Undoubtedly, everyone’s heard of The Eagle Rock and with that comes the love of Daddy Cool. Recently inducted into The Age Victoria’s Hall Of Fame, Daddy Cool’s career has been soldiering on for 44 years now and there’s no foreseeable calm in the storm of success. Daddy Cool come straight out of the time of real music, where it wasn’t technology doing the work for you, they worked hard on the music they produced, and much like the industry now, hard work was rewarded. A mixture of doo wop and rock and roll, Daddy Cool were set to rule Australian music in their time, and they did.
Barely a year after forming in 1970, the band had a #1 single in Eagle Rock, a #1 debut album in Daddy Who? Daddy Cool!, and were on their way to the US on the first of three tours opening for acts as diverse as Deep Purple, Earth Wind & Fire and the pre-trans-Atlantic Fleetwood Mac. Eagle Rock sat at #1 for ten weeks nationally and 17 weeks in the Melbourne charts, selling more than 60,000 copies, while the album, which prompted queues outside record stores that wound around the block, sold more than 100,000 copies, the biggest selling Australian album to that date, July 1971. With achievements like this in the first trimester of their career, it’s not really too hard to see why Daddy Cool are such an iconic Australian band.
During last month’s Face the Music conference, I was lucky enough to be sitting in on the Daddy Who? Daddy Cool! Session and it’s fair to say, I was in stitches. These guys and their reminiscent stories were hilarious, they definitely had a some crazy tour stories up their sleeve, this only left me with more interest in the band and luckily enough, I caught Gary Young (drummer) just as he was walking out of the conference, and he agreed to answer a few questions about the famous Australian band.
Young himself, was born in New York and moved to Australia during the righteous era of vocal-driven classic pop, when arriving in Melbourne Young says “There wasn’t a great music scene at the time” so most of his musical influences came from his parents record collection, Young says “The music scene was mainly dominated by jazz and Musicals like ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Pyjama Game’”. Young said when he arrived in Melbourne “Rock and roll was a long way off, but when it hit, he was instantly hooked!” During their seminar at Face the Music, Ross Wilson, Vocalist of Daddy Cool also mentioned that in 1962 “Most bands were pretty much a copy of Cliff Richards and The Shadows”. Young says that when he was younger he fell for “fantastic bands like ‘The Thunderbirds’ and ‘The Strangers’” and is delighted “that you can still see Harold Frith from The Thunderbirds playing today.” But as for music now, Young is “more interested in listening for the sounds of whale’s songs and the crashing surf off the Kilcunda coast.”
What I really love about Daddy Cool’s music is the chilled out feel of it, songs like “I’ll Never Smile Again” and the self-titled song “Daddy Cool” are so different to the synthesized sounds and repetitive verses you hear on mainstream radio now days, I’d take The Eagle Rock over Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda any day. The organic, feel good style of this music is rare in today’s popular music scene and now, bands like Daddy Cool are a diamond in the rough. Young himself tries to keep up with what’s happening in the current alternate music scene, and is shocked about the competition to find gig space to play in, “When I started my career in the music industry there where so many places to play rock and roll. We could play up to 4 gigs a night, we’d mainly play at town halls, and there were no pub venues back then, so you didn’t need to be 18. Now I’m aware of many fantastic venues closing down, I wonder how many places are left to play in.”
Being amongst the biggest and most influential Australian bands, Young’s advice for up and comers is simple “PRACTICE” because, practice makes perfect, without practice sessions, we would’ve never known the hit songs made by Daddy Cool.
Young says he knew “Eagle Rock would be a hit, but had never imagined it still being as popular as it is now, 40 years later.” Daddy Cool is one of the biggest and most influential bands to come out of Australia in the 60’s and their legacy continues to live on, and survive both in electronic and classic vinyl forms. With the way music is being produced and shared today, Daddy Cool is a band that will live on forever, in our stereos and in our hearts.


[iphorm_popup id=”1″ name=”artist inquiry form”]Submit An Artist Booking Enquiry[/iphorm_popup]