Just in time for their special 50th anniversary tour, iconic Australian rock ‘n’ roll band Radio Birdman are the subject of a detailed new biography. 

Written by Sydney rock music writer Murray Engleheart (Blood, Sweat and Beers: Oz Rock from The Aztecs to Rose Tattoo), Radio Birdman: Retaliate First was released on Tuesday, July 2nd, and received the approval of the ARIA Hall of Famers themselves.

“Acclaimed author Murray Engleheart has written what promises to be, far and away, the most in-depth and complete history of Radio Birdman to date. Years in the making, Retaliate First is a compelling synthesis of thousands of hours of research, first-hand accounts and unique insights. It’s a must read for anyone who wants to know what really happened,” they said.

Engleheart’s book is drawn from more than 150 interviews with the band members, their closest associates, devotees, and observers. With 2024 marking their half-century of existence, and a commemorative tour that may be their last, it’s the perfect time to look back over fifty years of the band that never took a backward step and made rock ‘n’ roll thrilling and dangerous once more.

You can read an excerpt from the biography at Rolling Stone AU/NZ, which includes description of a very chaotic Sydney show in 1977.

YouTube VideoPlay

The band’s 50th anniversary tour has just three dates left, at Sydney’s Manning Bar this weekend. Unsurprisingly given the band’s enduring popularity in their home country, the entire tour run sold out.

Radio Birdman have earned acclaim from some very famous Aussies over the years.

Love Classic Rock?

Get the latest Classic Rock news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

“Radio Birdman live brought loyalty as strong and powerful as their music. Yeah hup!” said noted fan, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, while admirer Brad Shepherd of Hoodoo Gurus said they “are analogous to dark matter: largely unseen yet profoundly influential.”

Radio Birdman: Retaliate First is out now via Allen & Unwin. 

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine