Sunday, February 21, 2010

South Yarra Arms

Well he bought his first dope outside the South Yarra Arms.
A whole matchbox full in his hot little palms.

Score ten points if you know the name of the song and the group, then ten points off because you must be 'of a certain age'. If you are not of a certain age and you know, then you have cheated and looked the lyrics up.

Let me try this word and get the the number of esses right, unprepossessing. Yes, the South Yarra Arms was that word (please, I can't do it again).

I went there once. I guess I was 18 or 19. A suave older man bought me a whisky and soda but if he was attempting to have his wicked way with me, then one whisky and soda and a non suggestive chat did not do work for me. No one offered me dope, neither inside or outside the venue. No one offered me a fun time. I have subsequently learnt that I should have gone to Maisies to find someone for a fun time. Bah! I think Masies was Her Majesties, but I can no longer recall which hotel it was. Not the one at the corner of Toorak and Punt. Was it the one that became a Greek restaurant where they smashed plates every evening, near the railway line. Was that later the Saloon Bar, where lasses went to pick up football players. Huh, great historian I make.

Is there a photo of the South Yarra Arms on the net? Let me look and see if it matches my memories. Nothing to be found at googlie or Picture Vic/Aus. I remember some un-nice brown brick and curved canvas sunshades over the windows. I don't think it was a very nice building.

The South Yarra Arms was demolished and is now this very attractive, not, building. I think it was purpose built for the present company.

He knows the antique dealers
And all those other stealers
I'll be glad when he goes overseas
My friends he don't do nothin'
He just ain't got no stuffin'
He's just another social disease.


  1. "Score ten points if you know the name of the song and the group."

    Is it A Wombling Merry Christmas by the Wombles?

  2. No Brian, and nor is it a Very Wiggly Christmas.

  3. The hotel which was on the Chapel & Toorak corner was The NEWBRIDGE.
    Catered to the industrial workers from the brickyard (now The Como Hotel)and the Capitol Bakery, and that whole area was very industrial in 1965 when I moved there.
    Her Majestys was the Toorak & Davis St corner, known as Maisies, later became The Saloon.

  4. Australian Crawl James Reyne?

    A Melbourne group named themselves from Maisies in 1966 -
    "There it was on the wall of the men’s public toilet at Her Majesty’s hotel in Toorak Road, South Yarra. "Be modern, be camp" some-one had scrawled and in a flash we had our group name.
    In a moment of idiocy and after a few drinks at the trendiest pub in the trendiest stretch of Melbourne we had it, for better or for worse."

    In the 60's it was still dangerous in every way, to be 'out'.

  5. I think I am just a whisker too young to be remembering that song.

  6. Thanks Brownie. I was right about Maisies. I didn't know the SY Arms had a previous name. Remember the abattoir down Chapel nearly to the railway bridge. Still there in 1980 at least. It would be funny now.

    The song was Toorak Cowboy by Skyhooks. Some selfish person hasn't uploaded the track to Youtube.

    Pleased you said whisker Ian.

  7. Yes Maisies was on that corner, I went there often for a short while, the patrons were regulars, lots of gossip. A yankee took up with my ex-wife there, he was very worldly, poured some liqueur on a table and set it alight.

  8. Toorak Cowboy By Skyhooks

    1. Indeed it was Joker, and I was just thinking about it the other day. At the time I checked You Tube and it did not seem to be uploaded, but I expect it has now been.