The mid 1970’s was an era for some off-beat musical acts. A couple in particular, Skyhooks and The Tubes, stand out in my mind as prime examples of weirdness that managed also to be(mostly) listenable…at least to my then ‘soon-to-be-out-of-my-teens’ ears. Because both were given heavy FM airplay in the nearby Jacksonville, Florida radio market, I automatically assumed what was true in my small portion of the world was true every where else.
One Rolling Stone record reviewer in the early 1980’s labeled the Skyhooks as “demented” but I thought they played songs that rang true, such as “All My Friends Are Getting Married”. The first time I saw the album cover I thought they were the strangest bunch of guys I’d ever seen and attributed this to their Australian heritage. (who knew what went on down there?) Though AC/DC, INXS, Men At Work and The Little River Band from down under would all make their musical marks worldwide, Skyhooks are still looked upon as the leaders in this area even if they never conquered America like the others. But of course I thought they had. I read much later that their shows (like The Tubes) were highly theatrical affairs that parodied another 70’s phenomanom, ‘Glam Rock’ and so many (apparently most) listeners didn’t “get” them. I was also somewhat pleased to learn much, much later that the one noteable exception to their widespread rejection was the almost hysterical reception when they played Jacksonville as the opening act for Uriah Heep (another of my mid 70’s favorites).
Even with all their costumes and colorful make-up the Skyhooks played very pointed “sex, drugs and rock-n-roll”. Especially heavy on the sex and drugs bit to the point where almost all of their early stuff was banned from the airwaves in their native Australia. I still have my original copies of their first two vinyl albums pictured above and will occasionally pull them out for a listen. It’s like my parent’s generation used to say, “they don’t make music like that anymore”.