In only its second year, the Adelaide International Guitar Festival is already arguably the largest “single instrument” festival in the world and has rapidly found it’s place on the international music calendar. In 2007, the Closing Night concert was a tribute to guitar superstar, Jimi Hendrix, and in 2008 the Festival honours Australian Rock legends AC/DC, in A Tribute ACDC: We Salute You.

Oz rock legend in his own right, John Swan (AKA Swanee) of The Party Boys joins the lineup for the AC/DC tribute and spoke to Australian Stage's Brad Syke.


 
John SwanWill The Party Boys ever be partying again (in public), beyond the AGIF?
I’d like to think there's a need for bands that have some history behind them. If you look at the pedigree of the players that alone makes for a good act. On top of that we kick arse like not many others.
 
Who are your guitar heroes? For you, whos' the greatest of all guitarists?
Malcolm Young (just the best rhythm player ever). People underestimate the power his playing gives the lads.
 
How much of a Glaswegian are you, these days?
How do you stop being a Glaswegian?
 
Have your little-known boxing prowess and rock musicianship ever coincided?
I don’t know about little known boxing skills I took state championships, I fought in the army. I boxed Lester Ellis before a world title fight (exhibition of course).
 
Which is handier, being a guitar-player, or a fighter?
Guitar player - you either fight or not it’s a choice with guitar. Its pentatonic scales and a never ending journey of which I am enjoying more as I become more proficient on the instrument.
 
Do you miss the drums; the instrument on which you started your career?
No I still play from time to time.
 
You've been something of a hitmaker, but, well, it's been a while. Does that sting? Or is chart success a bonus, rather than a necessity?
I think having hits is secondary to enjoying what you do. As far as being a while, I hear that a lot only from people who have never had one. As previously stated - success is a bonus, rather than a necessity
 
You've been around long enough to graduate as an Australian rock music icon. How does that feel?
I never really thought about it. I’m flattered you even suggest it.
 
I just do what comes naturally and hope everyone else enjoys the same. If you love what you do and you still do it well go for it.

You're almost inarguably one of the greatest rock singers in the history of the genre. You ought to be even more famous than you are. Do you feel that as injustice?
Thank you for the kind words your too kind. I never started out to be famous I just wanted to be happy and play music. I feel no injustice. Im too busy writing, recording, playing live, (oh I teach at the academy of music as well). I'm off to the States soon to tour with the musos that played on my last album “Have a Little Faith”. They come from Garth Brooks, Bonnie Raitt & Billy Joel’s band, so injustice is not there - I’m honoured to be part of this whole thing.

When will you be too old to rock 'n' roll?
Not applicable
 
Among many other legends, you've supported and toured with 'Ackadacka'. What was it like?
Best time on stage - sound checks were fun - they play a mean game of darts. Look they're just bloody good guys, who rock the arse out of every show.

Wait for this tour to come down under - you'll see what I mean. They are the best rock band in the world. Have been for a long time. People like Aerosmith, Billy Joel, and every kid that learns guitar can’t be wrong. I love them.

What's next, for John Swan?
Gym - Dinner - Gig tonight


The Adelaide International Guitar Festival runs Nov 29 - Dec 7 2008.
A Tribute ACDC: We Salute You plays Elder Park, 5pm - 10.30pm Dec 7. Further information»

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