Thursday 25 April 2019


Xanadu was formed in the 60s in Queensland town Bundaberg. The band was made up of three family members, Claire, Don and Barrie Morrison, from a sugarcane farm at Moore Park Beach, Wayne Anderson, also from a sugar cane farm at North Gooburrum, and Chris Button, whose parents lived in Bundaberg. Jeff Askew, secretary of the Official Xanadu Fan Club, said that in 1967, after performing at the Federal Hotel in Bundaberg, as well as around the Bundaberg district for a number of years, the group left on an extensive tour of Australia's eastern seaboard. "They finally ended up in Sydney where they quickly made a name for themselves, appearing on many Sydney TV stations as well as on the national entertainment show at that time, Brian Henderson's Bandstand," Mr Askew said. "On this show the group performed their second single titled Isabella''. They recorded initially on the Polydor label.

In May 1971 the band signed on for a seven-month tour of Allied bases in Vietnam. Australian bands sponsored by the Australian government spent no more than 14 days in Vietnam, and then performed only to Anzacs based in and around Nui Dat and Vung Tau. Xanadu, however, travelled the length and breadth of the country, from the DMZ out to the Cambodian border, and down into the Mekong Delta. Their bass player, Barrie Morrison, was just 16, while the oldest member of the group, Wayne Anderson, had his 21st birthday in Vietnam. "After Vietnam, Xanadu travelled to Thailand where they soon had a massive following, and even enjoyed their own television show on Bangkok TV3," Mr Askew said. "While in Thailand the group were asked by Bee Gee Maurice Gibb to go to the UK. This they did via a few weeks in Singapore."

In Europe the group enjoyed massive success in Germany, Holland and Belgium. For the next decade Xanadu toured, recorded or rubbed shoulders with many of the greats of that era - The Bee Gees, The Sex Pistols, Marc Bolan of T.Rex - who recorded his last hit record ''I Love to Boogie'' in the Xanadu-owned London studio, Decibel. Guitarist and vocalist Chris Button was killed in a beach buggy accident in the late 1970s. By 1982 the band had gone their separate ways and all had returned to Australia. In 2003 Group members were awarded the Vietnam Logistical and Support Medal by the Australian Government for their valued work in Vietnam. Drummer Don Morrison died in 2019. Claire Morrison died in 2023.


Claire Morrison (vocals/keyboards), Don Morrison (drums), Barrie Morrison (bass), Wayne Anderson (vocals/guitar), Chris Button (guitar), Dave Atkins (keyboards)

''Isabella / Time'' 1969 Polydor
''Too Good For You / Shake It Up, Get Moving'' 1971 Denke
''Zsa Zsa / When The Lights Went Out'' 1977 Astor
''Baby Face / Dance'' 1977 Astor

'So Far From Home' 1977 Astor



No comments:

Post a Comment