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Take a 35% discount on the "Been Away Too Long" CD with one of these discount codes that expire 11:59pm Sept, 30th, 2014. Remember a free digital album always accompanies a CD purchase.

In Australia & New Zealand use this code when you check out "cd35@2". For everyone else, use this code "cd35@1".

Use this address to get yours

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LosTraxx Records

Date: March 2nd, 2012                                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Brian Lewis                                               Location: Kansas City, Missouri 

Phone: +1-816-651-4299                                                     Email:





Glenn A. Baker, Music Writer/Researcher/Rock Brain of the Universe x 3

"Uncovering a complete performance from that time is certainly cause for celebration."

"Max Merritt & the Meteors at the end of 60s were held in exceptionally high regard...”

"For those who didn't get to hear it rolling off a stage back then, this is an opportunity to find out what the fuss was all about."

Max Merritt & The Meteors "Been Away Too Long"producer Brian Lewis explains, “The latest release from one of Australia and New Zealand’s greatest bands is not a compilation, nor a reissue. It is a rare event in the music industry. It is a new album of a live performance, recorded in Melbourne in late 1969, that has not previously been released. Only a handful of people even knew the recording existed until recently." (You'll have to read The Official Back Story to get all the details.)

This recording has not been mixed down or changed in any way. What you hear is exactly how the audience heard the band that night in late 1969, captured via multiple microphones and a reel-to-reel tape recorder. Every instrument is clear and naturally balanced. Superbly recorded, amazingly well preserved, and expertly digitally remastered, "Been Away Too Long" is NOT your father’s bootleg!

The CD starts with two great numbers written by Max, followed by five proven crowd pleasers, and the band rounds out the set with a brilliant nine minute tribute medley to Otis Redding.

There are so many numbers* the band never recorded elsewhere for an album, even life-long fans will be listening to plenty of “fresh” material.

1. I've Been Away Too Long 2:56 (Merritt)                                                          

2. I'm So Happy* 3:25 (Merritt)                                                           

3. Gonna Send You Back To Your Moma* 2:23                                   

4. Kush* 9:55                                                                                               

5. Louisiana Ana 3:47                                                                                   

6. Western Union Man 4:34                                                                                                                       

7. The House Will Rock* 5:10           

8. Otis Redding Medley* 9:47           

            You've Got Me Hummin'

            Fa, Fa, Fa, Fa, Fa (Sad Song)

            Try a Little Tenderness


Lewis continues, "Max Merritt is one of Australia and New Zealand's most important and influential pioneering Rock & Roll, R&B and Soul artists, and has been tirelessly pleasing audiences for over 50 years.In 1969 and 1970, the band was at the top of their game and widely acknowledged as one of the most popular live acts on the Australian music scene. The album showcases some of the very best the Meteors had to offer. This particular band lineup produced a unique sound, a cross pollination of rock, jazz, soul and blues as Max puts it. "Been Away Too Long" has the unique ambience of a live performance that can never be matched by studio sessions. The sound quality is outstanding."

Lewis adds, "The release includes a terrific drum solo by the late Stewie Speer in Kush. We brought it to Glenn A. Baker’s attention, and he believes it is Stewie’s only known recorded drum solo.Stewie was one of Australia's all-time great drummers. It is rumored that on more than one occasion, Rolling Stones' drummer Charlie Watts was seen paying close attention to Stewie's technique when the band performed in London in the 70s."

Bob Bertles, one of Australia's top jazz musicians and longtime Meteor sax and flute player (1967-1974) provides a memorable performance on the album including a number of solos. Dave Russell, guitarist and music producer, and Meteor bass player (1969-1973) performs superbly on the album, like he had been with Max for years, and not just the few months since signing on when the recording was made. The  quartet's power and flawless execution makes for a great listening experience.

Although recorded half a lifetime ago in the 20th century, "Been Away Too Long" will be a true 21st century release. Lewis says, "Beginning today, fans anywhere in the world will be able to sample and purchase the album, individual tracks and streams from these digital music websites - iTunes, Press Play Music, LosTraxx Records, Amazon MP3, MySpace Music, Spotify, Rhapsody/Napster, eMusic, Zune, Nokia, iHeartRadio, VerveLife and Google Music. Fans can find links to digital and physical retailers around the world at LosTraxx Records, or search their favorite retailer for "Max Merritt Been Away Too Long".

"Press Play Music has been appointed our exclusive antipodean CD distributor. Beginning today, fans everywhere (except the U.S, Canada & Mexico) can get a great CD pre-order deal directly from Press Play Music, and fans can pre-order from their favorite online or "bricks & mortar" record store. U.S, Canadian & Mexican fans can order directly from LosTraxx Records and take advantage of the great CD pre-order deal. Once the CD is released, April 30th, 2012, fans everywhere in the world will be able to order a CD directly form" (Sorry, Amazon does not do CD preorders.) You can also listen to the album on Jango Internet Radio.

He concludes, "On a personal note, to be associated with a legendary band like Max Merritt and The Meteors is a real privilege. Without a doubt, everyone involved in this project demonstrated to me they are generous, understanding and dedicated music professionals.

"My ultimate hope is that fans will make this album a big retro hit, as a way to thank Max, and continue to pay him back for the 50+ years of good times he has given us all!"­­­­­­­­________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Lewis was born and raised in Melbourne and moved to the U.S. in 1981.

For information: Contact Brian Lewis (Aus EST + 7hrs) at +1-816-651-4299 or email

To preview and buy the album:

In Australia & NZ, and Globally (except U.S, Canada & Mexico), go to Press Play Music.

In the U.S, Canada & Mexico, go to LosTraxx Records.

If all else fails, on the CD release date, you can find the CD at

Anywhere in the world you can listen to the album on Jango Internet Radio.

Max Merritt

Max has been on the Australasian music scene for over 50 years. Max is renown as THE original local interpreter of soul and R&B. He rose to prominence in New Zealand from 1958 and relocated to Australia in December 1964. Max’s band was acknowledged as one of the best local performers of the 60s and 70s, and his influence did much to popularize soul, R&B and rock music in Australia and New Zealand. When Max applied his unique musical influences to a live performance, the results were nothing less than amazing!

Max has engendered respect and affection over generations of performers which was evident at the 2007 Concert for Max, to provide financial support after it was announced he had Goodpasture’s syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease. The Australian Recording Industry Association recognized Max’s iconic status on July 1st, 2008 when he was inducted into their Hall of Fame. (Edited from Wikipedia/Max Merritt)

Bob Bertles

A self taught musician, Bob’s music career began in 1956. He was a member of the developing modern jazz scene that grew out of venues like the Mocambo in Newtown and the El Rocco Jazz Cellar in Kings Cross. Active in clubs, on TV, as a session musician and on the pop-rock scene, he toured with Johnny O’Keefe & The Dee Jays from 1958-1963. Bob also led a quartet with Keith Barr, Brian Fagen & Barry Woods, which played at Melbourne’s renown Fat Black Pussycat in Toorak.

Bob was with The Meteors from 1967 till 1974. While in London in the 70s he played sessions for Cliff Richard, Cilla Black and Alan Price. Bob joined Ian Carr’s Nucleus in 1974. Today he heads up The Bob Bertle’s Quintet. When not touring, Bob presents a regular program on Sydney jazz station Eastside Radio. (Edited from Wikipedia/Bob Bertles)

Dave Russell

Dave met Max in 1959 when he sat in for a missing Meteors guitarist at the Christchurch Teenage Club, Dave was a Ray Columbus & The Invaders member at the time. In a chance phone call ten years later, Dave was looking for work, Max needed a bass player, so Dave signed up. During his time with the band (1969 - 1973), they toured the UK with Slade, The Moody Blues, and The Doors, appeared at major festivals, and played at top London venues. Dave returned to New Zealand in 1973 when Max put the band on hold.

Dave formed the Wrangler Roadshow band in early 1974 and toured till year’s end. In 1975 he was hired to manage Split Enz’ Australian tour, and he also produced the band’s award wining debut album, ‘Mental Notes’. Recently retired, with his music career behind him and looking forward to a quiet country life, Dave still plays guitar everyday and is actively involved in recording. 
(Edited from Merritt & The Meteors)

Stewie Speer

Stewie was one of Australia’s top jazz and rock drummers, and like Bob, played the traditional jazz scene. His love of bebop eventually led Stewie to join the Meteors in 1967. After taking the Australian music scene by storm in 1969, the band moved to the UK in 1970. They returned numerous times to Australia in the early 70s for very successful concert tours. Max broke up The Meteors in 1978, retaining only Stewie.

In late 1980, Max toured Australia with a band that included Stewie. This was Max and Stewie’s last major tour together. Stewie returned to live in Sydney in 1980, and he remained active on the local music scene, although health problems affected him increasingly during his last years. He died of a heart attack in Sydney on 16 September 1986, aged 58.
(Edited from Wikipedia/Stewie Speer)


Brian Lewis
LosTraxx Records