1967–1973: Early Years
Guitarist Graham Ford (ex-The Interns) made up the name 'Sebastian Hardie' when he founded Sebastian Hardie Blues Band in 1967 in Sydney. Variable line-ups included John Bellamy (bass guitar), Dennis Laughlin (vocals, later in Sherbet), Richard Lillico (ex-The Interns, drums), Syd Richmond (drums), Dave Waddington (vocals) and Neil Williamson (organ). They played R&B and soul covers but disbanded in early 1968. When Ford reformed the band later in the year, he recruited students from Sydney's Cabramatta High School, Jon English on vocals and rhythm guitar, Anatole Kononewsky (keyboards), Peter Plavsic (ex-The Interns) on bass guitar and his brother Alex Plavsic on drums. They dropped the 'Blues Band' part to play more pop-oriented music and were the backing band for legendary Australian rocker Johnny O'Keefe during 1969. Covering songs from Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett they built a reputation in the Sydney pub scene. Late in 1971, English left Sebastian Hardie when he won the role of Judas Iscariot in the Australian stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar from May 1972. He was eventually replaced by Steve Dunne on vocals and keyboards. British singer Larry Page produced Sebastian Hardie's first single "All Right Now" in September 1973 on RCA Records.