Liverpool-born, Brisbane-raised John Kennedy formed JFK and the Cuban Crisis in Brisbane, Queensland, in October 1980.
Playing a brand of jangly guitar pop with country overtones, the band originally comprised Kennedy on vocals and guitar, James Paterson (vocals, mandolin), Holger Maschke (slide guitar), Paul Hardman (keyboards), John Downie (bass) and Stephen Pritchard (drums).
The band issued one independent single, Am I The Pagan? (March 1982), before moving to Sydney in May 1982.
One of the band’s earliest fans, Steve Stavrakis, set up the Waterfront label specifically to issue the four-track EP Careless Talk Costs Lives (December 1982). One track from the EP, The Texan Thing, attracted a good deal of attention and alternative radio airplay.
In 1983, the line-up comprised Kennedy, Paterson, Greg Hall (bass) and Paul Rochelli (drums).
By 1984, JFK and the Cuban Crisis had moved away from their pop roots, allowing the country elements to dominate, and Waterfront issued the band’s second EP, The Ballad of Jackie O (April 1984) and the album The End Of The Affair (May 1984).
The album title proved to be prophetic as a month later Kennedy disbanded the group due to the age-old ‘musical differences’. He moved on to solo work, and the band John Kennedy’s Love Gone Wrong.
Vocals, guitar, mandolin