Infobox musical artist
Name = Sebastian Hardie
Background = group_or_band
Alias = Sebastian Hardie Blues Band
Genre = Rock progressive / symphonic
Years_active = 1967–1977, 1994, 2003
Label = Polydor Avalon Mercury Festival Infinity
Past_members = John Bellamy
Duncan McGuire Sebastian Hardie were
Australia's first symphonic rockband.cite book |title=Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20030517224039/www.whammo.com.au/encyclopedia.asp?articleid=358 |format=doc |last=McFarlane |first=Ian |authorlink= Ian McFarlane |publisher= Allen & Unwin|year=1999 |isbn=1-86448-768-2 |accessdate=2008-07-24 ] They were initially formed in Sydneyin 1967 as Sebastian Hardie Blues Band but dropped the 'Blues Band' reference when they became pop-oriented. By 1973 they developed a more progressive rockstyle, and later performed as Windchase, but they disbanded by 1977. An early member of Sebastian Hardie was Jon English(vocals, rhythm guitar), who became better known after he left and starred as Judas Iscariotin the Australian version of the stage musical " Jesus Christ Superstar" in 1972, he subsequently had a solo career as a singer, actorand scriptwriter.cite web |url=http://www.milesago.com/Stage/superstar.htm |title=Stage shows – "Jesus Christ Superstar" |publisher=Milesago |accessdate=2008-07-25 ] A later member, Mario Millo ( lead guitar, mandolin, vocals) became a multi-award winner for his television and movie music.cite web |url=http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0589833/awards |title=Mario Millo – Awards |publisher= Internet Movie Database(IMDb) |accessdate=2008-07-26 ]
Sebastian Hardie's other early members included Graham Ford (
lead guitar), Peter Plavsic ( bass guitar) and his brother Alex Plavsic (drums).cite web |url=http://hem.passagen.se/honga/database/s/sebastianhardie.html |title=Sebastian Hardie / Windchase |publisher=Australian Rock Database |editor=Magnus Holmgren |accessdate=2008-07-24 ] After English and Ford had left, the Plavsic brothers were joined by Millo and Toivo Pilt (keyboards). With their addition, Sebastian Hardie developed extended progressive rock tracks to become a symphonic rock group before they released their definitive album " Four Moments" in 1975, which peaked at #13 on the National albums chart.cite book |title=Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 |format=doc |last=Kent |first=David |authorlink= David Kent|publisher=Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. |year=1993 |isbn=0-646-11917-6 |accessdate=2008-07-26 ] They followed with a second album "Windchase" in 1976, but it had less chart success. Millo and Pilt formed the band, Windchase, to release "Symphinity" in 1977, it was a heavier jazz-fusion album but didn't have chart success and they disbanded.
1967–1973: Early years
Guitarist Graham Ford made up the name 'Sebastian Hardie' when he founded Sebastian Hardie Blues Band in 1967 in
Sydney.cite web |url=http://www.progressor.net/interview/mario_millo.html |publisher=ProgressoR |title=Mario Millo interview |date= 2002-05-21|accessdate=2008-07-25 ] Variable line-ups included John Bellamy ( bass guitar), Dennis Laughlin ( vocals, later in Sherbet), Richard Lillico (drums), Syd Richmond (drums), Dave Waddington (vocals) and Neil Williamson (organ). They played R&Band soul covers but disbanded in 1968. Ford reformed the band, he recruited students from Sydney's Cabramatta High School, Jon Englishon vocals and rhythm guitar, Anatol Kononowski (keyboards), Peter Plavsic on bass guitar and his brother Alex Plavsic on drums. They dropped the 'Blues Band' part to play more pop-oriented music and were the backing band for legendary Australian rocker Johnny O'Keefeduring 1969. Covering songs from Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Otis Reddingand Wilson Pickettthey built a reputation in the Sydney pub scene. [cite web |url=http://ausrock.blogspot.com/2007/03/sebastian-hardie-1975-four-moments.html |title=Sebastian Hardie 1975 " Four Moments" |publisher=AusRock |accessdate=2008-07-25 ] Late in 1971, English left Sebastian Hardie when he won the role of Judas Iscariotin the Australian version of " Jesus Christ Superstar" from May 1972. He was eventually replaced by Steve Dunne on vocals and keyboards. British singer Larry Page produced Sebastian Hardie's first single "All Right Now" in September 1973.
1973–1977: "Four Moments" and "Windchase"
Ford left Sebastian Hardie by October 1973 to be replaced by Mario Millo on lead guitar. They recorded a second single "Day After Day" released in April 1974. By this time Tovio Pilt had replaced Dunne on keyboards and Millo took over on vocals. Besides covers they were playing original
progressive rockmaterial. They were Australia's first symphonic rock band and performed a 20-minute version of Mike Oldfield's " Tubular Bells" as part of their set; Millo was now writing more orchestrated and inventive original material. After signing to Polydor Recordsthey supported tours by international acts Lou Reedand Osibisaduring 1974. Their first LP " Four Moments", which peaked at #13 on the National albums charts, was released in August 1975. Produced by former member Jon English, it achieved Gold status – selling 35,000 copies, while the related single "Rosanna", an instrumental track, peaked at #31 on the National singles charts. "Four Moments" showed the influence of progressive rock groups from Europe, including Genesis, Yes, King Crimsonand Focus. It contained only three tracks with the title track taking up one side; Sebastian Hardie displayed "seamless, dramatic arrangements and impeccable musicianship".
"Windchase", their second album, was released in February 1976, then they supported the national tour by Santana and released the single "Life, Love and Music" but neither album nor single had any major chart success. In June, management and internal disagreements led to the Plavsic brothers leaving and an ensuing court decision awarded the band name to Peter Plavsic; consequently Millo and Pilt combined under the name Windchase. They had added Doug Nethercote (bass guitar) and Doug Bligh (drums) for the new rhythm section. The Plavsic brothers became backing musicians for The Studs, a
Rock n Rollrevival duo. Windchase played Sebastian Hardie's material written by Millo and by 1977 started recording "Symphinity", which was more jazz-fusion oriented. During album sessions, Nethercote left to be replaced by Duncan McGuire (bass guitar, ex-Doug Parkinson in Focus, Ayers Rock). When the album was released in June, McGuire and Bligh were replaced by Nethercote's return and new member Ralph Cooper (drums). Singles from the album were "Glad to Be Alive" in May and "Flight Call" in October, but neither album nor singles had any chart success. Windchase toured through to October 1977 but the emerging punk and new wave music forms resulted in poor concert audiences and Windchase disbanded.
After the separation
Millo worked with
Jon Englishon the 1978 TV series "Against the Wind" soundtrack,cite web |url=http://hem.passagen.se/honga/database/m/millomario.html |title=Mario Millo |publisher=Australian Rock Database |editor=Magnus Holmgren |accessdate=2008-07-24 ] and the associated single "Six Ribbons" peaked at #8 on the national charts; both the album and its title track were translated as "Mot Alla Vindar" and peaked at #1 on the Norwegian albums and singles charts respectively. [cite web |title=Jon English & Mario Millo |publisher=Norwegian Charts Portal |url=http://norwegiancharts.com/showitem.asp?key=275641&cat=s |accessdate=2008-07-26 ] Millo also released solo albums "Epic III" in 1979, "Human Games" in 1983 and "Oceans of the Mind" in 2002. He became better known through his television and movie soundtrack production winning six industry awards for work in "The Lighthorsemen" (1987), "G.P." (1989), " Brides of Christ" (1991, two awards), "See How They Run" (1999) and "Changi" (2001). Original soundtracks released include "Against the Wind" (1978, with Jon English), "World Safari II" (1984), "A Fortunate Life" (1986), "The Lighthorsemen" (1989) and "Brides of Christ" (1991).
Sebastian Hardie briefly reformed in 1994 — with the Plavsic brothers, Millo and Pilt — to perform at a progressive rock festival, ProgFest, in
Los Angeles,cite web |url=http://gnosis2000.net/reviews/sebastianhardie.htm |title=Sebastian Hardie (Australia) |last=McLatchey |first=Mike |publisher="Progfest '94 Preview" |date= 2001-11-04|accessdate=2008-07-26 ] which was recorded and eventually released as "Sebastian Hardie — Live in L.A." in 1997. They provided material from "Four Moments", "Windchase", "Symphinity", and "Epic III". Another reunion occurred in 2003 when supporting the Yes Australian tour. [cite web |url=http://ozguitar.50megs.com/support.htm |title=The Yes Australian Tour Site — Sebastian Hardie |publisher=Oz Guitar |accessdate=2008-07-26 ]
Four Moments" ( Polydor Records/ Mercury Records, 1975)
* "Windchase" (Polydor / Mercury / Avalon, 1976)
* "Symphinity" (Festival Records / Infinity Records / Avalon, 1977) ^
* "Rock Legends" (compilation, 1980)
* "Four Moments of the Windchase" (compilation, Polydor / Mercury, 1990)
* "Sebastian Hardie — Live in L.A." (Avalon 1997, recorded in 1994)
* "All Right Now" (1973)
* "Day After Day" (1974)
* "Rosanna" (1975)
* "Glad to be Alive" (1977) ^
* "Flight Call" (1977) ^
(^) — material released under the name Windchase
* [http://www.mariomillo.com/ Mario Millo official website]
* [http://musicbrainz.org/artist/e000196d-990c-4998-bd0e-87e5711e0511.html Sebastian Hardie] at
* [http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/sebastian_hardie Sebastian Hardie] , [http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/windchase Windchase] at
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