Frank Bennett

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Like any gifted musician, Frank Bennett's appetite for music probably developed in the cradle but from there was weaned on a diet of sixties and seventies radio. Yet while The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Beach Boys, The Fifth Dimension, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, and a thousand other great acts dominated the airwaves and incited change, the carefree and elegantly sentimental sounds of yesteryear were always lingering like the steamy waft of Old Spice from a freshly vacated shower. As with the best of any art form, good music carries its legacies through the years and sometimes perpetuates itself in bizarre and beautiful manifestations.

Frank Bennett's musical career began when a suitor of Franks older sister (we'll call him Steve, because thats his name) traded a rudimentary drum kit for a teenage Frank's sworn secrecy concerning certain amorous indiscretions.
Perched upon an inverted 20 gallon paint drum, young Frank relished hours spent flailing away behind his ill-gotten traps set and becoming one with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Alice Cooper. It was the beginning of life in music.

Working his way up through Sydney's underground music scene Frank landed a gig with a band called The Layabouts after swapping to tenor sax. A kind of boot-camp for aspiring jazz saxophonists The Layabouts ever shifting repertoire generally comprised of R&B numbers, some blues and the odd jazz standard.

Franks naïve but emphatic sax style appealed to Layabouts lead singer Leroy Suave and the band evolved into a musical Petrie dish, adding ska, punk and new wave elements to their overall sound. Working anything up to seven nights a week for four to five hours at a time the bands singers would often require some respite. As fate would have it Frank Bennett's singing career began as a spare throat in pub band.

Franks next endeavour was the quasi theatrical, toilet-humour based cabaret act The Zarsoff Brothers. Lead by bizarre frontman Izzy Forreal the Zarsoff Bros' already comprised of Bluey Zarsoff, Bernie Zarsoff, Rocky Zarsoff and the socially aware Lefty Zarsoff leaving Frank with questionable sobriquet of Rudy Zarsoff.

A few years later this band, minus Izzy Forreal and including Frank, would become fifties revival mainstays The Eddys.

After leaving The Zarsoffs, Frank teamed up once more with Leroy Suave and Sydney based cartoonist/bassist Mark Cornwall, to form The Tabasco Brothers who's repertoire included Dean Martin, Howling Wolf and Specials covers."Our drummer was a maths professor " recalls Frank "man could he count to four ! "

Frank has gone on to perform in literally hundreds of bands in almost as many genres. There were numerous recording sessions, international tours (including a ten week stint in the house band at the Hard Rock Cafe Beijing!) and musical theatre productions such as Glenn Shorrock's 'One For The Money' and the sci-fi Shakespeare spoof 'Return To The Forbidden Planet' in which Frank played sax, guitar, drums, bass and even banjo!

In 1994 Frank landed the role of Frank Sinatra in the tribute production 'The Rat Pack'. After a year of developing the character, Frank decided to go it alone.

Adopting the stage name Tony Sinatra, Frank began establishing a fan base of pensioners and shopping mall goers. Simultaneously the 'Lounge' movement was growing as a viable alternative pursuit for disenchanted young sophisticates and before long Tony Sinatra found himself the corporeal embodiment and vanguard of an exciting twist on retro revivalism. He rapidly became the darling of the inner city cocktail set and was inevitably approached with a recording contract. "Who the hell would give anyone called Sinatra a record contract?" mused Frank.

THE REST IS HISTORY IN THE MAKING.

 

  • Australian Blues Brothers Show
  • Brad Blaze
  • Brad Croft
  • Bustagroove
  • Daryl Braithwaite
  • Jimmy Barnes
  • Katie Noonan
  • Kisstroyer
  • Lady Luck
  • NICA
  • Nyssa Large
  • Red Alert
  • Wilbur Wilde

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