Somewhere between New Zealand and Sydney, the band changes its name to Chapter III. Kerry explains:
I suppose we didn’t realize it at the time, but a name is just a name, and The Defenders was as good a name as
But - when we arrived in Sydney we decided The Defenders name was a bit reminiscent of the old instrumental
groups, and we needed something that reflected how really “cool” we were! We were tossing names around
for a few days, and I opened a book I was reading at Chapter 3, and it stuck me that this was the third chapter
in the band’s history. We had Toowoomba, New Zealand and now Sydney. So we went into Festival Records
and we recorded our first Australian track under our new name - Chapter III.
Myke Conway, Ron Smith, Bob London, Kerry Wright, Ray Moore
Soon after arrival in Sydney, two of the members of Chapter III become involved in the making of a record that achieves top ten chart success - and also the band
is signed to a deal with a major record label. Peter Wright takes up the story:
I was living in Sydney in 1966 when The Defenders, by then called Chapter III returned to Australia via Sydney. At that time I was in the final term of a three-year
contract with EMI Records, but was planning to move to Festival Records the following year, and as a consequence I was in preliminary negotiations with that
So, I approached the A&R man and the committee at Festival with a dub of the song I’m Happy Too and a vocal/guitar demonstration tape of Kerry singing
a song that he and Ron Smith had written - a song called I Didn’t Know, and I pitched that to Festival as an audition for the group Chapter III. The pitch was
persuasive enough but more importantly the recorded performances were strong enough to convince Festival to offer Chapter III a one record deal with
options. At that same, I included two members of Chapter III, Kerry and Myke Conway into the session band for the recording of The Rose Has A Thorn at
The Rose Has A Thorn was a very well-received record, reaching #2 in the charts back then, and was reissued in 2005 on the EMI compilation - Memories
Are Made Of This - Sixty Solid Gold Hits and in some sort of quirky deja-vu echo it reached #2 again in the ARIA album charts in June, 2005 - and all those years later
earned for the songs on that record a second credited gold record in sales. (ed. note: See The Rose Has A Thorn)
Fool (Wright/Sayers) / Not Your Man (Wright/Smith/Sayers)
Festival FK-1451 (August, 1966)
In the 1966 Fool / Not Your Man recording session in Sydney for Festival Records,
the Chapter III lineup was:
Kerry Wright (Vocal/guitar)
Ray Moore (Bass/Vocal)
Ron Smith (Lead guitar)
Col Zeller (Drums)
Bob London (Harmony/tambourine)
John Sayers (Keyboards/harmony)
Fool was written by Kerry and Sayers, and Not Your Man was a Wright/Smith/Sayers collaboration.
From a performance and recording perspective, the session was somewhat star-crossed, as the
engineer was being obstinate about feeding enough playback volume into the headphones and
Bob London wasn’t helping - he kept making highly offensive remarks about the engineer, which
of course were being relayed to the burning ears of the engineer through the open mikes and
played back through the control room speakers.
Chapter’s III’s Fool / Not You Man single received little airplay, and as a natural consequence
made no significant impact on the charts.
The mood within the band was a bit down, with some natural disappointment at the record’s
poor reception, also they were just eking out enough for a professional living with their Sydney gigs,
when Terry Herbert arrives in Sydney to offer them a Chapter III Weekend Spectacular engagement
at JBs in Toowoomba.
They agree, and it was a huge success, after which they returned to their Sydney residency at
The Thunderbird at Bondi. Several weeks later Herbert returns to Sydney with an enticing offer
of a residency at JBs. Despite the fact that they had further options to explore in Sydney, the money
offered was tempting and after the long cold spell in New Zealand, followed by a Sydney winter,
the thought of home cooked meals and the glorious late Spring /early Summer weather of Toowoomba
was too strong a siren song to resist. Terry Herbert knew how to bait a hook - Chapter III returned to
Toowoomba late in 1966.
Myke Conway, John Sayers and Bob London elect to remain in Sydney, so now Chapter III have turned
full circle - with all founding members together again.