The Lipstick Killers grew out of two of the most notorious late 70s punk bands in Sydney (Australia); Psycho Surgeons and Filth.
Their Americanised brand of hard glitter rock drew on The Stooges and The New York Dolls (from whence they derived the band name) for inspiration, although Gary Glitter was also cited as a key musical influence. In 1979 the band issued the Deniz Tek-produced independent single Hindu Gods (Of Love).
Drummer David Taylor departed in 1980 and was replaced by Michael Charles (ex-Shy Impostors).
The Lipstick Killers then spent a year living in Los Angeles where they became involved in the burgeoning Californian hardcore scene that had already produced bands such as Black Flag and Circle Jerks. During their American sojourn, Stephen Mather replaced Giddy on bass.
The band made little headway and spent most of their time in the US living in poverty. Following a Christmas dinner of boiled onions and refried beans, the band broke up and the members limped home to Australia at the start of 1982.
Mark Taylor took up computer graphics, Mather joined Decline Of The Reptiles and Charles joined The Screaming Tribesmen.
Citadel Records issued the live album Mesmeriser in December 1984. It had been taken from a cassette recording of one of the band’s infrequent Los Angeles gigs and the sound quality was rough but the energy and atmosphere provided a retrospective insight into the band’s true spirit.
The independent Vi-Nil label also issued a single (Sockman) in January 1985, from demos the band had recorded at the end of 1978.
The Lipstick Killers reunited for a brief Sydney tour in January 1989 and Taylor, Tillman, Mather and Bill Bilson (Sunnyboys) reappeared in ’96 with ’60s punk cover band Doctor Stone.
A second Lipstick Killers reformation in 2001 took the form of a one-off benefit for original drummer David Taylor, who had been seriously injured in a car crash in late 1999.