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"Skyhooks Australasian Tour"-June/July '75-Program Notes

1972 Skyhooks are born.
Breeding: By the 70's out of Eltham cult band Frame. Original line-up Greg Macainsh (bass, songwriter), Freddy Strauks (drums, harmonies), Peter Ingliss (guitar), Peter Starkie (guitar), Steve Hill (vocals) During the following months, Ingliss is replaced by Red Symons, Starkie by his younger brother Bob (Bongo Starr). Solid following in Eltham, Carlton, Mt. Buller and outer areas of Melbourne.

July, '73
Spotted by Ross Wilson when billed with Mighty Kong at Melbourne University.

Aug., '73
Macainsh signs with Wilson's publishing company, Doo Dah.

Oct., '73
Full page in Go Set following scattered enthusiastic press.

Nov., '73
Band join AEE agency, forerunner of MAC. First meeting with director of Mushroom Records, Michael Gudinski.

Jan., '74
Strongholds in Phillip Island, St. Albans. Band plays Sunbury '74. Steve Hill leaves the band after seeing himself on the televised replay.
Graham (Shirley) Strachan, Ex-Frame, is recruited from a life of idyllic beach bumming as Skyhooks front man/vocalist…..A conquering line-up is completed.

Signed to Mushroom Records. Red Symons plays a really "blind" date on the TV show of the same name and bites his lucky partner on the neck, causing a furor in the press…Band working solid.

June, '74
Two tracks ("Hey What's The Matter" and "Love On The Radio") released on Highlights of Sunbury '74 (Mushroom Records).

Aug., '74
The single "Living In The 70's" is released. Skyhooks open the first Reefer Cabaret, a now renown concert venue.

Sept., '74
First big concert Melbourne Festival Hall with Sherbet, Buster Brown

Oct., '74
Album "Living In The 70's" (produced by Ross Wilson, as was the single before it and all recordings since) released to a mind boggled but exhilarated press. " listen to Skyhooks bite their way through Living In The 70's is to justify the existence of valium" -Nation Review. Sleeve of the Week in Melbourne Herald " .. based on genitalia ..." -Age. Its release "must herald the opening chapter of Australian rock history" -Sunday Observer

Federations of Australian Commercial Broadcasters (FACB) place an "A" classification (recommended absolutely banned) on six of the ten album tracks with a unanimous vote.

Nov. '74
Skyhooks play premiere of ABC's national pop TV show, Countdown….Tour SA, WA, Sydney and Canberra. Macainsh contacts hepatitis on tour, temporarily replaced by female bassist Marnie Martin. Starkie contacts disease also', but continues playing.

Dec., '74
Skyhooks voted group fans would most like to see in concert (by a landslide), Sunday Observer, also the hottest new stars of 1974.
Second single "Horror Movie" released.

Jan., `75
A really hectic month. Band premiere Polaroid In Concert to TV screens across the nation . .. And hundreds wait ticketless in the foyer of the Dallas Brooks Hall as Skyhooks star in concert. Living In The 70's (LP) hits number 1 on the 3XY charts, and Sydney's 2JJ opens transmission with Skyhooks' banned album track "You Just Like Me 'Cos I'm Good In Bed", later in the month starring the band in a free concert under the Harbour Bridge, drawing 8,000.

Skyhooks prove "the explosion point of Sunbury '75". "Arguably quite the best set, Deep Purple included" -Rolling Stone.
"At the end of their performance, it appeared from the stage that the whole valley had gone mad" -Age.
Beating off strong competition, Michael Gudinski takes on the management seat with Skyhooks.

Feb., '75
Nominated in 7 of 12 categories, first Moomba National. Music Awards, eventually taking out the major prizes Record of the Year (for the album Living in the 70's) and Producer of the Year (Ross Wilson). Playing live televised Moomba concert on the banks of the Yarra, bands are subsequently mobbed, causing a traffic jam two lanes wide, and escape with the aid of a police divvie van.

March, '75
Premiere the ill-fated Graham Kennedy Show, and Countdown '75 on the first day of color transmission. Kick off an omnipotent national tour with Australian Music to the World concert at Adelaide's Memorial Drive. Sold out ten days prior, 10,000 show and cause hysteria. Explosives have been added to the act .. Vice Squad confiscate a certain large, shapely prop. All over Australia, attendance records are smashed, huge crowds turned away from brimming venues. Teenage dementia prevails.

April, `75
Gold record receptions, major concerts in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Anzac Day in Melbourne, Festival Hall is sold out, packed with "a seething mass of Skyhooks fans . .. scenes of hysteria and adulation that have not been seen here since the days of Beatlemania ..." Listener In TV. "It was Skyhooksmania ... the crowd went mad. About 50 fans were carried semi conscious onto the stage after being crushed in the crowd ..." -Sun

The single 'Ego Is Not A Dirty Word" is released and bounds steadily up the national charts to pry loose the grip of "Horror Movie"', ex-number 1 and top ten in most states still.

Living In The 70's (LP) had sold in excess of nine gold records, by early May. also sold a gold cassette, a first for an Australian band,* and has just fallen from the Number I spot on the national charts. The Skyhooks national tour finished up with packed dates in Tasmania, and estimated gross is above $150,000. In the past seven months, Skyhooks have done all this and much more, including premiering three television shows (Graham Kennedy Show, Countdown and Polaroid In Concert) and launch three new newspapers. (RAM, Stages and Juke), and at the moment are planning their own national television special. Skyhooks have more than doubled the previous record for sales of an Australian rock album with their very first LP. heir second, Ego Is Not A Dirty Word, will be released on the 1st of July.


He's the hero of the kids, the teens, the twenties set and the I'm not tellings. From Claudia Wright to Ernie Sigley, they worship the momentarily empty air between his lips. 'He's Our Boy Shirl, a.k.a. "The Mouth", and " Terror Australis", and the connecting circuit between his brain and his vocal organs is worth the Aussie mint. He's been a surfie, a carpenter, and a womanizing joker. What more can you say? Ladies and gentlemen, Shirley Strachan.

GREG MACAINSH (Bass/vocals)

Gregory John Macainsh plays organ bass and writes 90% of performed/recorded Skyhooks is a genius of the genre of solid young 70's rock; his tunes. have huge drive, melody, dynamics and an undeniable stamp of class. His lyrics are urban, simple and brilliant, and come to you directly from the 70's with high blood pressure, insight, a clean, tough egotism and the passion of a social spy.
Little is known of the personal life of Greg Macainsh, and his habit of walking out of interviews and refusing the media access doesn't help. It is. alleged he lives in a twelve roomed house in St. Albans with his Uncle Pete, who wears self colored suits but this has not been confirmed.


Freddy "Kaboodle" Strauks has played with Greg Macainsh for over ten years; little wonder the Skyhooks rhythm section has made a name for its solidarity.
But despite aberrantly colorful costumes and a drum solo which incorporates. rock nursery rhymes, taped effects and acrobatics, University graduate Strauks is really "the' homey type".
and clams that he's in Skyhooks "so I can see the other side of life before I retire", when he will lay claim to a peaceful little house in the country.
Freddy, whose Latvian blood is still running strong in his veins, has "a bad habit of falling in love", and when fans call him on the telephone he hasn't the heart not to talk to them. He likes to sculpt and paint and is an expert in the fields of cookery and gardening a self-made man.

BONGO STARR (Guitar/ vocals)

Christened Bob Starkie, a nymphean brunette and a very solid rhythm guitarist. An image
monger, much photographed, Starr is into make-up as an art form and an artifice ... Truly involved in the
'show, the striking visuality of Skyhooks. His costumes vary from flesh colored satin suits with built in
black suspender belt and mesh stockings to an impish candy striped jumpsuit with white wig; he has a fetish for collecting exotic sunglasses.
Bongo plays a customized Stratocaster and practices for hours a day. A highly competent, though modest guitarist, he says in Skyhooks "I'm a lot happier than I've ever been before". 'An entertainer, vibrant stage presence and teenager for evermore"


"More than a man driven, than a man in pursuit", Symons is the pained, vain, and somewhat cynical face above the lead guitar; vulpine features painted like a canvas dressed with an almost religious severity in red and black. He is as articulate and artful a guitarist as he is a spokesman, and two of his originals have been recorded /performed by Skyhooks so far ("Smut" and "Every Chase A Steeple").

Redmond, whose tongue is always either planted firmly in cheek or pointed drolly at his audiences, comes from an academic/ criminal background, having been convicted on 18 counts of forging and uttering after graduation from Melbourne University's Computer Programming course, and describes his ambitions thusly "To take what I'm doing to its logical conclusion..."

Copyright © 2000 Pohogonot Farms. The information contained in this web site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Pohogonot Farms Inc. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by Pohogonot Farms.

©2001 Owen Kanzler for the Entire World

Copyright © 2001 Pohogonot Farms. The information contained in this web site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Pohogonot Farms Inc. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by Pohogonot Farms.

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