Newcastle 1979; a town booming with industry, loaded with opportunity but stuck in tradition that is beginning to crumble. Council, church and coppers all align to keep the kids in line; with no wars to fight, a plethora of employment opportunities and free university anyone under 25 has a choice in their lives. They choose to party, protest and be provocative with The Star Hotel as their haven. It embodies everything those above them hate with free live music seven nights a week, cheap booze and an escape from suburban suffocation. Three bars all with their own scene, criminals, sailors and Vietnam Vets out the front, gays and drag queens in the middle and unemployed youths out the back all mingle under one egalitarian roof….one that the council, the coppers and the church are going to cave in and will result in the biggest riot in Australia’s history.
THE STAR is a mini-series set at a time when respect for the traditional institutions had frayed and eroded. The RSL excluded some veterans, the church were molesting students, the police were overbearing and brutal, the council stood back and watched. This cultivated a scene of distrust, escape, hedonism, frivolity and of course music. This is the peak of the pub rock scene, a wild and unique time as Australia cultivated a culture set around live music scenes, and The Star was one of the most iconic and became the most infamous. It was a time of female DJs, youth radio stations launching and voices being found. All the while bands like Midnight Oil, INXS, The Angels, Icehouse, The Saints and The Church were all finding their feet.
“F#%* THE WHALES! SAVE THE STAR!”