Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Need Your Love/Tell Me Why/Lonely One/Six Million Dollar Role/White Ship/Tango Queen/Good To See You/By The Light/Rescue Dream/Acropolis
Kevin Borich was born in 1948 in Huapai north west of Auckland on New Zealand's North Island, he attended secondary school at Rutherford High School in Te Atatu, a suburb of Auckland. In 1961, at the age of 12, Borich recorded a private single on Astor Records with two sisters, Judi Donaldson and Sue Donaldson (later as New Zealand duo, The Chicks). As a guitarist, Borich formed The Mergers in late 1963 with fellow students, Brett Neilsen on drums and Trevor Wilson on bass guitar. Initially they performed covers of The Shadows material as an instrumental band after school and on week-ends.
With the addition of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Phil Key, The Mergers with Borich on lead guitar/vocals, Neilsen on drums/vocals and Wilson on bass guitar, were eventually renamed as The La De Das in 1964 in Auckland, New Zealand. In June 1965 they recorded their debut single, "Little Girl", and later that year added Bruce Howard on keyboards. From 1966 to 1967 they had five New Zealand top 10 hits, By 1968 they were based in Sydney and recorded their concept album, The Happy Prince, in 1969 on EMI. The La De Das recorded further albums and singles and despite critical acclaim had little chart success, only Borich remained throughout until he disbanded the group in 1975. After The La De Das, Borich toured with John Paul Young & the Allstars for some months before forming a new band.
Kevin Borich Express was formed in early 1976 by Borich on lead guitar, lead vocals and occasional flute with Harry Brus on bass guitar (ex-Blackfeather) and Barry Harvey on drums (Wild Cherries, Chain). They recorded a track, "The End of Me" before Brus and Harvey were soon replaced by Reuben San Fiansco on bass guitar and Gil Matthews on drums. Subsequent line-ups were typically a three piece with a succession of bass guitarist and drummers. They released their debut single, "Goin' Somewhere" in October using Fiansco, and John Annas on drums (Wendy Saddington Band), following in March 1977 was their debut album, Celebration! with Annas, and Tim Partridge on bass guitar (Mighty Kong (band), The Johnny Rocco Band). The album was favoured by critics and peaked in the top 30 on the Australian albums charts.
In early 1977, Borich supported the tour by UK rock guitarist, Jeff Beck; this was followed in October by supporting the Rockarena tour with Santana, Fleetwood Mac and Little River Band - Borich was invited on-stage to jam with Carlos Santana. In July 1977 they recorded the "Lonely One" album. On its completion, Tim Partridge left the trio. He was initially replaced by Tim Ayers from the Renee Geyer Band and then Bob Jackson. The single "Tango Queen" was released in November. Bob only lasted until March 1978, when he was replaced by Paul Christie. Following a farewell concert in Melbourne late in May, the Kevin Borich Express headed for the US where they toured extensively. In the US keyboardist Tim Schafer was added.