Rock legends Dave Faulkner and Brad Shepherd from iconic Aussie rock band Hoodoo Gurus have shared their Top Ten Punk Songs with Punktuation!
Dave Faulkner and Brad Shepherd are no strangers to punk rock. They may be known and loved as one half of the Hoodoo Guru’s but punk rock was their first love. Faulkner was of the founding members of iconic Perth punk band The Victims. Shepherd cut his teeth in Brisbane punk band The Aliens, later known as The Fun Things. All this led to them meeting and forming one of the most adored rock bands in Australia.
The Hoodoo Gurus kick off their 40th Anniversary Tour this week in Brisbane on 13th September and finish up in Perth on 23rd September.
Hoodoo Gurus Tour Dates and Ticket Info
After decades in the music industry, we thought it would be good to find out who influenced these legends. So check out Dave and Brad’s Top Ten Punk Songs below.
Dave Faulkner’s Picks
10. God Save The Queen / Did You No Wrong – Sex Pistols
How do you pick just one Sex Pistols single to represent the impact this band had? In the end, I chose the one that had the best b-side. Did You No Wrong holds its own against the best of the Pistols’ output, of which there is way too little. One album plus a few b-sides and oddities is not enough for us to have from this band (the less said about Friggin’ In The Rigging and No One Is Innocent’ the better). God Save The Queen (AKA No Future) is a belter, mind you.
9. Oh Bondage, Up Yours! / I Am A Cliché – X-Ray Spex
Speaking of not getting enough recognition, here we have the wonderful Poly Styrene and her band of loveable misfits X-Ray Spex, including the deadpan honking sax of Laura Logic. Great songs plus great attitude equals great band. A pioneer of Riot Grrrl realness and multiculti-pride, Poly wasn’t taking shit from anybody. Loved her.
8: Premonition / Laugh Too Loud – The Manikins
I joined The Manikins for a while in 1980, prior to moving to Sydney and forming le Hoodoo Gurus. This single was released before I joined but if you listen closely you can hear my voice singing a lower harmony in the final 15 seconds of the track. This song proudly shows the influence of the Flamin’ Groovies as well as The Buzzcocks. Neil Fernandes hasn’t received enough recognition as an important songwriter who came out of that late-‘70s Perth punk scene.
7: Mark From White Rider – Blok Music (aka The Triffids)
I’m slightly cheating here because this song only available on cassette rather than a 7” single. Blok Music was one of the earliest incarnations of The Triffids back when David McComb, Alsy McDonald and friends were all still in high school. Dave McComb’s extraordinary talent was very apparent even on their primitive early cassettes which Mark from White Rider stocked in his small independent record store. White Rider was one of the few shops in Perth where we could find all the latest punk singles and albums imported from “the outside world” (Perth felt very isolated back in those pre-internet days). Thanks to Dave’s stupid/clever song, Mark is now immortal.
6: What Do I Get? / Oh Shit – The Buzzcocks
Speak of the devil…The Buzzcocks are one of my all-time favourite bands. Really, Pete Shelley was a genius. If you haven’t listened to their Singles Going Steady compilation you really need to stop reading right now and go find it. You aren’t lived, is all I can say.
5: Dowanna Love / Hate // Nobody Wants Me – The Babeez
An almost forgotten punk single now, The Babeez came from Melbourne. Dowanna Love is okay but the real treasure is on the b-side, Nobody Wants Me. It’s got that slow I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend vibe with a hint of The Buzzcocks gift for pop melody. The band changed their name to News shortly afterwards and released a few more singles but I reckon Nobody Wants Me is the classic. This song still kills me.
4: Neat Neat Neat // Stab Yor Back / Singalonga-scabies – The Damned
People always talk about the Pistols but The Damned were the first British punk group to release a single. Neat Neat Neat was a blast of pure adrenaline – bursting with spiky guitars, clattering drums and enigmatic vocals. “Hey, I heard the singer worked as a gravedigger?” Yeah, but he looks like he just climbed out of a coffin. Dave Vanian was goth before goth was a thing.
3: This Perfect Day/L-I-E-S – The Saints
This Perfect Day is my favourite Saints song and easily their most powerful recording. (Chris) Bailey’s voice is dripping with contempt as he rails against the suffocating conformity surrounding him. Brisbane in 1977 was probably very similar to Perth around that time (which is where I was living). Noisy rock and roll mixed with nihilism was the only way to cope.
2: Gary Gilmore’s Eyes / Bored Teenagers – The Adverts
We first noticed The Adverts as one of the bands on the ‘Live At The Roxy London WC2’ album in early 1977. They were probably the least-competent sounding musicians on the record – and that’s saying something! Still, there was something undeniably charming about them. Their studio recordings were something else again. Gary Gilmore’s Eyes is a brilliant song and Bored Teenagers (which was the song they did on ‘Live at the Roxy) has some of the best lyrics of any punk song ever. TV Smith is very underrated as a writer.
1: Blitzkrieg Bop / Havana Affair – The Ramones
Still the original and best. When I first heard The Ramones I was expecting a much more angry sound (something more along the lines of the U.K. punk that came along later) but I soon realised just how revolutionary their buzzsaw Beach Boys style was. Both musically and lyrically, no one has been has been as dumb and as smart as The Ramones. I love them to bits.
Brad Shepherd’s Picks
10: Public Image – PIL
A startling way forward after the spectacular implosion of Lydon’s previous group. His victorious escape from the cartoon drama of The Pistols US tour is worthy of Houdini. I love Keith Levene’s approach to his instrument, he has no time for the typical stereotypes associated with electric guitar.
9: Typical Girls -Slits
The Slits rejected whatever it was you expected of them, subverting the entire idea of what punk was supposed to be. The intoxicating influence of dub transports you to a whole other realm.
8: Los Angeles- X
I always loved the blend of John & Exene’s voices, like the Jefferson Airplane or It’s A Beautiful Day. This tune will forever be the soundtrack to a time in life when everything was infinite. From what I understand, the lyric is about obsession and intolerance – it’s dark and contentious – yet it lifts my spirit like a national anthem.
7: Ghost Rider – Suicide
When Jeffrey Lee Pierce sang about an Elvis from hell, he may very well have had Alan Vega in mind. A futuristic Cat Man, what Gene Vincent might have sounded like if he was The Terminator. Terrifyingly original.
6: Cigarettes & Alcohol – The Fucken Leftovers
I saw the Ramones, I saw the Sex Pistols, I saw The Clash, but The Fucken Leftovers were, in my experience, the most authentic. One of my life’s great privileges to have seen them play.
5: Hong Kong Garden – Siouxsie & The Banshees
Who would ever have put money on The Bromley Contingent to have created such timeless art? It sounded nothing like I imagined it would. A wonderful surprise.
4: Dead Souls – Joy Division
The B side of Atmosphere. At the time these gentlemen could barely play their instruments yet this song creates its own universe.
3: Jet Boy – New York Dolls
I like to think that this is what brought the roof down at The Mercer Arts Center. One of the most glorious moments ever in rock & roll, punk or otherwise. Can you imagine hearing this in the Village in ’73?!
2: Marquee Moon -Television
Emaciated Bowery kids with cheap guitars ascend to the heights of A Love Supreme. An out of body experience.
1: City Slang – Sonics Rendezvous Band
Jim Dickson of The Survivors turned me on to this in ’79 when he was manning the counter at Rocking Horse Records in Brisbane’s Rowes Arcade.. Detroit doing what Detroit does best. Sonic takes all he learned in the MC5 and fashions himself a flame thrower. Unstoppable.
Brad’s honourable mentions:
Richard Hell & The Voidoids – Love Comes In Spurts: It’s only recently occurred to me that The Heartbreakers’ One Track Mind is effectively the same song. I guess it was too good to lose after Richard Hell’s exit from that band. This tune had been evolving since Hell’s tenure with pre Television neon Boys, but the Voidoids version is the one. Quine’s stiletto guitar opens the door for No Wave.
Ramones – Commando: 1976 = Year Zero. Obliterates all that came before it, or so I thought as a 16-year-old. Still holds fairly true. Almost impossible to nominate merely one Ramones tune but I have a loud original British pressing of this (shares the B-side of Sheena with I Don’t Care) that peels paint.
Lipstick Killers – Hindu Gods (Of Love): The Killers were assembled from the remnants of two of Sydney’s most notorious punk bands, Filth and The Psycho Surgeons, carrying that energy into this outfit that was more informed by 60s garage. Their live shows were something else… singer Peter Tillman’s confidence fairly jumped the curb into arrogance and Mark Taylor having rapidly evolved into one of the most inventive guitar players I’ve ever witnessed.
Radio Birdman –New Race: Not strictly punk, but all that punk aspired to be, Birdman was. They were the conduit through which I discovered The Dolls, The Stooges, MC5, BÖC, ’60s garage – the music that defines me to this day. An exercise in teen propaganda that most certainly worked on me; for a period in the late ’70s they were, in my adolescent assessment, the most important band in the world.
Hoodoo Gurus 40th Anniversary Tour US starts this week with indie-rock icons The Dandy Warhols join on all tour dates! Kicking off at Brisbane’s Riverstage on Tuesday 13 September, the tour then proceeds to Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion on Thursday 15 September, down to Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne on Friday 16 September, then Hobart City Hall^ on Saturday 17 September, across to Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre on Tuesday 20 September and finally Belvoir Amphitheatre, Perth on Friday 23 September. Get your tickets HERE.
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Everyone should have a soundtrack playing loudly in the background of their life. I was born moshing to my own beat and have never swayed from my love of music. Spreading my passion through the written word is my soul’s purpose. My punk heart beats loudly with the rhythm of my rock soul. I plan to continue to mosh like no one gives a shit.
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