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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Oz Elsewhere

Get me outta here

Untitled#15 from Tour of Duty series (Kylie Minogue performs at Tour of Duty concert at Dili Stadium, East Timor, 21 December 1999), 1999-2000 Matthew Sleeth
Untitled#15 from Tour of Duty series (Kylie Minogue performs at Tour of Duty concert at Dili Stadium, East Timor, 21 December 1999), 1999-2000 Matthew Sleeth. © Matthew Sleeth

While the blues-inspired hard guitar riffs of Australian pub rock were shaping tastes in this country, a number of artists were developing music primed for success on the international stage. These performers evolved with rock’s sensibilities in tow, while embracing overseas trends to take their careers in new directions.

The Bee Gees and Kylie Minogue both experienced local success, but it was the move to the United Kingdom that saw their respective careers take off. The Bee Gees initially formed as a rock ‘n roll group in Australia in 1958, releasing several singles including the hit ‘Spicks and Specks’ (1966). It wasn’t until the group returned to England in 1967 that they catapulted into the international charts, before transitioning from rock ‘n roll to disco in the mid-70s – with such success they were later branded the ‘Kings of Disco’.

Moving to the UK also sparked genuine stardom for Kylie Minogue, who’d previously found fame on TV soap Neighbours in the 1980s. Another ‘royal’ expat – she would later be dubbed the ‘Princess of Pop’ – Minogue continued to gain traction in the UK charts from the 1980s. Though she is known as a fixture of the pop genre, Minogue has re-invented herself over the years, collaborating with a number of rock artists including Nick Cave, and performing at iconic music festival Glastonbury.

1Barry Gibb, 1970-71 Rennie Ellis. © Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive. www.RennieEllis.com.au. 2Olivia Newton-John, 1978 (printed 2017) Gary Heery. © Gary Heery/Copyright Agency, 2020.

Across the Atlantic, one of Australia’s most successful musical exports to the United States is Olivia Newton-John; her fame skyrocketed after her performance in the 1978 musical blockbuster Grease and the release of her 1981 album Physical.

"Get me outta here" taken from ‘Boys In Town’. Written by Christina Amphlett and Mark McEntee. Published by EMI Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd. International copyright secured. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Related information

Young Docteurs, Kingston Hotel, 6 March 1980 (Paul Hayward guitar and Chris Shakallis), 6.3.80 'pling
Young Docteurs, Kingston Hotel, 6 March 1980 (Paul Hayward guitar and Chris Shakallis), 6.3.80 'pling
Young Docteurs, Kingston Hotel, 6 March 1980 (Paul Hayward guitar and Chris Shakallis), 6.3.80 'pling
Young Docteurs, Kingston Hotel, 6 March 1980 (Paul Hayward guitar and Chris Shakallis), 6.3.80 'pling

Canberra cool

In conversation: virtual event

Fri 25 Sep
12:30pm

Your backstage pass to sensational stories about Canberra’s Pub Rock scene with Chris Shakallis (Young Docteurs), Julia Ford (The Framed) and Fiona Edge (keeper of the ‘Pling archive)

Angus Young, AC/DC, LA, 1978 Rennie Ellis
Angus Young, AC/DC, LA, 1978 Rennie Ellis
Angus Young, AC/DC, LA, 1978 Rennie Ellis
Angus Young, AC/DC, LA, 1978 Rennie Ellis

Pub Rock Trivia

Thu 8 Oct
7:00pm

Join us for a bout of FREE pub trivia – all online and live-streamed of course! There’ll be an hour of music mayhem and prizes to be won.

The Lighthouse Keepers, ANU Union, Canberra, 1983. Juliet Ward (vocals), Greg Appel (guitar) 'pling
The Lighthouse Keepers, ANU Union, Canberra, 1983. Juliet Ward (vocals), Greg Appel (guitar) 'pling
The Lighthouse Keepers, ANU Union, Canberra, 1983. Juliet Ward (vocals), Greg Appel (guitar) 'pling
The Lighthouse Keepers, ANU Union, Canberra, 1983. Juliet Ward (vocals), Greg Appel (guitar) 'pling

Tales and time

In conversation: virtual event

Fri 9 Oct
12:30pm

It’s like an after party, but waaay after. Join Greg Appel (Lighthouse Keepers), Robina Gugler (co-writer of Head Full of Flames) and Fiona Edge (Keeper of the ‘Pling archive).

Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss, Cold Chisel 1980 Wendy McDougall
Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss, Cold Chisel 1980 Wendy McDougall
Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss, Cold Chisel 1980 Wendy McDougall
Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss, Cold Chisel 1980 Wendy McDougall

Squished and sweaty

In conversation: virtual event

Fri 23 Oct
12:30pm

Grab your press pass and hold it tight as we dive camera-first into the mosh pit! Photographers Wendy McDougall and Stuart Spence have captured the likes of INXS, Cold Chisel, Paul Kelly, Tim Freedman and many more.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.