Mark Kingsmill

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Mark Kingsmill
Drummer Mark Kingsmill with Hoodoo Gurus.jpg
Kingsmill with Hoodoo Gurus, Rottnest Island, April 2012
Background information
Birth nameMark Adrian Kingsmill
Also known asJim Boots, Drum Stick
Born (1956-12-04) 4 December 1956 (age 63)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres Rock
Occupation(s)Musician, drummer, songwriter
InstrumentsDrums, vocals
Years active1977–2015
Associated actsThe Hellcats, Thought Criminals, The Other Side, The Hitmen, Super K, New Christs, The Screaming Tribesmen, Hoodoo Gurus, The Moops, Persian Rugs

Mark Adrian Kingsmill (born 4 December 1956) is an Australian rock musician. He has drummed with several bands including the Hitmen (1979–84), New Christs (1983–84), the Screaming Tribesmen (1984) and Hoodoo Gurus (1984–98, 2003–15). He is the older brother of Richard Kingsmill, music director and presenter on Triple J.



Early days

In early 1977 in Sydney Kingsmill, on drums, joined vocalist Ron Peno's (aka Ronnie Pop) band, the Hellcats, with Clyde Bramley on bass guitar and Charlie Georges on guitar. Ian McFarlane, an Australian musicologist, described the group as "a tough New York Dolls-inspired covers band". [1] The Hellcats often supported fellow punk rockers, Radio Birdman.

Later that year Kingsmill, under the pseudonym Jim Boots, joined another local punk band, Thought Criminals, with the line-up of Roger Grierson (aka Jack Boots) on guitar, Rique Lee Kendall (aka Matt Black) on bass guitar and Bruce Warner (aka Kit Identity) on lead vocals. Kingsmill performed on their first recording, an EP, Hilton Bomber. It was released in 1978 on their own label, Doublethink. [2] Kingsmill was replaced by the Last Words' drummer, Ken Doyle (aka Derik Wapillspoon). [3]

Mark Kingsmill was the original drummer and member of his next band, The Other Side, along with Clyde Bramley and Charlie Georges, and was replaced by Ron Keeley, when Kingsmill departed to join the Hitmen. This reunited Keely with Rob Younger (ex-Radio Birdman) on lead vocals.


Kingsmill, using the moniker Drum Stick, joined Sydney-based rockers, the Hitmen, in 1979 on drums and backing vocals, alongside Warwick Gilbert (Leonardo da Vinci) on guitar, Johnny Kannis (Adonis) on lead vocals, Chris Masuak (Han Debris) on lead guitar and Phil Sommerville (Cole Slaw) on bass guitar. [4] [5] [6] In March 1979 WEA had signed the band and in July they issued their first single, "Didn't Tell the Man", with a line-up of Kingsmill, Gilbert, Kannis, Masuak and Tony Vidale on guitar. The band's next single "I Want You" was released in April. In December 1980 they worked with producer Mark Opitz to record their debut album. [6]

Midway through recording Vidale quit and was replaced by guitarist Brad Shepherd (ex-Fun Things). [6] The album, Hitmen, was released in July 1981; preceded a month earlier by the single, "I Don't Mind". [6] McFarlane opined that the album and single "were excellent slices of melodic hard rock." [6] In November 1981 the group supported Steppenwolf on the Australian leg of their tour. [6] Tony Robertson on bass guitar replaced Gilbert during that tour. [6] Kingsmill and Masuak co-wrote "Scratch the Itchy Brother" which was later issued on a compilation album, Kicks Right Now.... Demos and Out-Takes (November 2015). [7]

In 1982 Shepherd and fellow flatmate, Bramley, formed a side project, a bubble gum pop group, Super K, [4] to record a single "Go Go", for which Kingsmill played drums. The Hitmen issued two more singles, "Everybody Knows (I Don't Like Love)" (April 1982) and "Bwana Devil" (November), with another album, It is What It Is, in November. [6] Shepherd left ahead of the album and the Hitmen continued to tour as a four-piece. [6] McFarlane declared that they would "draw big crowds on tour, but could not sell records." [6] They were dropped by their label, RCA, and disbanded in mid-1983. [6]

New Christs

In June 1983 Younger reformed his earlier band, the New Christs, with Kingsmill on drums, Masuak on guitar, Robertson on bass guitar and Kent Steedman on lead guitar (ex-the Celibate Rifles). [4] [8] They supported an Australian tour by Iggy Pop and then Steedman returned to the Celibate Rifles. [8] He was replaced by Richard Jakimyszyn on guitar (ex-Lime Spiders). [4] [8] This version of the New Christs issued two singles, "Like a Curse" (April 1984) and "Born out of Time" (April 1986), on Citadel Records. [4] [8] McFarlane felt they were "consummate, guitar-driven, hard rock". [8] AllMusic's Jack Rabid reviewed "Like a Curse", as being "more slam-bang rock with great rhythm from a man who has it coursing in his bones." [9] The group's music was used on the soundtrack of the feature film, Going Down (1983). [10] This line-up of the New Christs broke up in May 1984. [8] In June Kingsmill, Masuak and Robertson all joined rock group, the Screaming Tribesmen, which was re-established by founding mainstay, Mick Medew on guitar and lead vocals. [11]

Hoodoo Gurus

In August 1984 Kingsmill left New Christs to join the Hoodoo Gurus, a rock new wave group, for their first United States tour. [11] This reunited him with former band mates, Bramley and Shepherd, alongside Hoodoo Gurus' founding mainstay, Dave Faulkner on lead vocals, guitar and keyboards. [4] [12] Kingsmill replaced founding drummer James Baker. [4] [12] Baker later told Sylvester Fox of Groove Magazine, "'They just sacked me.' So there's nothing mysterious about it? 'No no!!' What were the reasons given? 'Musical differences.'" [13] [14]

Following the band's US tour they returned to Australia and recorded their second studio album, Mars Needs Guitars! , for which Kingsmill co-wrote the title track with the other members of the band, including Baker. [15] The track also appeared as the B-side to the album's first single, "Bittersweet". Their next two albums are Blow Your Cool! in 1987 and Magnum Cum Louder in 1989. Kingsmill is attributed as a co-writer on the second single taken from Magnum Cum Louder, "Axegrinder", [16] which peaked at No. 60 on the ARIA Singles Chart. The band released another three studio albums, Kinky in 1991, Crank in 1994 and Blue Cave in 1996. In 1997 the group announced their forthcoming disbandment, they undertook a final three-month Australian tour, which commenced in October 1997 and finished in January 1998. In July 1998 the band's label, Mushroom Records issued a live album, Bite the Bullet , containing tracks that had been recorded during the band’s farewell tour. This included a short instrumental, "It's Kingsy Time", written and performed by Kingsmill. [17]

In September 2001, the four ex-Gurus (Faulkner, Grossman, Kingsmill and Shepherd) performed as The Moops, and were later called Persian Rugs. As the Persian Rugs they recorded a five-track EP, Mr. Tripper. In June 2002, Grossman left, and was replaced by bassist Kendall James (ex Thurston Howlers, Crusaders). The new line-up of the Persian Rugs recorded their debut album, Turkish Delight, which was released in August 2003. In early 2003 Hoodoo Gurus reformed and in the following March they released their eighth studio album, Mach Schau , undertaking tours of Australia, Europe and the United States. It wasn't until March 2010 that they released their next album Purity of Essence.

Hoodoo Gurus iconic status on the Australian rock scene was acknowledged when they were inducted into the 2007 ARIA Hall of Fame. [18] [19] In January 2015 the band announced that Kingsmill would be retiring from the band – thirty one years after joining. [20] His last performances were in May 2015, at the Be My Guru – Evolution Revolution concerts at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum as part of the Vivid Festival. [21] [22] According to Faulkner, Kingsmill left because "he feels he's had enough of this vagabond rock 'n' roll lifestyle we all lead. Though he still enjoys playing drums, Mark has completely lost his appetite for the endless travelling and the many hours of hotel room boredom. The physical demands of playing the drums as energetically as he does are also exacting a higher toll on his body than ever before." [23] He was replaced in the group by Nik Rieth. [21] Kingsmill briefly returned to Hoodoo Gurus in March 2016, he temporarily replaced Rieth for their Day of the Green tour. [24]

Personal life

Kingsmill's younger brother, Richard is the musical director at the Australian youth radio, Triple J.

Kingsmill was married to Catherine, a fabric artist based in Maitland, New South Wales. [25] The pair had met in 1978 and had one child together. [26] They subsequently divorced, Catherine declared "we are still friends. A marriage is just really hard to keep together when you're not together, but we never had a falling out or anything like that.” [26]

In mid-1996 Kingsmill injured himself, two weeks into the start of Hoodoo Gurus' Blue Cave Tour; he had leapt up from his drum kit and toppled backwards. [27] [28] He tore tendons and nerves in his left arm, which required surgery before he could rejoin the group and resume their tour. [27] [28]


Related Research Articles

Rob Younger is an Australian rock musician, vocalist, songwriter and producer. He is a founding mainstay of the punk rock group, Radio Birdman, and a pioneer of the local independent music scene. Radio Birdman, formed with Deniz Tek on guitar in November 1974, was one of the first punk rock bands ever formed in Australia, and is considered one of the most influential and crucial bands in Australian music history. Younger formed a short-term super-group, New Race, in 1981. He also formed New Christs in that year, who is still active today.

The New Christs are an Australian garage rock band formed in 1980 by founding mainstay, Rob Younger, on lead vocals. Younger was the lead singer for punk rockers, Radio Birdman, and in other hard rock groups, New Race, Bad Music, the Other Side, Nanker Phelge, and Deep Reduction. The New Christs line-up since 2011 is Younger with Jim Dickson on bass guitar, Dave Kettley on guitar, Paul Larsen on drums and Brent Williams on guitar and keyboards. Over their career the group have issued five studio albums, Distemper (1989), Lower Yourself (1997), We Got This! (2002), Gloria (2009) and Incantations (2014). Three former members have died: Stevie Plunder in January 1996, Mark Wilkinson in December 2012 and Christian Houllemare in June 2014.

Hoodoo Gurus Australian rock band formed in 1981

Hoodoo Gurus are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1981, by the mainstay Dave Faulkner and later joined by Richard Grossman (bass), Mark Kingsmill (drums), and Brad Shepherd. Their popularity peaked in the mid to late 1980s with albums Mars Needs Guitars!, Blow Your Cool! and Magnum Cum Louder.

The Screaming Tribesmen

The Screaming Tribesmen were an Australian rock band formed in Brisbane, Queensland in 1981 by mainstay Mick Medew on lead vocals and lead guitar. With various line-ups they released three studio albums, Bones and Flowers, Blood Lust (1990) and Formaldehyde (1993), before disbanding in 1998. They reformed in 2011 for performances until June 2012. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described how they, "fashioned a memorable brand of 1960s-inspired pop rock that combined equal parts existential lyric angst, melodic inventiveness and strident guitar riffs."

<i>Stoneage Romeos</i> 1984 studio album by Hoodoo Gurus

Stoneage Romeos is the debut album by Australian rock group Hoodoo Gurus. Released on 9 March 1984 by Big Time Records in Australia, the album's release saw them receive record sales to complement their already strong reputation for live performances. With radio and television support for their third single "My Girl" (1983), complete with a film clip about a greyhound of the same name, the band's following grew. The album's other singles were "Leilani" (1982), "Tojo" (1983), and "I Want You Back" (1984).

The Victims (Australian band)

The Victims were an Australian punk band from Perth, Western Australia, active from 1977 to 1979. The founding mainstay members were James Baker on drums, Dave Flick on guitar and vocals, and Rudolph V on bass guitar. Their debut single, "Television Addict", was issued in April 1978 and was followed by a five-track extended play, The Victims, in August of that year. The group disbanded early in the next year. In 1989 Timberyard Records released a compilation album, All Loud on the Western Front, of their material. In late 2014 and early 2015 Baker and Faulkner were joined by Ray Ahn as the Television Addicts to perform the Victims material. The 2014 and '15 shows were so well received that the trio rightly assumed the band name The Victims and played sold-out shows at Rosemount Hotel and Mojo's Bar.

<i>Mars Needs Guitars!</i> 1985 studio album by Hoodoo Gurus

Mars Needs Guitars! is Australian rock group Hoodoo Gurus' second album, released in 1985. The title is a reference to the 1967 science fiction film, Mars Needs Women. Singles from the album were "Bittersweet" (1985), "Like Wow – Wipeout", "Death Defying" (1986) and "Poison Pen" (1986). Mars Needs Guitars! reached No. 140 on the American Billboard 200 albums chart in 1986.

<i>Blow Your Cool!</i> 1987 studio album by Hoodoo Gurus

Blow Your Cool! is Australian rock group Hoodoo Gurus' third album, released in May 1987 and contains their hit single "What's My Scene?". The single reached #3 on the Australian Music Charts. The band's American label, Elektra Records, was hoping that they could come up with something a bit easier to market than the witty, 1960s-obsessed pop/rock of Stoneage Romeos and Mars Needs Guitars!, so they paired the group with producer Mark Opitz, who had previously produced records for AC/DC, INXS, and the Divinyls. Background vocals on two tracks were supplied by the Bangles. It was recorded both in Sydney and Los Angeles. The album reached No. 120 on the Billboard 200 album charts in 1987.

"When the Blow Your Cool! touring was over Clyde retired from the road and the band. At this point we persuaded Rick Grossman to join, contributing his tremendous bass skills to the band, and so we had reached what was to be our ultimate line-up. After that we only changed our haircuts ." - Dave Faulkner.

The Dubrovniks were an Australian rock band which formed in August 1986 as The Adorable Ones. Early in 1987 they changed their name to The Dubrovniks in acknowledgement to the birthplace of two founding members, Roddy Radalj, and Boris Sujdovic. Dubrovnik is a town in Croatia. Both Radalj and fellow founder James Baker had previously founded Hoodoo Gurus in 1981. All three had earlier associations in the Perth punk scene of the late 1970s. The group issued four albums, Dubrovnik Blues, Audio Sonic Love Affair, Chrome, and Medicine Wheel (1994), before disbanding in 1995.

<i>Magnum Cum Louder</i> 1989 studio album by Hoodoo Gurus

Magnum Cum Louder is Australian rock group Hoodoo Gurus' fourth album, the first with their new label, RCA Records, after being dropped by Elektra Records following disappointing sales in the United States. The album was produced by the group, and released in Australia on 28 June 1989.

James Baker (musician) Australian musician

James Lawrence Baker is an Australian musician, best known as the drummer of various rock and punk rock groups, including the Victims, the Scientists, Hoodoo Gurus, Beasts of Bourbon, and the Dubrovniks. In 2006 Baker was inducted into the West Australian Music Industry Hall of Fame. The following year, Hoodoo Gurus were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Chris Masuak

Christopher William Masuak is a Canadian-born Australian musician, guitarist, songwriter and record producer. He joined the punk rock group, Radio Birdman, then the hard rockers, the Hitmen, and the Screaming Tribesmen (1984–89). Masuak has also been a member of New Christs (1983–84), the Juke Savages (1992–96), the Raouls (1996–97), and Klondike's North 40 (2002–present). He has released material as Chris Boy King and as Klondike. Radio Birdman were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in July 2007.

<i>Kinky</i> (Hoodoo Gurus album) 1991 studio album by Hoodoo Gurus

Kinky was Australian rock group Hoodoo Gurus' fifth studio album, and was released on 9 April 1991 by RCA Records. It was produced by the group.

<i>Crank</i> (Hoodoo Gurus album) 1994 studio album by Hoodoo Gurus

Crank is Australian rock group Hoodoo Gurus' sixth studio album, released in early March 1994. The album was produced by Ed Stasium, who had mixed Hoodoo Gurus previous studio album, Kinky in 1991. It was the band's first release on Zoo Records.

<i>Blue Cave</i> (album) 1996 studio album by Hoodoo Gurus

Blue Cave or In Blue Cave was the Australian rock group Hoodoo Gurus' seventh studio album. The album was nominated for 'Best Pop Release' at the 1996 ARIA Awards. The album was co-produced with Charles Fisher, who had produced the band's second album, Mars Needs Guitars!, in 1985; Paul McKercher was the sound engineer and the Silverchair producer Kevin Shirley mixed the tracks. The entire album also had a limited release as a set of seven 7" vinyl singles as In Blue Cave on Mushroom Records; and, as a CD, it was released with More Electric Soup video in a special box.

<i>Mach Schau</i> (album) 2004 studio album by Hoodoo Gurus

Mach Schau is the eighth studio album by the Australian rock group Hoodoo Gurus. It was recorded eight years after their previous studio album, Blue Cave, and released by EMI/Capitol Records on 15 March 2004. It was co-produced by the group with Kim Salmon. Upon release it peaked in the top 100 of the ARIA Albums Chart.

The Hitmen are an Australian hard rock band formed in November 1977 by long-term members, Johnny Kannis on lead vocals and Chris Masuak on lead guitar as Johnny and the Hitmen. The group went through numerous line up changes in its first run from 1977 to 1984. They regrouped under a new name, Hitmen DTK, between 1989 and 1992. They have issued three studio albums, Hitmen, It Is What It Is and Moronic Inferno. The Hitmen reformed in 2007; Masuak left in 2015.

Leilani (song) Single by Hoodoo Gurus

"Leilani" was the first single by iconic Australian rock group Hoodoo Gurus when they were called Le Hoodoo Gurus and was released on Phantom Records in October 1982. It had been written by all four Gurus: James Baker, Dave Faulkner, Roddy Radalj and Kimble Rendall. Rendall left shortly before its release and, not long after, the band dropped the 'Le' to become Hoodoo Gurus. Le Hoodoo Gurus were noted for having three guitars and no bass player, creating a distinctive, layered sound. This was captured on "Leilani", which told the story of a maiden sacrificed to the gods and an erupting volcano while her true love looked on helplessly. A re-recorded version of the song was later released on Hoodoo Gurus' first album Stoneage Romeos (1984).

"Astute listeners will note the absence of bass guitar in the band... "Leilani" was based on an old 50s movie, Bird of Paradise starring Jeff Chandler..." - Dave Faulkner.

Richard Grossman (bassist)

Richard Grossman is an Australian rock musician who has played bass guitar for two iconic bands: Divinyls and Hoodoo Gurus. Hoodoo Gurus' status on the Australian rock scene was acknowledged when they were inducted into the 2007 ARIA Hall of Fame. For Grossman, this was his second Hall of Fame induction in a row; the 2006 award was for his stint with Divinyls. Often referred to as Rick Grossman, he has also performed with other Australian bands: Matt Finish, Ghostwriters, Persian Rugs, The Kelly Gang and Men At Work.

Brad Shepherd

Bradley Mark "Brad" Shepherd is an Australian rock musician. Shepherd is a guitarist, singer-songwriter and harmonica player; he has performed with several bands, especially Hoodoo Gurus.


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