The Party Boys
In 1981 I was phoned by Australian bass player, Ball Shifty to form a cover band, a super group of famous performers. During negotiations with this Ball Shifty over the phone, I had
Shifty had contacted me as a first step to the forming of The Party Boys as he had toured with the myself in The Kevin Borich Express in the USA in 1978 and 1979 and hence I became a founding member of this 80's concept band. The first line-up consisted of Harvey James (Mississippi, Ariel, Sherbet), drummer Graham "Buzz" Bidstrup who had recently left The Angels, myself Kevin Borich on guitars and of course Ball Shifty.
With a little luck on our side, James Reyne from Australian Crawl happened to be in Sydney shooting the TV mini-series 'Return to Eden' and agreed to play some shows between filming. So off we went on a short run of shows performing cover songs chosen by the various members. We performed and recorded the gigs. The recording later became the basis of The Party Boys first album 'Live At Several 21st's' that went on to reach No. 9 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Charts. James Reyne went back to his work with Australian Crawl directly after this short tour.
Richard Clapton took the call to arms for the next tour of Australia's east coast spawning a second live cover album titled 'Greatest Hits (of Other People)' which was released in 1983.
Richard Clapton and Harvey James moved on to other projects which opened the door for Sky Hooks vocalist Shirley Strachan to join the project on vocals and with Rose Tattoo's Rockin' Rob Riley replacing Harvey James. After touring this line-up a third covers album was released 'Nothing So Sacred'.
The revolving door continued and in 1985 myself, Kevin Borich and Shifty, where joined by none other than The Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh from the USA, Dragons lead singer Marc Hunter and The Divinyls drummer Richard Harvey replacing Buzz Bidstrup who went on to co-form Gangajang with former The Angels colleague Chris Bailey. This Party Boys line-up performed a sold-out national tour that featured a massive guitar duel between myself and Walsh on Walsh's track "Rocky Mountain Way' that was pressed into the ensuing fourth live album of the Party Boys, 'You Need Professional Help'
1986 brought Australian rock legends Angry Anderson from Rose Tattoo, John Brewster on guitar from The Angels and Status Quo bassist Alan Lancaster from the UK. With Lancaster taking on bass, Shifty moved to a second set of drums next to Richard Harvey and with myself still lovin' the band, the line-up grew to 6 and toured with the two drummers live.
Following this tour Angry returned to the Tatts as expected and John Swan took the helm in 1987. With Swanee on vocals, the band released John Kongos hit "He's Gonna Step On You Again" and it hit #1 on the Australian charts and The Party Boys recorded their first studio album 'The Party Boys' which featured 6 original works along with a list of covers including my La De Das hit 'Gonna See My Baby Tonight'. John Swan left the band for a short period replaced by Uk singer Graham Bonnet and Swannee returned to tour with The Party Boys in support of AC/DC's 1988 Australian tour.
Joe Walsh returned to the band during a brief Australian visit and the group recorded a single, "Follow Your Heart" which was released in March 1989. The new line-up was Borich, Walsh, and American Calvin Welch on bass guitar with Hamish, Fergus and Angus Richardson on backing vocals along with the ever elusive ball shifty.
In June 1989, The Party Boys toured with The Animals vocalist Eric Burdon