Down the YouTube rabbit hole with The Hoodoo Gurus
The other day I came across a YouTube clip featuring Mike Mills from R.E.M. performing the most excellent Big Star song “In The Street” (or, as you probably know it, the theme to That 70s Show, but that version was performed by Cheap Trick) at the Sydney Festival in Sydney, Australia. Now, my love for R.E.M. and Big Star is beyond well documented, so there’s little doubt why that clip would interest me. What made this one extra special though was the inclusion of Dave Faulkner, front man for one of the great 80s bands, and, in my recollection, pound for pound the loudest band you’ll ever hear live, The Hoodoo Gurus.
Isn’t that just excellent? Loved the cowbell, Dave.
Now, when I say the Gurus were a great band, I am not engaging in one iota of hyperbole. They flat out mashed, and put together a string of albums loaded with a ridiculous number of catchy, rocking, punk power pop gems, two of which, Stoneage Romeos and Mars Needs Guitars, hold places of honor in my vinyl collection to this day. What set them apart from many of their peers though were their live shows, a few of which are likely to blame for my shoddy hearing to this day. Gurus shows were fast, loud, a little trippy and, above all else, unrelentingly fun, and the three shows I caught back in the day still rank among my favorites of all time.
I hadn’t thought much about the Gurus in recent years, however, so this little trip down memory lane served as a reminder of how great they were, and sent me on down a YouTube rabbit hole of recent and a few classic live clips, some of which I share here with you here. Hopefully this will rekindle an appreciation in some of you who remember Australia’s greatest export, and create a few new fans amongst the rest of you. Watch these and then go forth to your local record store, online retailer or streaming service and spread the gospel of the Gurus. (Stoneage Romeos, Mars Need Guitars, Blow Your Cool and Magnum Cum Louder all highly recommended.)
I Want You Back (A personal favorite)
I Was A Kamikaze Pilot (Another fav)
Miss Freelove ’69