Hoodoo Guru in Chief, Dave Faulkner was once asked whether the band he sings and plays guitar for, had left an influence. "I know we have," he replied. "I see it in lots of things going on, but whether it's our influence or people that we were influenced by, who can tell? I see our way of thinking, which is something that when we started I didn't see as much of."
The Hoodoo Gurus formed in Sydney on January 1, 1981 to play their first "show" in an inner city lounge room. Core members are Dave Faulkner and Brad Shepherd. Their first single was "Leilani", followed by "Tojo" and "My Girl" which were both released in 1983. The Surry Hills rock scene was hot in those days - Flaming Hands, Sunnyboys, Died Pretty, Hoi Polloi, Sekret Sekret, and the Lipstick Killers. The Gurus were hot.
The band's debut Stoneage Romeos, full of garage punk songs and pop references, was named Australian Debut Album of the Year and was released in America where it stayed at number 1 in the Alternative / College charts for 7 weeks, becoming one of the most played albums for the year on the college network.
Mars Needs Guitars, the band's second album, topped the charts and went gold within three weeks and platinum shortly afterwards. The singles were "Bittersweet", "Like Wow-Wipeout!", "Death Defying" and "Poison Pen". The band played Europe including sold-out shows at London's Hammersmith Ballroom and found a sizeable following in the US on the College circuit where they toured extensively.
Blow Your Cool, released in 1986, was a massive pop hit propelled by the the band's highest charting single 'What's My Scene". The "Blow Your Cool" concert tour takes the band to 19 countries playing 204 venues in the year including one for broadcast by MTV at the Ritz in New York. "Absolutely from day one the Gurus were determined to not confine ourselves to some kind of elite groovy neighborhood," said Dave. "We just played to whoever liked music. I came from Perth and a lot of bands wouldn't go over there because of the logistics of touring in Western Australia so you'd always feel deprived. I was determined not to let that happen when I was playing. So, whoever I could get to listen to me could."
Hoodoo Guru's fourth and heaviest album, Magnum Cum Louder sees bassist Rick Grossman join Faulkner, Shepherd and drummer Mark Kingsmill completing the line-up that exists today. Released in 1989, the CD includes the unforgettable singles "Axegrinder" and "Come Anytime". The album reaches Number One on the American College and Alternative charts. The band tours Europe, America, Australia and Japan.
Kinky was released in 1991 with the singles "Miss Freelove '69" and "1000 Miles Away" hitting Australia's top 40 charts. In the US, "Kinky" was the band's first album not to top the Alternative Charts - it stays at Number 2 for five weeks behind REM's Losing My Religion. By the time they made 'Kinky' the band was ten years old and a completely different beast. The garage punk influence had been replaced by a voice and a sound that was decidedly their own.
Crank joins all the previous Hoodoo Gurus studio albums in going gold within weeks of release. "The Right Time" is the first single released and is followed up with "You Open My Eyes", the first to be written and sung by guitarist Brad Shepherd. The "Crank" tour again takes the band through the US, Canada and Europe but this time includes a one month tour of Brazil, which turns out not only to be hugely successful but also one of the most enjoyable the band have ever undertaken.
Studio album number seven is started immediately upon the bands return from South America. "BLUE CAVE", released in May 1996, was produced by Charles Fisher who also worked with the band on "Mars Needs Guitars". The singles released from the album include "Big Deal", "Waking Up Tired", "If Only" and "Down On Me". Of all the Gurus records, 'Blue Cave' was the most polished and the most pop.
One week prior to leaving for another tour of Brazil the Hoodoo Gurus issue a press release announcing that 1997 will be there last year together as a band. There are no reasons for calling it a day other than it just feels like the right time to do so. The press release ends with: "The Hoodoo Gurus wish to thank all of their fans who have supported them over the past fifteen years. It's been quite a trip."The Hoodoo Gurus' farewell ("for a while") public performance is at the Palace in Melbourne on January 11.
After a four year hiatus from touring the band reform to headline the premier all Australian artist music festival, Homebake, in Sydney on December 8, 2001. Twenty two thousand people attend.
In the fall of 2003 the song "What's My Scene" is taken as the anthem for the NRL Football season under the reworked lyrics "That's My Team." The campaign is the most successful ever undertaken by the NRL and the option for a further three years is exercised.
Thoroughly enjoying their own company and the music they are playing, the Hoodoo Gurus reformed to perform at the NRL Grand Final in October to a crowd of eighty thousand. Following this and national performances as Australian headline on the Big Day Out, the band signed a new recording deal with EMI Records resulting in the release of a new studio album in March 2004 entitled ' MACH SCHAU'. It features the singles "Nothings Changing My Life" and "When I Get To California". The national tour to coincide with the release again takes in all of Australia and brings in thousands of new fans for the band as well as sating the multitude of followers garnered over the past two decades.
In July 2007 the Hoodoo Gurus were inducted into the Australian Music Hall of Fame.
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