Bathurst's Greg Booth reflects on his 50-year career in music

TALENTED TRIO: Greg Booth with fellow Nuthin'2 Serious band members Jessica Dick and Tamika Booth. Photo: SAM BOLT
TALENTED TRIO: Greg Booth with fellow Nuthin'2 Serious band members Jessica Dick and Tamika Booth. Photo: SAM BOLT

When a 31-year-old Greg Booth came across two musicians encapsulating the sound of a full band at a Sydney music trade fair in 1987, he was immediately sold on his next creative pursuit.

Cut to more than three decades later, and Nuthin' 2 Serious [named after Icehouse's 1987 hit] has built an admirable reputation as one of the Central West's most prolific and storied live entertainment acts.

But after 50-plus years, Booth is set to call it a day from regular gigging, with Nuthin' 2 Serious' upcoming New Year's Eve gig at the Bathurst RSL Club to be his last.

"Music has been my life, and it's certainly going to be hard leaving the gigs behind," he said.

"For the first 25 years, the band averaged 100 gigs a year, and we're so thankful for all the wonderful people who have come out to support us throughout the years."

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The youngest of four children, Booth learned how to sing before he could talk and often spent time watching his uncle play guitar while jamming along on the accompanying case.

"When Col Joye brought out the song 'Bye Bye Baby' in 1958, I could sing it word for word as a two-year-old before I'd even learned how to talk," he said.

An appreciation for The Beatles, Elvis Presley and The Bee Gees eventually led Booth to his first band, Fraternity-The Brothers Three, as a 13-year-old in 1969.

"We cut our teeth performing around Sydney where we'd earn around $7 each per gig," he said.

"Comparatively, Sherbet formed the same year as us and were paid $8 each."

But it was in 1976 when Booth, new to the Central West, joined Mecca, an Orange-based rock band who opened for notable acts such as Dragon, Mi-Sex and Cold Chisel when they toured the region.

Booth, who performed drums in the band until 1980, said the experience taught him the finer points of professionalism in music.

"The guys in the band were all 10 to 20 years older than me and without their guidance, I would never have grown into the musician I am today," he said.

"Mecca would play three times a week, and we'd often draw around 550 people to the Bathurst Leagues Club [today Panthers Bathurst] and 800 people to the Orange Ex-Services Club."

FRET FETISH: Greg Booth with his colourful collection of guitars. Photo: SAM BOLT

FRET FETISH: Greg Booth with his colourful collection of guitars. Photo: SAM BOLT

Booth would eventually take the experience gained from Mecca into Nuthin' 2 Serious [formed in 1988], where he's assumed the duties of guitar, vocals and programming for bass, drums and keyboards.

"The band has performed at certain events every year since the band's inception, including balls, graduations and weddings," he said.

"We've performed a few weddings in recent years where we remember the parents of the bride or groom, because we played at their wedding too."

Jessica Dick, one of the two current female vocalists in Nuthin' 2 Serious, is in the ironic situation of being in the band that performed at her parents' wedding in the early 1990s.

"You get to meet a lot of amazing people through this band, and we've made many great friends over the years," Jessica said.

The band has also become a family affair in recent years, with Booth's daughter Tamika rounding out the talented trio.

"We're like a little family on stage, and we always laugh off any mistakes we make because, like the band name suggests, we try not to take ourselves too seriously," Tamika said.

The band has left a remarkable legacy on the Central West music scene, but Booth said the the real legends are the numerous crowds they've performed for.

"The people are our boss and whether we perform for a crowd of 10 or 110, the aim is always to go out there and have a good time," he said.

When the music's over, Booth is planning to get back to his other core passion: slot car racing.