Peter Allen (musician)
Peter Allen was an Australian-born singer-songwriter and entertainer, known for his flamboyant stage persona and lavish costumes. His songs were made popular by many recording artists, including Elkie Brooks, Melissa Manchester and Olivia Newton-John, with one, "Arthur's Theme" by Christopher Cross, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1981. In addition to recording many albums, he enjoyed a cabaret and concert career, including appearing at the Radio City Music Hall riding a camel, his Australian patriotism song "I Still Call Australia Home", has been used extensively in advertising campaigns, was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry in 2013. Allen was the first husband of Liza Minnelli, with the couple divorcing after seven years of marriage, he and his long-term partner died from AIDS-related illnesses eight years apart, with Allen becoming one of the first well-known Australians to die from AIDS. Several years after his death, the musical The Boy from Oz was written about his life.
It earned Hugh Jackman a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Peter Allen was born Peter Richard Woolnough in Australia, he was the grandson of George Woolnough, whom Allen immortalised in his song "Tenterfield Saddler". He began his performing career with Chris Bell as one of the Allen Brothers, who were a popular cabaret and television act in the early 1960s in Australia, he began performing as "Peter Allen" around the same time. Mark Herron, the husband of Judy Garland, discovered Allen. Allen commenced releasing solo recordings in 1971, but throughout his career achieved greater success through his songs being recorded by others, he scored his biggest success with the song "I Honestly Love You", which he co-wrote with Jeff Barry and which became a major hit in 1974 for Olivia Newton-John. Her single reached number one in the United States and Canada and won two Grammy Awards, for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Newton-John. Allen co-wrote "Don't Cry Out Loud" with Carole Bayer Sager, popularized by Melissa Manchester in 1978, "I'd Rather Leave While I'm in Love" co-written with Bayer Sager and popularized by Rita Coolidge in 1979.
One of his signature songs, "I Go to Rio", co-written with Adrienne Anderson, was popularized in America by the group Pablo Cruise. In 1976, Allen released an album, Taught by Experts, which reached number one in Australia, along with the number one single "I Go to Rio" and the Top 10 hit "The More I See You". Although his recording career in the US never progressed, he performed in Atlantic City and at Carnegie Hall, he had three extended sold-out engagements at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, where he became the first male dancer to dance with The Rockettes and rode a camel during "I Go to Rio". This performance was broadcast live and on subscription television service WHT The Movie Network. Allen's most successful album was Bi-Coastal, produced by David Foster and featuring the single "Fly Away", which in 1981 became his only US chart single, reaching No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition, Allen co-wrote the Patti LaBelle hit "I Don't Go Shopping", which reached the top 30 on the R&B chart in 1980.
Allen co-wrote the song "Arthur's Theme" with Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager and Christopher Cross, for the 1981 film Arthur. The song reached number one in the US and the songwriters won an Academy Award for Best Song. One lyric for the song, "If you get caught between the moon and New York City", was adapted from an earlier song that he and Bayer Sager co-wrote. Allen and Bayer Sager co-wrote "You and Me", recorded by Frank Sinatra. A video of Sinatra singing the song at Carnegie Hall was included as part of the Sinatra: New York package, released in late 2009. Allen performed on Australian television for many important occasions, his "Up in One Concert" of 1980 was a big ratings success across the country. When Australia won the America's Cup in 1983, he flew to Perth to sing before an audience of 100,000. In 1988, he opened for Frank Sinatra at Queensland. In America, he appeared at the 30th anniversary of Disneyland, he returned to recording on Arista with an album entitled Not the Boy Next Door.
In 1990, he recorded his final album on RCA Victor, Making Every Moment Count, which featured Melissa Manchester and Harry Connick, Jr. The song "Making Every Moment Count", a duet with Manchester, was co-written by Seth Swirsky, who produced a number of songs he co-wrote with Allen, including Allen's last-released single, "Tonight You Made My Day". One of his songs,'"I Still Call Australia Home", became popular through its use in television commercials for National Panasonic and, since 1987, for Qantas Airways, he made his Broadway debut on 12 January 1971, in Soon, a rock opera that opened at the Ritz Theatre and ran for three performances. He starred in his own one-man revue on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre, Up in One: More Than a Concert, which ran for 46 performances. Allen recorded a live album called Captured Live at Carnegie Hall where songs from his musical Legs Diamond, were previewed. Legs Diamond opened on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on 26 December 1988, with a book co-written by Harvey Fierstein
Men at Work
Men at Work were an Australian rock band formed in 1979 and best known for their 1981 hit "Down Under". Their founding mainstay was Colin Hay on lead vocals and guitar. After playing as an acoustic duo with Ron Strykert during 1978-79, he formed the group with Ron Strykert playing bass guitar, Jerry Speiser on drums, they were soon joined by Greg Ham on flute and keyboards and John Rees on bass guitar, with Ron switching to lead guitar. The group was managed by a friend of Colin Hay, whom he met at Latrobe University; this line-up achieved international success in the early 1980s. In January 1983, they were the first Australian artists to have a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single in the United States Billboard charts: Business as Usual and "Down Under", respectively. With the same works, they achieved the distinction of a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single on the Australian, New Zealand, United Kingdom charts. Their second album Cargo was No. 1 in Australia, No. 2 in New Zealand, No. 3 in the US, No. 8 in the UK.
Their third album Two Hearts reached the top 20 in Australia and top 50 in the US. They won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1983, they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1994, they have sold over 30 million albums worldwide. In May 2001, "Down Under" was listed at No. 4 on the APRA Top 30 Australian songs and Business as Usual appeared in the book 100 Best Australian Albums. In February 2010, Larrikin Records won a case against Hay and Strykert, their record label, their music publishing company arising from the uncredited appropriation of "Kookaburra" for the flute line in "Down Under"; the original band line up split in two in 1984, with Jerry Speiser and John Rees being asked to leave the group. This left Greg Ham and Ron Strykert. During the recording of the Two Hearts album, Ron decided to leave. Soon after the release of Two Hearts, Greg left leaving Colin Hay as the sole remaining member. Colin Hay and Greg Ham toured the world as Men At Work from 1996, until 2002. On 19 April 2012, Greg Ham was found dead at his home from an apparent heart attack.
The nucleus of Men at Work formed in Melbourne around June 1979 with Colin Hay on lead vocals and guitar, Ron Strykert on bass guitar, Jerry Speiser on drums. They were soon joined by Greg Ham on flute and keyboards, John Rees on bass guitar, with Ron switching to lead guitar. Hay had emigrated to Australia in 1967 from Scotland with his family. In 1978, he had formed an acoustic duo with Strykert, which expanded by mid-1979 with the addition of Speiser. Around this time as a side project, keyboardist Greg Sneddon. A former band mate of Jerry Speiser, together with Speiser and Strykert performed and recorded the music to'Riff Raff", a low budget stage musical, upon which Sneddon had worked. Hay had asked Greg Ham to join the group, but Greg had hesitated, as he was finishing his music degree, he decided to join the band in October 1979. John Rees, a friend of Jerry, joined soon after; the name Men At Work was thrown into the hat by Colin Hay, was seconded by Ron Strykert, when a name was required to put on the blackboard outside The Cricketer's Arms Hotel, Richmond.
The band built a "grass roots" reputation as a pub rock band. In 1980, the group issued their debut single, "Keypunch Operator" backed by "Down Under", with both tracks co-written by Hay and Strykert, it was "self-financed" and appeared on their own independent, M. A. W. label. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, felt the A-side was "a fast-paced country-styled rocker with a clean sound and quirky rhythm". Despite not appearing in the top 100 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart, by the end of that year the group had "grown in stature to become the most in-demand and paid, unsigned band of the year". Early in 1981 Men at Work signed with CBS Records, the Australian branch of CBS Records International, on the recommendation of Peter Karpin, the label's A&R person; the group's first single with CBS Records in Australia "Who Can It Be Now?", was released in June 1981 which reached No. 2 and remained in the chart for 24 weeks. It had been produced by United States-based Peter McIan, working on their debut album, Business as Usual.
McIan, together with the band worked on the arrangements for all the songs that appeared on Business As Usual. Their next single was a re-arranged and "popified" version of "Down Under", it reached No. 1 in November, where it remained for six weeks. Business as Usual was released in October and went to No. 1 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart, spending a total of nine weeks at the top spot. The Canberra Times' Garry Raffaele opined that it "generally stays at a high level and jerky... There is a delicacy about this music — and, not a thing you can say about too many rock groups; the flute and reeds of Greg Ham do much to further that". McFarlane noted that "side from the strength of the music, part of the album's appeal was its economy; the production sound was clean and uncluttered. Indeed, the songs stood by themselves with little embellishment save for a bright, singalong quality". By February the following year both "Down Under" and Business as Usual had reached No. 1 on the respective Official New Zealand Music Charts – the latter was the first Australian album to reach that peak in New Zealand.
Despite its strong Australian and New Zealand showing, having an American producer, Business as Usual was twice rejected by Columbia's US parent company. Thanks to the persiste
ARIA Music Awards
The Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards is an annual series of awards nights celebrating the Australian music industry, put on by the Australian Recording Industry Association. The event has been held annually since 1987 and encompasses the general genre-specific and popular awards as well as Fine Arts Awards and Artisan Awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards and ARIA Hall of Fame – held separately from 2005 to 2010 but returned to the general ceremony in 2011. For 2010, ARIA introduced. Winning, or being nominated for, an ARIA award results in a lot of media attention and publicity on an artist, increases recording sales several-fold, as well as chart significance – in 2005, for example, after Ben Lee won three awards, his album Awake Is the New Sleep jumped from No. 31 to No. 5 in the ARIA Charts, its highest position. In 1983, the Australian Recording Industry Association was established by the six major record companies operating in Australia, EMI, Festival Records, CBS, RCA, WEA and Polygram replacing the Association of Australian Record Manufacturers, formed in 1956.
It included smaller record companies representing independent acts/labels and has over 100 members. Australian TV pop music show Countdown presented its own annual awards ceremony, Countdown Music and Video Awards, which were co-produced by Carolyn James from 1981 to 1984 and, in the latter two years, in collaboration with ARIA. ARIA provided peer voting for some awards, while Countdown provided coupons in the related Countdown Magazine for viewers to vote for populist awards. At the 1985 Countdown awards ceremony, held on 14 April 1986, fans of INXS and Uncanny X-Men scuffled during the broadcast and as a result ARIA decided to hold their own awards. Starting with the first ceremony, on 2 March 1987, ARIA administered its own peer-voted ARIA Music Awards, to "recognise excellence and innovation in all genres of Australian music" with an annual ceremony. Included in the same awards ceremonies, it established the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1988, it held separate annual ceremonies from 2005 to 2010, the Hall of Fame returned to the general ceremony in 2011.
The ARIA Hall of Fame "honours Australian musicians' achievements have had a significant impact in Australia or around the world". The first ceremony, in 1987, featured Elton John as the compere and was held at the Sheraton Wentworth Hotel, Sydney. There were no live performances at the early ARIAs, music for both walk on/walk off was supplied by a nightclub dj, Rick Powell. All subsequent ceremonies were held in Sydney except the 1992 event at World Congress Centre, Melbourne. For 2010, ARIA introduced. Winning, or being nominated for, an ARIA award results in a lot of media attention and publicity on an artist, may increase recording sales several-fold, as well as chart significance – in 2005, for example, after Ben Lee won three awards, his album Awake Is the New Sleep jumped from No. 31 to No. 5 in the ARIA Charts, its highest position. The first five ARIA Awards were not televised, at the first award ceremony on 2 March 1987, the host, Elton John, advised the industry to keep them off television "if you want these Awards to stay fun".
The first televised ARIA Awards ceremony occurred in 1992, all subsequent ceremonies were televised. They were broadcast on Network Ten from 2002 to 2008 and returned in 2010. Nine Network aired the ceremony on 26 November 2009, its digital channel, GO!, aired the 2011 ARIA Music Awards on 27 November 2011. At the 1988 ceremony a fracas developed between band manager, Gary Morris, accepting awards for Midnight Oil, former Countdown compere, Ian "Molly" Meldrum, presenting, they conflicted over visiting United Kingdom artist, Bryan Ferry, who had presented an award. Morris objected to Ferry's presence and insulted him, Meldrum defended Ferry and scuffled with Morris. In 1995 electronic music group, Itch-E and Scratch-E, won the inaugural award for "Best Dance Release" for their single, "Sweetness and Light". Band member, Paul Mac thanked Sydney's ecstasy dealers for their help. One of the sponsors of the awards, that year, was the National Drug Offensive. In 2005 Mac explained, his speech was bleeped for the TV broadcast.
During the 2004 voting process, former 3RRR radio DJ, Cousin Creep, published his user name and password on a music site, allowing public votes, before being removed from voting two days later. The 2007 ARIA Awards telecast was marred by controversy, after it was revealed by the ABC's Media Watch programme that Network Ten had used subliminal advertising during the course of the broadcast, which under the Australian Media and Broadcasting rules, such an activity is illegal. Network Ten disputed the finding, however their basis for defence was criticised by Media Watch, as demonstrating an ignorance of the rules; the 2010 telecast was criticised in media reports: Crikey's Neil Walker decried the "infamously shambolic Sydney Opera House fiasco", The Punch's Rebekah Devlin speculated on it being the worst telecast, "it felt like we’d stumbled into some raging A-list party and we weren’t invited Guests who were there said it was a great night, but it reignites the debate of what the Arias are all about… is it an event staged for the musicians and the people there, or is it for a TV audience?", while Daily Telegraph's Ka
Paul Kelly (Australian musician)
Paul Maurice Kelly is an Australian rock music singer-songwriter and harmonica player. He has performed solo, has led numerous groups, including the Dots, the Coloured Girls, the Messengers, he has worked with other artists and groups, including associated projects Professor Ratbaggy and Stardust Five. Kelly's music style has ranged from bluegrass to studio-oriented dub reggae, but his core output straddles folk and country, his lyrics capture the vastness of the culture and landscape of Australia by chronicling life about him for over 30 years. David Fricke from Rolling Stone calls Kelly "one of the finest songwriters I have heard, Australian or otherwise." Kelly has said, "Song writing is mysterious to me. I still feel like a total beginner. I don't feel like I have got it nailed yet". After growing up in Adelaide, Kelly travelled around Australia before settling in Melbourne in 1976, he became involved in the pub rock scene and drug culture, recorded two albums with Paul Kelly and the Dots. Kelly moved to Sydney by 1985, where he formed the Coloured Girls.
The band was renamed Paul Kelly and the Messengers only for international releases, to avoid possible racist interpretations. At the end of the 1980s, Kelly returned to Melbourne, in 1991 he disbanded the Messengers. Kelly was divorced twice. Dan Kelly, his nephew, is a guitarist in his own right. Dan performed with Kelly on Stolen Apples. Both were members of Stardust Five, which released a self-titled album in 2006. On 22 September 2010 Kelly released his memoir, How to Make Gravy, which he described as "it's not traditional, his biographical film, Paul Kelly: Stories of Me, directed by Ian Darling, was released to cinemas in October 2012. Kelly's Top 40 singles include "Billy Baxter", "Before Too Long", "Darling It Hurts", "To Her Door", "Dumb Things", "Roll on Summer". Top-20 albums include Gossip, Under the Sun, Songs from the South... Nothing but a Dream, Stolen Apples and Fall, The Merri Soul Sessions, Seven Sonnets and a Song, Death's Dateless Night, Life Is Fine – his first number-one album – and Nature.
Kelly has won 14 Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards, including his induction into their Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2001 the Australasian Performing Right Association listed the Top 30 Australian songs of all time, which included Kelly's "To Her Door", "Treaty", written by Kelly and members of Yothu Yindi. Aside from "Treaty", Kelly wrote or co-wrote several songs on Indigenous Australian social issues and historical events, he provided songs for many other artists. The album Women at the Well from 2002 had 14 female artists record his songs in tribute. Kelly was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2017 for distinguished service to the performing arts and to the promotion of the national identity through contributions as a singer and musician. Paul Maurice Kelly was born on 13 January 1955 in Adelaide, to John Erwin Kelly, a lawyer, Josephine, the sixth of eight surviving children. According to Rip It Up magazine, "legend has it" that Kelly's mother gave birth to him "in a taxi outside North Adelaide's Calvary Hospital".
Although Kelly was raised as a Roman Catholic, he described himself as a non-believer in any religion. He is the great great grandson of Jeremiah Kelly, who emigrated from Ireland in 1852 and settled in Clare, South Australia, his paternal grandfather, Francis Kelly, established a law firm in 1917, which his father, joined in 1937. John Kelly died in 1968 at the age of 52, after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease three years earlier. Paul Kelly was thirteen years old. Kelly described his father: "I have good memories, he was the kind of father that, well, I missed him when he died much; the older children were growing into him at the time. He was not well enough to play sport with me". Kelly's maternal grandfather was an Argentine-born, Italian-speaking opera singer, Count Ercole Filippini, a leading baritone for the La Scala Opera Company in Milan. Filippini was touring Australia in 1914 with a Spanish opera company; as Countessa Anne Filippini, she was Australia's first female symphony orchestra conductor.
She sang the role of Marguerite in Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio Perth's performance of Faust in 1928. Kelly's grandparents started the Italo-Australian Opera Company, which toured the country in the 1920s. Josephine raised the younger children alone after John's death, but found time to assist others in need. Paul's oldest sister, became a nun and went on to write hymns, while a younger sister, Mary-Jo, plays piano in Latin bands and teaches music. An older brother, works for Edmund Rice International, with another brother, Tony, a drug and alcohol counsellor, who ran as an Australian Greens candidate in the 2001 and 2004 federal elections. Josephine Kelly moved to Brisbane, where she died in 2000, at the age of 76. Kelly attended Rostrevor College, a Christian Brothers school, where he played trumpet and studied piano, became the first XI cricket captain, played in the first XVIII football, he was named dux of his senior year. Kelly studied arts at Flinders University in 1973, but left after a term, disillusioned with academic life.
Ross Wilson (musician)
Ross Andrew Wilson is an Australian singer-songwriter and producer. He is the co-founder and frontman of the long-standing rock groups Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock, as well as a number of other former bands, in addition to performing solo, he has produced records for bands such as Skyhooks and Jo Jo Zep & the Falcons, as well as for those of his own bands. He appeared as a judge on celebrity singing TV series It Takes Two from 2005. Wilson was individually inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame in 1989 and again as a member of Daddy Cool in 2006. Wilson's father was an amateur jazz musician and his mother would play classical music on the piano at their home in the Melbourne suburb of Hampton. Wilson learnt to sing harmonies with the local Anglican church choir and was selected as a boy soprano wedding singer. In 1958, at ten and a half years old, he and his father attended their first rock & roll show featuring Johnny O'Keefe, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly and the Crickets.
A car accident in 1963 caused severe injuries. During recovery over subsequent months, Wilson took up harmonica playing and would copy from records to develop his playing style. Wilson began his musical career in 1964 and formed his first band The Pink Finks with thirteen-year-old Ross Hannaford, who would become his long-time musical partner, whilst both were still at school, they released a cover version of "Louie Louie" as a single in 1965 on their own label and followed with three more singles after being signed to local label W & G. At about this time he met Patricia Higgins whilst working at the Department of Supply; the Pink Finks was followed by the more progressively oriented The Party Machine still with Hannaford, but included Mike Rudd on bass. Compensation for his earlier car accident was received by 1969, which enabled Wilson to travel to England with Pat, he had been invited by Brian Peacock to join his band Procession. Whilst there, Wilson married Pat, recorded an album Procession with the band and began to work on the song "Eagle Rock".
Wilson returned to Australia that year and formed Sons of the Vegetal Mother, again including Hannaford and Rudd, a group inspired by the work of Frank Zappa. In 1970 Sons of the Vegetal Mother formed; the original members were Wilson, Gary Young and Wayne Duncan, other members that joined, included saxophonist Jeremy Noone and guitarist Ian Winter. Known for their "good time" image, Daddy Cool's repertoire mixed covers of 1950s R&B and doo-wop classics with original compositions written by Wilson; the band signed to the independent Sparmac label, co-owned by producer and former child prodigy guitarist Robie Porter. Daddy Cool became popular in Australia and their records gained a following in the US and Canada in the early 1970s, they scored a nationwide No. 1 hit in Australia in mid-1970 with the single "Eagle Rock" and their debut LP, Daddy Who? Daddy Cool reached No. 1 to set a record as the biggest selling Australian album to that time. The "Eagle Rock" promo was directed by Chris Löfvén who had earlier that year directed the video for Spectrum's single "I'll Be Gone".
Around this time Ross and wife Pat both appeared naked in a short film directed by Chris Löfvén titled "The Beginning", an extra on the DVD release of Oz. After Daddy Cool broke up late in 1972, Wilson and Hannaford formed the short-lived Mighty Kong which included former Spectrum drummer Ray Arnott and Company Caine guitarist Russell Smith, they recorded only one LP, All I Wanna Do Is Rock released on Porter's new label Wizard Records, but the band broke up soon after. Whilst performing with Mighty Kong, Wilson was impressed by a fledgling Melbourne band called Skyhooks and signed their main songwriter Greg Macainsh to his publishing company. Daddy Cool made a surprise reformation for the January 1974 Sunbury Pop Festival and remained together until late 1975. Performing at Sunbury in 1974 were Skyhooks and, despite being booed off stage, Wilson recommended the band to Mushroom Records boss Michael Gudinski. In June / July 1974 Wilson took time off from Daddy Cool and produced Skyhook's breakthrough debut album Living in the Seventies, which overtook Daddy Cool's first album to become the biggest-selling Australian LP.
He went on to produce their next two albums, Ego is not a Dirty Word and Straight in a Gay Gay World, both of which were successes in Australia. Contractual problems with Porter's Wizard label, to whom Wilson was signed at the time, forced him to wait out the end of his recording contract, he turned to producing records for Skyhooks on Mushroom Records and Company Caine on his own label Oz Records. When his contractual obligations ended, Wilson scored Chris Löfvén's 1976 film, Oz, inspired by The Wizard of Oz but set in Australia. Wilson performed "Livin' in the Land of Oz", "The Mood", "Greaseball", "Who's Gonna Love You Tonight" and "Atmospherics", with fellow ex-Daddy Cool members Gary Young and Wayne Burt. Jo Jo Zep, containing Young and Burt, were signed to Oz Records and released the single "Beating Around the Bush" from the soundtrack. To promote his single, Wilson formed Mondo Rock: My longest lasting project, Mondo Rock started as an occasional thing to help promote my 1st solo single "Living in the Land of Oz" & it wasn't until 1978 that we issued our debut single Mondo Rock went through several incarnations but the best known line-up included bassist
Split Enz were a rock band from New Zealand, popular during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was founded in 1973 by Tim Finn and Phil Judd, had a variety of other members during its existence. Split Enz had eight songs listed in the APRA Top 100 New Zealand Songs of All Time, more than any other band. Split Enz had ten albums reach the top ten of the Official New Zealand Music Chart. From 1980 to 1982, the band had four number-one albums in three in Australia, it had two albums break the top ten of the Canadian Albums Chart, two break the top fifty of the Billboard 200, one break the top fifty of the UK Albums Chart. The only number-one single for Split Enz was "I Got You", which topped the charts in both New Zealand and Australia. Other top-ten singles include "One Step Ahead", "History Never Repeats", "Dirty Creature", "Six Months in a Leaky Boat". In late 1972, university friends Tim Finn and Phil Judd founded a acoustic band called Split Ends in Auckland, New Zealand. Finn played piano, while Judd sang and played guitar.
Both wrote songs. They were accompanied by Tim's old school friend Mike Chunn on bass, Miles Golding on violin, Mike Howard on flute. Finn and Judd became close friends. Another key personality in this period was Phil Judd's university friend Noel Crombie, who performed with them over the next few years. Another powerful creative influence was Phil and Tim's love for British author and artist Mervyn Peake, whose Gormenghast novels inspired a number of their early songs. Named "Split Ends" they were an odd and eclectic mix for a pop band, Golding having been educated in classical music and Finn influenced by the Beatles, the Move, the Kinks. With financial backing from friend and fan Barry Coburn they issued their first single, "For You"/"Split Ends", in April 1973 and undertook their first short first tour, supporting British blues legend John Mayall, it was at this point that Mike Chunn's brother Geoff Chunn was brought in to replace their original drummer Div Vercoe. Golding and Howard left soon after, Chunn wanted the band to become electric, so extra members were added: guitarist Wally Wilkinson, saxophonist Robert Gillies.
By this time Split Ends had become Tim's primary focus and he dropped out of university to concentrate on the band. In late 1973 Split Ends entered the New Faces television talent contest, in preparation for their performance they recorded two new Judd-Finn songs: "129" and "Home Sweet Home". Soon after, they recorded "Sweet Talking Spoon Song", which would become the second single. In the event - and much to the dismay of the Finn family watching at home - Split Ends finished second-last in the contest. Although this first television appearance was not recorded by TVNZ, the Finn family still have the shaky, silent 8mm b/w home movie footage they shot directly off the TV screen and a portion of, included in the Split Enz documentary Spellbound. Despite their loss on New Faces, the group made a sufficiently strong impression to secure them a 30-minute concert special for Television New Zealand, recorded soon after. Typical of the time, the performances were mimed to pre-recorded backing tracks, so the band put down four more songs including "No Bother To Me", "Malmsbury Villa" and "Spellbound".
It was around this time. In November 1973, EMI NZ issued the band's second single, "129" / "Sweet Talking Spoon Song". Over the next eighteen months Split Enz honed their material and performances; the TV special exposure enabled them to undertake their first national concert tour, although Phil Judd did not take part. He disliked performing live, was uncomfortable with negative reactions to the band, felt that their developing music was too complex for successful stage presentation, so he decided to stay at home to write and record new material while the rest of the band toured, although he returned to make occasional live appearances and rejoined full-time. In early 1974 the group's sound took a major step forward when Tim acquired a Mellotron and in February keyboard player Eddie Rayner joined the band. Rayner's accomplished playing soon became a crucial part of the group's sound and he was one of two members who remained with the band for its entire subsequent career, the other being percussionist Noel Crombie.
The latter joined that year, along with Paul Crowther, while Geoff Chunn and Rob Gillies departed. Early in their career, the group made the decision to treat records, live shows, publicity photos, stage design, costumes and makeup as a total package, this was assisted by their wide-ranging interests in literature and the visual arts: Judd was an accomplished painter and subsequently created cover paintings for two Enz albums, his artist friend Noel Crombie was soon roped in to become the group's "stylist" and Noel went on to create all the extraordinary costumes, hairstyles and stage sets which soon became their trademark, as well as coordinating all their single and album artwork and associated promotional material, he directed all their music videos. In early 1974 Split Enz undertook a series of radio-sponsored "Buck-A-Head" shows which played in theatres rather than in pubs or clubs. Taking advantage of this and Tim de
AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, heavy metal, however the band themselves describe their music as "rock and roll". AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. Membership subsequently stabilised around the Young brothers, singer Bon Scott, drummer Phil Rudd, bass player Mark Evans. Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977 for the album Powerage. In February 1980, a few months after recording the album Highway to Hell, lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died of acute alcohol poisoning; the group considered disbanding but stayed together, bringing in Brian Johnson as replacement for Scott. That year, the band released their first album with Johnson, Back in Black, which they dedicated to Scott's memory; the album launched them to new heights of success and became one of the best selling albums of all time.
The band's next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was their first album to reach number one in the United States. The band fired Phil Rudd as drummer in 1983, Simon Wright filled his place until quitting in 1989, being in turn replaced by Chris Slade; the band experienced a commercial resurgence in the early 1990s with the release of The Razors Edge. Phil Rudd returned in 1994; the band's studio album Black Ice, released in 2008, was the second highest-selling album of that year, their biggest chart hit since For Those About to Rock reaching No.1 on all charts worldwide. The band's line-up remained the same until 2014 with Malcolm Young's retirement due to early-onset dementia and Rudd's legal troubles. In 2016, Johnson was advised to stop touring due to worsening hearing loss, Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose stepped in as the band's vocalist for the remainder of that year's dates. Long-term bass player and background vocalist Cliff Williams retired from the band at the end of their 2016 Rock or Bust World Tour.
The group has not disbanded and unconfirmed reports of a new album continue to circulate. AC/DC have sold more than 200 million records worldwide, including 71.5 million albums in the United States, making them the tenth highest-selling artist in the United States and the 14th best selling artist worldwide. Back in Black has sold an estimated 50 million units worldwide, making it the third highest-selling album by any artist, the highest-selling album by any band; the album has sold 22 million units in the US, where it is the sixth-highest-selling album of all time. AC/DC ranked fourth on VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" and were named the seventh "Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All Time" by MTV. In 2004, AC/DC ranked No. 72 on the Rolling Stone list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". Producer Rick Rubin, who wrote an essay on the band for the Rolling Stone list, referred to AC/DC as "the greatest rock and roll band of all time". In 2010, VH1 ranked AC/DC number 23 in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".
Brothers Malcolm and George Young were born in Glasgow, Scotland living at 6 Skerryvore Road in the Cranhill area. The Big Freeze of 1963 was the worst winter on record in Scotland with snow eight feet deep. A TV advertisement at the same time offered assisted travel for families for a different life in Australia. Fifteen members of the Young family left Scotland by plane in late June 1963. Before moving into a house at 4 Burleigh Street in the suburb of Burwood they stayed at Villawood Migrant Hostel in Nissen huts, where George Young met and became friends with another migrant, Dutchman Harry Vanda. George was the first to learn to play the guitar, he became a member of one of Australia's most successful bands of the 1960s. Malcolm followed in George's footsteps by playing with a Newcastle, New South Wales, band called the Velvet Underground, their older brother Alex Young chose to remain in Britain to pursue musical interests. In 1967, Alex formed and played bass in the London-based band Grapefruit—initially called "The Grapefruit"—with three former members of Tony Rivers and the Castaways, John Perry, Geoff Swettenham, Pete Swettenham.
Malcolm and Angus Young developed the idea for the band's name after their sister, Margaret Young, saw the initials "AC/DC" on a sewing machine. "AC/DC" is an abbreviation meaning "alternating current/direct current" electricity. The brothers felt that this name symbolised the band's raw energy, power-driven performances of their music. "AC/DC" is pronounced one letter at a time, though the band are colloquially known as "Acca Dacca" in Australia. The AC/DC band name is stylised with a high voltage sign separating the "AC" and "DC" and has been used on all studio albums, with the exception of the international version of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. In November 1973, Malcolm and Angus Young formed AC/DC and recruited bassist Larry Van Kriedt, vocalist Dave Evans, Colin Burgess, ex-Masters Apprentices drummer. Pushing hard for the band's success were Australia's roadie Ray Arnold and his partner Alan Kissack. Gene Pierson booked the band to play at Chequers nightclub on New Year's Eve, 1973. By this time, Angus Young had adopted his characteristic school-uniform stage outfit.
The idea was his sister. Angus had tried other costumes: Spider-Man, Zorro, a gorilla, a parody of Superman, named Super-Ang. In its early days, most members of the band dressed in some form of satin outfit. On stage, Evans was replaced by the band's first manager, Dennis Laughlin, ori