#461 ‘Happy Man’ by the Sunnyboys (24 Apr)

Album: The Sunnyboys, 1981

Justification: Because I saw the Sunnyboys play it yesterday, that’s why.

In 1981, all Australian bands could levitate. That's just what they did.

I didn’t even know that they were playing until I was waiting for the bus to Dig It Up, the Hoodoo Gurus Invitational – a day long festival of awesomeness at four venues which also included the Fleshtones (amazing), the Sonics (amazing), Rob Younger and Deniz Tek from Radio Birdman (amazing), Royal Headache (amazing), Redd Kross (amazing), the 5678s (abysmal) and a bunch of other bands before the Gurus played Stoneage Romeos start to finish. And there was a band in the middle of the day called Kids in Dust, who I just assumed was some coolsie combo I wasn’t aware of. But no: it turned out to be the Sunnyboys, playing for the first time since 1991 after being split in the 80s by the pressures of stardom and, rather more importantly, the increasingly intense schizophrenia suffered by singer/songwriter/guitarist Jeremy Oxley. In fact, when the band (original line up, fact fans) took the stage, Jeremy had a tech getting him comfortable, picking up his water for him and so forth. He also had the enormous build that is a symptom for long term use of antipsychotics (Daniel Johnston, you have a kindred spirit here).

But then he opened his mouth and dammit, it was like he’d never been away. He also both cooked and wailed on the guitar. I hadn’t really had time to get excited about seeing them, but every song was a “AH! I LOVE this!” moment – ‘Love to Rule’, ‘Show Me Some Discipline’, ‘Alone With You’, and this, their debut single (well, not counting their self-titled EP from the year before, technically). The Enmore was packed to the rafters and I have never seen that many people crying with joy at a gig before.

A magical moment. And one hell of a song.

SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010: Oh, the Jam: was there ever any better song you did than ‘Town Called Malice’? No. No there was not.

SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2011: Eh, the 22nd’s close enough:have Magazine and ‘Shot By Both Sides’.


 456. Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper: Elvis is Everywhere (11 Apr)

457. Jens Lekman: You Are The Light (12 Apr)

458. The Magnetic Fields: Andrew in Drag (13 Apr)

459. Cracker: Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now) (16 Apr)

460. Of Montreal: Disconnect the Dots (17 Apr)

7 thoughts on “#461 ‘Happy Man’ by the Sunnyboys (24 Apr)

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  6. This is a wonderful song – I can’t believe you got to see them a couple of weeks ago! I have the record on vinyl, and I don’t know what made me think of this song – but randomly I bought the single from the internet, to play with some INXS and Hoodoo Gurus. Maybe some sort of mid life crisis? Either way it’s a great song to play loud and sing to while drinking booze.

  7. im wanting to start a cover band off the sunny boys .happy man is my fav.and i beleieve i do it well after a few drinks aswell.best australian band ever in my opinion.

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