Scott Bevan embracing life and the music
May 5, 2016, 2:34 p.m.
The star catches up with former ABC journalist, musician and Novocastrian Scott Bevan
THE RETURN: Scott Bevan had one of the most prestigious gigs in journalism, but he is now pursuing other interests including music.
You have left one of the best journalism gigs in the country at the ABC, what role did your love of music play in that decision? Like a lot of blokes, when I was approaching 50, I thought about not what I have done, but what I haven’t done or should have done. One recurring thought was that I had wandered away from music.
So I gave myself a 50th birthday present: I recorded my solo EP. The experience also fuelled my desire to explore new opportunities. I didn’t leave my job to pursue music; I left to embrace my life more fully. And music is an integral part of my life.
What musicians inspire you? I’ve had the great fortune to play with some inspiring musicians. Steve Morton, Peter Pihlak, and John Foreman, all dear mates who play on My Old Self, are not only brilliant at what they do but are a hoot to be with.
And I continue to listen to, and love, the musicians who inspired me to pick up an instrument and express myself when I was a teenager: David Bowie, Sting, U2, and Kevin Stanton and Murray Burns from Mi-Sex.
You have released an EP to coincide with turning 50, what terrain does the recording cover? Well, it’s not the soft undulations of middle-age, I hope! The EP has five of my songs. They cover the terrain I’ve always enjoyed walking – rock – and they celebrate my love of 1970s and 80s music, with big arrangements and bigger choruses.
The project was a slow-burn and began in Newcastle, can you tell me about that? The EP was recorded in Sydney, but Newcastle flows through these songs. I’m a Newcastle boy. I fell hopelessly in love with rock music when I heard Mi-Sex open for Cheap Trick at the Civic Theatre in 1979.
I played in Newcastle bands, developing my musicianship and some lifelong friends, and learnt from terrific musos such as Mark Hope, Grant Walmsley and Dennis Butler. And now, with this EP, I’ve recorded with mates who I played with in Newcastle, and the CD cover features a fantastic photo of Newcastle Ocean Baths, taken by another friend, Mark Tedeschi. Mark’s a Sydneysider – but he probably wishes he was a Novocastrian.
What's next for Scott Bevan the journalist? I don’t know, in short. I will continue to be as I’ve always been, someone who tells stories and sometimes that involves music. I don’t think too much about ‘what’s next’. It’s a terrible approach for career advancement, but it’s a pretty good way to live.