After working with several Australian bands – most notably Young Modern – during the late 1970s and early 1980s, singer John Dowler formed The Zimmermen in June 1983.
They found immediate success on the Melbourne pub circuit but by the end of 1984, guitarist Steve Connolly and drummer Michael Barclay had left to join the Paul Kelly Band (which became The Coloured Girls the following year).
Peter Tulloch and Graeme Perry replaced them for the group’s debut single, Don’t Go to Sydney (January 1985,) which became one of the most successful independent Australian singles of 1986. With Neil Osborne joining as the permanent drummer, the band released their debut album, Rivers of Corn, which contained the single Ordinary Man.
Recording a follow-up was stalled in 1987 with more lineup changes. Unsatisfied with the recording by the former lineup, Dowler took the band back into the studio in November 1988.
The single What Really Hurts was released in February 1989, followed by the album Way Too Casual in April. A final national tour followed before The Zimmermen called it a day in 1990.
Dowler went on to release a solo album in 1993 titled Low Society.