For all the photos of the night click here

They said it was dead.Due to a mixture of government incomprehension, general public apathy and inept public servants who wouldn’t understand rock n’ roll if it came up to them and slapped them in the face with a wet fish – The Tote flatlined. It was dead, weighed down by a massive debt for long suffering owner Bruce Milne who had tried to do the right thing by every band in town. So in face of public outrage, The Tote was forced to shut down. Just shy of six months later, enormous political pressure applied by YOU the punters, some hard and smart work by the new owners and the defibrillator was applied … The Tote reopened for business last night (June 10). What’s more –they’re promising they’ll be open to all from June 17th.

Tonight was an industry/media night which brought just about every regular rockpig who’d ever drunk at The Tote there, plus former staff and fans who’d been hoping for this moment for almost six months. Tone Deaf can report that the new carpet looks suspiciously similar in original colour to the old one and despite the staff looking for days to find something appropriate in carpet stores in Melbourne and it looking pretty fresh , you can remain assured it will look like the old one in a few weeks. The taco bar in the beer garden is a stroke of marketing genius and apart from that the beer garden still looks pretty much the same. In fact the whole pub does. Rock n’ roll identities from The Panics to Jet You Am I and The Spazzys  all came down to see the dream live on.

Bruce Milne, the former proprietor, made his way on to stage and told an appreciative crowd that he’d reached an agreement with the new owners to transfer the name of the business – henceforth it shall be called The Tote! In a symbolic gesture, Milne handed over the legendary Tote entry stamp – which punters have been trying to steal for years – to the new owners and wished them the best.

This is an amazing effort from not just Melbourne’s music community, but the support we’ve had nation wide. However, it must be remembered that the new liquor licensing chief – who we must admit is very band venue friendly – has a lot of work to do to repair the damage caused by Sue MacLellan, whom he replaced. Don’t sit back and celebrate, for the task has just begun.

The next Victorian election is in November and all you music fans should line up to give the government a kick where it hurts. They got rid of the liquor licensing chief when it became apparent that she didn’t listen to the live music community and would be losing them votes – we have the votes to decide the outcome of the next Victorian election and all your votes should be directed towards those who make it easiest for us to enjoy live music.

Rock n’ roll just got political and Tone Deaf will be issuing a rock n’ roll how to vote card come election time.

For all the photos of the night click here