Kevin Borich and Phil Emmanuel at Melbourne's Corner Hotel in 1990. Contributed photo - not for sale.
Kevin Borich and Phil Emmanuel at Melbourne's Corner Hotel in 1990. Contributed photo - not for sale.

The original rockers

There'd hardly be a baby boomer alive who hadn’t tapped a toe to the La De Das hit Gonna See My Baby Tonight, and the name Emmanuel is synonymous with guitar genius.

Kevin Borich and Phil Emmanuel are the original Australian rockers and between them they’ve played everywhere from smoke-filled pubs to festivals with more than 50,000 fans.

This Saturday Sunshine Coast fans will get to see the duo together for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The man who managed Fleetwood Mac for nearly three decades, Dennis Dunstan, said it was only fitting to put Borich and Emmanuel together for a show.

“I thought, that’s the combination, you’ve got a guitar virtuoso with another guitar legend who also sings and I thought if I could put these two guys together, that’s the package that will pave the way for the rest of their careers and give them the dignity they deserve,” Dunstan said.

“These guys are legends, they’re the fabric of music industry...they’re two of the finest guitar players this country’s ever seen.”

Borich and Emmanuel have played together before Dunstan pitched the We Mean Business Tour.

Borich was playing pubs and clubs around Sydney and Emmanuel was a fan in the audience.

When the opportunity arose to play alongside the man whose music and technique he idolised, Phil said it took him all of “36 micro-seconds” to say yes.

“I used to go along to his gigs and he got me up on stage for a couple of songs,” Emmanuel said.

The 1990 tour was supposed to be for two weeks but lasted 13 as the travelled from Cairns to Melbourne with their brand of rock and roll.

Emmanuel’s love affair with the guitar started when he was about six years old and he father was a sort-of manager for a band in Gunnedah, central New South Wales.

“I used to put my pillow in front of a Fender amplifier and go to sleep,” he said.

Borich has a similar story, picking up the guitar at young age and playing his first gig as a 13-year-old in a town hall near Auckland.

“The thing that really got me into it was when I went to the local theatre and they played Rock Around the Clock,” Borich said.

“When I saw the energy I really loved it and wanted to have a part.”

With a couple of mates from high school, Borich hit the Auckland pub scene, forging a sound that would later hit the airwaves under the name of the La De Das, and taking the charts by storm with the single Gonna See My Baby Tonight.

The duo will play together to begin the show, backed by one of best rhythm sections in the country for the show: Mark Kennedy on Drums and Harry “Thunder Thumbs” Bruce on Bass, before each play a 20-minute solo set of classics and originals.

“It’s always great playing with Phil, I call him the magician, he’s a great guy and I’ve never laughed so much,” Borich said.

WHO: Kevin Borich and Phil Emmanuel
WHAT: Dinner show with two of Australia’s best guitarists, three-course dinner with drinks.
WHERE: Sheraton Noosa
WHEN: Saturday, July 26, 7pm
TICKETS: $150 per ticket
CONTACT: Sheraton Noosa on 5449 4888 to book.

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