le Hoodoo Gurus portrait by Sandy Edwards

This New Year’s Eve marks the 40th anniversary of formation of the group known in the first couple of years of their existence as Le Hoodoo Gurus. To mark the occasion, head Hoodoo Dave Faulkner has made a short documentary about the band’s early days, utilizing conversations with Gurus co-founders Rod Radalj and Kimble Rendall, and the band’s original drummer James Baker. The untitled thirty-seven minute long film will be available to view for free on the group’s YouTube channel, for thirty-six hours only, starting 11am (10pm AEDT) Thursday December 31.

Dave Faulkner was with Kimble Rendall and Rod Radalj at a New Year’s Eve Party in Sydney on December 31, 1980, when, sometime in the wee small hours (the early hours of ’81), the trio decided to form a band. James Baker landed in Sydney some months later and Le Hoodoo Gurus line-up was complete.

Faulkner was a recent arrival in Sydney in 1980. He’d spent time in the US catching the Cramps, Fleshtones, Johnny Thunders and others following the demise of the now-legendary Perth-based punk band the Victims, the band he and James Baker had formed in 1977, and a short stint in the Manikins. Radalj had also already been in a band with Baker – the also-legendary Scientists whose split in the early months of ’81 precipitated Baker’s move to Sydney. Kimble Rendall had recently played with Sydney pop-culture punks XL Capris, best known for their version of  Channel 7’s nightly sign-off song ‘My City of Sydney’.

As Faulkner recently announced on the Gurus’ Facebook page: “To mark the (anniversary of) the occasion I have put together a 37 minute documentary talking about that night we first got the idea of playing together and some other stories from the early days of the band.

“I say ‘documentary’ but I’m using the term very loosely: it’s really just a couple of Zoom conversations I had with Kimble and Rod, firstly, and then James a week later (James was unable to join us all for the first one). I intercut those two Zoom chats together and tried to piece together the story of the band during those heady days of 1981 and ’82.

“It’s a bit long-winded in places but, hell, it’s free and it’s the unvarnished truth – or as best as we can remember it. I’m going to put it up on YouTube at around 10PM AEST (and I’ll post the link here). I’ll leave it up for 36 hours so that, wherever you are in the world, you can relive that New Year’s Eve with us from 40 years ago as we all get ready for the arrival of 2021.”

The Gurus’ ended the last year of the third decade of existence with the recent Double A-side 7″ vinyl release of their latest two singles, ‘Get Out of Dodge’/’Hung Out To Dry’, and are gearing up for a massive 2021.