The late Dallas ‘Digger’ Royal, drummer with Rose Tattoo, was a friend of mine and we partied around Bondi in the late 70s and early 80s. The Astra Hotel was a huge old hotel on the beachfront of Bondi Beach. It was renowned as the wildest druggiest bar around.
‘Astra Wally’ was also a friend of mine. His real name was Allan, or ‘Cosmic Al’. Lovely guy but crazy. The Astra is a grand 1920s hotel with a huge ballroom with high balconies around 3 sides. It’s now a retirement home but in the 70s and 80s it was a wild rock n roll pub where many famous bands played 7 nights a week, such as Men at Work, AC/DC, The Angels, Rose Tattoo, INXS… you name it they played there.
Cosmic Al and I were often up on the balcony getting up to mischief and sometimes he would just get a crazy urge to climb on the railing and leap down into the ballroom. Sometimes he’d land on people but often he’d hit the floor and break an arm or something. Then he’d be kicked out and banned for a week. Once when he was banned after a balcony leap he tried to come straight back in by climbing the outside wall of the building to get to a small outside balcony way up high. He nearly made it but was so stoned he lost his grip and fell backwards and broke both his legs. We carted him him off and he stayed at my place just behind the Astra in Francis St for a while afterwards.
If you go to the bottom of the photos page of my website you’ll see 3 photos - one of my late 70s telecaster with a photo of Angry Anderson’s arm tattoo under the lacquer, the Astra Hotel in the middle, and then my Coolibah Flats building where ‘Cosmic Al’ often stayed with us. www.skullbug.com