Australian glam band Rabbit. Former AC/DC vocalist Dave Evans is pictured in the center.
“If I was a parent and read this, I wouldn’t let my kids anywhere near this mob, numbnuts described them as frenetic, violently hedonistic and Dave himself was described as savagely heterosexual.”
—a rock critic describing Aussie glam band Rabbit and their vocalist, Dave Evans.
If you decide to dedicate your life to being up all night falling in love with rock & roll (like yours truly) you have to be all in. The good, the bad, and the glam. So let’s get right to it, shall we? Glam rockers unite as I bring you a brief history of the flashy rise and quick freefall of Newcastle, Australia’s unhearalded glam band Rabbit.
After relieving Rabbit’s second vocalist Greg Douglas of his short-lived duties, former AC/DC frontman Dave Evans assumed the responsibilities of leading the band. This venture did not go unnoticed as Evans’ brief stint with AC/DC was enough to entice CBS to sign the band thanks to his glammy stagecraft which he had cultivated during his time with the Young brothers. In 1975 Rabbit released their self-titled debut record. The album did alright, and a couple of singles even made it to the charts. This gave Rabbit some real teeth when it came to going toe-to-toe with other Aussie glam rock acts like Supernaut, John Stanley Cave (aka the glitter-bomb that was Sydney glam rocker William Shakespeare), and local heroes Hush and their flamboyant vocalist Keith Lamb. (To attest to the power of Lamb’s persona, he was rumored to have been a contender to fill Bon Scott’s place at the head of AC/DC following Scott’s passing. So there’s that.)
Rabbit would go on to put out a second popular record with CBS in 1976 called Too Much Rock ‘n’ Roll which they recorded at the “House of Hits,” or Albert Studios in Sydney, Australia. Its sister company, Albert Productions, was among the first few independent record labels in Australia and played an instrumental role in the rise of AC/DC. The studio was a joint venture of Harry Vanda and George Young (both of notable Australian band the Easybeats, and Young the elder brother of Malcolm and Angus) along with engineer Bruce Brown and they opened Albert Studio in 1973. Brown recorded numerous hits with the Bon Scott era of AC/DC, like “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Jailbreak,” and what some refer to as AC/DC’s calling card, “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll). Rabbit’s commercial success would put the band on the map, leading to appearances on music-oriented television shows like Countdown, and a twelve-week Australian promotional tour. Too Much Rock ‘n’ Roll would also be Rabbit’s gateway to markets like Japan and European locations such as Denmark and Belgium where their album sales were swift. Fans have mused nostalgically that Rabbit’s jams drew from bands like The Sweet, T.Rex, KISS, and of course AC/DC—which sounds about right.
As is often the case, the sudden rush of spandex and shirtless adrenalin would ultimately lead to the band’s implosion. Rabbit would disband during their brief tour in 1977
The album cover for ‘Too Much Rock ‘n’ Roll.’