When Chris O’Connor formed a rock band to pay off a friend’s parking fines, he didn’t count on union thugs, a knife-wielding maniac and six police vans turning up to the first gig in Melbourne

In this Guardian Australia series, our favourite musicians reflect on their most memorable concerts

By far our most memorable and worst gig was the first one, on 23 October 1982. Billy Walsh, who was then in an early version of the Cosmic Psychos called Spring Plains, had run up all these parking fines. So my friend organised a gig to make the money back. Bass player Phil Nelson and I were just learning how to play, but he said “Let’s get a band together, we’ll get more people there.”

So that was why the band started – to play Bill Walsh’s parking fines. It was supposed to be a one-off show.

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