Tracks

  1. Live Wire
  2. Roll Over
  3. Going To See My Baby Tonight
  4. Fashion And Fame
  5. Driving Me Crazy
  6. Don’t Let Go
  7. Marseilles
  8. Hold Your Head Up
  9. Gloria
  10. Small Talk
  11. Roadhouse Blues
  12. High Voltage
  13. He’s Gonna Step On You
  14. Rockin’ All Over The World

The Band

John Swan – singer
Richard Harvey – drums
Kevin Borich – guitar
John Brewster – guitar
Alan Lancaster – bass
Paul Christie  – bass, drums

The Crew

David ‘Strawb’ Quinn
(sound engineer)
Peter Quinn
(guitar tech, onstage keys contribution)
Clint Braddick
(guitar tech)
Herman
(monitor engineer)
Matt Doherty
(systems engineer)
Michael Richardson
(lighting)

The Party Boys was formed in 1982 by Mondo Rock bass guitarist Paul Christie along with Australian Crawl’s James Reyne. It played its first show at the Moby Dick Surfer’s Club in Whale Beach, Sydney. The plan was for The Party Boys to be a part-time fun supergroup project playing rock classics, using a revolving door of known musicians when their respective bands were off the road, a total of 36 players over the years.

These included The Angels, Rose Tattoo, Skyhooks, Australian Crawl, The Divinyls, The Models, Dragon and Choirboys, and international names such as Alan Lancaster, Joe Walsh of The Eagles, Eric Burdon of The Animals and Graham Bonnet.

But it became a runaway success, with hit singles and albums, and sell-out concerts.

One of the singles, a cover of John Kongos’ percussive anti-apartheid song from 1971 “He’s Gonna Step On You Again” went to #1 on the ARIA chart.

Originally Paul Christie played bass. But when Alan Lancaster, ex-Status Quo joined, he switched to drums as a two-drummer setup with former Divinyls member Richard Harvey who Paul played his first ever live gig with, this was the line-up that released ‘He’s Gonna Step on You Again’.

The follow up “Hold Your Head Up” from The Party Boys album, was made by the line-up that’s on LIVE at the Tivoli Sydney 1987.

This was the most commercially successful of the line-ups.

The Party Boys was a lucrative experience. Paul Christie was a shrewd businessman and he set up a business model that was ahead of its time in the Australian music industry.

“I took over the band’s management so we didn’t have to pay 20% commission to someone else,” Paul explains.

“In the first week we played, someone left a note outside the singer’s house, ‘If you guys value your arms and legs, you’ll stop this now!’

“We kept the production small, and we really looked after our crew, and they in turn were very loyal.

“We made a lot of money, some of the guys in the band could buy new equipment or cars, or pay off their houses.

“But we worked very, very hard. When the record went to #1, we went from playing four nights a week to six. Just one night off a week! But we became a great band as a result.”

Adds David ‘Strawb’ Quinn, their sound engineer who is responsible for the Tivoli tape, “We were playing to 3,000 people every night, in every Australian state and in New Zealand.

“It was an epic time of my life. I loved the band’s music, they were all on a peak as musicians, and Paul had such a shrewd business brain.

“The crew lived like kings, we earned big money, I never made that kind of money again!”

David Quinn began crewing for his brother Paul’s band Electric Pandas, doing their sound live and on recordings, as a result also offered a job as a tape operator at Rhinoceros Studios and working with the likes of INXS and Cold Chisel.

Aside from doing the sound for the Party Boys, David engineered most of their studio recordings.

The Tivoli show was also the album’s launch party. The venue was packed with fans and music industry executives, and as the tape shows, the crowd was totally vibed up.

It came right in the middle of a tour, so the band was sparking, even as soon as it hit the stage.

The tape includes the two hit singles, as well as La De Das’ “Gonna See My Baby Tonight”, The Angels’ “Fashion And Fame” and “Marseilles” and Status Quo’s “Roll Over Lay Down” and “Rockin’ All Over The World”. Others were Them’s “Gloria”, The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues” and AC/DC’s “Live Wire” and “High Voltage”.

Introducing the latter song, Swanee says, “No one ever had an effect on me as much as Bon Scott, he’s my hero!”

AC/DC invited the Party Boys to tour Australia with them in 1988, and treated them royally.

The Party Boys missed out on creating two great line-ups.

After an Adelaide show with Joe Walsh, the guitarist asked Paul to come up to his room to say he’d gotten the next line-up worked out.

Joe Walsh was on an international call to someone called Stuart. Joe handed the phone over to Paul Christie. After some casual chit-chat, Paul asked the mysterious caller what he played.

“I play the drums, man”, came the reply in an American accent.

“With anyone I know?”

“Oh I play with these two English assholes in a band called The Police,” chuckled Stu Copeland.

The idea was for the line-up to include Steve Winwood. At the last moment Winwood’s record company wanted him to stay in America and record a new album and the idea was dropped.

Another time, Paul met with highly influential US guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan in Sydney and Vaughan was keen to return to Australia to play with The Party Boys.

“I just have to go back to America and play a show with Eric Clapton in Wisconsin, and then we’ll talk”.

But after that show (August 1990) while leaving the show in a helicopter, it crashed on the side of a snow hill and the 35-year old Stevie was killed.

The Party Boys broke up in 1992, although they would reunite a number of times.