Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Party Boys - Greatest Hits (Of Other People) 1983

(Australian 1982–1992, 1999, 2011)
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The Party Boys were an Australian music group from Sydney that was formed in 1982, they were a popular band during the 80’s era. A talented young bass guitarist, Paul Christie formed this band in association with iconic legend Kevin Borich.

Both of them were already engaged in diverse music projects at that time. Thus, “The Party Boys” and its journey officially started  between Paul and Kevin.

True to their name this band was really “The Party Boys” and they really knew how to perform and have a rocking good time.

In the path of progressing, many talented musicians like Kevin Borich, Ross Wilson, Richard Clapton, James Reyne, Marc Hunter and Australia’s one and only Angry Anderson occasionally joined this band and helped them to produce various successful music creations. After consistently performing for a period of ten years, the journey of this well-known music band ended in 1992, they did get back together in some form during 1999 and 2011 for some performances..

The first line-up of this band comprised of two experienced music professionals – Paul Christie and Kevin Borich. In 1982, when Paul Christie decided to leave his earlier music band (Mondo Rock), he decided to form a new group and performed cover songs at the local Australian pub circuit.

By showcasing commendable music performances, they easily grabbed the attention of the Aussie audience. They performed hundreds of gigs at various local pubs. One of their live albums, named as “Live at Several 21sts” (released in 1983), witnessed massive popularity and great recognition with Aussie radio listeners. This album reached number # nine position on the Australian national charts. 

In November 1983, the band members issued another superior music production – their second live album – “Greatest Hits (of Other People)” - but this time with Richard Clapton at the helm singing lead vocals. Just like its predecessors, this album too gained a great acclaim from the proficient music critics. Furthermore, “Greatest Hits (of Other People)” achieved number # 25 position on Australian charts.

Richard Clapton and Harvey James QUICKLY moved on to other projects which opened the door for Skyhooks vocalist Shirley Strachan to join the project on vocals and with Rose Tattoo's Rockin' Rob Riley replacing Harvey James. [extract from aussieradios.com]
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Richard Clapton - The Best Years Of Our Lives
(a brief account off  Clapton's time with the Party Boys)

In 1983, I was recruited into The Party Boys, a so-called 'supergroup', a really popular live act. From the outset, this band was, as the name implied, the hardest-living group of musos in Australia. Talk about the party that never ended.

Harvey and Clapton
My first night with them took place at Tharen's, a very upmarket restaurant in Darlinghurst. EMI Records was hosting the night; the band's first album had just gone gold. What could have been a great meal was left untouched while band and label raised hell. We then moved on to James Reyne's room at the Sebel Townhouse—I was filling in for James in the band—and proceeded to trash it, doing silly rock star stuff like pulling paintings and mirrors off the walls, tossing things around, just wreaking havoc.

At the first rehearsal, I arrived and patiently waited for the rest of the band—Kevin Borich, Harvey James, bassist Paul Christie and Angels' drummer Graham 'Buzz' Bidstrup— who eventually arrived several hours late and then proceeded to party on. Before I knew it we were on stage at the Manly Vale Hotel, drunk as skunks and playing like maniacs to a full house.
I wasn't too enamoured with the band's music, which was all famous covers, because PC, the band demagogue, would insist everything we played be transposed. Consequently, as James had warned me, I had to struggle with ludicrously inappropriate keys, which left me sounding either like Mickey Mouse or Satan. The tour ran for two long weeks, and although we each made fantastic money, to me it felt like artistic prostitution.


There are two very funny stories from this period, however, which should be recounted. During that first tour, Buzz Bidstrup (the Angels drummer) and I became good friends and maintained each other's sanity throughout all that pressure. One night Buzz and his wife Kaye invited me and Jimmy and Jane Barnes around for a small, intimate dinner party. Everyone was drinking fine and expensive wine, but unfortunately I have always been very allergic to the histamines in wine. Jimmy began ribbing me for not partaking but I stood my ground because I knew that pretty soon I would go red in the face and become very inebriated. Nevertheless, much to my chagrin, I allowed myself to be talked into having a few glasses of wine. Just as the wine was taking effect, I realised that-it was unusually strong and immediately regretted drinking some. To make matters worse, Jimmy insisted we get stuck into the vodka.

Jimmy then produced a home video camera he had hidden away and methodically began setting it up on a tripod in front of me.
'Whaddya doin', Jimmy?' I asked, my brain turning to jelly.
Jimmy said nothing, then suddenly joined me on the lounge and introduced The Jimmy Barnes Tonight Show. My mouth was dry, and I could hardly speak. I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep.
Jimmy began doing takes of his Tonight Show, with me as his special guest, much to the hilarity of everyone else. Jimmy is actually fantastic at this stuff, and could very easily make a successful talk show host if he ever chooses that fork in the road. (He did have his own TV show in the new millennium.)
However, by this stage I was catatonic and we sat there doing take after take, with Jimmy intro'ing his show and me pissed out of my brain. The only words I could utter were: 'Whaaaaat are ya doin?', 'Why?', or 'Switch that fuckin' thing off, for Christsake.' I guess you had to be there but it sure was funny at the time.

A certain guitarist came out on my next outing with The Party Boys. The guitarist was renowned for leaping off a PA stack at the Newcastle Workers Club, and during the ensuing solo, exposing himself to the audience. His nickname was The Beast.

I'd planned a return trip to Berlin straight after the tour. The tour ended in the rural NSW town of Taree; we all woke up quite late in a seedy motel. I had an impressive camera, complete with an expensive motor drive. I took about a dozen shots of the band, then forgot all about it.
I arrived in Berlin some weeks later. I'd completely forgotten the photo shoot in Taree. Volker and I went out soon after my arrival, and I finished the roll of film by shooting the old Gestapo HQ, the Reichstag and other prominent Nazi buildings that I thought might be demolished. I was very serious about the shots, taking light readings and being careful with my exposures.

I left the film with a laboratory close by the apartment where we were living. A young, pretty Berlin girl was working behind the counter and insisted on going through every shot with me to ensure that I was satisfied with the processing. She worked her way backwards through the shots of Berlin, diligently asking for my approval of the colours and exposures.
Then she burst out laughing, and asked me who this was in the first dozen frames.
'Oh,' I said nonchalantly, flashing back to Taree, 'you see, I'm a rock musician from Australia, and this is a band I play with called The Party Boys.'
'Ach ja!' she said, then proceeded to giggle.

In the band shots, The Beast was progressively rolling up his short shorts to reveal his penis in the last half dozen shots. Here I was, 20,000 kilometres away, trying to explain (in German) about this amusing character, and how this wasn't common behaviour for Australian men. [extract from Richard Clapton - The Best Years Of Our Lives, Allen & Unwin Books, 2014. p220 - 224]
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This post consists of FLACs ripped from my OZ label vinyl (EMI) and includes full album artwork and label scans. Regrettably my copy did not come with an inner sleeve which I have seen on ebay (see right).
This is an interesting album as the 'hits' come from a diverse range of artists ranging from Bob Dylan, to Del Shannon, to Jimi Hendrix and not only features Clapton on lead vocals, but also showcases Borich, Christie and James taking the lead on a few tracks.
If you like this album and you're ready for a party, then you'll find their other 4 albums elsewhere on the blog - enjoy.

.Track Listing
01.  I’m A Rocker
02.  I Fought The Law
03.  Highway Chile
04.  Runaway
05.  Sweet Emotion
06.  Sugar Shack
07.  Stealer
08.  Street Fighting Man
09.  Mercury Blues
10.  Rainy Day Woman No’s 12 & 35
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The Party Boys were:
Graham Buzz Bidstrup - Drums, Bass,
Vocals
Kevin Borich - Guitar, Vocals
Paul Christie - Bass, Drums, Harmonica, Vocals
Harvey James - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Richard Clapton - Lead Vocals
with Don Raffaele - Saxophone


The Party Boys FLAC Link (267Mb)
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