Cold Chisel

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Cold Chisel are a rock band that originated in Adelaide, Australia. It is one of the most acclaimed Australian rock bands of all time, with a string of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s and huge sales that continue to this day, although its success and acclaim was almost completely restricted to Australia and New Zealand.


Beginnings 1973–78

Originally named Orange[1], the band was formed in Adelaide in 1973 as a heavy metal act covering songs by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Free by bassist Les Kaczmarek and keyboard player Ted Broniecki, organist Don Walker, guitarist Ian Moss and drummer Steve Prestwich. Seventeen-year-old singer Jimmy Barnes - known throughout his time with the band as Jim Barnes — joined in December '73, taking leave from the band in 1975 for a brief stint as Bon Scott's replacement in Fraternity[2]. 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[3].

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