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John Swan was born John Archibold Dixon Swan in Glasgow, Scotland in 1952.

He emigrated to Australia with his family in 1961 and was the only child of six to keep his natural father’s surname when his mother remarried in the mid-60s (his younger brother is Aussie rocker and ex-Cold Chisel vocalist, Jimmy Barnes).

The band Swanee released their debut single, Crazy Dreams, in September 1979.


The death of two members of the band’s touring road crew in a road accident on 12 April 1980 kept Swanee out of the limelight for a while.

The group fell apart for a while, then took another listen to the album they had been recording, scrapped it and started again.

The resulting album, Into The Night, was dedicated to the late Alan Dallow and Billy Rowe.

The 1982 album This Time It’s Different was a self-admitted attempt to score airplay on AM radio.

The album included cover versions of If I Were A Carpenter and Temporary Heartache and the single, Lady What’s Your Name?