Celebrating Legendary Music Venue The Bondi Lifesaver

Celebrating Legendary Music Venue The Bondi Lifesaver

the bondi lifesaver club
The Bondi Lifesaver book cover (Photo: Image supplied)

In his great song "Best Years of Our Lives" Richard Clapton sings, "Whatever happened to the days way back, the Bondi Lifesaver was always raging, standing here in Oxford Street and the ghosts are howling…".

The Bondi Lifesaver, at 56 Ebley Street Bondi Junction, was Sydney's legendary 1970s rock n roll cubby house where the greatest Aussie bands and serious music lovers hung out and played. 

AC/DC's Bon Scott called it home and loved playing the pinball machines, chatting to people and riding his motorbike up the front steps and various people lived in the rundown terrace next door that belonged to Lifesaver owners John and Kim Parkes including Dragon, Jimmy Barnes and his brother John 'Swanee' Swan, and Jimmy and John's mother Dot even worked in the kitchen. 

DJs who spun vinyl in between bands included Angry Anderson and Marc Hunter, ratbag and best-selling writer Robert G Barrett was one of the hardest bouncers the place ever had and a crazed, infamous Sydney hit man once shoved a gun under a table and into promoter Michael Chugg's balls, all set to pull the trigger. 

The infamous Mr. Asia drug syndicate made moves on the joint and Abe 'Mr. Sin' Saffron offered fortunes and threatened violence so he could buy the place but settled for running the cigarette and pinball machines.

Numerous famous musicians met their future wives there – some, like Buzz Bidstrup, are even still married to them - and it was while chilling at the Lifesaver that Midnight Oil made the fateful decision to quit their day jobs and be a full-time band.

It was that kind of place, and many people including musician and writer Craig Griffiths loved it. 

After eight years of writing and research Craig has just finished a book about the joint, and it’s a great way to get to know some of those ghosts Richard Clapton referred to in his song. Grab a copy and step inside the Bondi Lifesaver to discover sordid stories from 120 musicians, roadies & punters, 180 rare photos, 75 posters, flyers & clippings and more tales of sex, drugs, rock & roll and gangsters than you can poke a Buddha stick at.

Craig is self-publishing and printing in Australia rather than going for a cheap quote from China because he believes in supporting local jobs, so go to thebondilifesaver.com to see who’s in the book and then order yourself a copy of this important and fun record of 1970s Aussie rock and roll history.


the bondi lifesaver book

We reckon this book is a must-have for any fans of Aussie rock music, and we recommend supporting its release via Craig's Kickstarter campaign here. 

If you remember those legendary nights at this iconic venue, you can re-live the music of some of the artists featured in the book via our Glory Days Of Aussie Pub Rock playlists.

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