Tropical Penguins (1986)

Tropical Penguins keyboard player wanted

In  April 1986 I rang ‘Jules’ after seeing the following advert in the back of On The Street.  I was wanting to play in an originals band, something with street cred and a chance to play and write originals.

Jules was managing Tropical Penguins and I knew of the band, they had a good reputation and  a couple of days later I was on stage with them. Tropical Penguins was Jo (Vocals), Ralph (Bass), Mark (Sax), Greg (Drums),  and Michael  (Guitar).  ‘Sport’ did excellent sound for the band and Jules got the gigs and did the rest

The players had talent, great Rhythm Section, excellent writers and a good following in inner city Sydney.  For me the best gigs were those at  Kings Cross:  Kardomah Cafe, Propaganda Club and almost the Manzil room (Never heard the full story but after set-up a bloodied manager came to the stage and the Venue closed that night!).

Another memorable gig (My first with the band) was the Penguin Ball – Three ‘Penguin’ bands played: Tropical Penguins, Penguins on Safari (Fronted by Tim Friedman, later with the Whitlams) and Fine Cotton Penguins. Fine Cotton Penguins were the ring in – Goodbye Blue Monday. (ring in ? Fine Cotton was a horse that in a betting scandal was  was switched for another horse in a race)

Tropical Penguins had a great following and we received some good press articles but we never picked up that elusive recording contract. We did get good support from the A & R guy at Rondor Music – Graeme Connors (before his 1st huge selling country Album)

Again, memory may be missing here but I think the band had just split up when we were rang with an offer to appear on Star Search-TV talent show of the time.  We won 4 shows and the series but lost the Grand Final.  I have the video and some other live vision and will upload to U-Tube unless I hear a scream from the other members who dont want to relive the dance routines and the one performance where we stood statue like when we weren’t playing. Why?

And the winner is…..John Farnham opened this envelope and it was the week of his come-back album Whispering Jack. After Star Search the band split as many bands do.

Any one have a picture they can scan and send to me?


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