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The Party Boys

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The Party Boys were originally formed by bassist Paul Christie as a one-off cover band for a two-week tour, beginning an odyssey that eventually ended ten years later, after several successful albums that comprised some of Australia's most successful performers. After leaving Mondo Rock in 1982, Christie called up several friends to form a band to perform cover songs on the pub circuit. They proved so successful that a live album was released of their fourth gig, titled Live at Several 21st's, and it reached number nine on the Australian national charts in March 1983. James Reyne went back to his band, Australian Crawl, and Richard Clapton took his place as lead singer. This lineup released another album, Greatest Hits (of Other People), which reached number 25 nationally. Robin "the Beast" Riley (ex-Rose Tattoo) replaced Harvey James on guitar and Shirley Strachan (ex-Skyhooks) replaced Richard Clapton as lead singer. A new live album, No Song Too Sacred, was then released. In 1985, the Party Boys toured with a new lineup which included American guitarist Joe Walsh (ex-James Gang, Eagles), vocalist Marc Hunter (from Dragon), and Richard Harvey (ex-Divinyls) on drums. A fourth live album, You Need Professional Help, was released from the sold-out tour. In 1986, Angry Anderson (from Rose Tattoo) took over lead vocals under another revised lineup: Christie (now playing second drums), Kevin Borich, Richard Harvey, John Brewster (ex-Angels), and Alan Lancaster (ex-Status Quo). With John Swan (from Swanee) replacing Angry Anderson, this was the lineup that ushered in the Party Boys' most successful phase. The Party Boys was released in December 1987 and included six original songs. The single "He's Gonna Step on You Again" reached number one in June 1987. At the height of their success, singer John Swan left to work on a film, Chase the Moon, which was never completed, and was briefly replaced by Graham Bonnett. Swan returned for the Party Boys' support to AC/DC's February 1988 Australian tour. Joe Walsh returned in late 1988 and appeared on the band's next studio single, "Follow Your Heart," released in March 1989. Later that year, U.K. bluesman Eric Burdon became the Party Boys' seventh lead singer. In late 1989, Christie put together a new recording lineup: Ross Wilson on vocals, Stuart Fraser on guitar (from Noiseworks), Rick Mellick on keyboards, Dorian West on bass, Adrian Cannon on drums, and Kevin Bennett and Alex Smith providing backing vocals. Wilson's original vocals on their next single, a cover of Manfred Mann's "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy," couldn't be used due to contractual reasons, and singer Vince Contarino, from Adelaide cover band the Zep Boys, re-recorded the vocals. Released in early 1990, it peaked at number 24. A final Party Boys single, Billy Preston's "That's the Way God Planned It," was released in September 1992. The Party Boys were at an end and Christie wrote a book about the music industry, The Rock Music Self Management Manual, and became a band manager himself. ~ Brendan Swift