Long Way to the Top

Band: The Atlantics

Stories and Highlights from 1961 – 1969 and 2000

  • The Atlantics were from the eastern suburbs of Sydney, not far from Little Pattie’s stompin’ grounds of Maroubra and Bronte Beaches. They were the first Australian band to pick up on what was classified as ‘surf music’, which was all the rage in America.
  • Billy Thorpe describes The Atlantics in his autobiography, ‘Sex and Thugs and Rock n’ Roll’ as, “a good strong instrumental band with a style somewhere between The Surfaris, The Ventures and a Greek folk band. The surfing crowd in particular loved them and when they played their big hit ‘Bombora’ the whole joint went beserk”.
  • They were Peter Hood on drums, Theo Penglis on lead and rhythm guitar, and bass player Bosco Bosanac. Original guitarist Eddy Matzenik, was replaced very early on by Jim Skaithitis. This line-up never changed.
  • Peter recalls, “We were walking around one day trying to think up a group name. We went through names such as The Eagles, The Falcons, and The Jet Streams . . . you name it. Then we saw a sign . . . ATLANTIC PETROL’.
  • Many people thought they were an American band which actually was an advantage. Deejays have confessed that if they’d known they were Australian they wouldn’t have played the records.
  • Agent Joan King took the group on and convinced them to give up their day jobs.
  • They appeared on Channel Seven’s New Faces show and were voted ‘Most Promising Group of 1962’.
  • Joan King managed to get Sven Libaek, AR Manager at CBS Records to hear a demo tape that had been rejected by the major labels. They were signed.
  • Their debut single was an original, ‘Moon Man/Dark Eyes’ which was released in February 1963. Moon Man paved the way for one of the classic hits of Australian music, the instrumental Bombora.
  • ‘Bombora’ was a massive hit written on a rainy day. Peter and Jim had decided against going to the Royal Easter Show because of the weather, so instead they decided to write a song which was ‘Bombora’. The single was released July 1963 and in the space of four weeks went to the top of the charts, and held the number one position for eight consecutive weeks. ‘Bombora’ is an Aboriginal term for large waves breaking over submerged rock shelves. The Atlantics won the 2GB and Macquarie Broadcasting Network Tune Table Award of Top Australian Instrumental Group of 1963-64 and were also honoured with the 3UZ Instrumental Band of the Year Award.
  • The success of Bombora propelled them into the studio to record an album of the same name.
  • The second album was titled ‘Now It’s Stompin’ Time’ – to take advantage of the ‘stomp’ dance craze – and appeared in the stores just in time for Christmas 1963.
  • In the following years, Bombora was covered by many bands in many countries.
  • In 1998 Bosco Bosonac opened the vintage record café in Annandale, Sydney. It was here that he realised, through people hounding him at the shop, that The Atlantics were folk heroes. This prompted a reformation.
  • In 2000, three decades later, The Atlantics re-surfaced and released a new album ‘Flight Of The Surf Guitar’ complete with a run of live shows.
  • They performed on ABC TV’s Studio 22 and 10.30 Slot. After the 10.30 Slot they received a flood of e-mails from young kids that thought they were awesome.
  • ‘Bombora’ was used at the Sydney 2000 Olympic closing ceremony to compliment the image of 100 lifesavers dragging an oversized lifesaving reel into the arena.

Atlantics Web Sites

The Atlantics Official Web Site at www.mandyh37.sg-host.com


Original website: http://www.abc.net.au/longway/artist_index/theatlantics.htm