The Steelmen were formed in 1967 with the lineup
of John Lane (V) Mike Stevenson (K) Alan Loades (D), and Eric and Adolf
Jaeger (Guitars). Under this lineup, they were called The DJ Combo.
Late in 1967, Alan Loades was replaced with Denis Shoesmith and the
Jaeger brothers were replaced with Peter Pajnic.
In 1968, the band took up a residency at Belmont Hotel and signed a
recording contract with Festival Records and a Song Writing Contract
with Crown Music. At Festival Records suggestion, the name was changed
to The Steelmen. The first record was titled Steel And Glass
backed with I Will Come Back, both original compositions. (Festival
Records FX-2414 )
Steel And Glass was an upbeat R 'n' R number but was ill timed as the
revival of R 'n" R was to come a couple of years later.
It had moderate success in Melbourne.
During that year, the band took up a residency at Nelson Bay RSL and
also began a seven year residency with P&O Cruises, where they did
a total of thirteen cruises, entertaining passengers both as a Rock
Band and Show Band . In 1970, a five year residency commenced at Speers
Point RSL. In 1973, John Lane moved to Queensland to seek a solo career
and the band continued for a short time as a three piece outfit. Hilton
Jones joined the group on sax and also, for a short time, Peter Roffey
The 70's also saw the band do another two residencies at Nelson Bay
RSL as well as residencies at Doyalson RSL, Cardiff Workers Club, Newcastle
RSL, Maitland RSL, Adamstown Rosebuds Soccer Club, Kurri Kurri RSL and
West Wallsend Workers Club. The Steelmen also worked as a showband in
the early 70's in the Newcastle and Sydney Club circuit specialising
in vocal harmony and comedy.
In 1978, Peter Pajnic joined with Alan Ward for
a residency at Taree RSL. He was replaced with Rod Ling (G) and when
he moved to the USA to study jazz at Berkley College, was replaced with
Graham Robson (G).
The Steelmen continued as the resident band at Belmont 16 Foot Sailing
Club from 1980 until 1987 when they decided to call it a day.
John Lane died in 1992.
Peter Pajnic is still performing with The Birben Variety Band.
Denis Shoesmith is working as a duo called Sounds Like Us and also as
a solo called Denis Neal.
Mike Stevenson joined with Garry Davidson and Graham
Milburn in 1988 and did a six year residency at Merewether RSL.
2 tr 45
Steel and Glass / I Will Come Back (Festival Records FX-2414)