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Radio Birdman was one of the first punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 bands in Australia along with The Saints
The Saints (band)
The Saints are an Australian rock band, which formed in Brisbane in 1974 as punk rockers. Founders were Chris Bailey , Ivor Hay , and Ed Kuepper . Alongside mainstay Bailey, the group has had numerous line-ups...

. Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter and a founding member of Australian group Radio Birdman who broke up, for the last time, after their last European tour in 2007...

 and Rob Younger
Rob Younger
Rob Younger is an Australian rock musician, vocalist and songwriter. He is best known as a member of the influential Sydney-based punk rock group Radio Birdman, which formed in 1974. After the Radio Birdman break-up, Younger joined the super-group, New Race, who were active in 1981...

 formed the group in Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 in 1974. The group influenced the work of many successful, mainstream bands, and is now considered to be one of the most crucial bands to Australia's musical growth, but their main legacy was their towering influence over Australian indie rock
Indie rock
Indie rock is a genre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1980s. Indie rock is extremely diverse, with sub-genres that include lo-fi, post-rock, math rock, indie pop, dream pop, noise rock, space rock, sadcore, riot grrrl and emo, among others...

 in the 1980s.

Origins


Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter and a founding member of Australian group Radio Birdman who broke up, for the last time, after their last European tour in 2007...

 and Rob Younger
Rob Younger
Rob Younger is an Australian rock musician, vocalist and songwriter. He is best known as a member of the influential Sydney-based punk rock group Radio Birdman, which formed in 1974. After the Radio Birdman break-up, Younger joined the super-group, New Race, who were active in 1981...

 formed Radio Birdman in mid-1974 in Sydney, having recently left their bands 'TV Jones
Tv jones
TV Jones is a U.S. guitar pickup manufacturer in Poulsbo, Washington. Best known for manufacturing vintage-style Filter’tron pickups. TV Jones pickups attempt to recreate the sound of vintage Gretsch guitars by using American-made materials and a manufacturing process similar to what was used in...

' and 'The Rats
The Rats
The Rats were an American garage punk band from Portland, Oregon, formed by Fred Cole from the garage rock band The Lollipop Shoppe. Cole played guitar and sang, his wife Toody played bass and sang, and initially Rod Rat played drums. Their sound was a raw mix of punk rock and garage rock with...

' respectively. The pair sought to begin a band that would have no commercial interest and break the norm at the time, so they recruited classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 keyboard player Philip 'Pip' Hoyle, drummer Ron Keeley and bassist Carl Rorke . The band took their name from a misheard lyric from the Stooges
The Stooges
The Stooges are an American rock band from Ann Arbor, Michigan first active from 1967 to 1974, and later reformed in 2003...

' song "1970" (the actual lyric is "radio burnin'").

After being rejected many times from various venues, Radio Birdman found a pub in Taylor Square, Sydney and eventually took over its management, naming it The Oxford Funhouse. Under their management, the Funhouse became a home to any and all groups with musical tastes similar to the band. Not long after the opening of this venue, Carl Rorke left the band and was replaced by long time friend of Rob Younger, Warwick Gilbert (also a former 'Rats' member). Also to temporarily leave the band would be Philip Hoyle, and though his departure was short lived, this was how Radio Birdman came across guitarist Chris Masuak
Chris Masuak
Chris Masuak is a Canadian-born Australian rock musician, guitarist and songwriter. He is as a member of the influential Sydney-based punk rock group Radio Birdman, which formed in 1974, and for his other outfits The Hitmen, and The Screaming Tribesmen...

.

Soon, a culture of Radio Birdman was developing in the underground, people started to dress differently, followed the Birdman symbol and the Oxford Funhouse was their home. This was the beginnings of the Sydney punk
Punk subculture
The punk subculture includes a diverse array of ideologies, and forms of expression, including fashion, visual art, dance, literature, and film, which grew out of punk rock.-History:...

 scene.

Using the Funhouse as a base of operations, Radio Birdman recorded an EP, Burn My Eye
Burn My Eye
Burn My Eye was the debut EP recorded by Sydney punk rock band Radio Birdman, in October 1976. It was a low-budget EP recorded at Trafalgar Studios, Sydney and released on the studio's own Trafalgar label, after the band had been rejected by many other labels...

. and their first album Radios Appear
Radios Appear
Radios Appear was the first full length studio album by Sydney punk-rock band Radio Birdman. The album was recorded at Birdman's Trafalgar Studios, Sydney during 1976 and 1977. Trafalgar initially distributed the album via mail order and by sales from the backs of friend's and band members' station...

produced by John L Sayers
John L Sayers
John L Sayers is an Australian recording engineer, producer and studio designer who engineered and/or produced many classic Australian rock and pop albums and singles from 1969 to the present...

 and Charles Fisher at Trafalgar Studios
Trafalgar Studios
Trafalgar Studios, formerly The Whitehall Theatre until 2004, is a West End theatre in Whitehall, near Trafalgar Square, in the City of Westminster, London....

 in Annandale
Annandale, New South Wales
Annandale is a suburb of Inner West Sydney in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Annandale is located within 3-5 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district and is part of the local government area of the Municipality of Leichhardt. Annandale's northern end lies on Rozelle Bay,...

 Trafalgar Studios financed the recordings. Radios Appear was critically acclaimed, getting 5 stars in the Australian Rolling Stone edition. The album owed much of its style to Detroit bands of the late 1960s, such as The MC5
MC5
The MC5 is an American rock band formed in Lincoln Park, Michigan and originally active from 1964 to 1972. The original band line-up consisted of vocalist Rob Tyner, guitarists Wayne Kramer and Fred "Sonic" Smith, bassist Michael Davis, and drummer Dennis Thompson...

 and The Stooges
The Stooges
The Stooges are an American rock band from Ann Arbor, Michigan first active from 1967 to 1974, and later reformed in 2003...

. The title of the album comes from a Blue Oyster Cult
Blue Öyster Cult
Blue Öyster Cult, often abbreviated BÖC, is an American rock band, most of whose members first came together in Long Island, NY in 1967 as the band Soft White Underbelly...

 song 'Dominance and Submission' from their 1974 "Secret Treaties
Secret Treaties
Secret Treaties is Blue Öyster Cult's third studio album, released in 1974.In 1975, a Melody Maker poll of critics voted Secret Treaties as the "Top Rock Album of All Time." The album spent 14 weeks in the US charts, peaking at #53. It went gold in 1992...

" album, influences from which can also be seen in Birdman's creative output. Though Radios Appear was totally ignored by commercial radio, it was championed by Sydney station 2JJ (Double Jay)
Triple J
triple j is a nationally networked Australian radio station intended to appeal to listeners between the ages of 18 and 30. The government-funded station is a division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation...

. Sales of this album were initially limited because they were recording using a private label Trafalgar Records. Shortly after initial release, Trafalgar Records leased the recordings to WEA who took on the album and gave it a wider release. However, sales remained limited due to a lack of commercial support. Promotion could have been also somewhat inhibited as some fans felt the recordings lacked the ferocity and immediacy of the live shows and did not represent their experience of the band.

The band remained underground, but began to travel far from Sydney to perform their shows, it was at this time that keyboard player Pip Hoyle returned to the band. When Sire Records
Sire Records
Sire Records is an American record label, owned by Warner Music Group and distributed through Warner Bros. Records.-Beginnings:The label was founded in 1966 as Sire Productions by Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer, each investing ten thousand dollars into the new company. Its early releases as a...

 president Seymour Stein
Seymour Stein
Seymour Stein is an entrepreneur in the music industry who has been a part of the business since getting his first job as a clerk for Billboard magazine in 1958. Stein is a vice president of Warner Bros...

 came to Australia to sign up fellow punk band The Saints
The Saints (band)
The Saints are an Australian rock band, which formed in Brisbane in 1974 as punk rockers. Founders were Chris Bailey , Ivor Hay , and Ed Kuepper . Alongside mainstay Bailey, the group has had numerous line-ups...

, he saw Radio Birdman play and immediately invited them to join his label. Under this new label, Radio Birdman released a new version of Radios Appear
Radios Appear
Radios Appear was the first full length studio album by Sydney punk-rock band Radio Birdman. The album was recorded at Birdman's Trafalgar Studios, Sydney during 1976 and 1977. Trafalgar initially distributed the album via mail order and by sales from the backs of friend's and band members' station...

 featuring a mixture of re-mixed, re-recorded and some new material. Comparisons between the two versions of the album are disputed with some feeling that the second version is a more accurate reflection of the band's sound. Most fans however own both versions and simply treat them as two separate and different recordings.

With the commercial release of this new album, the underground punk scene, that Radio Birdman was a part of, began to attract some groups with negative agendas; namely biker gang, Hells Angels
Hells Angels
The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is a worldwide one-percenter motorcycle gang and organized crime syndicate whose members typically ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles. In the United States and Canada, the Hells Angels are incorporated as the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation. Their primary motto...

. With this new, more violent and rowdy crowd, the Funhouse was at the point of overflowing. The band was blamed for violent incidents occurring at the Funhouse, so in mid-1977, they left Sydney and took a break from music, instead pursuing educational goals.

The band returned half a year later and performed their most famous show to date at Paddington
Paddington
Paddington is a district within the City of Westminster, in central London, England. Formerly a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965...

 Town Hall alongside The Saints. Two thousand people supposedly packed into the venue (in fact film of the event suggests a few hundred at most) and tracks recorded from the show would later be included on numerous other Radio Birdman recordings. After this show, the band began their European tour, but their overseas success was short lived as Sire Records
Sire Records
Sire Records is an American record label, owned by Warner Music Group and distributed through Warner Bros. Records.-Beginnings:The label was founded in 1966 as Sire Productions by Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer, each investing ten thousand dollars into the new company. Its early releases as a...

 began having financial difficulties and were forced to drop Radio Birdman from their label. On the other hand, Tek has apparently claimed that Stein offered to support the band if he and Hoyle would defer their medical studies for five years, but that they both refused (see Vivian Johnson's biography of the band).

Breakup


Without a label, the band struggled to progress musically. In 1978, as one last sendoff, they recorded their second album Living Eyes
Living Eyes (Radio Birdman album)
Living Eyes was the second studio album released by Sydney, Australia punk-rock band Radio Birdman. It was the last recorded album by the band and they split up shortly after it was recorded in 1978. This delayed the album's release until 1981...

at Rockfield Studio in Wales, which had a posthumous release in 1981, long after the band's 1978 break-up. Radio Birdman played one last show at Oxford University, after which the band split up. The underground punk scene of Sydney was shocked by this, as the band had only been together for 4 years, but many felt that they had made their mark well enough on Australian musical history.

1978–1996


All six members went on to other bands. Younger's New Christs
New Christs
The New Christs are an Australian rock and roll band, led by Rob Younger, with various lineups through the 80s, 90s, Noughties. Younger was the singer in the influential Australian band Radio Birdman....

 was more oriented towards hard-edged, blues-based rock and roll. Tek and Keeley with keyboardist Pip Hoyle formed The Visitors, and guitarist Chris Masuak
Chris Masuak
Chris Masuak is a Canadian-born Australian rock musician, guitarist and songwriter. He is as a member of the influential Sydney-based punk rock group Radio Birdman, which formed in 1974, and for his other outfits The Hitmen, and The Screaming Tribesmen...

 and bass guitarist Warwick Gilbert's The Hitmen
The Hitmen
Hitmen are an Australian Hard rock band. The group went through a large number of lineup changes in its short late 1970s and early 1980s run, then regrouped under a new name, Hitmen DTK, between 1989 and 1992. They reformed in 2007 and continue to play....

 continued the Radio Birdman sound. Tek, Younger and Gilbert played in a one-shot touring band called New Race
New Race
New Race was a punk/proto-punk super-group based in Sydney, Australia formed in April 1981. New Race was a concept band featuring three members of Radio Birdman: Deniz Tek, Rob Younger, and Warwick Gilbert, along with their inspirational mentors: Ron Asheton of The Stooges, and Dennis "Machine Gun"...

, with Dennis Thompson
Dennis Thompson (drummer)
Dennis Thompson is the drummer with the 1960s/1970s Detroit proto-punk/hard rock group MC5, which had a #82 US single with "Kick Out The Jams" and a #30 US album with the same name....

 of the MC5
MC5
The MC5 is an American rock band formed in Lincoln Park, Michigan and originally active from 1964 to 1972. The original band line-up consisted of vocalist Rob Tyner, guitarists Wayne Kramer and Fred "Sonic" Smith, bassist Michael Davis, and drummer Dennis Thompson...

 and Ron Asheton
Ron Asheton
Ronald Frank Asheton was an American guitarist and co-songwriter with Iggy Pop for the rock band The Stooges.Asheton is ranked as number 29 on Rolling Stones list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time....

 of the Stooges
The Stooges
The Stooges are an American rock band from Ann Arbor, Michigan first active from 1967 to 1974, and later reformed in 2003...

. They made no studio recordings, but released one official "live" album, "The First and The Last", and there are two more "bootleg
Bootleg recording
A bootleg recording is an audio or video recording of a performance that was not officially released by the artist or under other legal authority. The process of making and distributing such recordings is known as bootlegging...

" live albums. A non-musical LP, "Soldiers of Rock 'n' Roll", was released in 1982. This strange album, described by the record company as "an audio documentary of Radio Birdman", was released after Deniz had quit music to be a jet pilot, and was assembled by the people at Trafalgar Records, like a soundtrack for a documentary movie which was never made.

Reunion


Radio Birdman reunited for the Big Day Out
Big Day Out
The Big Day Out is an annual music festival held in several cities in Australia and New Zealand in late January. It started in Sydney in 1992, spread to Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth by 1993, with the Gold Coast and Auckland joining in 1994...

 tour in 1996 and again in 1997. Since then Radio Birdman have continued to perform sporadically. In 2002 Warwick Gilbert was replaced by Jim Dickson
Jim Dickson
Jim Dickson is a Labour Councillor for Herne Hill on Lambeth Council, London, United Kingdom , where he also serves as Cabinet Member for Health and Well Being, having previously been the Council's Cabinet Member for Finance and also its Leader....

 who had previously played with the New Christs
New Christs
The New Christs are an Australian rock and roll band, led by Rob Younger, with various lineups through the 80s, 90s, Noughties. Younger was the singer in the influential Australian band Radio Birdman....

, Louis Tillett
Louis Tillett
Louis Tillett is an Australian singer-songwriter, keyboard player and saxophonist. He was the frontman in Australian bands The Wet Taxis, Paris Green and The Aspersion Caste...

, The Passengers
The Passengers
The Passengers is the name of:* The Passengers , POP ROCK From Manchester & Switzerland* The Passengers , a Belgian band* The Passengers , a successful early 1980s rock band fronted by Angie Pepper of The Angie Pepper Band...

, The Barracudas
The Barracudas
The Barracudas are an English based Anglo-Canadian band formed in the late 1970s.The band's original lineup consisted of: Jeremy Gluck , Robin Wills , Starkie Phillips and Adam Phillips....

 and Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter and a founding member of Australian group Radio Birdman who broke up, for the last time, after their last European tour in 2007...

. Drummer Ron Keely left the band in 2004 after the band's performance at The Azkena Festival in Spain, and was temporarily replaced by Nik Reith, formerly of the Celibate Rifles, Tumbleweed
Tumbleweed (band)
Tumbleweed are a Wollongong-based rock group in Australia, popular during the grunge years of the 1990s. As an opening band for Nirvana on their 1992 tour of Australia, Tumbleweed reached out into the mainstream with their crunchy-psychedelica...

, the New Christs
New Christs
The New Christs are an Australian rock and roll band, led by Rob Younger, with various lineups through the 80s, 90s, Noughties. Younger was the singer in the influential Australian band Radio Birdman....

 and the Deniz Tek Group. He was replaced after six shows by You Am I
You Am I
You Am I are an Australian alternative rock band, fronted by vocalist/guitarist and main songwriter Tim Rogers. They were the first Australian band to have three albums successively debut at #1 on the ARIA Charts, and are renowned for their live performances.-History:Tim Rogers formed the first...

 drummer Russell Hopkinson.

The year 2006 has seen much activity by Radio Birdman, spearheaded by the completion of a new album entitled Zeno Beach
Zeno Beach
Zeno Beach is a rock album by Australian band Radio Birdman released in June 2006. It maintains much of the sound the band had in the 1970s while adding a different style with You Am I drummer, Russell Hopkinson.-Track listing:...

, released in Australia on 24 June 2006 via the band's own Crying Sun Records
Crying Sun Records
Crying Sun Records is the privately owned record company by Australian rock band Radio Birdman. Only a few albums have been released by this label including Radio Birdman's 1996 live album, Ritualism and their 2006 reunion album, Zeno Beach....

, and in the US via Yep Roc Records
Yep Roc Records
Yep Roc Records is an independent International record label based in Haw River, North Carolina and owned by Redeye Distribution . The label has put out albums by artists like The Go-Betweens, The Fleshtones, Gang of Four, The Reverend Horton Heat, and The Minus 5, as well as the work of important...

 on 22 August. Named for the closing track, a surf-rock tune written by Hoyle, Zeno Beach was recorded in Sydney in December 2005, produced by guitarist Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter and a founding member of Australian group Radio Birdman who broke up, for the last time, after their last European tour in 2007...

 and engineer Greg Wales. Carl Rorke, one time Radio Birdman bassist, died the year of the new albums scheduled release, and it was completed in his memory.

Following a February tour of Australian capital cities, dates in support of Zeno Beach for Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the US have been announced, commencing 27 July 2006 in Sydney, and ending on 7 October, in Spain. Many Australian dates feature LA soul/punk band The Bellrays
The Bellrays
The Bellrays are an American group that combines garage rock music with soul singing styles. The band consists of Lisa Kekaula , Bob Vennum , Justin Andres and Stefan Litrownik . The group, founded in the early 1990s in Riverside, California, prides itself on its independence...

 and Melbourne band The Specimens as support act. In March 2006, Radio Birdman hosted an Australian rock history exhibition in Sydney, featuring many artworks inspired by Radio Birdman. Many of the bands memorabilia, including guitars, were auctioned on the opening night.

In July 2007 the band were inducted into the ARIA
Australian Recording Industry Association
The Australian Recording Industry Association is a trade group representing the Australian recording industry which was established in 1983 by six major record companies, EMI, Festival, CBS, RCA, WEA and Universal replacing the Association of Australian Record Manufacturers which was formed in 1956...

 (Australian Recording Industry Association) Hall of Fame (in an interview, vocalist Rob Younger indicated the band had previously declined an invitation to join the Hall of Fame). http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2007-07-05/music_feature.php

The induction saw all original members plus current members attend the ceremony, except for Pip Hoyle, whose son had died around this time.

Daniel Johns
Daniel Johns
Daniel Paul Johns is an Australian musician, vocalist, composer, guitarist, and pianist, best known as the frontman of the rock band Silverchair. He is also part of The Dissociatives...

 of Silverchair
Silverchair
Silverchair were an Australian rock band, which formed in 1992 as Innocent Criminals in Merewether, Newcastle with the line-up of Ben Gillies on drums, Chris Joannou on bass guitar and Daniel Johns on vocals and guitars. The group got their big break in mid-1994 when they won a national demo...

 gave the induction speech, which was followed by the band playing a short but energetic set which saw the audience giving them a standing ovation. The three guitarists (Tek, Masuak and Dickson) also participated in what appeared to be an uncharacteristically rehearsed stage move, each holding up their guitars and saluting the drums as the song New Race ascended into auditory chaos. On a side note, Murray Shepherd (ex- The Screaming Tribesmen and current The Hitmen
The Hitmen
Hitmen are an Australian Hard rock band. The group went through a large number of lineup changes in its short late 1970s and early 1980s run, then regrouped under a new name, Hitmen DTK, between 1989 and 1992. They reformed in 2007 and continue to play....

 drummer), sat in on drums for this occasion, as then-drummer Russell Hopkinson was touring with You Am I
You Am I
You Am I are an Australian alternative rock band, fronted by vocalist/guitarist and main songwriter Tim Rogers. They were the first Australian band to have three albums successively debut at #1 on the ARIA Charts, and are renowned for their live performances.-History:Tim Rogers formed the first...

.

In September 2007 the band featured in the Clash of the Titans tour alongside The Stems
The Stems
The Stems were an alternative rock band formed in Perth, Western Australia in 1983 and were heavily influenced by 1960s garage rock and 1970s power pop. They broke up in 1987, reformed in 2003 and released a new album in 2007.-Formation:...

 and Hoodoo Gurus
Hoodoo Gurus
Hoodoo Gurus are an Australian rock band, formed in Sydney in 1981, by the mainstay Dave Faulkner and later joined by Richard Grossman , Mark Kingsmill , and Brad Shepherd...

, which launched in Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

 at the Enmore Theatre
Enmore Theatre
The Enmore Theatre is a theatre and entertainment venue in Sydney. It is located on Enmore Road in the suburb of Enmore, south-west of the adjoining suburb, Newtown. It is a medium-sized venue...

 and included dates in Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 and Brisbane
Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

.

Disintegration


Although there was no official announcement by management, the band called it a day in May 2008 with the resignation of Rob Younger
Rob Younger
Rob Younger is an Australian rock musician, vocalist and songwriter. He is best known as a member of the influential Sydney-based punk rock group Radio Birdman, which formed in 1974. After the Radio Birdman break-up, Younger joined the super-group, New Race, who were active in 1981...

 to continue work with the latest line-up of the New Christs
New Christs
The New Christs are an Australian rock and roll band, led by Rob Younger, with various lineups through the 80s, 90s, Noughties. Younger was the singer in the influential Australian band Radio Birdman....

.

Lyrics


The band's lyrics reference US-born guitarist/main songwriter Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter and a founding member of Australian group Radio Birdman who broke up, for the last time, after their last European tour in 2007...

's home state of Michigan, with lyrics from tracks such as "Murder City Nights" referring to Woodward Avenue in Detroit: "Cruising down Woodward gotta find me some action/Looking for a lover with a power reaction."

Many of their other songs, such as "Hand of Law" & "Descent Into the Maelstrom" deal in apocalyptic images of war and violence, but these are more than balanced by the lighter popular culture references of tunes such as "Aloha Steve & Danno", an ode to the TV show Hawaii Five-O
Hawaii Five-O
Hawaii Five-O is an American police procedural drama series produced by CBS Productions and Leonard Freeman. Set in Hawaii, the show originally aired for twelve seasons from 1968 to 1980, and continues in reruns. The show featured a fictional state police unit run by Detective Steve McGarrett,...

. "Man With Golden Helmet" (which Tek wrote in high school) is one of their most cryptic efforts: "Man with golden helmet/drinks water from the faucet... plays with tiny children/on his way home from work... he's the top man/in the language department." The Man with Golden Helmet painting by Rembrandt hung above a tap and sink outside the modern languages staffroom of Sydney Boys High School
Sydney Boys High School
Sydney Boys High School is an academically selective public secondary school for boys, located in the City of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, with 1,180 students, from years 7 to 12...

 in the 1970s when some members were believed to have attended.

In one song, "I-94", Eskimo pie
Eskimo Pie
Eskimo Pie is a brand name for a chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar wrapped in foil, the first such dessert sold in the United States. It is now marketed by Nestlé, owners of Dreyer's of the Western United States, and Edy's of the Eastern United States...

s are a prominent subject of the chorus, possibly due to their relation with Klondike bar
Klondike bar
Klondike is a brand name for a dessert generally consisting of a vanilla ice cream square coated with a thin layer of chocolate-flavored coating. The first recorded advertisement for the Klondike was on February 5, 1922 in the Youngstown Vindicator. They are generally wrapped with a silver-colored...

s or to guitarist Chris Masuak
Chris Masuak
Chris Masuak is a Canadian-born Australian rock musician, guitarist and songwriter. He is as a member of the influential Sydney-based punk rock group Radio Birdman, which formed in 1974, and for his other outfits The Hitmen, and The Screaming Tribesmen...

's Canadian origins.

Genre


Radio Birdman's music does not fit specifically with the punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 genre, nor do the band like this label (as they saw it as degrading to their intelligence) —though their independence and originality has put them in this position. A fitting genre would be alternative
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

 punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

, or as the band themselves called it, 'Sub-Pop', deeply ironic that 27 years later, the band would release a record on "Sub-Pop" Records. Fans of the band often classed the music as "proto-punk" or the Detroit sound, similar to bands such as MC5
MC5
The MC5 is an American rock band formed in Lincoln Park, Michigan and originally active from 1964 to 1972. The original band line-up consisted of vocalist Rob Tyner, guitarists Wayne Kramer and Fred "Sonic" Smith, bassist Michael Davis, and drummer Dennis Thompson...

 and The Stooges
The Stooges
The Stooges are an American rock band from Ann Arbor, Michigan first active from 1967 to 1974, and later reformed in 2003...

.

Graphics



With professional graphic artist
Graphic design
Graphic design is a creative process – most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form – undertaken in order to convey a specific message to a targeted audience...

 Warwick Gilbert as part of the band, Radio Birdman had a unique and artistic feel to their albums and posters. The band wanted to be unlike any other band in the modern way of presenting their image. The cover of the band's third album, Living Eyes
Living Eyes (Radio Birdman album)
Living Eyes was the second studio album released by Sydney, Australia punk-rock band Radio Birdman. It was the last recorded album by the band and they split up shortly after it was recorded in 1978. This delayed the album's release until 1981...

, shows the style of design Radio Birdman often employed.

The band symbol, however, was not created by Gilbert. Lead guitarist and songwriter, Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek
Deniz Tek is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter and a founding member of Australian group Radio Birdman who broke up, for the last time, after their last European tour in 2007...

, created the logo after much time trying to think of a symbol for himself. He created it by accident while scribbling on some paper when he was with one of his early bands, T.V. Jones; later bringing the logo with him when he formed Radio Birdman.

The symbol was held by some as something to follow, many fans getting the symbol tattoo
Tattoo
A tattoo is made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. Tattoos on humans are a type of body modification, and tattoos on other animals are most commonly used for identification purposes...

ed on their bodies, while others saw it as something extreme - the call sign of a forming cult. Tek has denied this: "Just because we wore a uniform and had a symbol - it's automatically Nazi." One example given by Tek was a crazed woman who tore down one of the band's banners at a concert, screaming about the Jewish people.

Studio albums

Title Release
Burn My Eye
Burn My Eye
Burn My Eye was the debut EP recorded by Sydney punk rock band Radio Birdman, in October 1976. It was a low-budget EP recorded at Trafalgar Studios, Sydney and released on the studio's own Trafalgar label, after the band had been rejected by many other labels...

 EP
Trafalgar Records
1976
Radios Appear
Radios Appear
Radios Appear was the first full length studio album by Sydney punk-rock band Radio Birdman. The album was recorded at Birdman's Trafalgar Studios, Sydney during 1976 and 1977. Trafalgar initially distributed the album via mail order and by sales from the backs of friend's and band members' station...

 LP
Trafalgar Records
1977
Living Eyes
Living Eyes (Radio Birdman album)
Living Eyes was the second studio album released by Sydney, Australia punk-rock band Radio Birdman. It was the last recorded album by the band and they split up shortly after it was recorded in 1978. This delayed the album's release until 1981...

 LP
1981
Alone in the Endzone
Alone in the Endzone
"Alone in the Endzone" was the only single from Sydney, Australia's punk band Radio Birdman's album Living Eyes. The album art features a heavily-armed and apparently on-edge Deniz Tek in his Detroit apartment...

 45'
1981
Zeno Beach
Zeno Beach
Zeno Beach is a rock album by Australian band Radio Birdman released in June 2006. It maintains much of the sound the band had in the 1970s while adding a different style with You Am I drummer, Russell Hopkinson.-Track listing:...

CD
2006

Live albums

Title Release
More Fun! (EP) 1988
Ready to Burn 1996
Ritualism 1996
Radios On! Ritualism - The Reunion 1996 LP (bootleg) 1997
Murder City Nights CD (bootleg) 1976
Surfin' at 2JJJ EP (bootleg) 1976
Live In Texas 2011

Compilations

Title Release
Eureka Birdman EP (bootleg) 1977
Rock'n'Roll War 1976-1978 LP (bootleg) 1978
Soldiers of Rock'n'Roll: An Audio Documentary of Radio Birdman CD 1982
Under the Ashes CD/LP 1988
Live in Sydney, 1976 - Double Jay Studio CD (bootleg) 1990
The EPs (CD) 1992
Rock'n'Roll War 1976-1978 LP (bootleg) 1998
The Essential Radio Birdman CD 2001
Living Eyes/More Fun CD 2005

Singles

Title Release
"New Race/TV Eye" 1977
"Aloha Steve and Danno/Anglo Girl Desire" 1978
"What Gives?/Anglo Girl Desire" 1978
"Alone in the Endzone/Breaks My Heart" 1981
"Hungry Cannibals/Rock Bottom" 2006

External links