Ross Wilson & The Peaceniks brings the cool to Barwon Heads

Ross Wilson & The Peaceniks brings the cool to Barwon Heads

Come, Said The Boy – we’re steppin’ out into the Cool World of Ross Wilson, where the State Of The Heart is warmly imbued with A Touch Of Paradise from the Daddy of Cool himself!

Entertaining with entrancing energy of enlivenment and eagerness, the egalitarian Eagle of Rock is embracing further stages of success; and while lavishing audiences with over half a century of hits, alongside his current accompanists The Peaceniks, the winning of wild applause will once again be a piece of cake!

With unassuming amiability, Ross offers the reflection “I’ve got a long history of playing around the Geelong area; and, of course, Barwon Heads – I played at the Spiegeltent one time before about two years ago, so we know what’s happening down there!”

As founder of the monumental bands Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock; and a double Inductee into the ARIA Hall Of Fame, Ross has created compelling compositions and musical contributions to align with world-class standards; as proven by the Mondo Rock magnum opus ‘Come Said The Boy’, which has been valued among the works of Elton John and Van Halen as one of the most outstanding pieces of its time. “Come Said The Boy has really stood the test of time – it still gets a lot of airplay, streaming through the roof… I feel pretty good about that one,” Ross says.

In a chuckling recollection, Ross comments upon the recording process of the 1980s – a time when Mondo Rock was achieving its superb status. “Well, It was a bit different because you actually spent a lot of money in studio time, which is not necessary these days. In the eighties it was a great time for Australian music, because everybody had learned how to write good songs so there was an amazing kind of outburst of Split Enz; Mental As Anything; Midnight Oil; INXS – everyone was churning out these really good songs. Mondo Rock was part of that; and before that I’d been with Daddy Cool; and so I’d already had a bit of a foundation to build on then.”

With thoughtful humility, Ross evaluates “It’s interesting…so many guitarists who I admire, that are much more skilful than me, stated that they were inspired to pick up the guitar because of Daddy Cool; and…that’s the biggest tribute I’ve ever had. It was a particularly great quartet that made an indelible mark, so I owe it to the other members as well.”

For a musician who has produced preeminent acts such as Skyhooks; and whose songs have been recorded by similarly astronomical artists such as Joe Cocker and John Farnham, a continual evolutionary avenue may seem involuntary; but simultaneously, as Ross assures, “I always go back to the blues…and that’s affected some of the songs that I’ve been writing lately. You’ve got to wait for the muse to strike; but then other times, songs just write themselves…I’ve always got a pen next to the bed if I think of a good title, because titles are like a little key that unlock what’s in there in your subconscious.”

In contrast to the smoothly gliding and striding essences of his signature pieces Eagle Rock; Come Back Again and Cool World, which was “more introspective”, Ross cheerfully reveals that his most favoured musical groups “might come as a surprise”, as he “was quite fond of Rose Tattoo – they were like sort of so raw, you know; and of course Midnight Oil…a very powerful group…people I mentioned before, like Mental As Anything, we’re great friends with them.”

Originally “a splinted group from another band I had going which was very progressive kind of music”, the title Daddy Cool emerged from a rehearsal of Ross’ rolling 1950s-inspired compositions, when he spontaneously spouted “We’re gonna call this band Daddy Cool”; prior to his introduction to The Diamonds’ song of the same name, which quickly became the band’s “theme song”! The title Mondo Rock developed from a “sub-culture movie…Mondo Cane …[one of a series of] fake documentaries documenting the kind of weird stuff going on around the world…so I thought rock and roll is kind of B-grade like that, so we’ll have Mondo Rock; and I didn’t actually twig to the fact that Mondo was Italian for ‘world’…so a couple of things came out of that: one – you know; it was a good title – world of rock or rock world; and then, of course, we got an immense Melbourne Italian following because of that!”

With soaring sentiment, we implore this Cool Daddy to Come Back Again for many more rocking performances!

Ross Wilson & The Peaceniks perform at The Wonderland Spiegeltent at Barwon Heads on Friday January 24. Check out the full program at

Written By Renée N. Abbott