The Riptides began life in 1976 when 5 UQ Architecture
students inspired by the new punk sounds of the time,
began to dabble in making music. After name and line-up
changes, the group finally solidified as the Riptides in 1978
and released their first single ‘Sunset Strip’.
The reaction was instant, with favourable reviews in the
local and overseas music media and initial pressings of the
single selling out quickly. Constant touring and a follow-up
single ‘Tomorrow’s Tears’, built on that success and the band
moved to Sydney in 1980. Renowned for their live performances,
the group built its fan-base to become one of the most sought
after live acts in the country,
eventually signing to Regular Records. Only a handful of
recordings followed as the inability to fully capture their raucous
live sound on disc and constant line-up changes let to the band
calling it quits in 1983. In 1988 the Riptides reformed briefly to
release a live album titled ‘Resurface’ that finally captured the
magic of their live shows and became one of Rolling Stone
Magazines’ top 100 albums of all time.
As one critic put it “describing the magic of Riptides is,
in the words of the Lovin’ Spoonful, like trying to tell a stranger
about rock and roll”.
As part of the Centenary celebrations of the University of Queensland
Brisbane's famous UQ music export headlined and well I can't miss a
Riptides gig. Mark was his usual brilliant self, the band including his
son Cal and later joined by the original Guitarist on Sunset Strip,
The location at the the Uni's Great court was a wonderful place to
see a band. The crowd was diverse and the band ripped thought
a great selection of riptide tunes. Ending on the fab "Shake It"
where the band got all these kids up on stage. At the end Mark
thanked everyone and told the parents they really should collect
their children, best not to leave them with the band.