The legend of Tommy and Phil Emmanuel extends way back into days of yore.(Early 1980’s if you want to be more exact). But if you were going to pick a point where things were really about to kick into high gear for them, it was The Whiz Band.
The band was a powerhouse of Sydney talent. The cream of the crop.
Featuring Phil and Tommy playing their customised Fender Telecasters, which for the more technically curious both included a middle pick up and a 5 position switch. So basically what you had was a Telecaster body with a Stratocaster pickup configuration. The boys were the first to rape a classic instrument in this way, but it worked.
The show was punctuated with a dazzling acoustic set where they performed songs by Al DiMeola and the like. The electric portion of the show featured material that other bands could only ever dream about doing a decent job of. One thing you can be sure of is that if you managed to catch a Whiz Band gig, you were going to be a fan for life.
The duration of the band was relatively short before the boys moved on and formed Goldrush. The next stage in their evolution.
Update: After speaking to Phil Emmanuel it turns out that there were two versions of this band. The first from 1976-78. They then had four years off to do Goldrush. The second version was from 1982-84 after Tommy had left to go to the US with Doug Parkinson.
- Tommy Emmanuel – Guitar
- Phil Emmanuel – Guitar
- Chris Haigh – Bass
- Steve Hopes – Drums
- Neville Nepia – Vocals/Congas/percussion
- Shauna Jensen – Vocals
- Mal Logan – Keyboards