1970’s Adelaide band ‘Buffalo Drive’, evolved from a local acoustic folk quartet ‘The Henchmen’, which had its beginnings around 1964.
Four mates (Rod Boucher – banjo, mandolin & vocals, Haydn Hill – guitar & vocals, David Jackson – double bass & vocals, Lincoln Tiver – guitar & vocals) got together to primarily play and sing popular Folk and Gospel songs of the time, which featured strong vocal harmonies and acoustic instruments.
In 1969 ‘The Henchmen’ added an additional vocalist, Rod’s sister, Georgina, and changed their name to ‘Genesis’ (well before the successful English band of the same name), playing some original songs plus covers of popular international radio hits by bands such as Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds, The Beatles, Mamas & Papas, and The Bee Gees to name but a few.
In 1970 they were invited to go electric. With a fresh line-up they brought in a lead guitarist (Valdis Adamsons), bassist (Graham ‘Grimy’ Bettany) – who stood-in for David ‘Jacko’ Jackson for 6 months, drummer (Rodney ‘Bodzac’ Dunn), and Hammond organist (Vello Nou) and became a 6-piece national touring and recording rock band, whose music evolved from the rollicking folk of the 1950s via popular covers of ’60s/’70s hits to original songs with a feel-good, sing-along vibe.
In this period ‘Buffalo Drive’ released a handful of original songs as singles with Adelaide studio, Nationwide; ‘Jumpin’ Judy’, ‘Morning Good Day’, ‘Woolloomooloo Lulu’, and ‘Raw Prawn Polka’, which received regular airplay on local Adelaide radio.
In 1972, after recording in Sydney with Polydor, the band cut down to a 4-piece lineup comprising Boucher (vocals, banjo, guitar), Nou (organ, keyboard, piano-accordion, vocals), Jackson (bass, vocals), and Dunn (drums, vocals) and switched to playing exclusively original material.
They continued to record with Polydor, releasing local chart successes, ‘Life’s Been Good To Me’, ‘Money Stride’ and ‘Follow the Line’, with the first peaking at #9 on the local 5KA Rock Chart in 1972.
In 1973 ‘Buffalo Drive’ changed its name to ‘Fair Dinkum’ to express the ‘Aussie Rock’ flavour of its songs. The band was a local live favourite resulting in them taking out the 1973 5KA Rock Award for ‘Best Live Performance’.
‘Buffalo Drive/Fair Dinkum’ continued their gruelling interstate touring regime, which sadly took its toll and saw the demise of the band in 1974.
Fifty years on from formation, five original members; Rod Boucher (vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin), Graham ‘Grimy’ Bettany (bass, 12-string acoustic guitar, vocals), Rodney ‘Bodzac’ Dunn (drums, percussion, vocals), David ‘Jacko’ Jackson (double-bass, keyboard, vocals), Georgina Nou -nee Boucher- (vocals), along with Peter ‘Charlie’ Farley (guitars, vocals) have regrouped to relive and present the songs, the joy, and the fun times that is ‘Buffalo Drive Alive’!