Monday, 9 September 2013


Sixites instrumental surf band that formed in 1961 in Sydney from the remnants of two groups, Paul Dever and the Denvermen and Digger Revell and the Lonely Ones. The new group experienced even more changes in its line-up before settling on the combination of Digger Revell (vocals), Les Green (guitar), Alex Ihasz (guitar), Alan Crowe (bass) and Phil Bower (drums). It remained intact for most of their recording career. The group played a mixture of vocal and instrumental songs. At first, they organized their own dances, but then local promoter Bill McColl took over as manager.

He quickly secured them a regular gig at the Bankstown Capitol Theatre dance. He also arranged for their television debut appearance on Six O’Clock Rock. Throughout 1961 they performed continuously, gaining experience and a following. In 1962 they cut their first two instrumental recordings in a small studio in the city. They took their recordings to EMI Records who signed them to their subsidiary label HMV Records. The debut single, ''The Mexican/Outback'', attributed to Digger Revell's Denvermen
was released in late 1962 but unfortunately it was a flop. They met Johnny Devlin when they backed him at the Teen Canteen, a teenage dance club located in Pitt Street, Sydney. Their next single was an instrumental called ''Surfside'', which was written and produced by Johnny Devlin.

It became a national hit for one week in early 1963 and was subsequently released in the US, UK and South Africa. They were the first group to achieve Australian chart success with a surfing instrumental, months in advance of any American releases. Johnny Devlin took over as the group’s manager and guided them through their most successful period. He wrote and produced the group’s next Top 40 hit singles an instrumental called ''Nightrider''. The band recorded one vocal track called ''Building Castles In The Air'' that was credited to Digger Revell with The Denvermen. Johnny Devlin signed the band to the RCA label where he used them minus Revell, as a backing band on his own live performances and recordings. 

With the onslaught of Beatlemania in 1964 the band with Digger out front changed tact and became a 'beat' band. The band continued to record instrumentals as well. Their 1965 cover of The Everly Brothers' "Bird Dog" was the group's first vocal recording without Digger. Their final recording with Digger was ''I'm Gonna Send You Back To Georgia'' (and their last for RCA) was recorded in 1965. Digger left the band for a solo career at the end of 1965. He later formed his own band (The Digger Revell Revue) who toured Vietnam and the USA. During this time bassist Alan Crowe was replaced by Kenny Kramer. The band had a gig at the well-known Yagoona Pub and became the resident band there. Les Green left after about 4 months after he was offered a spot in a band called The Sundowners – a NZ show band that featured singer John Rowles. 

Frank Kennington (ex-Missing Links) and Mick Liber joined the band and they continued on when another lineup change occurred when Alex Ihasz decided to leave the band and move to Canberra. This final lineup of The Denvermen moved back to HMV and released their last single "I Can Tell/Time Will Bring Everything" and evidently broke up soon around the time that the single came out. Kennington and Liber formed the first version of Python Lee Jackson in December 1965. Drummer Phil Bower died in 2015. Les Green died in 2016. Alex Ihasz died in 2023.


Digger Revell (vocals), Les Green (guitar), Alex Ihasz (guitar), Alan Crowe (bass),
Phil Bower (drums), Ron Patton (sax), Kenny Kramer (bass), Mick Liber (guitar), 
Frank Kennington (vocals)


Surfside / Lisa Maree

Digger Revell's Denver Men

5 JAN '63


Night Rider / Blue Mountains
The Denvermen
18 MAY '63#37
Avalon Stomp / Harbour Cruise
The Denvermen
3 AUG '63#25
Stomp Fever / The Sun-Seeker
The Denvermen
12 OCT '63#39
Mystery Wave / Spanish Sands
The Denvermen
28 DEC '63#74
My Little Rocker's Turned Surfie
Digger Revell and The Denvermen
18 JAN '64#32
Just Call on Me
Digger Revell and The Denvermen
2 MAY '64#90
Jenny, Jenny
Digger Revell and The Denvermen
28 NOV '64#71





  1. Hello , I knew FRANK KENNINGTON - HE was in UNIT 4 out of England - and in 1964 made HIS way over to Australia then eventually landed in Los Angeles , California - where we met in 1982 - HE was in the audience of one of my shows at the Cathay De Grande night club in Hollywood - We formed a band called The Hooligans in 1984 - If you want to experience some of those days just go to youtube and hear some of FRANK KENNINGTON singing his songs at the Music Machine club October 1984 - To find the videos that I posted use these tag words English Frank Hollywood Joe the Music Machine October 1984 I hope you will all find it interesting , Joe Nania (also known as "Hollywood" Joe)

    1. Thanks very much mate I will check them out. Cheers

  2. I became a friend of Phil Bower back in 2013. He was a frail man living in Deception Bay Queensland, Australia. Not long after we met ( through my then now ex partner), Phil was diagnosed with throat cancer. I took him to appointments etc. Unfortunately he put up a good fight. I was with him when he passed and have his ashes. I only knew the ‘Old’ Phil, full of humour and loved to watch the lawn bowls. He told me so many stories of his past. We dressed him up in tinsel this year for Christmas, not morbid at all, Phil would have laughed and laughed xx

  3. Sadly Alex Ihasz passed away today, 25 March 2023. He was my dear brother and the inspiration to guide me to a musical career. Vale brother

    1. Very sad to hear that. Thanks for informing me.

  4. A terrific guy. Yarralumla, sailing on lake Jinderbyne. His red Sprite.