Brian Cadd

Brian George Cadd AM[1] (born 29 November 1946) is an Australian singer-songwriter, keyboardist, producer and record label founder, a staple of Australian entertainment for over 50 years. As well as working internationally throughout Europe and the United States, he has performed as a member of numerous bands including The Groop, Axiom, The Bootleg Family Band and in America with Flying Burrito Brothers before carving out a solo career in 1972.[2] He briefly went under the pseudonym of Brian Caine in late 1966, when first joining The Groop.[3]

Brian Cadd (AM)
Birth nameBrian George Cadd
Born (1946-11-29) 29 November 1946
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
GenresRock, pop
  • Singer
  • producer
  • songwriter
  • record label founder
Years active1965–present
Stallion Records
Associated actsThe Groop
The Bootleg Family Band
Flying Burrito Brothers
WebsiteOfficial website

Cadd produced fellow Australian acts Robin Jolley, Ronnie Burns, Broderick Smith, Tina Arena and Glenn Shorrock;[2] and established his own record label called Bootleg Records.[3] He also composed or performed music for films, Alvin Purple, Alvin Purple Rides Again, Fatal Vision, The Return of the Living Dead, Vampires on Bikini Beach, Morning of the Earth and The Heartbreak Kid and for television Class of 74, The Midnight Special and Don Kirshner's Rock Concert.[3][4] His songwriting for other acts includes The Masters Apprentices, The Bootleg Family Band, Ronnie Burns, The Pointer Sisters, Little River Band and John Farnham.[5]

In 2007, Cadd was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame.[6][7] He was awarded in the Queens Birthday Honours in 2018, along with late musician Phil Emmanuel for his 50-year service to the music industry as a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, mentor and producer and his work in production.

Early years

Cadd was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, and was a child prodigy: winning a TV talent quest when 12 and offered his first professional job as a pianist for a children's TV program.[5] His family relocated to Tasmania and then Melbourne, where Cadd became involved in jazz music of the early 1960s, playing with the Beale Street Jazz Band [Rick Mabin, tpt; Frank Turner, d.] and The Castaways. He was also widely renowned for his zany hats.[2][3][5] By 1965 The Castaways became The Jackson Kings playing R&B, with Cadd on piano and Ronnie Charles on vocals they recorded two singles "Watch Your Step" and "Watermelon Man" by April 1966.[3][5]

1966–1969: The Groop

The Groop formed in Melbourne in 1964 and 1965 and had recorded singles, an EP and an LP, before Cadd and Charles were asked to join in October 1966 along with guitarist Don Mudie.[3][5][8] On advice from pop magazine Go-Set writer Ian "Molly" Meldrum Cadd changed his surname to Caine, before changing it back after his family protested.[3][5] The new line-up was: Cadd, Charles, Mudie and Max Ross on bass and Richard Wright on drums.[2][5]

The first single for this line-up was "Woman You're Breaking Me" (written by Cadd and Wright)[9] which reached No. 6 in Melbourne[10] and No. 12 in Sydney in July 1967.It was also a hit in parts of the USA. Melbourne singer Ronnie Burns had a local hit with "When I Was Six Years Old"[10] written by Cadd (who also produced)[2] and Ross.[9] The band won a trip to UK from the 1967 Hoadley's National Battle of the Sounds;[8] publishers sent "When I Was Six Years Old" to England where it was recorded by Manfred Mann's lead vocalist Paul Jones.[5]

The Groop arrived in UK as the single was released and managed to get a deal with CBS, then they toured there and in Germany.[8] Band members had written most of their hits in Australia, but CBS decided they would cover an Italian ballad, "What's the Good of Goodbye", which failed to chart. The Groop returned to Australia by October 1968 and Ross left,[8] they released two more singles, including "Such A Lovely Way" before disbanding in May 1969.[8] Their last recorded work was an uncredited appearance as instrumental support on Russell Morris' No. 1 single "The Real Thing".[2][5][8][11]

1969–1971: Axiom

Following the break-up of The Groop, Cadd and Mudie formed Axiom in May 1969 with Glenn Shorrock (ex-The Twilights) on vocals, Doug Lavery (ex-The Valentines) on drums and Chris Stockley (ex-Cam-Pact) on guitar.[2][3][5] Cadd and Mudie were the primary songwriters for Axiom including their three hit singles.[5][9] They signed with EMI and released their debut single "Arkansas Grass" which reached No. 7 in December 1969, followed by "A Little Ray of Sunshine" (although Cadd did not write 'A Little Ray of Sunshine' this song was written by The Groop following the birth of a members daughter, pre Axiom, however the deemed it to be "not rock and roll enough" and allowed Cadd to record) at No. 5 in April 1970.[11] Axiom travelled to England and attempted to enter the UK market but had no chart success.[3] Then, relocating to the US, they released their single "My Baby's Gone" in January 1971, this was followed by their second album If Only... in September.[3] However, Axiom had already disbanded by March and Cadd returned to Australia.[3] Shorrock later became the lead singer for Little River Band and Stockley joined The Dingoes.[2]

1972–1975: The Bootleg Family Band and Brian Cadd, Parabrahm and Moonshine

Cadd and Mudie, as a duet, released "Show Me the Way" which reached No. 15 in early 1972.[3] Cadd turned to producing other acts and recording solo material on his own Bootleg Records label which was set up under Ron Tudor's Fable Records.[5] "Ginger Man" was the first single from Cadd's self-titled debut album, released in November 1972 on Bootleg Records.[5] Bootleg was based along similar lines to US pianist Leon Russell's Shelter Records – signed artists recorded and toured together as a The Bootleg Family Band.[12] Studio musicians used by Cadd became the Bootleg Family Band and had their own hit single by covering Loggins and Messina's "Your Mama Don't Dance", where Cadd provided lead vocals.[12][13] Cadd also won the composer's section of Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds for 1972 with his song, "Don't You Know It's Magic", this became a top 20 hit for John Farnham (known then as "Johnny" Farnham).[11] The song also won the 'Most Outstanding Composition' award at the Tokyo World Popular Song Festival, with Cadd performing there live. Cadd released a second album, Parabrahm, in 1973, and followed with the theme song and score for the 1973 movie Alvin Purple (Australia's first R-rated comedy)[14] and its sequel Alvin Purple Rides Again in 1975.[15] After releasing his third solo album, Moonshine in 1974, Cadd left Australia for the US.[5]

1975–1979: America

Cadd arrived in Los Angeles in 1975 and began working on a record with Chelsea Records. The recorded label was forced into bankruptcy and ultimately ceased, and Cadd signed with Capitol Records. He released his fourth studio album in 1976 titled, White On White. The album was mixed and produced to have a 'pop sound' along the lines of Elton John and Billy Joel, but performed poorly in the US. In 1978, Cadd released Yesterdaydreams, but also performed poorly and the contract with Capitol Records ceased. The track "Yesterdaydreams" was covered by Bonnie Tyler.

1980 - 1993: The Flying Burrito Brothers and Graffiti Records

Early in 1980, Caddn toured France with the "French Elvis", Johnny Hallyday. He recorded solo albums for Interfusion, his songs were also recorded by Gene Pitney, Glen Campbell, Dobie Gray, Cilla Black, Wayne Newton, Bonnie Tyler, Joe Cocker and Ringo Starr.[3] His biggest success occurred when the Pointer Sisters covered "Love is Like a Rolling Stone" as a B-side for their version of "Fire" which reached No. 2 on the US pop singles charts. In the mid 1980s, Cadd ran a small label called Graffiti Records and worked with Daryl Sommers and was the first person to sign Tina Arena.

He released a 1985 album titled No Stone Unturned. The Charlie Daniels Band covered his song "Still Hurting Me" from that album on their October 1985 album, Me and the Boys.

Cadd travelled to Nashville in 1989, joined the Flying Burrito Brothers in 1991 and toured with them for two years,[16] returning to Australia in 1993.[3] In Australia he teamed up with fellow Axiom member Glenn Shorrock for an album, The Blazing Salads, and a subsequent two-year tour.[5] On tour Cadd played his hit songs, along with those of Axiom accompanied by Shorrock.[5] Veteran rocker Max Merritt also toured Australia with Cadd.[5]

1993–2015 Return to Australia, The Blazing Salads, ARIA Hall of Fame and autobiography

In 1993, Cadd teamed up with fellow Axiom member, Shorrock and released an album under the title The Blazing Salads and completed a two-year tour.[5] On tour Cadd played his hit songs, along with those of Axiom accompanied by Shorrock.[5] Veteran rocker Max Merritt had also toured Australia with Cadd.[5] In 1997, he built a recording studio Ginger Man Sound. In March 1998 he took over as CEO of The Streetwise Music Group in Brisbane, eventually becoming a co-owner. The company, which is distributed through Warner Music, now has some 20 acts spread over three labels (Streetwise, Stallion and Belly Laugh).

Cadd is the chairman of the Music Industry Advisory Council (Australia),[17] President of the Australian Music Foundation[17] and on the board of the musicians' benevolent organisation, Support Act.[18] Cadd lectures at universities as well as continuing to record and perform, he independently released an album of new material Quietly Rusting in 2005[19] featuring musicians like Mark Meyer, Tony Naylor, Wilbur Wilde and Ross Hannaford together with some of Australia's hottest new players including Paul White, Damien Steele-Scott and James Meston.[20]

In 2007 Cadd was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, his acceptance speech included:

"I've had forty incredible years in this world of music. During that time I have had the honour to write and record with many fabulous creative people and to perform in front of many wonderful audiences. I can't really imagine how it could have been much better or any more fun. Now being inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame absolutely puts the icing on the cake for me. I truly appreciate this honour so very much".[21]

Brian Cadd, 2007

2007 also saw Cadd inducted into the Australian Songwriters Association (ASA) Songwriters Hall of Fame in recognition of his lifetime of songwriting achievements.[22]

In November 2010 Cadd released his Autobiography "From This Side of Things".[23] In the book Cadd tells the stories of his upbringing in Western Australia where he won an TV talent quest at the age of 12 and worked on a Children's TV program as a pianist, Tasmania and Melbourne where he played jazz with the Beale Street Jazz Band and the Castaways who would become the Jackson Kings. Having success with both The Groop and Axiom as well as his solo success in Australia, working in the USA & Europe for over 20 years and being inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007 by Jimmy Barnes.[23]

In 2011 Cadd released a country album with lifelong friend, Russell Morris, titled, Wild Bulls and Horses.

2016-present: Bulletproof & Silver City

In November 2016 Cadd released a new studio album with The Bootleg Family Band, titled Bulletproof,[24] which was credited to Cadd and The Bootleg Family Band.

In January 2019, Cadd will release a new solo studio album titled Silver City.[25]

Personal life

Cadd, his then partner, and her daughter, were caught in the flash flood of the Mudgeeraba River (Gold Coast, Queensland) in February 1999, when their car was washed off a causeway.[26] All three escaped the sinking car through its windows, but Cadd and his wife were swept away before they could get ashore. They were subsequently rescued by a local resident.[26]

During the 2002 Long Way to the Top Tour, Cadd developed a relationship with one of the promoters, Amanda Pelman, and they are still happily together.[27] Pelman was a judge on It Takes Two between 2006 and 2008, and is a producer, director and TV personality.[28]



See also


  1. "The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Archived from the original on 23 May 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  2. "Brian Cadd". Australian Rock Database. Magnus Holmgren. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  3. McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Brian Cadd'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  4. "Brian Cadd". Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  5. "Brian Cadd". Milesago. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  6. "ARIA 2008 Hall of Fame inductees listing". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 15 June 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  7. "Winners by Award: Hall of Fame". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  8. "The Groop". Nostalgia Central. Archived from the original on 19 June 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2008.
  9. "Australasian Performing Right Association". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Archived from the original on 5 December 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2008.
  10. Guest, Thomas J. (1991). Thirty Years of Hits. Collingwood, Melbourne: M. J. Maloney. ISBN 0-646-04633-0.
  11. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
  12. "Bootleg Family Band". Milesago. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  13. "Where did they get that song?". PopArchives. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  14. "Alvin Purple". Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  15. "Alvin Purple". Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  16. "Gib Guilbeau and The Flying Burrito Brothers". Thomas Aubrunner. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  17. "The Music Show". ABC Radio. 15 May 2004. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  18. "Cadd Joins SAL Board". dBMagazine. Archived from the original on 9 August 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  19. "Australian music legend Brian Cadd". ABC Radio. 23 September 2005. Archived from the original on 4 February 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  20. "Brian Cadd 'Quietly Rusting' CD".
  21. Pope, Mark (14 June 2007). "Radios appear! More musicians to enter ARIA's Hall of Fame" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  22. "The 27th Annual Songwriting Awards Night". Wests Ashfield Leagues Club. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  23. Cadd, Brian (2010). From This Side of Things. Australia. ISBN 978-1-74257-057-0. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012.
  24. "Brian Cadd Gathers Up A New Bulletproof Bootleg Family". Noise11. 1 November 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  25. "Brian Cadd comes full circle with a taste of Americana in Silver City". noise11. 15 January 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  26. "Seventies rocker rescued in floods". Australian Associated Press (AAP). 2 February 1999. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  27. "Review of Long Way Til You Drop". Milesago. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  28. Edwards, Paul (12 July 2006). "Amanda Pelman". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
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