Hoodoo Gurus kick-start a year of 40th anniversary celebrations with mini- doco
The Hoodoo Gurus have kicked off a year-long run of 40th anniversary activities, including an album and a number of national tours.
The first cab off the rank was the December 31 release of a mini-documentary to mark their formation of Le Hoodoo Gurus.
It was posted by the band’s leader and social media rep Dave Faulkner on their YouTube channel and Facebook for 36 hours only for their international following.
The 37-minute post was Zoom catch-ups by original members Faulkner, Kimble Rendall and Rod Radalj (and drummer James Baker who joined four months later) on the band’s beginnings in Sydney.
It took place at a NYE 1980 party at Radalj’s terrace house in Paddington, a crash-pad for Perth musicians who’d moved to Sydney.
After midnight, the three climbed up to the roof to get some fresh air, and Faulkner introduced Rendall (who’d been in Sydney band XL Capris) and Radalj to each other.
Over a bottle of beer, they talked about the music they loved (Faulkner had returned from a year in New York and London checking out his fave bands), and within hours had decided to form a band.
The idea was just to have three guitars and no bass (like The Cramps), do punk covers and do once a week at a corner pub.
Faulkner came up with the name Gurus, after his last band in Perth. Radalj channelled Johnny Thunders & Wayne Kramer’s song ‘Hoodoo Voodoo’. Rendall thought ‘Le’ added some chic.
Faulkner told TMN: “The term ‘doco’ is a grand term for something so humble.
“The response to it is that the dynamic between us is still strong, friendly and fun, and people are really enjoying that.”
The Gurus also plan to celebrate the anniversary of their debut show, in September of that year, in the basement of the University of Technology.
The second show was at the Trade Union Club, notable only because it sparked a long-time animosity with The Divinyls.
As Faulkner recalled, the Gurus were put higher on the bill, which annoyed Divinyls management, and at one point were threatening to pull out.
“They were on the rise, they had their new single ‘Boys In Town’ out, and they were pretty gung-ho and didn’t like the look of us at all.”
A compromise was made when a fourth band was added to open the bill.
But things got heated again when the Gurus arrived to use the shared dressing room and were told by Divinyls management they couldn’t enter as Chrissie Amphlett was warming up her voice.
“We’re higher on the bill than she is,” they barked back.
Faulkner conceded Amphlett probably wasn’t aware of the dramas.
“We met years later, and she was a wonderful person. We had a great time and she came up on stage to sing with us a couple of times.”
The Gurus are set to hit the road in March on the Red Hot Summer Tour with Jimmy Barnes, Diesel, Vika and Linda, Jon Stevens and Chris Cheney.
A headliner national run is expected in late 2021, presumably around the time when the band drops an album.
Two tracks ‘Answered Prayers’ and current single ‘Get Out Of Dodge’ have already been released, with four others completed. The band is meeting this week to sort out plans to record six more tracks.
On their last album, they planned a six-part webinar series about the making of the record, a send-up of Metallica’s Monster where the Gurus would have a psychiatrist in the studio.
Faulkner is keeping the cards close to his chest on what they plan for the 2021 record.
However one thing he suggests is that the mini-doco could be used as the basis for a fully-fledged Gurus documentary down the track.
“It’s been talked about, off and on. Kimble (now a film maker) was talking about making one.
“But to be honest it’s difficult to get funding. Maybe we’re not a sexy subject for people, maybe we have to create some drama which has a hot topic involved which could be a hook for them.
“I’m personally a fan myself of documentaries, I’m waiting for Peter Jackson’s one on The Beatles to come out.
“Like all documentaries, it’ll give fans an understanding of what it felt for them.”