Lobby Loyde mother was a classically trained pianist and his father a jazz trumpeter and as a teenager he joined them in country town performances in outback Queensland.
Lobby Loyde was born as John Baslington Lyde on 18 May 1941, Longreach Queensland. In 1963 joined the Stilettos a Shadows influences and was known as Barry Lyde.
Mick Hadley and Bob Dames both originally come from England and both decided to migrate to Australia in 1963. There both form rhythm and blues band The Impacts in Brisbane, Queensland with Scottish born Fred Pickard included local musicians Barry Lyde from Stilettos and Adrian Redmond in 1964.
The Impacts became The Purple Hearts were raw, exciting and dynamic but no more so than their leader, who was single handedly exploring the realms of guitar as a means of aggressive expression. The band relocated from Brisbane to Sydney when Adrian Redmond departed the band and is replaced by new drummer Tony Cahill. On 23 January 1967 the band issued an official statement to the effect that, since they felt they were not progressing musically and had become stagnant, they had decided to split up.
Barry Lyde change his name to Lobby Loyde joined the Wild Cherries turned Melbourne respected jazz cum rock into a visually charismatic, musically anarchistic and relentlessly experimental rock unit, not unlike Detroit’s Stooges or MC5. Their handful of singles notably That’s Life were bizarre excursions into a musical void, which both influenced and amazed peers. Loyde joins Billy Thorpe And The Aztecs in 1968 leaves the Aztecs in October 1970.
Infinity distributed by Festival Records released solo debut album, Lobby Loyde – Plays With George Guitar, in September 1971. The album title comes from his Les Paul guitar with the name GEORGE stuck crudely on the body in strips of white tape. Certainly a break from the habit some over-precious musos have of naming their guitars with female monickers, preferably seductive-sounding ones. Loyde revived The Wild Cherries as a trio, using the line-up were Teddy Toi (bass) and Johnny Dick (drums) for this recording. The album which kicked off Lobby Loyde’s rise to the unarguable position of “guitar hero” in every sense of the term. Festival Records re-issued the album as Lobby Loyde on there budget label Calendar Records in 1974. The album was recorded at Festival Studios and produced by Richard Batchens.
This album is recorded at a point in his career arrived at by unleashing the virtuoso talents and brilliant songwriting of this Aussie legend, backed by a monstrous rhythm section (previously with Fanny Adams) which have combined with great effect to highlight the genesis of the Lobby Loyde legend. This material has been unavailable for about 25 years unless you were one of the lucky people switched on enough to have bought this LP when it was originally released. Features bonus tracks I Am The Sea (Stop Killing Me) and Daily Planet with assistance from Aztecs, Billy Thorpe and Gil Matthews. Both sides are great slices of psych-pop with an environmental concern; they are available as bonus tracks on the CD reissue of this album, which came out on Vicious Sloth Collectables in 1999 (thankfully, because the original LP is very rare). Remastered from original tapes.
Havoc released various artists compilation, Australian Rock 71-72 in 1972, features singles by Lobby Loyde And The Coloured Balls Liberate Rock, The Slowest Guitar On Earth and Wild Cherries I Am The Sea three songs were written by Lobby Loyde. Design Cover by Mark Tanner and Sleeve Notes by Lobby Loyde.
Mushroom released live album, Summer Jam, in November 1973. Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls, also featuring Billy Thorpe and Leo de Castro, recorded at the Sunbury 73 Festival between 3.30am and 4.45am on Monday, January 29, 1973. Billy Thorpe sings on Help Me / Rock Me Baby. Recording and engineer by John French from TCS Sound Studio. Early in the year and Lobby Loyde And The Coloured Balls supported T. Rex on their Australian tour in November 1973.
Aztec Music reissued as Lobby’s Last… Summer Jam, on 14 December 2018. Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls’ first live recordings from Sunbury Festival in January 1973 with the guitarist’s previously unreleased, final studio sessions from the early 1990s.
EMI released debut studio album, Ball Power, in December 1973, peaking at #13 on the Go-Set national Top 20 albums chart. One of the great progressive hard rock LPs of the era, really had a lot going for it: great songs, inspirational playing, attitude to burn and an experimental edge that would have frightened the hell out of any lesser band. The overall excellence of Ball Power makes for quality listening all the way through.
The songs range from the crunching, melodic hard rock of Flash and Hey! What’s Your Name to the simple, raw rock ’n’ roll of Mama Don’t Get Me Wrong and Won’t You Make Up Your Mind (a proto-typical punk ball-tearer at a breathtakingly brief one minute and 32 seconds) and a raucous cover of the Jerry Lee Lewis standard Whole Lotta Shakin’. In between there are the sleazy blues of ‘Something New’ and ‘B.P.R.’ plus progressive, guitar-heavy monsters like Human Being and That’s What Mama Said. Included as a bonus track is the 16+ minute live version of GOD. Ball Power, digitally remastered and presented in a 6 panel digi-pak with a 24 page booklet filled with rare photos and liner notes by Ian McFarlane. Re-issued by Aztec Records on 4 September 2006.
Atlantic released live album, Steaming At The Opera House, in December 1974, featured G.O.D. (Guitar Over Drive), the album was engineer by David Few, Graham Owens, John French. Billy Thorpe And The Aztecs were first rock band to perform at Sydney Opera House in November 1973. The concert was three hour including an acetic guitar section with guest musicians like Lobby Loyde and Johnny Dick.
EMI released second studio album, Heavy Metal Kid, in 1974, is a true proto-punk slab of dynamite, right up there with similar recordings by the likes of the MC5 and the Pink Fairies. Featuring a mix of growling punkers (the title track, ‘Private Eye’), ’50s rockers (a cover of ‘(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care,’ ‘Need Your Love’), hi-energy boogie (‘Do It’, ‘Dance To The Music’), cosmic rock (‘Back To You,’ ‘Metal Feathers’) and even a ballad in there, it’s an eclectic mix held together by its outlaw sense of purpose. Along with, Ball Power, Heavy Metal Kid is THEE sound of the great Sharpie stomp of 1970s Melbourne. The American spelling of Colored Balls for this release. On all other recordings they were Coloured Balls.
Aztec Music reissued Heavy Metal Kid, on 30 October 2006, expertly remastered by Gil Matthews from the original tapes (it sounds amazing) and comes housed in an exact replica of the original gatefold sleeve with a heavy-duty tip-on cover, as well as an insert with lyrics and decorative obi strip. Heavy Metal Kid is presented in a 6 panel digipak with a 24 page booklet filled with rare photos and liner notes by Ian McFarlane. It has been digitally remastered with 7 bonus tracks.
Rainbird released album, The First Supper Last Or Scenes We Didn’t Get To See was Coloured Balls first studio album, recorded in 1972 but not issued until 1976. The original title for the album was Rock Your Arse Off was intended for Havoc after the label fell apart at the time. The album was recorded at Armstrong Studios and produced by Lobby Loyde.
The tracks are hard hitting and certainly capture the band’s early promise. The laconic Time Shapes and Working Man’s Boogie features first-rate, dirty rock ‘n’ boogie with lashings of humour. A cover of Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry combine savage playing from lead guitarist Lobby Loyde and originally rhythm guitarist Andrew Fordham. Remark of Liberate Rock Part 2 is a slow and bluesy. Aztecs member Warren Morgan played distorted piano through a screwed PA system Loyde found in the studio. Love Me Girl Because a melodic pop song with chiming guitar riffs. It was reissued as 2CD Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls with Fable / EMI, 1997
The album features all the trademarks of Loyde’s aggressive and inventive guitar style that would influence generations of musicians around the world. Kurt Cobain was a fan, also Henry Rollins, Pavement, and Stephen Malkmus. The American spelling of Colored Balls for this release. On all other recordings they were Coloured Balls. The album was recorded at Armstrong Studios and Lobby Loyde produced the album. Re-issued by Sandman on 24 October 2013.
“More than anyone else, Lobby helped create the Australian guitar sound. Long before Angus (Young) or Billy Thorpe or the Angels or Rose Tattoo. Lobby inspired Australian bands to step forward and play as loud and aggressively as they could. People are still trying to copy it today” – Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo).
Rainbird released second solo album, Obsecration, in May 1976. Featuring an incredibly eclectic and diverse assortment of music, all up a magnificent album of guitar explorations and textures, a thematic collection of riffs, runs, rhythms and timing shifts taking the listener through a wide range of moods and styles. If anything, it lacked a commercial focus but as we’ve seen Loyde was well and truly beyond working within commercial considerations at the time. One thing is certain: his beautiful, at times heavy yet always unique psych-rock guitar work is the main feature throughout.
Aztec Music re-released, Obsecration on 28 August 2006, is packaged in a 6 panel digipak, with liner notes by Ian McFarlane and Glenn Terry, digitally remastered, and has 6 bonus tracks and many rare photos. With a solo single, Do You Believe in Magic? / Love Lost on Dream Tides in December 1975.
Lobby Loyde: “We recorded Obsecration towards the end of 1975, but we only recorded on full moons over a period of three months”. “See, originally we were gonna call that album Full Moon Fever, but then we thought, ‘oh, it sounds a bit like mountain music, y’know, Kentucky moonshine music’. So then I came up with the title Obsecration, sort of intense.”
He moved to the UK or a couple of years, sitting in on sessions with the likes of Siouxsie & the Banshees, Roxy Music and The Police, where Virgin showed interest in releasing the album, but with England in the throes of punk music, a deal was never sealed.
Lobby Loyde contributed the track John’s Song to the various artists compilation, The Australian Guitar Album, in 1979. The song was recorded at Matrix Studios, London, engineered by Richard Whaley and was produced by him. The recording features Lobby Loyde (guitar), Mike Walker (electric piano and clavichord), Paul Dixon (clarinet, flute and sax), Billy Kristian (bass ) and Clive Edwards (drums).
Rose Tattoo members Mick Cocks and Geordie Leach took leave of absence and the band continued on as four piece with guitar godfather and early seventies’ leader of Melbourne’s infamous Coloured Balls, Lobby Loyde. He returned to Australia in 1979 and briefly joining Rose Tattoo as a bass player and released a single, Release Legalise with Independent label Repeal there misspelt both Dallas “Digger” Royal and Lobby Loyde name.
They recorded an album in Los Angeles and has never been released, nonetheless Loyde toured with the band from October 1979 to September 1980. Loyde then turned his attention to producing other bands, working with the Sunnyboys, Machinations, X, Painters and Dockers.
Mushroom released live album, Lobby Loyde With Sudden Electric – Live With Dubs, in October 1980. He formed a new lineup with Gil Matthews (drums), Gavin Carroll (bass), and Mándu, known as Southern Electric. Radio 2 JJ recorded a gig at the Manly Flicks for a live to air broadcast. Mixing the album it was found that the vocal mic’s had malfunctioned, so Lobby invite Mandu and Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo) into the studio to record the vocal tracks. The resulting LP was released in 1980 as a very limited pressing.
The bonus material, sub-titled Live without Dubs, was recorded 20 years later. The sound was as dynamic as Loyde’s previous aggregations, as demonstrated by the four live tracks: familiar Balls songs G.O.D. (Guitar Over Drive), Flash and Human Being plus a radically rearranged version of the Elvis Presley standard Heartbreak Hotel. Packaged in a 6 panel digipak, with photos and extensive liner notes from noted Australian Rock writer Ian McFarlane
Aztec Music released third solo album, Beyond Morgia The Labyrinths of Klimster, on 14 March 2008. the legendary, previously unreleased 1976 Space Rock album and the soundtrack to an imaginary film. Lobby had written the music for a Space Rock concept album for a proposed Sci-Fi film, based on his unpublished novel called Beyond Morgia: The Labyrinths Of Klimster. Beyond Morgia was recorded at Armstrong Studios one weekend in June 1976, with the guys from Southern Electric on hand.
After 31 years Beyond Morgia The Labyrinths Of Klimster is finally available on CD and a worthy addition to the diverse catalogue of the great Lobby Loyde. Packaged in a Deluxe 6 panel digipak, featuring bonus track, 16 page booklet with photos and liner notes by Ian McFarlane.
He remained behind the scene for much of the 80’s before returning to Melbourne’s stages with supergroup Dirt, an outfit he still performed with in the early 90’s. Loyde then turned his attention to producing other bands including the Sunnyboys, and Painters and Dockers. He currently performs with Melbourne based outfit Fish Tree Mother, who play ‘music for the mind’. I love Sardine, and X. Rilen is one of the great visionaries, the music industry never understood him. He’s a pretty intense guy, there aren’t too many like him.”
In 1990 he played bass in a short-lived band called Dirt, and in 1997 he formed a new band called Fish Tree Mother.
Michael Gudinski organised Telstra Mushroom 25th Anniversary Concert Of The Century, was held at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on 14 November 1998. From the early afternoon until late at night for the nine-hour concert. The concert featured 56 acts, including many of the biggest names in Australian music, performed their hits like .Billy Thorpe and Lobby Loyde performed Most People I Know Think That I’m Crazy at the closing.
Billy Thorpe and promoter Michael Chugg are the brainchild of Long Way To The Top live concert tour. Which included 26 Australian artists joined together in a massive celebration of homegrown rock ’n’ roll that played all around Australia to 200,000 people. Long Way To The Top featured Australia’s artists Tamam Shud, Russell Morris, Axiom, Lobby Loyde & The Coloured Balls, Spectrum, Chain, Masters Apprentices, John Paul Young, Stevie Wright, Marcia Hines, Marcia Hines, Ross Wilson, Billy Thorpe & the Sunbury Aztecs. ABC TV recorded off-air Long Way To The Top Live In Concert on 01December 2002.
Loyde was inducted into the Australian Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 2002. Billy Thorpe inducted Lobby Loyde into ARIA Hall Of Fame, was held at the Plaza Ballroom at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, on 16 August 2006. Lobby Loyde performed Liberate Rock and Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs performed a musical tribute to Loyde. He pass away from lung cancer on 21 April 2007 at Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria.
Chugg Entertainment released various artists compilation, A Tribute To Lobby Loyde, Billy Thorpe And Peter Wells, 06 December 2008. To celebrate the lives of outstanding musicians Pete Wells and Lobby Loyde while they were still with us, Billy Thorpe organised two almighty benefit concerts. “Tribute” is the result. This live 11 track CD with 3 bonus DVD tracks features Richard Clapton, Brian Cadd, Ian Rilen, Noiseworks, Rose Tattoo, Ian Moss, Russell Morris, Spectrum, Diesel – along with Billy and Lobby. Profits from the sale of Tribute go to Support Act and the families of Lobby, Pete and Billy.
Lobby comes closer than any other contender to being Austalia’s greatest guitar hero. His is one of the few true legends of Australian rock and has used his innovative talent to influence the direction of music in this country.
Glenn A. Baker, The Australian Guitar Album
Sunday Herald Sun