Tommy & The Dipsticks (The Crooked Hearts)

by Greg Morris on January 26, 2012

in Bands - C, Bands - T

Tommy & The Dipsticks were a Sydney based Punk Rock band that started around 1977. The Dipsticks’ guitarists John Cowper & Peter Mullany from Johnny Dole & The Scabs were school mates so Peter was able to help the band with their first gig.

Tommy & The Dipsticks like Johnny Dole & The Scabs were one of the few Punk Rock bands at the time to play in an English style doing covers of Rolling Stones and Beatles songs plus a few originals thrown in for good measure.

When the doors to the legendary Grand Hotel – Broadway Sydney were opened for the first time on Friday 16th September 1977 a support band was needed and Peter suggested his mate’s band. It was agreed to give them a go and as it turned out they were a great match and they went on to support them many more times.

The bands for that opening night were Johnny Dole & The Scabs supported by Tommy & The Dipsticks for just $1.00 so in reality Tommy & The Dipsticks have the distinction of being the first band to play at the Grand Hotel.

After Johnny Dole & The Scabs disbanded, Johnny Dole & Peter Mullany joined forces with Tommy & The Dipsticks and The Crooked Hearts were born, mid 1978.

Line-up: Tommy & The Dipsticks

  • John Cowper – Guitar/Vocals
  • Tommy Ebejer – Bass/Vocals
  • Russell McRae – Drums/Vocals

Line-up: The Crooked Hearts

  • Johnny Dole – Lead Vocals
  • Peter Mullany – Guitar
  • John Cowper – Guitar/Vocals
  • Tommy Ebejer – Bass/Vocals
  • Russell McRae – Drums/Vocals
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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maurice Gannon January 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Amazing. These guys were my old school mates. I’m still in conatct with Tom. He plays mostly jazz double bass these days. They’re all still alive and kicking (except I don’t know about Johnny Dole – never knew him at all really). Pete and Tom were in band together before the Scabs and the Dipsticks developed. I remember driving them and their stuff to their first gig at the Royal George in Sussex Street – that would have been 1975!!


2 Maurice Gannon January 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm

A few years back Tommy and the Dipsticks got together again for one night – I think it was Russell’s 40th birthday. These guys would be amused to find out that they are part of ‘history’ now – what a scream.


3 Maurice Gannon January 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Just to clarify one point – all these guys were school mates – except for Dole (god knows where he came from or where he went to). We were all good Catholic boys. This is what a Catholic education can do to you. There was another guy too – Paul Cosgrove – who played drums in the precursor band (I think they called themselves White Heat). Cya


4 Greg Morris January 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Hi Maurice,

This was just a small piece I wrote about the boys so they were represented on this web site, I thought it would be nice they got a mention. It was just my memories of knowing them back then. In fact John Cowper and I played in a band together a number of years ago after I got back in contact with him through a mutual friend and it was good to reminisce about the old days.

If you want more info on Johnny Dole & The Scabs and what happened to Johnny just go to

Thanks for your comments and I’ll mention you to Peter next time I’m talking to him!!



5 Russell McRae May 3, 2012 at 10:25 am

Hi Maurie / Greg

Nice to be part of history!! Wish I could remember some of it. Reckon you did a great job Greg and appreciate your efforts. We did play my 40th… and my 50th. It’s on YouTube… even a couple of originals. Next plan is for the 60th ??!!!???? If we succeed we will have been playing “good” music for 5 decades!!



6 Greg Morris May 3, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Hi Russell,

LONG time no see, how are you doing these days?

Thanks for the kind words. If you and the boys would like to give me some more details about the band send it through, some photos would be great too and I’d be happy to post it.

my e-mail:

Say hi to everyone for me, hope to hear from you soon.

All the best,


7 Thomas Ebejer May 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Hi Greg,Maury and Moose
Tommy here.I always have a smile when I think back to the Grand ol days
I remember eyes stinging form sweat and just having a great feeling from the raw energy of those times.
Yes the Dipsticks reform every 10 years for each of our birthday parties . Next one in four and a half years when I turn sixty.
Now playing locally in Lismore doin a bit of country and going to have a go of doing 60’s and 70’s stuff in a band line up of double bass, violin, cello and guitar
Also back into electric bass a 5 stinger


8 Greg Morris May 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Ah Mr. Ebejer,

Great to here from you, up Lismore way must make re-unions hard?

Sounds like you’re having fun and that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?



9 John Sanderson May 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Good to see your still doing it Tommy, all the best Johno


10 peter mullany March 30, 2015 at 11:08 pm

The Dipsticks were great, The Crooked Hearts had a few good nights, no one was playing in an English style, we just played stuff, wrote songs and did a few gigs, and had a great time, we wrote our own soundtrack to our lives.


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