In 1987 Jonny Gretsch formed The Wasted Ones with drummer Russell Hunt and electric bassist Peter Campy during their first rehearsal in the back bar of Sydney’s Petersham Inn (“Max’s”).
The newly formed Wasted Ones performed a wide variety of material encompassing RnB, Blues and Rockabilly covers from the 50’s and 60’s and also original material. Their many gigs centred mostly around “The Petersham Inn”, “The Hopetoun” and other inner city haunts.
1989 saw a change to the line-up with Gary Mansfield (brother of Pete Campey), hitting the skins and Arthur Taylor playing the electric bass.
In October 1989, they recorded an independently released, self-titled eight-track cassette written mostly by Jonny Gretsch. Soon after the recording, Arthur Taylor began to play the upright bass almost exclusively, changing the band’s sound to a very unique Australian sounding “Rockabilly Boogie”.
In February 1982, after years of successfully playing gigs in many Sydney and interstate hotels, The Wasted Ones recorded and released a self-titled six track EP that received “high rotation” airplay on 2JJJ. In support of the album, the band shot a video clip, which was broadcast by Act’s “rage” music program, and only served to build up the hype surrounding The Wasted Ones.
Riding on the wave of success, the band toured intensively around South Australia and Sydney, sometimes playing up to four shows per week. The tour included gigs in Kings Cross supporting Australian artists such as James Reyne and Stevie Wright, and a residency at The Marlborough Hotel in Newtown.
In 1993 The Wasted Ones disbanded.
Then in 1996, Jonny Gretsch reformed Jonny Gretsch and the Wasted Ones along with Adam Campbell and Joe Crappis. The new line-up gave the band a modern “driving edge” sound.
With Joe Crappis on upright bass (Slim Jims) and Adam Campbell (both formerly from psychobilly band Ghost Train) on drums, their highlight of the year was an invitation to the Tweed Heads “Wintersun” festival-Australia’s biggest Rock n roll and Rockabilly event. Jonny Gretsch and The Wasted Ones were supported by “The Runaway Boys”, later known as “The Living End”, current platinum selling artists.
The Wasted Ones were put on hold for six months while Jonny Gretsch joined country band “Big Mexican Dinner” with Jimmy Niven (Sports) and Mark Carsen (I Spit On Your Gravey). Big Mexican Dinner played Tamworth Country Music Festival and then disbanded to concentrate on their individual projects.
Jonny Gretsch reformed the band in late 97 with drummer Dave Warren (Swamp Cats, The Missing Link) and upright bass player Dean Upston (both formerly from Atomic Creepers) and in 2000 recorded their first full length C.D.album, ”Snakes N Ladders”. Keen to shake the “stereotypical” Rockabilly label associated with the band, they employed the services of “Rose Tattoo’s” Pete Wells (who guest plays on “Alcoholic Blues”) to produce the album and Engineered by Russel Pilling.” Snakes N Ladders” explores an original cross between modern Rockabilly Country and Traditional hard edge Rock n Roll Boogie Blues.
Since the independent release of “Snakes N Ladders” the album has received favourable reviews in “Juice” and “Live To Ride” magazine. To promote the album the band toured and headlined Melbourne’s 2002 “Rhythm and Roots” festival with the album receiving good airplay on 3PBS, 3RRR and other independent stations. That year the band also appeared at the “Narooma Rockabilly and Blues Festival”.
Jonny Gretsch’s Wasted Ones current line up includes Jonny Gretsch on Guitar and Vocals, Dave Warren on drums and Dean Upston on upright bass.
For information contact:
P.O.box 551, Marrickville 2204 N.S.W