NIKKI NICHOLLS 

Nikki’s career in the music industry has flourished over the many years since performing weekly on Channel 7’s “Brian and the Juniors.”  After leaving secondary school, she joined “John St. Peeters and the Shirelles” on the cabaret circuit throughout Australia. 

In 1980, she became the original backing vocalist for the brand new John Farnham Band over a period of four years and recorded backing vocals on the “WHISPERING JACK” album.  Nikki was a renowned Melbourne session singer back in the days when the album recording and commercial industries were thriving.

She has toured Australia and New Zealand with Australian Crawl, Suzi Quatro, Lulu, Richard Clapton, toured the world with Kylie Minogue and whilst with Farnham supported Stevie Wonder throughout Australia.  The first night of the Stevie Wonder tour, Nikki was placed behind Stevie in a conga line as the whole band performed Master Blaster, however instead of helping to guide Stevie across the stage, in her excitement she forgot he was blind and steered him into the fold back monitor, he went down with her on top of him.  “It was very funny at the time” she said, “However I was not placed behind Stevie in the conga line for future shows.”

After studying Japanese on and off for eight years, Nikki wrote and recorded an album called “YUME IPPAI” (Full of Dreams).  Each song was written in Japanese about different parts of Australia.

She has recorded “MISUNDERSTOOD” an album of ‘rock classics’ by Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Deep Purple and the Rolling Stones.  Songs such as Foxy Lady, Whole Lotta Love, Smoke on the Water, Don’t let me be Misunderstood, Tin Soldier and others.

In the early 2000’s, Nikki starred alongside Wendy Stapleton and Debra Byrne in a 10 year run of the much loved show “GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS.”

In 2015, she released her new original album called “BRIDESMAID” produced by Nikki and Doug Brady.  The album features tracks that are rock, blues, ballads and the title track has a “cute, quirkiness about it.”

The past few years have seen Nikki performing in awesome bands such as “Jam the Funk,“The Ritual of Rock” and “The Dreamroom” alongside acclaimed musicians; Eric McCusker (Mondo Rock), Danny Simcic (Real Life), Rick Petropoulos (The Ferrets), Paula Reid (Vanessa Amorosi), John Grant (Brian Cadd, Mike Brady, Eurogliders) Lisa Bade, Paul Gildea (Icehouse), Dave Leslie (Baby Animals), Scott Griffiths (Chantoozies) and John ‘Watto’ Watson (Everyone!!.)

Nikki has also been performing her show “You’ve Got a Friend” the songs and story of Carole King with a touch of James Taylor receiving rave reviews from audiences at The Palms, Crown and Performing Art Centres throughout the country.

2021 sees Nikki and The Dreamroom releasing their album “WHAT THE MOON BELIEVES.”

ERIC McCUSKER 

Eric was born in Dublin in 1953.  His father was a nuclear Physicist. The family emigrated to Australia in 1958 and lived in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs; Eric went to Bronte Public, Woollahra Demonstration School, Boynton Junior High (Ithaca, New York), Cranbrook, Sydney High and Sydney University where he studied Medicine.  He also studied at the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Course.

His first experience in show business was appearing with his father and sister doing science experiments on Channel 7 show “The Television Tutorial” in 1964 and on Channel 9 on the “Summer Science School” in 1965, where they replaced Julius Sumner Miller when he had a heart attack.

In 1965, Eric met Elvis Presley in Hawaii at a Luau and also saw The Beach Boys at the Waikiki Shell, before spending a year in upstate New York, that’s where he started playing guitar.

His first band was formed back in Sydney in 1970 and featured Renee Geyer. Eric has been a full-time musician since 1974, playing with Ross Ryan, Stevie Wright, Jon English and Jeff St John before moving to Melbourne in 1979 to join The Captain Matchbox band and then Mondo Rock in early 1980.

Eric started writing songs in 1968 and signed his first publishing deal in 1978.  The first single he wrote for Mondo Rock was “State of the Heart” which became a national hit and stayed in the Top 40 for 26 weeks and went Gold. He also wrote the songs “Chemistry” and “Summer of ‘81” as well as three other songs on the “CHEMISTRY” album which went on to achieve double Platinum status and was awarded Album of the Year at the Countdown awards in 1981.  Eric also wrote “No Time” and “The Queen and Me” off the “NUOVO MONDO” album.  Then in 1983 he penned the classic “Come Said The Boy” which reached #1 in every state and #2 nationally (go figure!).  That song was Mondo’s biggest hit and was APRA’s song of the year.

Mondo Rock stayed together until 1990 recording a total of seven albums and having ten Top 40 hits. They have periodically reformed and toured since 2003.

Rick Springfield recorded and released his version of ”State of the Heart” in 1985 that reached #22 on the US Billboard Hot 100.  He played it on the Live Aid concert to a worldwide audience of 1.9 billion people.  Mondo Rock also appeared on the Australian Oz for Africa leg of the worldwide hook-up.

Eric wrote “No-one Comes Close” which is on John Farnham’s hugely successful “WHISPERING JACK” album, that went 25 times Platinum and sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

From 1990 Eric was on the board of directors of APRA, the peak body of Australian songwriters, for 24 years.  He has continued to write and play and has had songs covered by Paul Rodgers, Tex Perkins, Lucy Durack and many others.  “State of the Heart” was featured in the movie “Lion” which was nominated for 7 Oscars.

Some other life highlights include:

Meeting Mohammed Ali

Touring with Elton John which included a legendary cricket game in W.A., in which Eric took the wicket of Rod Marsh and then was caught behind by Dennis Lillee of the bowling of Rod Marsh (a cruel reversal of the normal order of things!).

Spent time on several occasions with Hal David, Burt Bacharach’s lyricist.

Found himself in a lift with Audrey Hepburn!

Eric has also taught Songwriting and Music Business at Tafe and University and has been involved with the VCAA as an examiner of Music.

He is coming up on 5,000 gigs played in his lifetime. Eric is currently writing a memoir to be called “Come Said The Boy”.

eric mccusker
rick petropoulos

RICK PETROPOULOS 

Rick’s professional music career began at the age of 15, playing in his first band called The Wombats at the Greville Street Festival supporting bands such as The Ferrets and The Dingoes when live music venues were filled with music lovers from Monday to Sunday. At that time, little did he know he would later become a member of “The Ferrets,” a very successful band delivering the classic song “Don’t Fall in Love” which became a #1 Countdown hit 13 weeks running.

Later Rick joined The Motivators. They toured with iconic Status Quo, The Ramones, Thin Lizzie. At one point on the road, Rick’s bass guitar became the main victim of a car accident. It was in the boot and was totally smashed. Rick said, “That night at the gig, Thin Lizzie bassist Phil Lynot, put his arm around me and said I heard what happened last night little brother. I really like your playing and wouldn’t normally do this but tonight you can play mine.”

Rick was playing at Banana’s one night in Last Chance Café when Michael Gudinski brought Carl Wilson (Beach Boys) into the gig. Carl was impressed by Rick’s bass playing and told him that he should be gigging in America. Carl and the band hit it off, went back to their house and they partied till sunrise.

If you prompt Rick, he has some wild on the road stories like the time in The Motivators when he and 10 others were hanging off a mini moke as it was being driven down the streets of Sydney on the way to Barnsey’s birthday party.

Rick has a BMUS and Dip Ed in Composition Performance and Classical Piano.

FALLON WILLIAMS lll 

Fallon originally hails from the windy city of Chicago, USA.  He was brought up in the ghettos and says he was really lucky to have been introduced to Steve Marriott from Humble Pie.  Jerry Shirley, the drummer of the band, was leaving and said to Steve “I’ve got your new drummer.”  A few days later, Fallon received a return ticket in the mail with a note saying, ‘I’ll see you in Atlanta for 2 weeks rehearsal.”  For the next 5 or so years, Fallon toured the States and Europe with Humble Pie.

In between tours he played with GEORGIA SATELLITES whom had a #2 US hit with “KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.”  He also played in a club that was frequented by some amazing artists like Bryan Adams and Sammy Hagar (Van Halen) who would get up and perform to a room full of surprised faces.

By the end of his time with Humble Pie, Fallon unfortunately had his equipment stolen.  He lost everything and was pretty much broke.  His girlfriend suggested coming to Australia where she would help him find gigs.

Fallon had met Vanetta Fields back in the States when she had toured with Humble Pie, amongst countless other music legends and was now living in Australia.  Fallon met up with her when he arrived and she said, “Come with Mama, play in my band” which was “VANETTA’S TAXI.”  Touring musos would often come into the gig and sit in for a set; one was Bob Dylan.

In 1993, Con Gallin (Gallin Guitars) asked Fallon to do a guitar show in Sydney with John Entwhistle (The Who) and Steve Housden (LRB).  John invited Fallon to his home to discuss putting together a tour however, John died shortly after.

Fallon has become a much loved permanent fixture in Australia who is not only an amazing drummer, but also sings, plays percussion, keyboards and is an engineer, programmer and producer.

fallon williams lll