Skyhooks smash hit single Horror Movie was one of the first 45’s I ever bought with my own money. I still have it!
They were glam rock at it’s best. Well written, catchy songs, performed beautifully by skilled showmen. It had everything a young westie lad like myself loved.
Formed in Melbourne in early 1973, they gained a loyal audience in the pub scene fairly quickly. As luck would have it one night they scored a support to a band called Mighty Kong & were noticed by the singer Ross Wilson which proved to be pivotal. He later convinced Michael Gudinski to sign them to Mushroom records. Wilson also produced their first three albums Living In The Seventies, Ego Is Not A Dirty Word, and Straight In A Gay Gay World. Not a bad result for a support gig one night!
After being booed off stage at Sunbury in 1974 they had their next big break. Singer Steve Hill quit and was replaced by the legendary Graham “Shirley” Strachan who suited the band to a tee. By the time they returned to Sunbury in 1975 the were a chart-topping band and were acknowledged as the best performers at that concert by Rolling Stone.
The next few years saw another two hit albums and a massive touring schedule. The next great challenge, like all Aussie bands, was America and like too many of their contemporaries, they never really took off there.
By 1977 the first cracks started to appear after Red Symonds left to be replaced by Finch guitarist Bob Spencer. Around this time singer Shirley started to dabble in a solo career which eventually saw him leave in 1978. He was replaced by Tony Williams but the band was fading. By 1980 it was all over. They say the brightest lights burn out the quickest & so it was with Skyhooks.
They had numerous reformations over the years but it was all put to bed with the untimely death of Shirley Strachan in a helicopter accident in 2001.
- Red Symons – Guitar, Keyboards
- Greg Macainsh – Bass
- Bob Starkie – Guitar
- Imants “Freddie” Strauks – Drums
- Steve Hills – Vocals
- Peter Starkie – Guitar
- Peter Ingliss – Guitar
- Graham “Shirley” Strachan – Vocals
- Bob Spencer – Guitar
- Tony Williams – Vocals
More info on Skyhooks members at the Australian Music Database.
- Living In The Seventies – 1974
- Ego Is Not A Dirty Word – 1975
- Straight In A Gay Gay World – 1976
- Tapes – 1977
- Guilty Until Proven Insane – 1978
- Live! Be In It – 1978
- Best Of – 1979
- Hot For The Orient – 1980
- Boxed Set -1983
- Live In The 80’s – 1983
- Latest and Greatest – 1990
Known gigs for Skyhooks
|16/04/73||Carlton, VIC||St Judes Hall|
|with Scumbags, and Reuben Tice|
|25/04/73||Mt Buller, VIC||The Arlberg|
|12/05/73||Mt Buller, VIC||The Arlberg|
|20/09/74||Bondi Junction||Bondi Lifesaver|
|27/01/75||Dawes Point||Sydney Harbour|
|18/01/76||St Kilda, VIC||Palais Theatre|
|30/07/76||Canberra, ACT||Canberra Theatre|
|+ Ol’ 55|
|31/07/76||Goulburn, NSW||Goulburn Hall|
|+ Ol’ 55|
|08/08/76||Moore Park, NSW||Hordern Pavilion|
|02/10/76||Parramatta||War and Peace|
|12/12/76||Bondi Junction||Bondi Lifesaver|
|10/12/77||Moore Park, NSW||Hordern Pavilion|
|23/03/78||Bondi Junction||Bondi Lifesaver|
|29/03/80||Bexley North||Bexley North Hotel|
|+ Ward 13|
|15/09/80||Circular Quay||Sydney Cove Tavern|
|16/09/80||Bondi Junction||Bondi Lifesaver|
|24/04/83||Haymarket, NSW||Capitol Theatre|
Living In The Seventies – 1974
Horror Movie – 1975
Women In Uniform – 1978