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Long Lost Oz Punk Live Recording Of Radio Birdman-Offshoot HITMEN D.T.K. With Special Guest Deniz Tek Unearthed!

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Long lost Oz punk live recording of Radio Birdman-offshoot HITMEN D.T.K. with special guest Deniz Tek unearthed!

‘TONIGHT WE RIDE!’

“This album might be an ode to a time that can never be re-captured but it’s a pretty great piece of nostalgia that deserved to see the light of day.” (The Barman – i94bar.com)

Hitmen D.T.K.

Radio Birdman celebrate their 50th anniversary this year with a string of shows across Australia in June and July. Yet Radio Birdman’s Deniz Tek’s first steps back into the Australian music scene after a ten-year hiatus occurred in 1991 at a small club in Newtown in Sydney as special guest of Hitmen DTK, the band originally formed, as The Hitmen, by Tek’s Birdman bandmate Chris Masuak and Birdman MC & backing vocalist Johnny Kannis.

Tek’s last Australian shows in 1981 – the same year The Hitmen released their beloved debut album and anthemic single “I Don’t Mind” – had been with the Motor City supergroup New Race, a band that featured Ron Asheton of the Stooges and Dennis Thompson of the MC5. Tek then spent the next ten years as a pilot and flight surgeon with both the US Navy and US Marines.

In that time The Hitmen had released a second album, lost guitarist Brad Shepherd and then drummer Mark Kingsmill to the Hoodoo Gurus, and eventually ground to a halt following a road accident that nearly took the life of Johnny Kannis. A new line-up of the band came together in 1984 to briefly tour and record and release the Tora Tora DTK live album, then eventually another line-up formed under the name Hitmen DTK. The show with Tek followed the recording of a new album, Moronic Inferno, in the US, with Birdman’s old sound guy Andy ‘Mort’ Bradley, on which Tek guested. 

To mark the significance of the occasion, a recording of the show was made, and then sat in a box for more than 30 years. Says Colin Gray of Canberra’s Vicious Kitten Records, who have now released the recording as a limited edition CD. “It’s an incredible recording as it documents and preserves a piece of Australian rock n roll history”.

Hitmen D.T.K. – Take no prisoners, uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll – live and sweltering from Sydney!

  • Johnny ‘Zeus’ Kannis – Vocals
  • Chris ‘Klondike’ Masuak – Guitar
  • Shane ‘Catfish’ Cooke – Bass
  • Gerard ‘Sundance’ Presland – Drums
  • Bob ‘Dutch’ Sattler – Guitar
  • Deniz ‘Iceman’ Tek – Guest guitar: – Lead vocals on Hand Of Law and Man With Golden Helmet
  • Mark Sisto – Back-up vocals on Do The Pop and Aloha Steve and Danno

Album Liner Notes:
Enter the time machine. Set the date and location: 13th November 1991, the Toucan Tango, a small club in Newtown in Sydney’s inner west. The crowd are sardined in, the air thick with anticipation.

This would be the first time in a decade Radio Birdman’s Deniz Tek had set foot on an Australian stage, having last trod the boards alongside Ron Asheton and Dennis Thompson in New Race. That he would be appearing alongside Chris Masuak, his guitar partner in Birdman only added to the anticipation. The significance of the occasion is not lost on the band either.

Deniz Tek and Chris Masuak of Hitmen D.T.K.
Deniz Tek & Chris Masuak. Photo by D. Gray

Adrenaline pumping hard, Hitmen D.T.K. roar into action with ‘Justice Blind’ and other crunching hard rockers from the U.E.L.A. EP. The band are riding high following the release of their Moronic Inferno album and the set contains many songs from this underappreciated album including ‘Too Many Girls’ (the best song the Dictators never wrote), the muscular ‘Heartful of Hate’, and the stunning ‘St. Valentine’s Day’.

Chris Masuak’s sublime rendition of the Ventures ‘Walk Don’t Run’ signals the arrival of Deniz Tek to the stage, his entrance emitting a wave of electricity through the room. The distinctive bass intro of ‘Hand of Law’ sending the crowd into further frenzy. Other Birdman numbers performed in this set include ‘Man With Golden Helmet’, a jaw dropping ‘Aloha Steve And Danno’, and a high-energied run through ‘Do The Pop’, complete with Glutonic Mark Sisto on backup vocals.

That you are even listening to this live album is nothing short of remarkable. The original recording was made on a handheld cassette recorder, with the cassette itself tossed into a box where it sat for more than three decades. Early 2023, the cassette is rediscovered. We blow the dust off, throw it into the cassette player and press play. WOAH! We are blown away by both the power of the band’s performance that night as well as the sound quality.

Lightning in a bottle had indeed been captured. Importantly, this recording also documents the Hitmen live during their second incarnation (89-91) and the U.E.L.A. / Moronic Inferno period. Hitmen D.T.K. were always a fierce and formidable live band who gave 100% every time they took the stage. Take no prisoners, full tilt, uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll. This recording manages to capture that ethos perfectly. The rock ‘n’ roll soldiers are combat ready. Tonight we ride. 

Track listing

  1. Justice Blind
  2. Utopian Emotional Love Aura
  3. A Slice of Life
  4. Sleep and Dream
  5. Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldiers
  6. Too Many Girls
  7. St. Valentine’s Day
  8. Walk Don’t Run
  9. Hand of Law
  10. Heartful Of Hate
  11. I Don’t Mind
  12. The Party’s Over
  13. This Bar
  14. Man With Golden Helmet
  15. Do The Pop
  16. Aloha Steve and Danno
  17. L.A. Woman
  18. California Sun

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Vicious Kitten Records
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