SKYHOOKS GUITARIST BOB ‘BONGO’ STARKIE
CONTINUES THE CELEBRATION OF LIVING IN THE 70S
40TH ANNIVERSARY WITH TOUR DATES IN 2015
There is no doubt, Living in the 70s is one of the most iconic albums to ever come out of Australia, firmly cementing Skyhooks legendary status. Continuing on from the album’s 40th anniversary in 2014, former Skyhooks guitarist Bob ‘Bongo’ Starkie is taking the classic songs out on the road in personal celebration of one of Australia’s most beloved bands. After a whirlwind tour of dates in 2014, Bob and his band – which features some of the country’s most revered musicians – have announced a string of dates for January and February 2015.
Skyhooks helped change the face of rock n roll in the 1970s with #1 and Top 10 singles to their credit, as well as two of the country’s biggest selling albums, Living in the 70s and Ego is Not A Dirty Word. The Living in the 70s album was produced by Ross Wilson and received incredible reviews. As history tells, radio banned many of the tracks on the long-player from airplay at the time. It was a national #1 for four months, and sold the equivalent of 14 gold albums [or six platinum albums today]. It was the biggest selling records for a decade. That’s an incredible success for an album that has now become ingrained in Australian music psyche.
Skyhooks have been described as ‘giving the Australian music industry the enema it needed’ when they smashed onto the scene in their colourful costumes, wearing make-up well before other bands tried it. Living in the 70s was their debut album and it wasn’t long before the five members of the bands were celebrities – Shirley, the enigmatic curly-haired lead-singer, guitarist Red Symons, guitarist Bob Starkie, bassist and songwriter Great Macainsh and drummer Fred Strauks. The band was one of the first to ever appear on iconic television show Countdown and audiences loved them! They released killer singles such as Horror Movie, Ego (Is Not A Dirty Word), Women In Uniform and Jukebox in Siberia, to name a few, and are one of the few bands who have been a permanently on rotation on radio stations around the country for decades. Skyhooks were inducted in the ARIA Hall of Fame and ceased touring together after the death of lead singer Shirley in 2001.
Bob ‘Bongo’ Starkie was in the engine room of the Skyhooks revolution. Despite the decades since the Living in the 70s release, he still believes the album is as strong today as when it was released in October 1974. To celebrate this iconic album, he has pulled together some of the best musicians in the business, starting with Melbourne-based vocalist Laura Davidson. “Over the years people have often requested Skyhooks tunes but the fact of the matter was you really needed someone who could deliver a performance like Shirl,” says Bob. “I have found that someone in Laura. She is wonderful to perform with and she can sing the hell out of these Hooks tunes.”
Joining the band is Steve Williams (sax/harp/percussion) who toured long-term with John Farnham, Stuart Fraser (guitars) from Noiseworks, Sean McLeod (drums) from Taxiride and Kim May (bass). Bob says it has been a great opportunity for like-minded musicians to join forces and pay homage to not only an incredible band, but some sensational songs… and there are a lot of songs to choose from. Bob has managed to whittle down an incredible set-list that not only includes all the stellar hits from Living in the 70s, but also some of Skyhooks’ other massive hits as well, with a smattering of rarities that need to be heard.
“Even having played in the band, re-listening to all the records after all this time is like an out of body experience,” Bob says. “Initially with some tunes I wasn’t paying much attention to the lyrics, and I must say, it’s like hearing them for the first time. The strength and the diversity of Greg Macainsh’s lyrics is a testament to his greatness as a songwriter. Getting the opportunity to play these tunes after all this time is great, especially some of the really early tunes.”
Sunday 11th January 2015
Caravan Club, OAKLEIGH VIC
Friday 23rd January 2015
Corowa RSL Club, COROWA NSW
Saturday 24th January 2015
Barooga Sports Club, BAROOGA VIC
Sunday 25th January 2015
Mulwala Water Ski Club, MULWALA NSW
Friday 6th February 2015
Italian Australian Sporting Club, MORWELL VIC
Saturday 7th February 2015
Bairnsdale RSL Club, BAIRNSDALE VIC
Friday 13th February 2015
The Sphinx Hotel, GEELONG VIC