Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Of Hopes & Dreams & Tombstones/You Can't Sit Down/Chicago/Tiger In Your Tank/I'm Gonna Try/Early In The Morning
The Purple Hearts were an Australian rock group, formed in Brisbane in 1964. The band consisted of lead vocalist Mick Hadley, lead guitarist Barry Lyde (known as Lobby Loyde), rhythm guitarists Paul Steffen (1964-65) and Fred Pickard (1965-66), bassist Bob Dames, and drummers Adrian 'Red' Redmond (1964–66) and Tony Cahill (1966-67).
It is notable that Brisbane, traditionally the most conservative of Australia's state capitals, has fostered some of this country's most anarchistic rock bands from The Purple Hearts to The Saints. The Purple Hearts were tough, arrogant and pioneering and Lobby Loyde is widely acknowledged as Australia’s first true rock guitar hero – busy blowing up speaker boxes before high volume and feed-back became rock staples.
Although they were part of the Sunshine Records stable (which included Australia's top male teen idol Normie Rowe) The Purple Hearts were uncompromising in their attitude toward recording. Consequently, their handful of singles are enduring artifacts of their unique style, which blended blues, R&B and prototype psychedelic rock, a style made even tougher by the regional influence mentioned earlier. Even their name, taken from the well-known slang term for a variety of amphetamine pop pills much favoured by mod subculture, was a brash and outrageous gesture.
Hadley, Dames and Pickard were, like so many of Australia’s rock stars, English migrants. Upon arrival in 1963 they joined forces with two other young R & B sympathisers – Lyde and Adrian Redmond – to form the Purple Hearts. Redmond was subsequently replaced by Tony Cahill, who was later chosen as Snowy Fleet’s replacement in The Easybeats.
Early in 1966 the group moved base to Melbourne, where they enjoyed minor chart success with "Early In The Morning". They quickly became a prominent part of the city's thriving pop scene and made several appearances on Australia's leading pop TV series The Go!! Show. A year later they exited with suave by issuing a press release stating that they had ceased to progress musically, were becoming stagnant and, therefore, had no reason to continue.