CAPTAIN THUNDER

Geoffrey Stapleton - Drums
Robin Michael - Guitar
Rodney Gunner - Vocals
Michael Kaploon - Bass
"Although the guys still go to school, their music doesn't show the usual disorganised sloppiness that most young bands have. In fact, they seem to have that certain "something" already. The vocalist is incredibly good, and the band is a tight little outfit. CAPTAIN THUNDER have reached a point in their career that most bands reach after a long period of being together." - The Adelaide "NEWS" 4-9-71

 

Rodney Gunner
Michael Kaploon
Geoffrey Stapleton
Robin Michael
 

 

Geoffrey Stapleton (vaguely) recalls...
I was sixteen and in high school when we formed CAPTAIN THUNDER and released a record called "Blind Man's Greed" backed with "If I Were A Carpenter" on the "Raven" label. It went to number 23 on the Adelaide charts. There was some controversy when local radio refused to play the single even though it was selling surprisingly well.

THE SUNDAY MAIL put it this way...

"It's chart success is amazing as "Blind Man's Greed" has had no radio airplay. The pop radio stations have refused to play the single ....However, the four members of Captain Thunder and manager Dave Turner are not bitter.

TV WEEK went to the source...

"5KA announcers will not be playing the record as they feel there is a "lack of variation." Barry Bissel said" Captain Thunder are a terrific group live, , and as the guys are all about 18 they have plenty of talent potential , but there is not enough varied interest sustained throughout the record."

THE NEWS stuck to the facts ...

"Blind Man's Greed was released last Thursday and is selling exceptionally well in Adelaide. Already 600 copies have been sold according to their manager, Dave Turner."

Robin Michael at the rehearsal room in Geoff's parent's backyard.

They played at venues such as "Headquaters", "Sgt. Peppers", and "The Scene"(in Pirie St.).

 

Chris Bailey's band, "Headband" won the "1972 - Battle of The Bands", but CAPTAIN THUNDER gained a good deal of notice .

* Chris Bailey went on to work with Geoffrey Stapleton for decades in GANGgajang!

THE NEWS commented,

'The Melbourne panel of judges "Go Set's" Ed Nimmervol, musician Brian Cadd and 3AK programm director Rhett Walker, had a very hard job seperating them (HEADBAND) from RASHAMRA, CAPTAIN THUNDER and PULSE, who all showed considerable ability."

Robin Michael at the 1972 Battle Of The Bands

"The biggest surprise of the night came when CAPTAIN THUNDER appeared . They were first on, and I must admit, they took me completely by surprise. They were really good! The singer has an incredible voice, and the whole band had that little something that seperates the good bands from the "not so good" bands. CAPTAIN THUNDER, with time, experience and a little more originality will go a long, long way. They are my tip for 1972's BIG band."

More local press,

"If CAPTAIN THUNDER keep going the way they have been for the last few months, they will soon be INCERDIBLE. I must admit I didn't think they were THAT good until I saw them at Appollo stadium last friday night. Watch out for CAPTAIN THUNDER."

THE NEWS September 4, 1971

"Although they didn't get a place in the Adelaide battle, CAPTAIN THUNDER proved to all and sundry that they are future band who will have a lot going going for them.

CAPTAIN THUNDER have recently written a mini-pop opera , and you can hear them perform it on Sunday nights at their regular Sunday night gig at City Cross."

*Danny Johnson, (who would go on to join Geoff in THE ALIENS), thought of the name "CAPTAIN THUNDER".

Rodney Gunner and Michael Kaploon

 

A few months later, The Sunday Mail noted the changes in the band with the addition of John Darcy on piano and harmonies.

Chapter 2 is being written in the evolution of CAPTAIN THUNDER....They realise all creative developement is based upon change, and that is what's happening with their music.

...the evolution came three months ago when John Darcy, formerly of Alison Gros, joined the other members of the band. Darcy, featuring on piano, brought some of the Alison Gros harmonies with him.

The CAPTAIN THUNDER sound is now more melodic, somewhat softer and they are vitally interested in entertaining the audience..."

 

An interesting footnote:

Many years later and on a couple of occasions, Steve Prestwich, (the drummer of Cold Chisel) told Geoffrey that he would often come to see Captain Thunder and another band of the day, Rashamra, play at the Octagon Theatre at Elizabeth and it had inspired him to put his own band together. Funny how things work.

 

The Songs

 

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