Dave Warner was born in Bicton, Western Australia, in 1955 and was educated at Aquinas College and the University of Western Australia, graduating with a B.A. (Hons.), majoring in Psychology.
In 1973 he formed a local group called Pus (possibly Australia’s first punk band) and in 1975 he moved to London where he wrote many new songs which expressed a clearly-defined vision of Australia, including tracks such as Convict Streak and Oklahoma which were to become well known through his next band – Dave Warner’s From the Suburbs.
Dave formed The Suburbs in January 1977 and the group developed a huge underground following, which led to Dave signing with Australia’s Mushroom Records in 1978.
The single Suburban Boy became the cornerstone of this new style of music, which Dave labelled “suburban rock”. Fuelled by his pronounced ‘Strine accent and an acerbic wit, Warner’s biting lyrics celebrated as well as satirised Australian suburban culture.
“It was something very nationalistic,” says Warner. “The key thing was that anyone could have done it – Ian Dury did it in England – to create something from what people considered mundane and too ordinary, to lift that to the state of art – rock’n’roll as a popular means of communication between people.”
His first album, Mugs Game, went gold within a month of release. Dave’s second album, Free Kicks, was released in 1979.
After the original Suburbs disbanded, Dave followed up with Correct Weight (1979), This is My Planet (1981, reissued as This is Your Planet in 1996), Meanwhile in the Suburbs EP (1989), Dark Side of the Scrum (1989), Suburban Sprawl (1990), Surplus and Dearth (1995) and Loose Men, Tight Shorts (1996).
Warner eventually retired from writing and performing music full-time, turning instead to writing plays, novels and screenplays.
Johnny Leopard (John Ryan)
Guitar, pedal steel guitar, vocal
Howie ‘Ali’ Johnstone