70s photographs

Elton John’s 1971 Australian Tour – Perth concert images by Ric Chan

Our principal surf photographer Ric Chan is a man of many talents.

He was the lead singer in a popular NZ Band before heading to the East Coast of OZ to pursue a surf photography career in the late 60s.

During the 70s in Perth, he was a journalist for Independent Newspaper, a DJ at Gobbles Night Club, surf photographer for West Coast Surf Magazine, a fashion model, and even a Voiceover talent for Jeans West and a number of other Perth companies.

Photo: 1970s dapper Ric in Perth City with his red jaguar. Ric Chan pic.

Ric Chan produced weekly Surfing and Music columns in the Independent Newspaper.

Image: 1971 Ric’s music column dated 10 October 1971 in Independent Newspaper. Image courtesy of Ric & Independent Newspapers.

Elton John’s first tour of Australia and New Zealand started in Perth, Western Australia on 16 October 1971 at Subiaco Stadium.

Local radio station 6KY promoted/sponsored the Perth concert and Perth band Mark IV was the support band.

Photo/Journo Ric Chan covered Elton’s Perth concert for the Independent Newspaper.

These are some of Ric’s photos of the Elton John’s Perth media reception and Concert.


Photo: 1971 Elton John Concert media reception. L-R Elton John, Nigel Olssen & Dee Murray. Ric Chan pic.

Ric Chan:Nigel and Dee were Elton’s backing group”.

Photos: 1971 Elton John Concert media reception. Ric Chan pics.

Photo: 1971 Elton John Concert media reception. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1971 Elton John Concert media reception. L-R 6KY DJ’s unidentified and Dennis Commetti. Ric Chan pic.

Editor’s note: “Dennis Commetti went on to become a renowned AFL Football Commentator. He announced his retirement from AFL football commentating at the end of the 2016 football season”.


Ric Chan: “I was allowed free movement around the stage, but the best position was from where I shot from. I think I was the ONLY photographer to shoot that concert”.

Photos: 1971 Elton John rocks at the Perth Concert. Ric Chan pics.

Photos: Elton John’s Perth Concert drummer Nigel Olsson with drum kit. Ric Chan pics

Ric Chan: “Nigel and I spent some time together and I recall him telling me he had his drums custom made.”

Photos: 1971 Elton John performing Perth Concert. Ric Chan pics.

Photos: 1971 Elton John rocking at Perth Concert. Ric Chan pics.

Back in the ‘70s, Ric photographed many of the International artists visiting Perth, including the Rolling Stones, Bee Gees, ACDC, Nina Simone, Deep Purple, Santana, Beach Boys, Led Zep and John Mayall.

Surfing Down South plans to feature Ric’s photos from some of those music concerts in future blogs.


1 comment on “Elton John’s 1971 Australian Tour – Perth concert images by Ric Chan

  1. Tony Wigger-Smith

    I remember being at that concert. A truely memorable experience also used to see Ric out in the water snapping away, as Mary hopkins sings THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIEND. Nice work Jim.

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