers.

Jan.s: Following on from there Peter, with those gigs with Phil and Tony, tell us more about what you were playing and the venues you played at?

The three of us worked together in various bands in the early days, then when the "jazz explosion" hit Sydney around 1972 we tended to go our separate ways, although I did get to play with Tony & Phil again in later years. For most Sydney musicians the 70s were a great era with tons of work for everyone, and I got to play at most inner city venues from the Opera House Concert Hall & The Sydney Festival to smaller gigs such as The Rocks Push & The Limerick Castle. Mostly that was with my own quartet, Col Nolan's group, or with Jeannie Lewis. Overall a variety of music styles, and there was always improvisation involved. In later years I did a fair bit of freelance professional work, as well as a lot of jazz with players such as Roger Frampton, Bob Gebert, James Morrison and Lloyd Swanton.

 To listen to and learn more about Peter Boothman's  considerable compositon and writing talents please visit his websites :

Photos: Courtesy of & copyright of Peter Boothman


Glenda said…
Thanks for another great interview and a fascinating peek into the Sydney Jazz scene of the 70s.

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