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OriginAdelaide, South Australia, Australia
Years active1976 (1976)–1978 (1978)
LabelsSuicide Records
Past members

JAB were an Australian punk rock band, which formed in Adelaide in 1976. The original line-up was Johnny Crash (a.k.a. Janis Friedenfelds) on drums and vocals, Ash Wednesday on bass guitar, synthesiser and tapes, and Bohdan X (a.k.a. Bodhan Kubiakowski) on guitar and vocals. Johnny Crash died on 24 January 2014.


JAB's name is an initialism of its founding members' first names: Johnny Crash (a.k.a. Janis Friedenfelds) on drums and vocals, Ash Wednesday on bass guitar, synthesiser and tapes, Bohdan X (a.k.a. Bodhan Kubiakowski) on guitar and vocals, and Boris on guitar.[1][2][3] They started in Adelaide in 1976 as an experimental group, "taking inspiration from the likes of Eno, David Bowie and certain German electronic artists such as Kraftwerk, Neu!, Faust and Can."[1]

In 1977 Bob Stopa replaced Boris as second guitarist.[1] JAB defied strict categorisation and split audiences with their abrasive sound. Adelaide's music press described their sound as "synthetic shock rock";[4][5] with one contemporary critic opining that it was "experimental, confrontational synthpunk."[4] Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, felt they adopted "a brasher punk stance... part of the... new wave scene."[1]

JAB relocated to Melbourne in August 1977 joining the punk scene and playing alongside the Boys Next Door and X-Ray-Z.[1] Bohdan later recalled, "They were very exciting times, we were changing the face of the music scene and we all knew it. .... All the bands on the scene just kind of found each other. Usually it was through playing together at places like the Tiger Lounge in Richmond, Bombay Rock in Brunswick and of course Bananas down in St Kilda."[6]

JAB signed to Suicide Records in January 1978 and two of their tracks, "Blonde and Bombed" and "Let's Go", were included on the label's compilation album by various artists, Lethal Weapons.[1][6] In May Pierre Voltaire (a.k.a. Peter Sutcliffe or Pierre Sutcliffe) (ex-Teenage Radio Stars) joined on bass guitar, allowing Wednesday to concentrate on keyboards. The band played their final show in August 1978 at the Crystal Ballroom (then known as the Seaview Ballroom), which was also the first gig ever played at that venue.[7] JAB were later recognised as one of the first Australian bands to combine electronica with a punk aesthetic and hard-edged guitar sound.[3][4]

Bohdan X joined members of the Chosen Few to form Bohdan and the Instigators.[1] He later issued solo records, including a four-track, 12-inch extended play, Fear of Flying, on Rumour Records in December 1983 and the mini-album, Kingsnake on Rampant Records in 1988.[1] He later hosted a show on the community radio station, 3RRR-FM.[1]

Wednesday, Crash and Sutcliffe joined Sean Kelly (ex-Teenage Radio Stars) to form the first line-up of Models.[8] Sutcliffe was replaced on bass guitar after six months.[8] He won $503,000 in May 2014, on Australian TV quiz show, Million Dollar Minute.[9] Wednesday stayed with Models for a year, after which he played with the Metronomes, Modern Jazz and Crashland.[8] He issued a solo single in 1980, "Love by Numbers"/"Boring Instrumental",[8] and became a touring member with the German band, Einstürzende Neubauten. Crash left Models in 1981 and went on to play with Sacred Cowboys (1982–85), Beasts of Bourbon (1983), the Slaughtermen (1984) and Tombstone Hands.[2][8][10] Johnny Crash (Janis Friedenfelds) died on 24 January 2014.[3][11]


  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 6 November 2010.{{cite encyclopedia}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link) Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  • Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara; Paul McHenry (2002) [1987]. The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1.[12] Note: [on-line] version established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition. As from September 2010, [on-line] version appears to have an Internal Service Error.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i McFarlane, 'JAB' entry. Archived from the original on 23 August 2004. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b JAB members at Australian Rock Database:
    • Models: Holmgren, Magnus; Baird, Paul; Aubrey, Ross; Acosta, Lisa. "The Models". hem.passagen.se. Australian Rock Database. Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
    • Teenage Radio Stars: Holmgren, Magnus. "Spred/Teenage Radio Stars". hem.passagen.se. Australian Rock Database. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
    • Sacred Cowboys: Holmgren, Magnus; Gray, Garry. "Sacred Cowboys". hem.passagen.se. Australian Rock Database. Archived from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Eliezer, Christie. "Models/Sacred Cowboys Drummer Johnny Crash Dies". Beat Magazine. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Best, Sophie. "Can't Stop It! Australian Post-Punk 1978-82". Beat Magazine, Issue 785.
  5. ^ Nichols, David (22 October 2007). "Lethal Weapons" 30 years on, messandnoise.com. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  6. ^ a b Honeysuckle, TJ (4 October 2007). Suicide by Lethal Weapon? Corporate LP in punk clothing still prompts debate, 30 years on Archived 24 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine, i94bar.com. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  7. ^ "Bringing Back the Ballroom Blitz", The Age. 16 February 2005. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d e McFarlane, 'Models' entry. Archived from the original on 4 June 2004. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  9. ^ Knox, David (5 May 2014). "$500,000 prize won on Million Dollar Minute". TV Tonight. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  10. ^ McFarlane, 'Sacred Cowboys' entry. Archived from the original on 29 August 2004. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  11. ^ Cashmere, Paul (25 January 2014). "Models Drummer Johnny Crash Dies". Noise11. Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  12. ^ Who's who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry. catalogue. National Library of Australia. 2002. ISBN 9781865038919. Retrieved 6 November 2010.

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