The band that would morph into Jack Rabbit and the Pubic Hares formed (or more accurately tripped over one another) in the early seventies. Influenced by Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, the band played only one song – an extended version of “Rock me baby” that lasted three years. Inspired by The Bonzo Dog (Doo Dah) Band, and changing their name weekly, (“Buckshot” to “Stretchy Fletcher and the Rubber Band”) they cobbled together a repertoire of Bonzo covers, punk versions of Sammi Davis Junior songs and anything else with two chords.
The critics were not kind.
“As attractive as Bachman Turner Overdrive, as exciting as The Captain and Tennille, as progressive as The Carpenters and as sober as Harry Nilsson.”
“Fingernails down a blackboard”
“This band is to music as Hitler was to public relations”
Realising some hard and ruthless decisions had to be made, wholesale changes to the line up were unfortunately necessary. No-one actually left, but the keyboard player took over drums, the guitarist moved to bass, and the singer picked up the guitar. It sounded no better but it signalled to the world that they were at least trying.
After an unsuccessful attempt to register “Jack Rabbit and the Pubic Hares” as a trading name, they finally succeeded in 1979, although they had to change “Pubic” to “Public” and sign an affidavit to that effect. (Officially they remained “Public” until twenty years later)
Tired of butchering other artist’s songs they decided to write their own material, confident they possessed the talent to butcher thoseas well instead. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams – butchering them that is!
They gradually assembled a collection of deep and meaningful outpourings based on STD’s, body parts, football, cars and various unsavoury habits. Their first release, creatively titled “The Jack Rabbit and the Pubic Hares Collection” came out in 1980 and though rare, is today much sort after by collectors as chocks for uneven table legs.
It would be another twenty years until their next offering, the even more imaginatively titled “Jack Rabbit and the Pubic Hares” (which has become better known as “Buy Two Pots and Grab Your Nuts” courtesy of a promotional sign that happened to be hanging over the bar during the photo shoot which none of the band noticed.)
During their thirty plus years together, more than thirty musicians have been through the band – and a similar number have played with the band! Nine guitarists, eight drummers, five or six bass players, several keyboard players and countless other guest instrumentalists and vocalists. Some stay for a decade, some for a night, some for a song. Some have departed only to realise the error of their ways and return to beg a second chance.
What is the secret to the band’s longevity?
They don’t give a stuff about the money
They don’t give a stuff about the music
They don’t give a stuff about being middle aged
They don’t give a stuff about looking ridiculous
And they don’t give a stuff about each other (especially the drummer)
But they passionately care about the drinks rider!
In the words of promoter Steve Prictor
“IT’S A !*?# OF A NAME, BUT JACK RABBIT AND THE PUBIC HARES ARE A MIGHTY FINE BAND WHO, FOR REASONS BEST KEPT TO THEMSELVES, SING ANTHEMIC DITTIES ABOUT SUBURBAN AUSTRALIAN CULTURE WITH THE SINGER DRESSED IN A MOTH RAVAGED COW SUIT.
IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER, WHICH IS KIND OF SAD, REALLY.”