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Devil's Disciple - The Music of Lobby Loyde by Paul McHenry

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

Devil’s Disciple’ is the latest book by Melbourne-based music researcher/writer Paul McHenry. Paul is a leading authority on Australian music, especially the 60s and 70s and is a devoted fan of Lobby Loyde. The book is a tribute to the music of the legendary Australian guitarist whose 45-year career was unique and groundbreaking. Paul McHenry has been researching and documenting Australian music since the mid 70s and has written over 20 books. He is part of the Who’s Who of Australian Rock team whose five editions published between 1987 and 2002 has become the definitive guide for all researchers, journalists, musicians and fans of music. Paul was of invaluable assistance to me when I was writing ‘Sunshine Secrets.’ Paul’s latest book takes its name from two sources. Devils Disciples was the name of the first band Loyde formed in 1960 and the name of the B-side of a 1973 Coloured Balls single.

Lobby Loyde was born John Barrie Lyde on May 18th, 1941 in Longreach, Central Queensland. Growing up he was general known by the family nickname Baslington. His mother taught him classical violin and piano as a child, but by his early teens he was playing guitar and he formed his first band Devil’s Disciples, playing bass in 1960. In 1964 he joined the Purple Hearts playing lead guitar. Many people who experienced the raw R’n’B of the Purple Hearts live, still have fond memories of what it was like to witness Lobby Loyde in action.

“When he was not blowing out amps on stage and punishing the crowd with excessive volume, he was electrifying all around with his original and punchy guitar work.”

(Col Gray, Vicious Kitten, Aug/Sept 1998.)

In 1967, the Purple Hearts disbanded and Loyde joined the Wild Cherries, a jazz/blues experimental band. Loyde transformed the group into a cutting edge psychedelic rock group. The four Festival singles recorded by the Wild Cherries are psychedelic masterpieces penned by Lobby.

“The band was a phenomena and was easily the most remarkable in an era that spawned such other like-minded bands as James Taylor Move and Running Jumping Standing Still.”(Ian McFarlane, From The Vault, Vol.1 No.2, 1987)

In late 1968 Lobby joined his childhood friend Billy Thorpe in the Aztecs. Lobby taught the band to play rock’n’roll with a heavy blues base and they became the top blues-rock band in the country. When asked what it was like playing in the Aztecs, Lobby said, “The Aztecs were intense and they wanted to do it, I must say those years with the band were fun because they were a phenomenally butch rock’n’roll band. In fact there weren’t too many bands in Australia at that time with that intensity.”

In late 1970, Loyde left the Aztecs to concentrate on his experimental music and in 1971 he released his debut solo album, ‘Plays George Guitar’ which has been described as “an underground classic.” Then in 1972 Lobby formed the Coloured Balls, a band that is considered to be his finest work. The heavy rock with a boogie flavour, the band played soon made them the biggest crowd puller at the time. In 1973 the Coloured Balls released the highly regarded ‘Ball Power’ LP, which remains Lobby’s most popular album.

“So were the Coloured Balls punk, hard rock, progressive or heavy metal? Who cares – they rocked, and that’s all that matters.” (Paul McHenry, Devil’s Disciple)

In 1974 the band folded and Lobby released his second solo album, ‘Obsecration’, then following the release of this album he travelled to the UK where he ran front-of-house sound for a new wave band and worked in a recording studio learning production skills from Police producer, Nigel Gray. Lobby returned to Australia in 1979 and formed Southern Electric, then played bass with Rose Tattoo and toured with them for a year.

In 1980 Lobby entered a new phase in his career concentrating on management, production and live sound mixing for such bands as Sunnyboys, X, Machinations and Painters & Dockers. In 1990 he played bass in the short lived band called Dirtthen in 1997 he formed a new band called Fish Tree Mother, which later evolved into Ball Power.

Away from music, Loyde had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and he read widely on subjects ranging from physics and existentialism to mechanics and history. He attended regular events at his daughter’s pony club where no one knew who he was.

In 2005 Loyde was diagnosed with brain cancer and the Australian music industry rallied around him and staged the Lobby Loyde Benefit Concert. A large number of acts performed in tribute to this outstanding musician including Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, Masters Apprentices, Coloured Balls, Brian Cadd and Russell Morris. Despite being ill Lobby

continued to play until he passed away on April 21st, 2006. He was survived by his wife Debbie, daughters Frances, Becky and Lucy, son Vyvyan, and a son from an earlier relationship.

“Loyde will be remembered for his 45 years of passionate and uncompromising rock, a wicked sense of humour and an insatiable lust for life.” (The Age, April, 2006)

Devil’s Disciple summarises the unique musical career of Lobby Loyde and is a welcome addition to the many articles and extensive liner notes that already exist. What makes this book even more for appealing is the knowledge that most of Loyde’s music is currently available on CD re-issues.

The book is available from:


Other books written by Paul McHenry relevant to the musical career of Lobby Loyde:

This book looks at the recording career of Billy Thorpe in great

detail up until 1995. It will appeal to Thorpe’s fans as well as

record collectors. It includes all the trivia you ever wanted to know about the recordings of this great Australian musician.

In this book Paul nominates 100 debut albums recorded by Australian artists. He has drawn on his extensive knowledge and interest of Australian music over the past 40 years to compile this collection of albums summarizing the views and opinios of several of Australia’s foremost musicologists. While many of the albums were released by artists that went on to have extensive careers, (Skyhooks for

instance) others represent the only

recording by the artist.

Complete list of books by Paul McHenry:

Thorpie – An overview of Billy Thorpe’s career with detailed commentary on his recordings

Russell Morris – An overview of the musical career of Russell Morris

Hans Poulsen: Troubadour – An overview of the musical career of Hans Sven Poulsen

Ross Ryan: Thought This Would Happen – An overview of the musical career of Ross Ryan

Devil’s Disciple – The music career of Lobby Loyde

Caddie – An overview of the musical career of Brian Cadd

Fax About Max – An overview of the musical career of Max Merritt

Dreamers – An overview of the musical careers of Glenn Cardier, Greg Quill, Graham Lownes

& John J Francis

Get It Down On Tape – A discography of cassette releases by Australian artists 1972-1998

Cover Me – Cover versions of Aussie songs

Musical Loners – A discography of Australian Rock & Pop artists that only had one release

(1970 – 1979)

Musical Loners – A discography of Australian Rock & Pop artists that only had one release

(1980 – 1984)

Musical Loners – A discography of Australian Rock & Pop artists that only had one release

(1985 – 1989)

Melbourne 1970 – A discography of small early 70s Pop & Rock

Melbourne 1975 - A discography of the Champayne and Clear Light of Jupiter record labels

Under The Radar – A journey of lesser known singer-songwriters of the 1970s and 1980s

Mr Spaceman Records – A history of Mr Spaceman Records Melbourne 1985 – 1990

Fantastic Plastic – Polyester Dream: 1985 – 1992: The Story of the Polyester label

Restoring Our Musical Heritage – Australian and selected New Zealand Rock & Pop overview

of discography of CD/LP re-issues

100 Greatest Debut Australian Albums – The First 30 Years 1960 – 1989 Rock & Pop

All of the books listed are available from:

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