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- Australia's Best Pub-Rock Band
- Me, Myself, and I
- Band members:
Jim Barnes (lead vocals / guitar)
Ian Moss (lead guitar / vocals)
Don Walker (keyboards)
Steve Prestwich (drums)
Phil Small (bass guitar)
Les Kaczmarek (founding member, bass guitar, October 1973- July 1975)
Ray Arnott (drums, 1983)
Cold Chisel is the classic Australian "pub rock band", playing a tough breed of rock and blues inspired by seventies bands like Free, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin but characterised by the story-telling skills of their main songwriter, Don Walker, whose personal influences came from Bob Dylan. Between 1978 and 1983 Cold Chisel ruled as Australia's most popular band on record and stage. The band sold over three million records in Australia alone, two thirds of that number after their bitter break-up.
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Steve Prestwich, one of the most talented drummers in this country and indeed a driving force in Cold Chisel can still remember his first introduction to the band. He was already in a three piece band called "Ice" when he met Lez Kazmaric who was to later introduce him to Don Walker and Ian Moss.
After "Ice" had folded Steve was thinking the unthinkable and considering returning home to England! Lez called him in to audition for a new band he was putting together - a drum solo, followed by a couple of songs and he was in! Steve recalls how impressed he was with Ian. "I can still remember the first time I heard him sing Georgia" at those early rehearsals. There was a maturity far beyond his years. He was something special". It was 1973.
Steve Prestwich was also involved in the songwriting side of the band. It may not be widely known but Steve was responsible for both co-writing and writing some of Cold Chisel's greatest hits. Timeless classics such as Forever Now, When The War Is Over, Nothin But You, Monica, Best Kept Lies, and Flame Trees (co-written with Don Walker) are all the creation of Steve and still remain more popular than ever. Steve still is a extraordinarily gifted song writer who is, even as we speak, getting ready to record his debut solo album which we can look forward to early next year.
To understand the man, you must first understand the mission.....
Steve hails from the musician-breeding ground of Liverpool, England. The eldest of seven boys, Steve did his first gig at the tender age of eleven at the Everton Soccer Supporters Club. He was filling in for the "Three J's regular drummer who was ill. The gig was a great success and it was with some surprise when getting home from school the next afternoon, that he was met by a photographer and journalist from the local newspaper. The 2 pounds Steve was paid for the gig he gave to his Dad to help go towards a drum kit of his own. This was 1965.
Steve's Dad was in a band himself and gave Steve his first rudimentary drum lessons at age nine, a fine start in light of what was about to happen in future!! His Dad played around Liverpool including gigs at the famous "Cavern". Whenever his Dad used to play at a local community hall, Steve would go along to watch and listen. "The atmosphere and the feeling one got was addictive. I knew then exactly what I wanted to do".
Steve's interest in music started early with the radio being his first source. "I can always remember hearing the radio as a child, a lot of the songs melodies have stayed with me. I'm only now beginning to find out the names of some of those songs".
Growing up amidst the the hype of 'Beatlemania' and the 'Mersey Sound' had an enriching effect on young Steve and he began to find his own musical identity. It wasn't unusual to hear the sound of a band rehearsing in some distant garage or warehouse. Steve with his mates, would always go and check them out.
Emigrating to Australia in 1971, Steve found the local scene in Adelaide to be really happening. There was a wealth of bands playing in Elizabeth or in one of the many venues in and around Adelaide (Captain Thunder, Rashamra, Stoned Pony Blues Band, Hard Time, Killin Floor to name but a few!). The fact that Elizabeth was a 'migrant' town meant that it had more than its fair share of young British musicians. Steve recalls meeting local musician John Swan (Jim Barnes' older brother) at an Xmas party.... "which seemed to go on for weeks!" who was a drummer himself and seeing Jim Barnes 'around' prior to the formation of Cold Chisel.
When Chisel called it a day in 1983/4, Steve joined Little River Band and toured world-wide. He then left LRB and continued writing and playing music - his songs being recorded by some of Australia's finest musicians. And on the side he has played in the solo bands of his old Chisel mates Ian Moss and Don Walker.
Steve was ready to record his first solo album in the mid 1990's, but the projec
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Don Walker was born in Ayr, North Queensland, on 29th November, 1951.
He grew up on a farm in Northern N.S.W., studying science and maths at the University of New England.
In 1973, while working at the Weapons Research Establishment at Salisbury in South Australia, he helped form Cold Chisel with Les Kaczmarek, Ian Moss, Steve Prestwich and Jim Barnes.
In 1978, after five years travelling and playing in Australia, with Les now replaced by Phil Small, Cold Chisel released their debut album. In 1981, at the height of Cold Chisel's success, Don Walker wrote and produced the soundtrack for the Scott Hicks movie "Freedom", featuring most of Cold Chisel and then unknown INXS singer Michael Hutchence. In 1996 Phil Mortlock, a longtime enthusiast for the recordings, remastered and re-released the soundtrack album on his Origin Records label.
In 1983, after a five album career in Australia and New Zealand, and having gained a cult following in Europe and the U.S., Cold Chisel disbanded. For several years Don travelled areas of Asia, Russia and Europe he hadn't had the opportunity to see as a musician.
In 1989 he released "Unlimited Address", a set of songs under the band name Catfish, recorded with producer/guitar player Peter Walker (no relation) and harmonica player David Blight. As a touring band Catfish also featured guitar player Charlie Owen.
In 1991 the second Catfish album, "Ruby", was released, recorded with James Brown's rhythm section of drummer Tony Cook and guitar player Ron Laster. The songs were more Australian in content. Slim Dusty had a hit with a recording of Charleville, which he and Don then re-recorded in a duet.
In 1993 the Tex, Don and Charlie album, "Sad But True" was released in Australia and Europe. A collaboration with Tex Perkins and Charlie Owen, "Sad But True" showed the first results of the songwriting Don had been doing with various people, particularly Michael Smotherman, in Nashville the previous year. Tex, Don and Charlie toured, recording and releasing the live album "Monday Morning Coming Down"
In 1994 Don Walker recorded the album "We're All Gunna Die" over four days at Electric Avenue Studios, in Sydney, with a touring band featuring David Blight and Red Rivers on guitar.
Realizing that the songs and the performances were something of a culmination of everything else he'd done, Don released this as his first solo album in 1995.
In 1998 Don contributed nine of the fourteen songs on the Cold Chisel album “The Last Wave of Summer”, including the top ten single “The Things I Love In You”.
Don continued to write songs which were recorded by numerous artists including Slim Dusty, Troy Casser-Daley, Graeme Connors, Jeff Lang, kate Ceberano, Adam Brand and Wendy Matthews.
2005 saw the release of a new Tex, Don and Charlie album, “All Is Forgiven” which saw the three not only touring around Australia but saw them travel for a number of shows in the UK.
In July of 2006 Don released his latest album through Warner Music, “Cutting Back”. Following on from the release Don and his band, the S.F’s (Suave Fucks), undertook a solid national tour to promote the new album.
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