They had flares, glam jumpsuits, dubious hair and plenty of attitude...Melbourne group Skyhooks was the quintessentially seventies band. In fact they even wrote a song about it - Livin' in the 70s, which shot up the charts in 1974. They were, in their day, a very popular band. Love them or hate them (and not many people did hate them), Skyhooks were at least different. Visually, each band each member had a completely unique, theatrical presence - there didn't seem to be one cohesive style, although musically, they were tight..
The band was formed in 1973 by bass guitarist Greg Macainsh and drummer Freddie Strauks and joined by Bob Starky (guitar and back-up vocals), Red Symmons on lead guitar and vocalist 'Shirley' (so-called for his curly hair) Strachan. What distinguished their act was, a) the Australian content -they wrote about local places and issues, which was refreshing in a country where most of the top ten hits were all about distant cultures...and b) they had a visually interesting stage presence.
|Ling in the 70s album cover|
Stylistically, Symmons had a Kiss thing going (though they were pre-Kiss), with dramatic make-up and a lizard-like tongue extrusion, Greg Macainsh, with white suit, silver hair and make-up looked like an avant-garde, thin version of Sydney Greenstreet. Shirl was the fresh-faced chic magnet I guess, while Starky and Atrauks threw some camp moustaches into the mix. In their own words they "gave the Australian music industry the enema it had needed". Skyhooks Official Website
Skyhooks disbanded in 1980 but re-formed for a few times over the next decade and scoring a surprise hit song in 1990 with Jukebox in Siberia. Both Symmons and Strachan went on to enjoy successful TV careers. Strachan, a former carpenter pre--Skyhooks, scored a gig on a home improvement show but his life and career was cut tragically when he was killed in a helicopter crash in 2001. They were a memorable band and left a sufficiently powerful enough musical and cultural mark to be inducted into the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Hall of Fame.
Living in the 70s (1974)
Ego is not Dirty Word (1975)
Ego is not a Dirty Word (1975)
Jukebox in Siberia (1990)