Triffids To Lead Hall Of Fame Inductees

The Triffids are among the acts set to be inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame next month. They join the New Zealand-formed rock bands Dragon and Max Merritt and the Meteors, and Melbourne-based singer songwriter Russell Morris.

The event will be held July 1 at Melbourne Town Hall, and broadcast July 5 on cable channel TV1.

Perth-formed Triffids relocated to the U.K. in 1984 and found critical acclaim with 1986's "Born Sandy Devotional" (Hot), which reached No. 27 in the U.K., 1987's "Calenture" (Island) and 1989's "The Black Swan" (Island). The band split in 1989 without finding commercial success Down Under. Leader Dave McComb died in 1999 in Melbourne from problems associated with a heart defect.

The last two years has seen a revisit of the Triffids' legacy. Their
remastered catalog was released by Domino in the U.K. and Europe and through Liberation in Australia and New Zealand. In 2006, the surviving members reunited for a retrospective festival in Belgium and club dates in Amsterdam. That year, McComb was inducted into the West Australian Hall of Fame. In 2008, the band and friends (including Steve Kilbey of the Church) performed as part of the Sydney Festival in memory of McComb.

In a statement, the Triffids said, "Back then we could never imagine being recognized in this way and we only wish David McComb was here to enjoy it with us, irony and all. It pleases us greatly that he's being remembered through his songs and the way we played them".

Dragon were a chart-force in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s with hits such as "April Sun in Cuba," "Are You Old Enough," "Rain" and "Cry," and multi-platinum albums as "O Zambezi" and "Running Free" through Sony Music. Frontman Marc Hunter died in 1998 from oesophageal cancer.

Soul band Max Merritt and the Meteors, considered a "musicians' musicians" band, had a No. 2 hit in Australia in 1975 with the single "Slipping Away" and were signed to Arista Records in the U.K. Currently based in Los Angeles, Merritt has been regularly returning since 2002 to play to new Australian audiences. But he has been battling kidney failure in recent times. Last October, 75 performers staged a "Concert For Max" at Melbourne's Palais Theatre and raised $200,000 ($191,000) for his medical bills. He will be cared for at a Melbourne hospital when he returns to Australia for a week for the event.

Russell Morris exploded onto the scene in 1969 with a psychedelic six-minute single called "The Real Thing," which stayed on top of the Australian chart for three months, and was released in the U.K. by Decca Records. In the 1970s, Morris released more subdued chart toppers such as "Sweet Sweet Love" and "Wings Of An Eagle" through EMI Music.

Two more inductees will be announced for the Hall of Fame in the coming weeks.