An enthusiastic young music journalist once described John Kennedy as a humble genius. Kennedy is neither a genius nor particularly humble. He is the writer and performer of many fine songs, some of which have found a place in the hearts of music fans of the golden era of Australian independent music. Kennedy started his music career in Brisbane in the ‘80’s with his band JFK and the Cuban Crisis. The band moved to Sydney and after establishing itself on the indie music scene broke up leaving Kennedy to pursue a solo career with his band vehicle, John Kennedy’s Love Gone Wrong.
Despite numerous indie hits including King Street and Big Country, commercial crossover proved to be elusive leading to his decision to leave Australia. Kennedy spent the ‘90’s living and playing music in Berlin, Hong Kong and London before returning to Sydney’s Inner West in 2000. He formed a new band, John Kennedy’s ‘68 Comeback Special and continues to perform and produce independent releases.
Kennedy’s latest album Raining Treasure celebrates the golden era of Australian independent music from the late ‘70’s and the 80's. Kennedy compiled a list of classic indie songs (and some obscurities) from that era and with his band he has recorded songs from The Go-Betweens, The Triffids, The Scientists and many more. Some of these acts were contemporaries. Some were inspirations. All had some great songs.
Photographer’s Note: For what it’s worth, I still consider the title of Kennedy’s 2002 Best Of album, ‘Inner West’ as one of my absolute favourites….the music is pretty bloody good, too, just btw.