Stevie Plunder

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Stevie Plunder
Stevie Plunder c. 1994
Background information
Birth nameAnthony Hayes
Born(1963-08-15)15 August 1963
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Died25 January 1996(1996-01-25) (aged 32)
Wentworth Falls, New South Wales, Australia
GenresPop, rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals, bass guitar,
Years active1980–1996
LabelsCitadel Records, Phantom, Half A Cow Records, Green Fez, Black Yak

Stevie Plunder, born as Anthony Hayes (15 August 1963 – 25 January 1996), was an Australian guitarist and singer-songwriter. He was a founding member of the groups, The Plunderers (1984–1995) and The Whitlams (1992–1996).


Early years[edit]

Stevie Plunder was born as Anthony Hayes in Canberra on 16 August 1963 and grew up in the suburb of Narrabundah.[1] His other musical brothers are Bernie, Pat and Justin Hayes (aka Justin Credible, Stanley Claret).[1] Plunder left school at 15:[1] he played in bands from his late teens, providing guitar and vocals. He was in a folk-pop group, Get Set Go, with Nic Dalton and a pair of sisters, Suzie and Jenny Higgie.[2] In May 1984 Plunder, on guitar and vocals, and Dalton formed The Plunderers.[2][3][4] The group issued one compilation album Banana Smoothie Honey (1992) and a handful of singles/mini-albums.[3][4] Plunder also played with other acts such as The Shout Brothers (aka The Shouties), No Concept, Z For Zip, Smarte Music, Folk U Mate, Captain Denim, Hippy Dribble and The New Christs.[4] After Dalton temporarily left The Plunderers to join The Lemonheads, Plunder joined New Christs on guitar from January 1992 to the end of that year.[4][5]

The Whitlams[edit]

On 26 January (Australia Day) 1992 while outside Hordern Pavilion where grunge group, Nirvana, were playing during the first Big Day Out, Plunder caught up with Tim Freedman (ex-Itchy Feet, Penguins on Safari).[1] Back in 1987 the pair had first met when Plunder was hired to support Freedman's earlier group.[6] They discussed forming a band and at the end of 1992 they formed The Whitlams as a pop group with Plunder on vocals and guitar; Freedman on vocals and keyboard; and Andy Lewis on double bass and bass guitar (ex-The Plunderers).[4][7] The group developed their material acoustically on Saturday afternoons at Sandringham Hotel, Newtown. In October 1993 they released their debut album, Introducing the Whitlams.[7]

In December 1993 Plunder performed a Christmas gig as a member of The Shout Brothers, with Peter Velzen on drums (ex-The Plunderers, member of Falling Joys), and Plunder's brothers Pat on guitar and vocals (also Falling Joys) and Bernie on guitar and vocals (ex-Secret Seven, The Tall Shirts, Club Hoy).[8]

The Whitlams, with Stuart Eadie on drums, toured the Australian east coast before recording their follow up album, Undeniably the Whitlams (February 1995).[7] During his time with the group Plunder wrote or co-wrote 18 tracks, including the single, "Following My Own Tracks" (June 1995).[7][9] By 1995 Plunder was married to Tori.[1]


On 26 January 1996 Stevie Plunder was found dead at the bottom of Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, apparently a suicide.[10][11] Plunder's funeral was held in his hometown suburb of Narrabundah in Canberra and a memorial service was held at St Stephen's Church, Newtown in February 1996.[citation needed] The Whitlams' first album after Plunder's death, Eternal Nightcap (March 1997), was dedicated to his memory.


  1. ^ a b c d e Freedman, Tim. "The Wonder from Narrabundah Some Recollections on Stevie Plunder". The Drum Media. The Whitlams Official Website. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b Uhlmann, Mark (10 November 1988). "Good Times: Some Plunder and Pillage". The Canberra Times. National Library of Australia. p. 33. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b McFarlane, 'The Plunderers' entry. Archived from the original on 15 June 2004. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e Stevie Plunder at Australian Rock Database:
    • The Plunderers (1984–1992): – Holmgren, Magnus. "The Plunderers". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
    • The New Christs (1992): – Holmgren, Magnus. "The New Christs". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
    • The Whitlams (1992–1996): – Holmgren, Magnus. "The Whitlams". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  5. ^ McFarlane, 'New Christs' entry. Archived from the original on 31 August 2004. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  6. ^ Murfett, Andrew (12 September 2008). "Revisiting the Darkness". The Age. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d McFarlane, 'The Whitlams' entry. Archived from the original on 26 July 2004. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Locals come home for Christmas". The Canberra Times. National Library of Australia. 23 December 1993. p. 23. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  9. ^ "'Following My Own Tracks' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 17 September 2014. Note: User may have to click 'Search again' and provide details at 'Enter a title:' e.g Following My Own Tracks; or at 'Performer:' The Whitlams
  10. ^ Buchanan, Matt (26 November 1999). "It's Tim(e): The Whitlams Chart New Waters". The Sydney Morning Herald. The Whitlams Official Website. Archived from the original on 12 February 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  11. ^ "The Bulletin". The Bulletin (6138–6146): 37. 1998.

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