29: Girls On The Avenue – Richard Clapton

NeilTop 30 - Australian Songs

Entered Charts: 27 February 1975
Entry Point: 39
Highest Chart: 2
Weeks In: 14
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At number 29, we find the son of a Chinese-Australian surgeon and a night nurse at a Sydney Hospital. Dispensing with his birth name (which some report to be Terry Gonk), he took the names of his two favourite guitarists – Keith Richard and Eric Clapton and became … Richard Clapton.

Clapton started his music career in 1965 and it wasn’t until 1975 that he had his first commercial hit with this song – Girls On The Avenue. As with so many other commercial hits, Girls On The Avenue was released as the B-side to a long forgotten single “Travelling Down The Castlereigh” but, after some radio airplay and being released on one of the annual compilation albums, it took off and became Clapton’s biggest commercial hit.

Clearly, the song relates to prostitutes and it is said that “The Avenue” is The Avenue in Rose Bay, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

And what did Clapton think of the song? “Not only did I not feel that Girls On The Avenue was the perfect song, but Festival Records rejected that song six times. They’d say to me, ‘What’s the chorus, is it ‘Don’t you slip’ or ‘Friday night …’?’ I don’t know! Why does a song have to have a hook or a chorus? You either like the song or you don’t!

Don’t worry, Richard – we like the song.