Ian Meldrum is a legend of Australian music. Dubbed "Molly", this guru continues to put Australia on the world map with his passionate appreciation
and advocacy of contemporary music.
Currently you can see Molly interviewing the Who's Who of music on Sunrise and The Morning Shows on Network 7.
Molly's commitment and talent has earned him close friendships with the biggest names in the music industry, and a number of world exclusives -
an interview with Madonna in 1987 for MTV - an interview with Michael Jackson for 60 minutes and the twenty-four program series "The Meldrum Tapes",
televised on the ABC in Australia and subsequently aired on MTV in the USA,
Europe & Japan.
Ian was responsible for the institution that was "Countdown" - for thirteen years Australia's showcase for the finest from the music world, both locally and
overseas. "Countdown" established itself immediately in 1974 as a world class program and was responsible for introducing the ABBA phenomenon to the world. By 1975 "Countdown" was world - renowned and any performer visiting Australia had to appear on the groundbreaking and influential show. Local groups made their mark through this program - ACDC, Skyhooks, John Paul Young and Sherbet.
Ian's passion can be traced to his school days. Fascinated by the phenomenon of the Beatles, by 1968, Ian started helping out local groups, mainly at the
Anglesea dances and soon became a roadie for the band GROOP. Ian attended GROOPs first recording sessions at Armstrong's Studios. "I was very interested and went in all day, every day - l spent all my time in the recording studio, l wanted to become a panel operator.
At the same time, a group of friends were working on a new music magazine, “Go Set”. Ian, who was sharing a house with Ronnie Burns, was asked to write a story on Ronnie and quickly became a regular contributor.
Thoughts of study faded and Ian quickly became immersed in record productions. When the cast of the top-rating mime program "Kommotion"
walked out after a dispute, the producers asked Ian to be a part of the new team. "As a full-on mime program, it was tremendously popular, it toured and everyone loved it". Ian's favourite numbers were Little Red Riding Hood, Lady Godiva, Why Don't Women Like Me & Winchester Cathedral.
"Kommotion" gave Ian a huge insight into the basics of television. " It was a half hour program five nights a week, and an hour on Sunday's. "We got through because of the huge team spirit".
Ian was now principal writer for Go Set and started work with the group
Somebody's Image, with lead singer Russell Morris as their record producer. The group's first single "Hush" went to No. 1 in Melbourne and No. 2 nationally. The group took off for England to find fame & fortune and Ian accompanied them for Go Set.
In London, Ian met up with young brothers, Angus, Malcolm and George. Their brother Alex was in Grapefruit, the first group to be signed by The Beatles on the Apple label. Ian finally met his idols, The Beatles. "I met Paul McCartney in a restaurant. It was such a shock to actually meet him that l tried to shake hands, but l still had the knife in my hand. I met John Lennon at a nightclub called "Revolution". I fainted at the shock, and fell over a waitress who threw a drink all over him".
At the end of 1968, Ian returned to Australia and met up with Russell Morris, no longer with Somebody's Image and became his manager and record producer. Ian also started working on a new television show, "Uptight", hosted by Ross D. Wylie, four hours of bands performing live.
"Johnny Young had written two songs - The Girl That I Love and The Real Thing. I thought The Real Thing was perfect for Russell. We recorded it in three weeks and it was No.1 nationally for nine weeks".
Ian was now on his way as a record producer. In late 1969, he produced Smiley for Ronnie Burns and records for Zoot, Master Apprentices and helped out on John Farnham's "One". At the end of 1969, Ian travelled to the UK and joined EMI in London. The studios were next to Abbey Road (used for the cover of The Beatles album). Ian continued to send stories to Go Set with occasional reports for "Uptight". He joined Apple as a part-time publicist in 1969-1970. Ian had become well known and was asked by John & Yoko in 1970 to announce to the world that The Beatles had broken up. Ian left London in 1970 and travelled to the United States, visiting Los Angeles and New York, checking out groups and writing stories for Go Set. He arrived back in Australia and knocked back an offer to host "Happening 70", a music
program which Jeff Phillips took over. Ian continued record producing - The
Star & Day By Day for Colleen Hewitt and the Australian cast recording album, "Godspell". He was also assistant editor of Go Set, by now a huge magazine.
"Knowing The Beatles at the time was like a passport, if you knew them you got in anywhere, they were like the biggest thing since sliced bread". Ian joined Listener-In TV in 1973 as a rock writer, but it was a short stint, before joining TV Week, where he is still writing each week.
It was then that "Countdown" was born. Initially a hour-half Friday night
program in 1974, "Countdown" became an hour-long prime time night timeslot
in 1975, with Ian as talent co coordinator and later as presenter.
Ian continued to produce records such as , Supernaut-I Like It Both Ways, The
Ferrets - Don't' Fall In Love and Cheetah-Walking In The Rain. All were number ones! "It was a heady era and was huge for "Countdown" and the music industry in the country. During this time without a doubt one of the highlights was Ian's involvement with the world telecast of Bob Geldofs, "LIVE AID". Molly became the Australian chairman of LIVE AID and hosted the Australian sixteen hour television marathon.
With the demise of "Countdown", Ian joined the madcap crew on Channel
nine's, "Hey Hey It's Saturday", presenting his weekly segment "Melodrama". In 1995 Ian travelled to Tokyo for the legendary Rolling Stone's concert "The Voodoo Lounge Tour" and was granted Australia's only television interview with The Rolling Stones.
An idol and household name, Ian continues to promote Australian music and continues to be highly sought after as a media authority, expert, interviewer, guest speaker and Australian entertainment icon.