Pure Gold Live Celebrates 70s, 80s & 90s As Hordern Pavillion Turns 90

Pure Gold Live Celebrates 70s, 80s & 90s As Hordern Pavillion Turns 90

WSFM and iHeartRadio have announced the inaugural PURE GOLD LIVE concert.

Tina Liptai
Posted by Tina Liptai

Featuring 12 of the biggest acts of the 70s, 80s and 90s, the event will help celebrate the 90th birthday of Sydney’s historic Hordern Pavilion.

WSFM breakfast presenters Brendan ‘Jonesy’ Jones and Amanda Keller will MC the event at the Hordern Pavilion on Saturday, 25 October.

Pure Gold Live will be three hours of hits and memories with 12 of Australia’s most well-loved 70s, 80s and 90s hit makers gracing the stage and taking a whole generation back to a time when rock ‘n roll was a way of life and there wasn’t a camera phone in sight.

WSFM’s Jonesy and Amanda said they were thrilled to be taking audiences on this rockin’ trip listening to music that they know and love. “We’re so excited to be part of this massive night celebrating Australian music at one of Sydney’s favourite venues, the Hordern Pavilion,” Jonesy said. “It’s going to be a fun night, packed with some genuine Aussie hits that have truly stood the test of time, and are as great today as they were the first time you heard them,” Amanda added.

Without further ado, the legendary artists set to rock the roof off the Hordern for Pure Gold Live are (drum roll please) … Dragon formed in Auckland in January 1972 and relocated to Sydney in May 1975, led by enigmatic lead singer, Marc Hunter, and currently led by his brother bass player, Todd Hunter.

Dragon had the nation in mass sing-alongs with their hits the No. 1 smash, Are You Old Enough?, Still in Love with You, Rain, O Zambezi and 1977’s hit summer anthem, April Sun in Cuba.

Dragon’s imprint on a generation was affirmed when Are You Old Enough? was used in the opening credits of the hit TV series, Puberty Blues. In 2008 the Australian Recording Industry Association recognised Dragon’s iconic status when they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and in 2012 they celebrated their 40th anniversary with a string of sell out shows across the country. Featuring Grace Knight on vocals and Bernie Lynch on guitar and vocals, Eurogliders took the charts by storm in the 1980s. Audiences were blown away, and Grace Knight captivated fans with her ‘manic ballerina’ stage persona. In 1984, Eurogliders released their album This Island, which spawned their No. 2 hit single, Heaven (Must Be There). Heaven also peaked at No. 21 on the United States Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, and appeared on the Hot 100.

Another Australian top ten album, Absolutely, followed in 1985, which provided three further top ten singles, We Will Together, The City of Soul and Can’t Wait to See You. Grace and Bernie, along with their superb band, have reunited to once again captivate audiences with their sophisticated and high-energy brand of pop. When GANGgajang’s beloved friend and bass player Chris Bailey passed away in 2013, four original members Cal Callaghan, Buzz Bidstrup, Geoff Stapleton and Robbie James made a pact to continue on as Chris had wished to celebrate 30 years since the band began.

GANGgajang released its first single, Gimme Some Lovin’ in November 1984, reaching the top of the charts in early 1985. Shortly after, their self-titled debut album gained the number one spot in Perth and Brisbane with their quirky anthem Sounds of Then (This Is Australia) quickly finding a place on mainstream radio across Australia. Four classic albums followed including the cult Quiksilver film Mad Wax soundtrack, a retrospective DVD, and countless tours of Australia and Brazil.

The band eagerly looks forward to its 30th year celebration. Formed in 1980, Machinations developed a cult following in dance clubs during the mid-80s, following the release of their debut album, Esteem, in 1983. The smash hit single, Pressure Sway, was released in June the same year and soon the band was becoming a major force on the Australian music scene. In 1985 Machinations released the album, Big Music, and its three charting singles, No Say in It, My Heart’s on Fire and You Got Me Going Again were all over the airwaves.

The band’s activities were curtailed in April 1989 when a hit-and-run car accident left singer Fred Loneragan with a broken neck. The band occasionally reconvened during the 90s then again in 2012 after a break of over 12 years. “Compu-PU-pu-PU-pu-PU Computer Games”! If that chorus from the MI-SEX hit isn’t familiar to you then you didn’t live through the early 80’s.

This international hit single preceded the glut of similar-sounding British chart entrants by a year or more and became one of the defining pop-rock songs of the Australasian music-scape. It ascended to #1 on the Australian charts during November ’79 and hit the top five in New Zealand. By April 1980 Computer Games had charted in more than 20 countries, and had peaked inside the top ten in Canada, France, Austria, Italy, West Germany and South Africa. It took lead singer, Steve Gilpin’s unfortunate death in 1992 to force MI-SEX underground for 20 years and the simple acceptance of an invitation by Steve Balbi to front MI-SEX at a private party and the Christchurch Quake Relief Concert to confirm the right chemistry that would once again ignite their passion for “live performance” and we couldn’t be happier.

Wendy Matthews is without doubt one of Australia’s most respected vocalists. Originally from Canada, Wendy Matthews was part of two of Australia’s most successful bands, Models and Absent Friends, taking lead vocals on the smash hit, Nobody but You, before embarking on a successful solo career. In the 90s Wendy released a slew of Top 20 singles including Token Angels, Let’s Kiss (Like Angels Do), The Day You Went Away and Friday’s Child and Top 20 albums: You’ve Always Got the Blues (with Kate Ceberano), Émigré, Lily, The Witness Tree and her compilation, Stepping Stones. Matthews appeared on three series of It Takes Two (2006-2008) and in 2014 released The Welcome Fire, her first originals album in 12 years, with songs co-written by Josh Pyke, Megan Washington, Mark Sholtez and many more.

Moving Pictures’ seminal debut album, Days of Innocence, came out in October, 1981 and went to No. 1 in February the following year. In January 1982 they released their single, What About Me, which reached No. 1 here in Australia, No. 29 on the American Billboard Hot 100 and appeared on the associated year-end Hot 100 list for 1983. In October 1983 Moving Pictures released their second album, Matinee, reaching No. 16 with their non-album single, Never, appearing on two major motion picture soundtracks – Footloose and Hot Rod.

By the end of 1987, the group had disbanded reuniting again in 2005, 2011 and 2013. Lead singer, Alex Smith, has been living in the UK for the past 21 years where he works in special needs education using music to help children with profound and complex needs to communicate. Known for enduring hits such as That’s When I Think of You, Compulsory Hero, ‘To Love Me, Scars, Don’t Forget Me, and, of course, If I Could, 1927 made a devastating entry into the ears of its listeners with the Quintuple Platinum selling album …ish in 1988, which earned the band a slew of ARIA Awards as well as a lot of fans along the way. Following up …ish with the multi-platinum second album The Otherside, a self-titled third album, and countless live shows at home and abroad, the last couple of decades have certainly earned 1927 legendary status. Not content to rest on their laurels, after more than ten years, 1927 released a new studio album Generation i last year.

It may just be the band’s finest album yet. Pseudo Echo formed in 1982, releasing their first album, Autumnal Park, in 1984 which skyrocketed the band to household name status across the country. Their second album, Love an Adventure, spawned another string of hits including its title track, Don’t Go, Try, Living in a Dream and their remake of the Lipps, Inc. song Funkytown, which brought the group their biggest international success and spent seven weeks at No. 1 in Australia from December 1986.

In 2012 Pseudo Echo celebrated their 30th anniversary and this year released their sixth studio album, Ultraviolet. Rose Tattoo, led by Angry Anderson, was formed in Sydney in 1976 and were renowned as “one of the most revered bands of all time” with their “peerless, street-level heavy blues’ with the emphasis on slide guitar and strident lyric statements”. Rose Tattoo’s first four albums were produced by the legendary team of Harry Vanda and George Young who also worked with AC/DC, and spawned songs including Bad Boy for Love, Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw, Nice Boys, We Can’t Be Beaten and Scarred for Life through the late 70s early 80s before disbanding in 1987.

Rose Tattoo subsequently reformed briefly in 1993 to support Guns N’ Roses on an Australian tour and again from 1998 and have since released two more studio albums. Jon Stevens certainly has had a wide and varied career first coming to prominence as the lead singer of Sydney band, Noiseworks. The band experienced major success in the 1980s with hits like Love Somebody, Take Me Back, Touch, Hot Chili Woman and Miles and Miles before disbanding in 1992. The next 10 years were a whirlwind for Stevens appearing in three Australian productions of Jesus Christ Superstar before fronting INXS from 2000 to 2003. Jon Stevens is still rocking stages around the world with his current rock band, The Dead Daisies. John Swan, affectionately known as Swanee, released his first album Into The Night in 1978 but his first major chart success was a great rendition of Tim Hardin’s If I Were A Carpenter from the album This Time It’s Different. Success with the next two singles from the album immediately followed with Lady What’s Your Name and Temporary Heartache both screaming straight up the charts.

John Swan has been making music ever since, though it’s been a bittersweet journey. He’s topped the charts, had some great times, but also battled drug and alcohol problems. If you want to understand Swanee’s story, all you have to do is listen to his new album, One Day at a Time. The Hordern Pavilion has long been one of Sydney’s favourite entertainment venues, playing host over the past 90 years to a plethora of huge local and international artists including Frank Sinatra, Coldplay, Nirvana, Cold Chisel, Sex Pistols & even The Jackson Five. Between 1972 and 1983, the Hordern Pavilion was the epicentre of Sydney’s rock scene and every self-respecting music fan of the era has their own “Hordern” story.

90 years on the venue still holds a place in music’s, and Sydney’s, DNA, and we can’t wait to see what the next 90 years has in store. Playbill Venues’ Managing Director, Michael Nebenzahl, said today “We’re delighted to be able to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Hordern Pavilion with some of Australia’s best loved performers, all of whom have graced the stage of this iconic venue many times throughout the last 30 years.”

Tickets for Pure Gold Live go on sale on Monday, 11 August at 12.00pm/midday and are expected to sell fast so don’t miss out on your opportunity to see these Australian legends on stage at the most legendary of venues.