Current Traffic

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Post 330 - Cool Bananas - Been And Gone / Cool Bananas

Cool Bananas and its successor Aunty Jack & The Gong were offshoots from the ABC's cult TV comedy program The Aunty Jack Show, which ran from 1972-73. Both bands featured Rory O'Donoghue, the friend and partner of Grahame Bond. Both men were accomplished performers, composers, musicians and writers. Rory had been a member of the '60s Sydney bands The Pogs and Oakapple Day and he had also released a solo single on the Image label in the early '70s. He formed Cool Bananas sometime in 1973. Original drummer Robbie Dearlove was replaced by Russell Dunlop just before their first single, "Been And Gone", which was released on Albert Productions. The band performed on the ABC-TV special Aunty Jack Rox On which was broadcast in June 1973, playing a four song live in the studio set comprising "Gypsy", "Drug", "Hard Road" and "The Other Side". On this occasion Cool Bananas was fronted by former Easybeats lead singer Stevie Wright. Although the ABC cancelled the Aunty Jack series abruptly in 1973, it became something of a pop culture phenomenon and led to the release of a single version of the show's theme song "Farewell Aunty Jack". They say it was one of the first picture discs released in Australia and it was the first Australian single ever to enter the Australian charts at #1 (on 3 February 1974), and it stayed at #1 for ten weeks, charted for 22 weeks and sold over 100,000 copies by June 1974. Here to download is the Cool Bananas one and only single "Been And Gone" b/w "Cool Bananas" (AP-10319) which was produced by Chris Gilbey. The Cool Bananas were Stein Boddington (bass, vocals), Robbie Dearlove (drums) 1973, Wayne Finley (keyboards, vocals), Rory O'Donoghue (guitar, vocals) , Mark Punch (guitar) and Don Reid (reeds) . Their only other claim to fame was that they backed Kevin Johnson on his 1973 LP "Rock & Roll I Gave You the Best Years of my Life". Bond, O'Donoghue and Garry McDonald then recorded the album "Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong" which was released on Polydor in April 1975.


Angie said...

Hi, I am a music collector and I have a request for the 'Farewell Aunty Jack' single as I have been chasing after it for some time. Although, I have managed to get a good copy of the B-side (Doin' The Aunty Jack), the A-side is all I'm after. So, if Ozzie Music Man has a copy of the single, I would sure appreciate it :~) Thank you!

BigGray said...

Stein Boddington is the brother-in-law of the drummer I was playing with at the time this single came out, so I had to buy it. Still have it, still love it.
It was one of the first singles I digitised when I started working though my vinyl. Actually like the b side better than the a side.