Steve Prestwich

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Steve Prestwich
Birth nameSteven William Prestwich
Born(1954-03-05)5 March 1954
Liverpool, England
OriginAdelaide, South Australia, Australia
Died16 January 2011(2011-01-16) (aged 56)
GenresRock, pub rock
Occupation(s)Musician, producer
InstrumentsDrums, percussion, guitar, vocals
Years active1970–2011
Associated actsCold Chisel, Little River Band

Steven William Prestwich (5 March 1954 – 16 January 2011) was an English-born Australian drummer, guitarist, singer and songwriter. After relocating from Liverpool, Prestwich was the founding and long-term drummer for the band Cold Chisel, which formed in Adelaide in 1973. He wrote the Cold Chisel songs "When the War Is Over" and "Forever Now". Prestwich also had a short spell with the Little River Band in the 1980s. He released two solo albums in the 2000s.

Prestwich died on 16 January 2011 following surgery to remove a brain tumour, two months before his 57th birthday.[1]


Prestwich was born in Liverpool, England in 1954. He was a member of a folk-rock band called Sandy in 1970.[2] His family relocated to Adelaide, South Australia in 1971 when he was 17. He was a member of Elizabeth band, Ice, with bassist Michael Smith, later of Scandal, and guitarist John Pryer from 1971 to 1973.

In 1973, he was the founding drummer for heavy metal group, Orange, with the line-up of Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss, Don Walker and Leszek Kaczmarek.[3] Orange evolved into Cold Chisel in 1974 and a year later, Kaczmarek was replaced by Phil Small. Prestwich remained a member until early 1983 and during his time in Cold Chisel, he wrote "When the War Is Over" and "Forever Now".[4] Both songs appeared on the 1982 album Circus Animals.[5] He co-wrote with Walker the song Flame Trees from the 1984 album Twentieth Century. He briefly rejoined Cold Chisel for their Last Stand Tour from October to December 1983.[5]

From 1984 to 1986 Prestwich was the drummer in the Little River Band. He toured the United States and released two albums with LRB. Little River Band recorded a version of "When the War is Over" with John Farnham on vocals.[3] Prestwich rejoined Cold Chisel in later reformations.[2]

Prestwich released his first solo album, Since You've Been Gone in August 2000, which he also produced. His second album, Every Highway was released in October 2009.

Prestwich was the father of a daughter, Melody, and a son, Vaughan.[6]

Prestwich died at the Macquarie University Hospital in Sydney[7] after not regaining consciousness following brain surgery to remove a tumour diagnosed less than two weeks before.

Cold Chisel singer Jimmy Barnes later planted a flame tree in Prestwich's memory at the National Arboretum Canberra.[8]



  • Since You've Been Gone (August 2000)
  • Every Highway (October 2009)


  • 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 8 June 2010. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  1. ^ "Undercover News: Cold Chisel Drummer Steve Prestwich Dies From Brain Tumour". 16 January 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b Holmgren, Magnus; Hooper, Craig. "Steve Prestwich". Australian Rock Database. Magnus Holmgren. Archived from the original on 29 August 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  3. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed. "Cold Chisel". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music (Ed Nimmervoll). White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  4. ^ "ASCAP Ace Search results for 'Prestwich Steven William'". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  5. ^ a b McFarlane "'Cold Chisel' entry". Archived from the original on 19 April 2004. Retrieved 30 May 2015.. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Cold Chisel drummer Steve Prestwich passes". Archived from the original on 17 January 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  7. ^ Jen Jewel Brown (22 January 2011). "At the core of Cold Chisel". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Jimmy Barnes plants Flame tree in Arboretum". 14 March 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2011.

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