Reggie D, exuberant founder and frontman of Reggie D & The Bloozers, passionate fundraiser for the community and charismatic local of the Hastings. Reggie sits down for a chat about his transition into entertaining and his love for music.
> How did your entertainment career start out?
I guess that it really started when I was still working at the Sand Castle Motor Inn in the early 90’s, when we used to have live bands playing in the beer garden on Sunday afternoons. When I was there I used to get up and do a number or two with the band. I befriended a few of the musicians and when I left the Sand Castle in 1994 I thought that perhaps music is something that I would like to get involved with. So after that, when I was doing a few odd jobs, I got myself a gig at the Port Macquarie R.S.L. Club (now Panthers). It was a solo performance and soon after I landed a spot in the Atlantis Room. With the help of Adrian Kermorly we got together and performed a few concerts with Jenny and John Marks, Phill Moore (Phill Harmonic), Micheal Ierland and Chris Patton and that’s where Reggie D & The Bloozers really originated from. After that it all fell into place although it was mainly a two or three piece that took us to where we are today. As we got more and more work there were other musicians that joined us such as the likes of Glen Johnson (Baz), George Yonan and Garry Kealy.
> You have regular appearances in and around the Hastings area. Where can Reggie D fans catch one of your shows?
When we started out at the old R.S.L. Club (thanks to the support of Janette Hyde) we began playing on Sunday afternoons and still do today after nearly 13 years, and it is probably our most successful gig. We still perform there to this day every first Sunday of the month and I hope we can continue to do that for a long time to come. We also perform very regularly at the Macquarie Hotel, The Town Green Inn, Finnians Irish Tavern, Westport Bowling Club, Bonny Hills Beach Hotel, The Settlers Inn, Macquarie Seafoods, Foster Tuncurry Golf Club and some other venues around the Mid-North Coast. I would like to thank all those venues for the local support but if it wasn’t for the people that come and see us it would have been a different story. The Macquarie Hotel Group deserves a special mention as they have been very supportive for at least the last ten years. If you want to keep an eye out on the media you will find out where and when we perform at any of the above mentioned venues.
> What style of music does your band “Reggie D & The Bloozers” mostly play?
We probably are considered more of a blues band but we do some good old classics as well. I do think the style of music that we play, especially the fact that it is totally live and what you hear is what you get – it’s definitely worth coming to see.
> Which artists inspire you and your music?
It is not an easy question to answer because there is so much out there. But probably the likes of B.B.King, Rober Johnson, Eric Clapton, Kel Mo and many more. I do believe that the main inspiration to play music comes from the great musicians that I have had the honour to play with.
> Tell us about your interchanging band members.
I’ve already mentioned some of those that I perform with and if I was to mention them all there would be quite a few. They are all very experienced and they don’t only play with me but with a whole lot of other bands. So it might well be the case that sometimes if one of the regular “Bloozers” is not available I can ask one of the others. There is just an enormous amount of talent that I can choose from, but where we can we stick with our regular line-up.
> Have you ever considered producing an album?
It’s something that we get asked about a lot and I have been saying for years that one day I will get something going but I suppose I need a good kick up the backside and get moving. One day it will happen and when it does it will be worthwhile.
> With all the travelling you’ve done, what made you choose Port Macquarie as your home to settle down in?
I have travelled a lot all over the world as a youngster but when I arrived in Australia in the mid 70’s, the Gold Coast for starters and then Sydney, I got an opportunity to come and work as the “Maitre D” at the Sand Castle in May 1986. I’ve always felt a bit of a gypsy but found Port Macquarie and the Hastings just a great place to live, and I will stay here hopefully for a long time to come. I would like to mention that it was because of a radio announcer at the 53.1 AM by the name of Steve Dawson or ‘smoky’ that I got the title of “Reggie D”. I was introduced to him as the Maitre D of the Sand Castle and the next day he was telling everyone on air to check me out as “D” man at the Castle. Reggie D is what they called me and it’s stuck ever since.
> You’re very community orientated as you do a lot of volunteering for fundraisers. Which organisations are you involved in? Tell us more about the work you do.
There is never enough that anyone can do to help the community they live in. As a familiar face around the traps it’s a bit easier for me to get involved with fundraising or any other way I can help. Around eight years ago the Macquarie Hotel approached me to see if I was interested in conducting the raffles on Thursday and Friday afternoons to raise money for some local sports clubs. It’s a very rewarding job and I enjoy every moment, I also try wherever I can to donate my time or myself to participate in any fundraising. I get a lot of pleasure doing that and hardly say no when it comes to helping out. I would also like to mention that a great deal of fundraising that I get involved in is with the help of my ‘family’ The Bloozers.
> Have you won any competitions or awards through your music?
I don’t look for rewards as such but it’s always good that they come along. I think the best award and most memorable is when I only just started out and got asked to do some busking for a “Crazy Day Sale” organised by the Port News and sponsored by Angus and Robertson Book Store in 1995. I did my thing, made some money and when the presentation was happening I ended up winning first prize which was a cheque and a trophy which said “Busking Champion for the Mid-North Coast 1995”, and I was overwhelmed.
I also got second prize for an original song I wrote which was not too bad. It was after all the first song I’d ever written. It’s called “Money for Smokin”, I was pretty happy with that.
> Do you have a preference on performing locations? Whether it be busking on the street, playing at a private function or performing in a club?
It’s hard to really pick a preferred location but busking is great. For the last 13 years I’ve been busking when I can with other musicians and I encourage everyone to do it. To have music on the streets is wonderful and I’d say that just about everybody would have seen me or with others at Macquarie Seafoods on a regular basis. It’s a great feeling and I appreciate the support I get from the general public.
I do like playing at private functions because they are special. Special in the sense that when people ask us to do it it’s always for a special occasion and we give our best. There are venues where we play with the band that stand out but it’s hard to pick a preferred one.
I think we just like to really play music.
> Thankyou for your time Reggie.