Jimmy and the Boys were a Sydney cabaret/ punk band fronted by singer Ignatius Jones and keyboard player Bill O’Riordan who dressed up as drag queen Joylene Thornbird Hairmouth.
Their two studio album ‘Not Like Everybody Else (November 1979) and Teddy Boys Picnic (July 1981) had strong musicianship but it was their outrageous onstage antics and Top 10 hit ‘They Wont Let My Girlfriend Talk To Me’— written by Tim Finn and with a video based in a mental hospital – that made them one of the biggest live acts in Australia.
LIVE At The Astra Hotel 1982 was taped by “Yogi” Harrison who regards it as far superior to the band’s live album ‘In Hell With Your Mother’ recorded at Selinas from that time.
“The Astra tape is the live album the band always wanted. The place was a sleazy shithole from the 1920s which characterised Bondi as it was, and drew musicians and crews.”
It was also the last show ever by Jimmy and the Boys.
The tape includes ‘Teddy Boys Picnic’, ‘Dr Cairo’ about a surgeon who performed sex changes; stage faves ‘Butchy Boys’, ‘Babies On Fire’ and ‘Pretty Boys’; theatrical renditions of The Stones’ ‘Get Off My Cloud’ and The Kinks’ ‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else’, and of course ‘They Won’t Let My Girlfriend Talk To Me’.
LIVE At The Astra has two bonuses. It includes the band’s only live version of Elvis Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, always a showstopper, and ‘In Hell With Your Mother’ which they had written for the live album of that name but never used.
The band’s onstage antics included blood capsules burning babies and effigies of politicians and a menacing tank backdrop.
Their songs covered leather’n’chain sadomasochism, violence, cross-dressing, individualism, mental health, self-mutilation, sex change, drug abuse, simulated sex and mock rape.
They were hated by Christian groups, cops and family associations.
Among the riots they caused were at an outlaw motorcycle gang’s music festival (Ignatius Jones goaded them from stage and had to hide in a caravan which the enraged bikers tried to topple) and a Christmas show in Brisbane after a local paper claimed that the Baby Jesus was to be set alight and Joylene was to appear as the Virgin Mary.
Part of Phil Dunesky’s role as tour manager was visits to police stations to bail out band members and emergency departments of hospitals. There was an overnight stay at Blacktown Hospital in Sydney after Ignatius put his arm through a plate glass window coming off stage. “He cut an artery. He was covered in stage blood so it was awhile before we realised he was in fact bleeding to death.”