Cold Chisel produced the canonical example of Australian pub rock, with a string of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and they are acknowledged as one of the most popular and successful Australian groups of the period, although this success and acclaim was almost completely restricted to Australia.
The band formed in Adelaide in 1973 as a heavy metal band called Orange around keyboard player Don Walker and original bassist Les Kascmarek and while hard rock remained at the core of their sound Cold Chisel displayed a remarkable versatility.
When Kascmarek left in 1975, Walker became the major creative force of the band. Built around Walker's superb songwriting, the group also featured the dazzling guitar and vocal talents of Ian Moss and the enormously powerful lead vocals of Scottish immigrant Jimmy Barnes.
While typically classified as a hard-driving rock and roll band, the Chisel repertoire included such Australian anthems as the landmark Vietnam War song "Khe Sanh", "Bow River", "Flame Trees" and "Saturday Night", but also included thoughtful ballads like "Choir Girl" (written about the subject of abortion), pop-flavoured love songs like "My Baby" and caustic political statements like "Star Hotel", an attack on the late-70s government of Malcolm Fraser and inspired by a riot at a Newcastle pub.
The music was not political in context, however Walker's songs were observations of everyday life within the Australian society and culture. One song from this period, "Misfits", which featured on the b-side to "My Baby", was written in the same vein as Chuck Berry, and was about homeless kids in the suburbs surrounding Sydney.
Cold Chisel weren't just a band, they were a lifestyle for many of their followers, who were known as some of the roughest in the land. This gave Chisel their hard living approach to their music and made them a tough live band as well.
More than 30 years after they originally played together, they attract generation after generation of new listeners. This is also evidence of Chisel's dominance of the pub rock era. They are the only Australian band to have sold more records after breakup than before and are among other bands that have become transgenerational.
"Khe Sanh" consistently ranks highly in lists of Australia's most popular songs and their music remains a staple of rock station playlists. The Ian Moss song "Never Before" (from the East LP) was chosen by FM rock station 2JJJ (Triple Jay) as the first record played on-air when the station made its transition from AM to FM in 1980.
By 1983 the band had reached the zenith of their career in Australia and with overseas markets reluctant to accept them, Cold Chisel began to disintegrate. Their abortive US sojourn was commemorated in Barnes' excoriating rocker "You Got Nothing I Want" from the Circus Animals album, an emotional volume created from the frustration of the band’s experiences overseas.
Increasing internal tensions and the pressures of touring took their toll and Steve Prestwich – who was often in conflict with Barnes – left the band, to be replaced by veteran Australian drummer Ray Arnott (ex Spectrum).
Shortly afterward, in 1984, Cold Chisel announced their split and a series of farewell concerts, for which Prestwich re-joined. That tour became a legend in itself and was not without incident when Barnes lost his voice before the Sydney shows, which then had to be rescheduled.
The band's final performance was filmed for the documentary concert film The Last Stand, which remains to this day the best-selling concert film of any single Australian act.In mid 2011 the group announced a series of upcoming concerts.
Frequently Asked Questions
BOOKING Cold Chisel
How to book Cold Chisel?Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Cold Chisel for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at AAE Music represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire musicians, bands, or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Cold Chisel, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Cold Chisel or any other artist of your choice.
How much does it cost to book Cold Chisel?Booking fees for Cold Chisel, or any other artist, singer, or celebrity, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of the performance, and the location of the event. Booking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Cold Chisel, please fill out our booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
Who is the agent for Cold Chisel?AAE Music has successfully secured celebrity talent like Cold Chisel for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service artist booking agency, we have access to virtually any artist, singer, or performer in the world. Our artist booking agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the musician or band of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Cold Chisel for your next private or corporate event.
What is a full-service talent booking agency?AAE Music, the music division of speaker bureau and celebrity booking agency All American Entertainment, acts as a "buyers agent" in the artist booking process. We exclusively represent talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure an artist, musician, band, or musical duo for performances, personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Cold Chisel or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Cold Chisel or any other artist or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please visit How We Work.
Cold Chisel performs rock music and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, or other music performances. The estimated booking fee range to book Cold Chisel for your event, Please Contact. Cold Chisel has more than 46.2K listeners worldwide and really knows how to entertain your audience. Similar artists are Jimmy Barnes, The Angels, James Reyne, Paul Kelly, Hoodoo Gurus, Daryl Braithwaite, You Am I . Contact AAE Music agency for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Cold Chisel for an upcoming event.
This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of popular musicians and bands to consider for performances at corporate events, fundraising galas, or university events. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.
All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any artist or celebrity on this site. AAE Music is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.
If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.