The rock ‘n’ roll road to stardom is a dangerous road indeed littered with the corpses of starry eyed hopeful’s, wannabes ,one hit wonders and jagged “if only’s”…while many bands self‐implode before they even leave the garage, victims of classic clashing egos and personalities ……
One of these survivors is Australian band THE RADIATORS who in 2013 celebrated 35 years together since they played their very first show.
Formed in a transition from a band called Big Swifty, little did they know they would go on to forge a unique sound and influence thousands of teenagers throughout Australia…debuting in Sydney September 1978 the RADIATORS embarked on a formidable performing schedule playing over 320 gigs in the first 12 months alone …they soon came to the attention of major record companies and were signed to Warner Brothers late 1979. The release of their debut album “Feel the Heat ” in March 1980 was much anticipated by their many newly won fans so much so that they created history by being the first Australian band to have advanced presales on their debut album ….
6000 copies had been sold before it was even released, “Feel the Heat” went on to achieve Platinum status and a top 10 position in the charts. After the band’s first album “Feel the Heat” had become a platinum selling classic, with such gems as “Coming Home…17( I wish I was ) and Summer Holiday, they then released the controversial song “Gimme Head” and” Fess’ Song” on a four track EP entitled “You have the right to remain silent”….which also went Platinum.
During the early period of the bands career, they were also breaking house records at all the pubs, RSL’s and Leagues clubs ‐ a relentless effort playing six nights per week for 40 to 50 weeks of the year … The band never skimped on PA and lighting setting benchmarks for others to follow and creating the classic sweaty rock atmosphere that few could match.
The following album “Up for Grabs” went gold and spawned the hit single by the same title as well as “Room full of Diamonds “…
1983 saw the release of their third album “Scream of the Real” which knocked Michael Jacksons “thriller” album off the number one spot in the charts in Sydney, this saw them have three albums and one EP in the top 20 on the 2nx album charts at the same time …this again gave them the hit single with the track “No Tragedy” The Bands 4th album “Life’s a Gamble” was written during a three month stay in LA in 1984 …this album produced 2 top 40 hits “A Bit of Pain Never Hurts” and “Life’s a Gamble”. During this time the RADIATORS consistently toured Australia promoting the album and entertaining audiences with their dynamic and over the top live shows…
Due to poor management overseeing the bands affairs, they found themselves changing from one record company to another with each album; this made it difficult to build a consistent marketing plan. The bands fifth album “Nasty Habits in Nice Children” only produced one hit single “One Touch” due to a radical change in direction and image which was totally out of context with the band …at this point the band parted company with its management and approached new management to assist in looking after the bands financial and business affairs. For a period of four years after this, the band gets the low profile and performed to make a living to pay off the huge debts incurred by its previous manager.
In 1991 the RADIATORS released a six track EP titled “Hard‐Core” which was financed by the band and released independently….in early 1994 a self‐titled album , again released independently …This time they made way overseas with sales in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, France and Italy.
In 1995 the EP “Stone” was released which featured the song “Skin Deep”….
The next album release “In the Roar” is a collection of live recordings featuring all the bands classic hits and rare studio recordings
The band then decided it was about time they managed their own domestic affairs and subsequently in early 2000, released a brand‐new studio album titled “Smoke and Mirrors” and was the best album by the band yet …this album features the hit ” Unsophisticated” and with recent shows in London, Europe and Brazil all booked, it seemed the rest of the world had finally discovered what we Aussies had known for years… The track “Ocean Blue” from “Smoke and Mirrors” was also included in a surf music compilation in South America.
Also in the early 2000’s, Warner Brothers released an anthology release of the RADIATORS, a complete digital remastering of 20 of the bands best‐known and loved hits… Titled “Radiology”, the complete anthology, the album is still available to this day although the record company changed the cover to mark the bands 25th anniversary … a milestone the band was happy to see acknowledged.
The Radiators have carved a niche in the annals of Australian rock history, they have shared the stage with all the great Aussie acts such as AC/DC, Rose Tattoo and INXS with over 4000 shows to their credit, the Radiators have played the music to an estimated 3 million people in Australia, have recorded over 100 original songs with two albums being awarded platinum status, two achieving gold and with a host of good selling records with sales totalling over 1 million units.
2009: This year saw a change in management. The Radiators make the all important decision to engage the management services of ITAS. ITAS who are also coincidentally the national management for Mental As Anything, were more than pleased to welcome the Radiators to their small and exclusive management roster. Now with a new management team in place, the Radiators continue to move ahead and go from strength to strength.
2012: The end of this year unfortunately saw the departure of original guitarist Fes Parker. After more than 30 years with the band Fes decided it was time for a well earned break. Fes played his final show with the Radiators on 31/12/12 at Lizottes, Lambton, he does however remain as close today with his old band mates as he ever did.
2013: With the departure of the beloved Fes, the new year ushered in a change in guitarist, in fact the first change since 1978. The Radiators welcomed onboard Sydney guitar slinger and long time friend Brent Dehn. Brent is a much sought after guitarist around Sydney and the band were indeed fortunate to find such a fitting replacement for Fes.
2014: The rigours of touring and the passing years have not diminished the spark and energy of the Radiators… like a fine wine they have matured into fine players….masters of their art who consistently deliver high‐quality shows…they have performed more gigs and travelled more than any other band before …
The Radiators still tour extensively playing an average of 100 shows per year and the bands fans young and old still flock to grab a slice of living Aussie rock history and rock the night away to the great catchy songs and classic hits that made the Radiators a household name in Australia.