Col (he used
to be known as Colin) showed an early interest in
music sparked by his eager request to play the kettle
drum with his school marching band - self taught and
just eight years of age. This love of music was
further enhanced by his brother's appreciation for
Rock & Roll music, especially the locally born
idol Johnny O'Keefe.
At 11 years of age, Col acquired his
first guitar and lessons via his local McKinnon
guitar school in Victoria - In fact he was in the
same class as a neighbourhood mate, John Wallis, and
if fate had possibly shifted it's aim slightly, John
Wallis and Col may have meet and combined their
musical talents eight or nine years earlier than
they eventually did.
Within the first year of taking up
the guitar, Col was performing in public at the
local Bentleigh (Aussie Rules) football club social
nights. In those days there were NO sound or light
systems at all, all he had was the acoustic guitar
and a loud voice.
He continued with his self
generated solo career for the next 4 years performing
at weddings, school functions and local community
fetes and fund raisers - In fact, anywhere he could
get up and entertain people. His Mum was the driving
force that made sure he continued to practice his
guitar lessons - even when he wanted to stray from
those "daggy" old country and popular songs to the
wilder Rock & Roll screamers.
venture into the Rock & Roll bands etc. came when
he responded to an advert for a singer/guitarist. From
there Col worked in a few bands until 1967, when he
formed the Gathering and when John Wallis joined (as
drummer) in early 1968 the inevitable meeting and
combining of talents finally took place - that
association now spans more than 40 years.
The Gathering continued throughout the late sixties
and early seventies, producing 3 "top 10" singles and
appearing on several TV shows including Uptight,
Happening and Turning On.
In the mid 1970's Col became
disheartened with the band scene and decided to form
a duo a long time friend within the band scene, Gill
Robert. Together they worked the club circuit in
both Victoria and Tasmania until 1978 when Gill was
transferred to Sydney with his employment (Festival
then reformed the Gathering to tackle the Pub and
exclusive Restaurant market.
Then in early 1980 came that phone call from John
Wallis, and in his usual enthusiastic manner, John
convinced Col to join him in this new venture of
putting the wonderfully stirring poetry of Banjo
Paterson to music - sound a bit familiar ?? Well
that was it, Col along with four other musical
acquaintances joined John Wallis, and Wallis &
Matilda was born !
Along with his
commitment to Wallis & Matilda, Col continued to
work on his own solo career, providing entertainment
within the extensive morning melodies and retirement
village community arena.
During the period 2006 till 2011, in between all
of this, Col had been an integral part of an Eagles
tribute band, known as the Eagles Story. This
tribute show has set some extremely high standards
within the entertainment field, they performed at
many major venues and corporate functions throughout
the length and breadth of Australia.
Nowadays Col suggests he has "slowed up a little",
mainly concentrating on his morning
melodies/retirement community performances and the
odd Wallis & Matilda gig. He now has several
shows which include tributes to country legends John
Denver, Glen Campbell & Kenny Rogers, and also
rock legends Cliff Richard, Col Joye &Johnny
O'Keefe, there's even the Crooners with Pat Boone,
Perry Como & Nat King Cole.
After over 45 years performing and entertaining,
Col still enjoys his musical career just as much as
those early days at the Bentleigh football club ...
what will his next venture be ?