With early ties to The Hard-Ons (rhythm guitarist Jay ‘El Sicodelico’ Younie had been The Hard-Ons’ original lead singer; lead guitarist Vince ‘Grand Wizard’ Cuscuna had produced their debut EP), the Turnbuckles formed in ’84 out of the Hitmen-inspired Conspirators.
Decked out in green and purple wigs inspired by legendary ’60s Oz punkers The Creatures, and with a wrestling shtick that took Handsome Dick Manitoba’s Dictators‘ Go Girl Crazy routine to absurd lengths, the Turnbuckles were the court jesters of the scene and copped mostly derision for their troubles.
That they achieved considerable popularity up and down the East Coast of Australia was a testament to the power of their rock & roll, which was captured best on the Younger-produced mini-album Destroy Dull City, and the mind-melting Groove To The Eye in particular.
The Turnbuckles greatest strength was the size of their fuzz-driven guitar sound – it was fucking huge.
As late as 1991/1992 they were still doing their thing: cranking out versions of The Saints‘ (I’m) Stranded and The Flamin’ Groovies‘ Slow Death – nuclear powered by the Grand Wizard’s destructo guitar – that could’ve blown any grunge band out of the water.
The Turnbuckles’ spirit and shtick – and a few ex-members – resurfaced in Sheek The Shayk.
Jesse ‘The Intruder’
El Sicodelico (Jay Younie)
Grand Wizard (Vince Cuscuna)