Cold Chisel is a rock band that originated in Adelaide, Australia. They had chart success from the late 1970's up until their most recent album releases, with nine albums making the Australian top ten. Cold Chisel are regarded as having a distinctly Australian popularity and musicianship, exemplifying "pub rock" and highlighting the working class life in Australia.
Beginnings (1973-1978)[edit | edit source]
Originally named Orange, the band formed in Adelaide in 1973 as a heavy-metal cover-band comprising bassist Les Kaczmarek (died December 5, 2008), keyboard player Don Walker, guitarist Ian Moss and drummer Steve Prestwich (died 16 January, 2011). Seventeen-year-old singer Jimmy Barnes—known throughout his time with the band as Jim Barnes—joined in December 1973, taking leave from the band in 1975 for a brief stint as Bon Scott's replacement in Fraternity. The group changed its name several times before settling on Cold Chisel in 1974 after writing a song with that title. Barnes' relationship with other band members was volatile; as a Scot he often came to blows with Liverpool-born Prestwich and he left the band several times. During these periods Moss would handle vocals until Barnes returned.
Walker soon emerged as Cold Chisel's primary songwriter. Walker spent 1974 in Armidale, completing his studies and in 1975 Kaczmarek left the band and was replaced by Phil Small. Barnes' older brother John Swan was a member of Cold Chisel around this time, providing backing vocals and percussion but after several violent incidents he was fired.
Members[edit | edit source]