Click on the link to see Joe's photos from his overseas trip to the States
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To see Joe's personal photos of his time entertaining troups during the Vietnam War, just click on the link in the following bio.
Growing up in Sydney’s notorious King’s Cross, Joe was influenced at an early age by American Merchant Seamen on R & R leave, playing their blues and soul records. Such artists as Solomon Burke, Ray Charles, Little Milton and Muddy Waters to name a few.
In his teen years Joe sang with his band The Midnighters” alongside other Sydney up and coming stars of the future such as “The Bee Gees”, Billy Thorpe, and New Zealand’s “Max Merritt”, working places like Suzie Wong’s, Whisky a Go Go, Surf City and Teenage Cabaret.
Joe, his brother and a couple of friends used the family garage for practice where every note they played and every word Joe sang, was being watched and taken in by several young boys from the local migrant centre at Villawood - who would have thought that in years to come they would become one of Australia’s leading bands known as “The Easybeats”.
The family garage was to turn out many popular Australian acts including three brothers originally from England who were glad to be able to polish up their act for their Saturday Night performance at “Teenage Cabaret”. As Joe’s band The Midnighters were the resident band at Teenage Cabaret, they also backed all the headliners performing there including those three brothers originally from England, of course “The BeeGees”.
Joe got the chance to further his experience overseas when he was spotted struttin his stuff at “The Down Under Club’ at King’s Cross. He was offered a contract to be resident band at the new 5 star hotel in Bangkok “The Narai Hotel”. It wasn’t unusual to have some of America’s top artists, travelling through Asia at the time, to sit in with the band for a magical night of entertainment, such people as the legendary jazz/blues pianist Roscoe Gordon . This contract was to last 2 years!
During this period, Joe was spotted by a high ranking American Officer who offered them a contract to tour through Vietnam entertaining the American troups, they appeared alongside such artists as - Sammy Davis Jnr., Laverne Baker, Duane Eddy and many others. They also crossed paths with many of Australia’s top acts that were also entertaining at the time.
Joe toured throughout Vietnam for the final 2 years of the Vietnam War,and they were actually the last band to leave Vietnam before the final takeover that ended the Vietnam War.
After his return from overseas, Joe had a short tour of Germany playing to packed houses 7 nights a week, during this time he was fortunate enough to meet the late legendary blues man “Champion Jack Dupree”.
Joe formed several bands over the years, each one building up a faithful following - the most successful being “Cross The Border” working solidly every week for almost 10 years, but none have come even close to the present line up of talented musicians that Joe has with him in “The Joe Galea Band”.
Since Joe formed his own band they have been in constant demand at many venues in and around Melbourne as well as earning a reputation at Music Festivals as being “The Highlight of the Festival”.
Nicknamed “The Nightingale on Steroids!” by one of the photographers at the Wangaratta Festival, Joe continues to win audiences where ever he plays. He has the ability to reach out to every last person in the audience and take them on a musical experience that pleases and satisfies everyone!
The Mornington Festival and the Wangaratta Festival were reminiscent of the children’s story - The Three Little Pigs, I’m sure you all remember, the music starts and then everyone is on the floor, and the house is jumpin!
I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it! Apart from Joe’s vocals, you also have the fantastic wailing solos from the Sax, or the smooth bluesy tones from the piano/organ. Along with the excellent slide/lead guitar, bass and drums you have - “The Joe Galea Band”.
ROBERT DAVIE - LEAD/SLIDE GUITAR
Started playing late sixties early seventies around Melbourne with such bands as "Benefit", "Palais" and stints with Wendy Saddington, Jeff St. John, Gulliver Smith and Ray Brown. Joined Cross the Border with Joe in 1991, the rest is history.
RICK PUCHALA - DRUMS/PERCUSSION
The list of artists that he has played & recorded with reads like a who’s who of Australian Rock: Richard Clapton, Russell Morris, Harvey James, The Giants, Bobby James Syndicate, Ronnie Charles, Lisa Bade, Christie Allen (Queen of pop), Glyn Mason, Palais & also including The Hawthorn City Pipe Band which has accumulated in being a very varied & diverse playing history.
Rick lived & played in Los Angeles for a period of time (whilst with Richard Clapton) & had the benefit of working with people like Raphael Ravenscroft (sax on Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street) & Chris Pinnick (guitarist with Chicago).
With a background of session work, jingles, multiple TV appearances on shows such as Hey Hey it’s Saturday, The Don Lane Show, Countdown, add live concert performances at such events as "The Concert Of the Decade" on the steps of the Opera House & "The Mushroom Evolution Concert" at the Music Bowl, both of which attracted crowds in excess of 100,000 people.
From past to present, by joining Joe Galea, this has given Rick yet another opportunity to work with another seasoned, experienced and professional artist.
JIMMIE SLOGGETT - SAX
(Insert by Joe) - In my early days in Sydney I would sneak in to the clubs and dances to watch Jimmie play with Johnny O'Keefe, I not only loved watching Johnny, but I was thoroughly taken by Jimmie's great playing - who would have thought that many years later I would be honoured to have him play with "The Joe Galea Band"
BRUCE BAKER – BASS PLAYER/VOCALS
Bruce has had a long and distinguished musical career working in
many top Victorian bands and shows. He has toured overseas and around Australia playing in tribute bands and floor shows .
He has recorded with such popular and well known bands such as:
The Barry Charles Set, The New Dream, The Bobby James Syndicate,Abbey Road – Rembrandts House Band, Roughcut, Topshelf and more recently The Vincents.
Bruce plays upright Double Bass, 4 and 5 String Electric Bass and has excellent vocal ability and harmonies.
He is an asset to The Joe Galea Band providing solid bass patterns to Rick’s precise drumming technique and both combine to be the "engine room" of the band.
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