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David N Pepperell

Music Journalist Music Retailer Musician Songwriter

David N Pepperell (AKA Doctor Pepper) is an Australian music journalist who has been a feature of the Melbourne music scene since the mid 1960’s. Born 26th December 1945 David is a Baby Boomer.

Never one to be an “observer” David through himself headlong into the developing counter-culture and its developing music scene in Melbourne during the 1960’s. His early influences included writers, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, William Boroughs and Terry Southern.

He fronted a short-lived group called The Union, which had one release, in 1965, The Thump which was co-written by David and Trevor Lunn. The Union consisted of Trevor Lunn: lead guitar, vocals; Ken Lincoln: rhythm guitar, vocals; John McKay: bass, vocals; Neville Lunn: drums and David on lead vocals.

Tribute to The Thumpin' Tum nightclub (Photo collage on video) featuring 'The Union' with David N Pepperell on lead vocals

However David’s contribution to the music scene may have been short lived as a singer, but he had some success as a songwriter and even more success as a rock journalist.

He was a senior contributor to one of Australia’s first real underground publications – SCRAG, published by Swinburne Students Union. It was for a period of about 9 months, a hot bed of political and social sedition during the heat of the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations before conservative elements of the student council rebelled and took it over.

He was also was a regular contributor to Planet Weekly Music Paper , Go-Set, and Juke (writing as Doctor Pepper). he also contributed to Rolling Stone, Digger, Nation Review, Ear for Music and Metro, all of which which covered the years 1971 to 1981. In recent years has contributed to the Toorak Times.

He co-wrote the tracks “Primal Park” recorded by Mondo Rock, “Whose Gonna Love You Tonight” recorded by Ross Wilson and “I Might Be A Punk” recorded by Norman Gunston.

Along with his close friend Keith Glass, he opened up Melbourne’s first import record shop – Archie and Jugheads which was a runaway success. It was the first Import Record Shop in Australia, opening 31st March 1971.

It broke the back of the record company monopoly and "got the music to the people”. It closed in 1978. However David remained in music retail for some time later working the Virgin Megastore in Bourke street, Blockbuster Music, Readings, Discurio, Batman's and his own record shops, Subterranean Records in the early 1980's and Dr. Pepper's Jazz Junction which was located in the Port Phillip Arcade until it closed in the late 1990's.

Archie-n-jugheads.jpg The-Union.jpg

Images: Archie N Jugheads Record Store (left) with David N Pepperell & Keith Glass / 'The Union' band photo (right)

However working in stores and the success he was having as a “rock-journalist” and columnist began to take its toll and he began to slow down and now lives a quiter life in a Melbourne South-eastern suburb.

His written published material includes “RAPHAEL ALIAS” published in 1976 by Outback Press and EAST GATE – WEST GATE published by Nosukomo in 1991, Both these books are out of publication by greatly sought after.

In October of 2015 he co-compiled and co-wrote with Colin Talbot the successful “100 Greatest Australian Singles of the '60”.

He is considered as an integral part of the promotion of the Australian music scene particluarly in the 1970's.


Parent Category Page Links: Music Industry People - Australia

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