The Johnnys

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The Johnnys
Genrespub rock, country, punk
Years active1982–1989, 2004
LabelsRegular, Mushroom, Festival, Urbane
Associated actsHoodoo Gurus, Allniters, Ross Wilson
Past membersRoddy Ray'da
Graham Hood
Billy Pommer
Spencer P. Jones
Michael Armiger
Paul "Slim" Doherty

The Johnnys are an Australian pub rock band from Sydney forming in 1982 and still active today that combines country and punk musical styles. Members are Graham Hood, Billy Pommer Jr and Slim Doherty and have included founder, Roddy Ray'da (aka Roddy Radalj) and Spencer P. Jones.


The Johnnys formed in 1982 in Sydney when bass guitarist Graham Hood tried out for the Hoodoo Gurus after quitting the Allniters. He met Hoodoo Gurus' guitarist Roddy Ray'da (aka Roddy Radalj) and they discussed an idea for a side project: playing pub rock in a country music style at a punk pace—which was labelled as cow punk.[1] Ray'da left Hoodoo Gurus and, as a lead vocalist and guitarist with Hood and drummer Billy Pommer Jr, founded The Johnnys.[2] The Johnnys performed its first concert at Palms disco on Oxford St, Taylors Square, Darlinghurst Sydney Australia in November 1982. New Zealand-born Spencer P. Jones joined on guitar and backing vocals.[1] The four-piece released "I Think You're Cute" in October on Regular Records, Ray'da left the group in early 1984 and formed Love Rodeo.[1] Jones took on lead vocals and the band signed with the Green Label to release "My Buzzsaw Baby (Really Cut Me Up)" and an extended play, The Johnnys in November 1984.[1]

In 1985, the band had signed with Mushroom Records which released their single, "Injun Joe" in November. "(There's Gonna Be a) Showdown" followed in March 1986 and then "Bleeding Heart " in June. Their debut album Highlights of Dangerous Life appeared in August and was produced by Ross Wilson of Daddy Cool and contained the three singles.[1] Two non-album singles followed in 1987. Wilson produced their second album, Grown Up Wrong, released in August 1988 which included two further singles, "Motorbikin" (July) and "Anything Could Happen" (November).[1][2] Michael Armiger (ex-Paul Kelly Band) replaced Hood on bass guitar. The band broke up in 1989 with Jones continuing in his side-project Beasts of Bourbon.

According to rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, "Despite being one of the most popular bands on the pub-rock circuit, The Johnnys never crossed over into the premier league".[1] They gigged sporadically before performing as a three-piece with guests for a Sydney benefit show for Spencer P Jones in JUne, 2016. They remain a trio and have toured New Zealand in 2018. They played most of the support spots on the 2019 Australian "Still Here" Tour by The Beasts (ex-Beasts of Bourbon).




  • Highlights of a Dangerous Life (1986) – Mushroom
  • "Grown Up Wrong" (1988) – (Mushroom Records)
  • "Live At La Dolce Vita" (1991)

Track Listing

  • Highlights of a Dangerous Life

Side 1

  1. "There's Gonna Be a Showdown"
  2. "The Day Marty Robbins Died"
  3. "Injun Joe"
  4. "Move It"
  5. "The Edge of Death"

Side 2

  1. "Green Back Dollar"
  2. "Bleeding Heart"
  3. "Way of the West"
  4. "Deadmen from Boot Hill"
  5. "Slip Slap Fishin'"
  6. "Mountain Man"
  • Grown Up Wrong (1988) – Mushroom
  1. Middle sized John
  2. Anything Could Happen
  3. Motorbikin'
  4. Grown Up Wrong
  5. Going Down (with Rock and Roll)
  6. The Logan Girls
  7. No Excusin' My Boozin'
  8. Ten Outlaws
  9. Bounty Hunter
  10. Cajun Woman
  11. Shameless Girl
  12. The Taller Man
  • Live at La Dolce Vita (1990) – Urbane
  1. Edge Of Death
  2. (there's gonna be a) Showdown
  3. Move It
  4. Cajun Woman
  5. Injun Joe
  6. Bleeding Heart
  7. Slip Slap Fishin'
  8. Bounty Hunter
  9. Mountain Man
  10. Motorbikin'
  11. The World's Got Everything In It
  12. Execution Day
  13. Going Down (With Rock'n Roll)
  14. Dead Men From Boot Hill


  • "I Think You're Cute/Mountain Man" (1983)
  • "Way of the West" (1984)
  • "Buzzsaw Baby" (1984)
  • "Injun Joe" (1986) No. 32 AU
  • "(There's Gonna Be A) Showdown" (1986) No. 46 AU
  • "Bleeding Heart/My Buzzsaw Baby" (1986) No. 71 AU
  • "Elvisly Yours/Black Bart" (1987)
  • “Motorbiking/Shameless Girl” (1988)
  • “Anything Could Happen/Bounty Hunter” (1988)
  • "Don't Put The Blame on Me" (1988)


  • 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 February 2010. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g McFarlane. Encyclopedia entry for 'The Johnnys'. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  2. ^ a b Holmgren, Magnus; Georgieff, Didier; Zurek, James; Simonetti, Vince. "The Johnnys". Australian Rock Database. Magnus Holmgren. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2010.