Rob Younger

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Rob Younger
Birth nameRobert Kent Younger
BornSydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Musician
  • producer
Years active1974–present

Rob Younger (born Robert Kent Younger) is an Australian rock musician, vocalist, songwriter and producer. He is a founding mainstay of the punk rock group Radio Birdman, and he is a pioneer of the local independent music scene. Radio Birdman, formed with Deniz Tek on guitar in November 1974, was one of the first punk rock bands ever formed in Australia, and it is considered one of the most influential and crucial bands in Australian music history. Younger formed a short-term super-group, New Race, in 1981. He also formed New Christs in that year, who is still active today.

Rob Younger, during a performance by Radio Birdman in Melbourne in 1996.

Younger undertook production work, particularly with bands on the Citadel Records label. He has teamed up with the label's engineer-producer, Alan Thorne, and has worked independently in Australia and Europe. Younger and Radio Birdman are cited as influential by various rock artists, including The Hives and Silverchair. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2007, Daniel Johns of Silverchair announced the induction of Radio Birdman into the ARIA Hall of Fame.


Rob Younger was lead vocalist of the Rats in 1974 alongside Warwick Gilbert on guitar, Mick Lynne, Ron Keeley on drums and Carl Rourke on bass guitar.[1][2][3] They played cover versions of material by New York Dolls, the Stooges, and Velvet Underground.[3] Younger shared a house with fellow musician, Deniz Tek, who was a member of TV Jones.[3] Younger, Keeley, Rourke and Tek on lead guitar formed a punk rock group, Radio Birdman, in Sydney in November 1974 with Philip "Pip" Hoyle on keyboards.[1][2][3] Rourke was soon replaced on bass guitar by Gilbert.[1] Fellow Australian musician, and some-time rock music journalist, Vince Lovegrove, observed, "[they] turned the volume up full bore on their amplifiers, screamed out about revolution into the microphones, raised clenched fists in the air and in the process heralded in a brand new era for Australian rock'n'roll music."[4]

The group's debut four-track extended play, Burn My Eye, appeared in October 1976.[1][2][3] It was followed by their debut studio album, Radios Appear, in July 1977. Younger co-wrote a track, "Aloha Steve and Danno", for the international version, which appeared early in the following year. However, the group disbanded in June 1978.[1][2][3] According to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, "From the outset, [they] played an Americanised brand of rock'n'roll that was totally honest and totally committed... Although generally loathed and shunned by the mainstream music industry of the day... [as] one of the most potent rock bands ever to emerge from Australia, [they] holds pride of place as THE cult band of the last 25 years. The band's iconoclastic approach, uncompromising do-it-yourself ethos and outsider status in the face of overwhelming hostility remain the stuff of legend."[1]

Younger and Keeley formed the Other Side in 1978 with Clyde Bramley on bass guitar and Charlie Georges on guitar (both ex-the Hellcats).[2][5] Mark Kingsmill (also ex-the Hellcats) replaced Keeley on drums.[2][5] The group disbanded in the following year.[2] In 1980 Younger was involved in production work on a four-track extended play, The Visitors, by local punk group of the same name – which included former band mates Hoyle, Keeley and Tek.[2][6]

The New Christs were formed in 1980 as a hard rock group by Younger and Bramley (ex-the Hitmen) with Bruce "Cub" Callaway on guitar (X-Men, the Saints), John Hoey on keyboards (X-Men) and Don McGloneon on drums (Bedhogs).[2][7] The line-up never performed live but released a single, "Face a New God" (1981), which was co-written by Younger and Callaway.[8] McFarlane described it as "searing acid-punk" which has "since emerged as one of the most collectable artefacts of the Australian punk/new wave era."[7] The group disbanded later that year.

Early in 1981 Younger, Gilbert and Tek formed a short-term punk super-group, New Race, with Ron Asheton (of the Stooges, Iggy Pop Band) on guitar, and Dennis "Machine Gun" Thompson (of MC5) on drums.[2][9] They toured Australia's east coast during April and May and recorded a live album, The First and Last, which was issued posthumously in the following year.[2][9] It was co-produced by Younger with Charles Fisher and Alan Thorne.[2][9] McFarlane felt it was "one of the greatest live albums in the history of Australian rock'n'roll... hard'n'fast Detroit rock'n'roll at its very best, with Tek and Asheton's incendiary guitar interplay well to the fore."[9]

The New Christs reformed in June 1983 with Younger joined by Kingsmill, Chris Masuak on guitar and Tony Robertson on bass guitar (all from the Hitmen) and Kent Steedman on guitar (also in the Celibate Rifles).[2][7] The group, according to AllMusic's Geoff Ginsberg, "have managed to persevere through many personnel changes, as well as Younger's many commitments producing other bands."[10] They issued five studio albums, Distemper (1989), Lower Yourself (1997), We Got This! (2002),[2][7] Gloria (May 2009)[11] and Incantations (2014).[10][12]

Younger had teamed up with the Celibate Rifles on a live four-track EP, Rob Younger and the Celibate Rifles (1991), which was recorded in July 1988 at one of that group's performances in Backnang, Germany. He had joined them on stage to provide vocals for cover versions of "I-94" (originally by Radio Birdman), "She's so Fine" (the Easybeats), "Shakin' All Over" (Johnny Kidd & the Pirates) and "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" (AC/DC).

In April 1997 he was interviewed by Lovegrove: he described his recent work with New Christs and as a producer for other artists, "Yeah, I haven't done anything exceptionally odd, just work in studios, written songs and produced bands. I've got a family to support, a little girl aged 18 months and a four year old boy, so I've even had to work a few day jobs at various times. The band doesn't have a big audience in Australia, so I'm champing at the bit to do this European tour. I think the lack of commitment on our part over the past few years hasn't helped our Australian following, so we've had a real slump. But a band's only as good as the songs that it writes, and we've got some good songs at the moment. We can rock, we know how to rock".[4]

Younger has participated in reformations of Radio Birdman in 1996 and the following year; they reunited sporadically thereafter. In July 2007 the group were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.[13] They had refused an earlier nomination in the previous year but relented according to Shane Pinnegar, "to pacify friends & family who wanted to see them acknowledged for their contribution to Australian rock n’ roll."[14] Younger reflected, "I didn't really want to accept [the Aria] because I didn't think the music business was ever really on our side, but there were people that did help us out, whether they were journalists or the odd agent or whatever. But generally, of course, I was always on my high horse about what assholes most of the people in the music business were, but I was just scattering my antipathy around at the world really. I don't know where it all fell, whether it landed on the right people or anything like that."[14]

Production work[edit]

Title Artists Details
Phantom EP The Visitors 1980 EP, Phantom Records
The First and the Last New Race August 1982, WEA
The Name of the Game City Kids 1983
City Kids City Kids 1984
Next to Nothing Died Pretty August 1985 EP, Citadel Records
Strange Device The Melting Skyscraper 1985, Waterfront Records
Love Will Grow The Stems February 1986 EP, Citadel Records
Destroy Dull City The Psychotic Turnbuckles August 1986 EP, Rattlesnake Records
Free Dirt Died Pretty August 1986, Citadel Records
"Indignation" Porcelain Bus August 1986, Citadel Records
The Orphans Parade City Kids 1986
Long Sweet Dreams Playmates 1986
In the Pouch Joeys 1987
This Is the Planet Meera Atkinson 1987
Vital Hours Fixed Up 1987 EP
Lost Died Pretty June 1988, Blue Mosque/Festival Records
Home Sweet Home Asylum 1988
Out Happy Hate Me Nots 1988
Headcleaner Lime Spiders 1988, Virgin Records
Taste This! Bits of Kids 1989 EP
Have no More Toys Went Berserk 1989 EP
Wired Horny Toads 1989 EP
Distemper New Christs August 1989, Blue Mosque/Citadel Records
The Smiler with a Knife Toys Went Berserk 1989
Mindless Thrust 1989
Sarah's not Falling in Love The Plunderers April 1990 EP, Citadel Records
The Mutated Noddys The Mutated Noddys 1990
Da Da Da Da Club Hoy 1991
Quit Slylarking The Barbarellas 1991 EP
Fringe The Barbarellas 1991 EP
Home Movie The Plunderers July 1991 EP, Citadel Records
The Lost Generation The Trilobites February 1992
Heaven on a Stick The Celibate Rifles March 1992, Festival Records
A Place to Live Happy Hate Me Nots 1992
Dateless Dudes Club Hard-Ons May 1992, Waterfront Records/Festival Records
Formaldehyde The Screaming Tribesmen 1993, Survival Records
Caressing Swine (...And Some History) Died Pretty June 1993
Woe Betide New Christs 1995 EP
Sold Died Pretty February 1996, Columbia Records
Lower Yourself New Christs 1997, Citadel Records
Remember The River Halfway (band) November 2006, Laughing Outlaw Records
Cremation Day In The Court Of Miracles Dimi Dero Inc. 2010
Hikikomori HITS March 2014
Transmission The Volcanics October 2015



  1. ^ a b c d e f McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Broderick Smith'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 9 August 2004.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Australian Rock Database entries:
    • Rob Younger: Holmgren, Magnus. "Rob Younger". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 19 October 2003. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
    • Radio Birdman (1974–78, 1995–96, 1997, 2002, 2005–08): Holmgren, Magnus; Weld, Henry. "Radio Birdman". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
    • New Race (1981): Holmgren, Magnus; Weld, Henry. "New Race". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
    • The New Christs (1981, 1983–84, 1987–90, 1992–2001): Holmgren, Magnus; Weld, Henry. "The New Christs". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 6 December 2003. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Nimmervoll, Ed. "Radio Birdman". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 26 July 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b Lovegrove, Vince (April 1994). "Lovegrove's Backtracks". InMusic&Media. Archived from the original on 22 March 1998. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b McFarlane, 'Died Pretty' entry. Archived from the original on 6 August 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  6. ^ McFarlane, 'Denis Tek' entry. Archived from the original on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d McFarlane, 'The New Christs' entry. Archived from the original on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  8. ^ "'Face a New God' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 5 November 2015. Note: User may have to click "Search again" and provide details at "Enter a title:" e.g. Face a New God; or at "Performer:" New Christs
  9. ^ a b c d McFarlane, 'New Race' entry. Archived from the original on 22 June 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  10. ^ a b Ginsberg, Geoff. "New Christs | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 November 2017. Note: additional information available at tabs, e.g. Discography
  11. ^ "Gloria". The Age. Fairfax Media. 7 August 2009. p. 10. ISSN 0312-6307. Jeff Glorfeld Gloria The New Christs (Impedance Records) 3/5 Twenty-odd years ago, Rob Younger's fingerprints were found all over the Australian indie-rock scene as singer
  12. ^ Ironside, Gus (25 August 2014). "The New Christs: Incantations – Album Review". Louder Than War. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  13. ^ Pope, Mark (14 June 2007). "Microsoft Word – Media Release – ARIA Announce Further 2007 Hall of Fame Inductees" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  14. ^ a b Pinnegar, Shane (October 2014). "Interview – Rob Younger, Radio Birdman". 100% Rock Magazine. Archived from the original on 30 September 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Rob Younger | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 November 2017.