Jim Pike

All About Me


WARNING

This is not the website for Jim Pike, lead singer of the 1950’s US group, The Lettermen, nor is it anything to do with Jim Pike the jockey of the legendary racehorse Phar Lap.

Neither is it even vaguely connected to Jimmy Pike the acclaimed aboriginal artist and certainly not associated with the forward thinking Bishop of California James Pike, who pioneered liberal thinking in the Episcopal Church and died in the Judean desert looking for proof of the real Jesus… (look him up, he’s quite interesting).

No dear readers, this is all about the Jim Pike who grew up in Zetland, a fly spot suburb in Sydney, Australia.

What I have in common with the others is quite uncanny; I sing with my own group, I unknowingly ate bits of horse when times were tough for the family, I enjoy Aboriginal art but the dots make me dizzy and I once met God in a bar in Birmingham where he was living under the name of Neal Tweedy, a seasonal ski instructor.
I wrote (and got paid) for my first script while still in High school for the legendary Mavis Bramston Show, Australian TV’s original parody sketch show. In my first year in radio I wrote comedy for myself, other DJs and the station in general which added up to 114 hours in the first year.

I was the first Creative Director in Australian radio (2NX Newcastle) and then the first Creative Director for 2GB in Sydney. During these years I wrote more reams of comedy, more than 200 hours of radio syndication, station promos and enough commercials to guarantee I clean the toilets of lower Hell for a very long time; although it did win me six international awards for copywriting.

TV writing encompasses main stream shows for every channel (including writing for a show on each channel at the same time). Among these were Starsearch, Good Morning Australia, Going Strong, Burke’s Backyard, Midday Show, Home shopping show, The Muppets, Graham Kennedy’s Coast to Coast and News Show. I was a major contributor to the controversial stage show Balmain Boys don’t Cry, Sketchaphrenics and wrote four other music based stage productions.

My articles have appeared in magazines, SMH, and The Australian. Add to this three documentaries, a movie script, two best selling books of poetry (click on Filthy Commerce) and at least half a dozen pilots as well as hours of stand up and corporate comedy and you’ll understand why Five Years on Another Planet and The Travel Journals are so devastatingly funny (click on Scribblings)
At my first voice over session I was hit with phone books and elbows while doing three rock stars being interviewed in an airport. These people (Noel Castley and Paul Goodwin) were obviously insane.

I returned to my quiet life in the music business at WEA records as sales, promo and PR guy until I was headhunted to Radio 2NX three years later as a writer and funny voice person. With the help of equal parts bourbon and black coffee I turned out sketches with six different characters on the breakfast show every morning as well as news related one liners and ad libs. Every Friday afternoon brought the joy of burbling out dozens of ads because the jockstars had buggered off to the pub.

A year in Brisbane honed the skills even further and when I was headhunted back to Sydney and 2GB I joined RMK in the early days of professional voice over management. Since then I’ve voiced almost 200,000 tracks of all types and for every major corporation in Australia as well as documentaries, corporate films, trailers, movies, promos, animated series and everything in between except political advertising (they are exempt from all professional legal standards so fuck ‘em.)

Voice acting is a dying art, being enthusiastically eradicated by sing-song reads that ignore meaning, to focus on sounding just like the ad that precedes or follows them. Fortunately there are still producers and writers who are lucky enough to deal in quality and concept and still value the art of experienced professionals. This is my website after all and humility never made anyone a dollar (except for Ghandi who left $3.50 in his will).
Please feel free to click on Voicings.
I began as a drummer but continued undeterred, playing in some of Sydney’s great dives including John Henrys, Surf City and Ward Austin’s Jungle (midnight to dawn twenty five bucks each).

First band, The Intersection, spawned seminal groups House of Bricks, Samael Lillith and Sherbet but by then I was playing with The Sad, a very aptly named band with a singer who, on a good night, sang partly in English
(for the gory details click on Five Years on Another Planet).

I took up guitar because it was easier to carry and wrote my first songs during the great Folk Winter of the Woolly Jerkin of 1969. After playing solo I teamed up with a school friend in a three piece acoustic group called Still, which played several big outdoor festivals as well as regular gigs at venues such as The Kirk Gallery and The Balmain Volunteer. Various events lead to me giving up playing music to work in the business side of music.

Over time I wrote and recorded many jingles for commercials, including the first ever campaign for Wyndam Estate and provided lead and backing vocals as a straight voice or character.

I picked up a guitar again in 2005 and began writing. I co-produced the first EP called On the Peninsula at MVM music and then did a CD sharing vocals with my son Morgan called Wire and Wood. The latest CD, Play Nice, is just finished and features some of the Northern Beaches finest musicians (click on Warblings). All of the albums are original material and we’re about to start on a three part harmony acoustic EP called Shoestring. We play the occasional gig but mostly do it for fun but of course you can always provide the money for my next set of strings by clicking on Filthy Commerce.
Seven years as a stand-up comedian taught me a lot, mostly about sado-masochism, but it set me up for a career as a corporate character comedian and MC. Clients include Qantas, BHP, Institute of Accountants, Pharmacy Guild, Institute of Traffic Planners (a hoot), DHL, Ford, Hyundai and Mitsubishi.

I spent 13 years on camera as a regular reporter for Burke’s Backyard and 8 years as the live resident instant poet for Midday Show (click on Exposed).

I’ve fronted the camera in many training films, had a spot in the cult Aussie movie The RolyPoly Man and played countless Santas in TV commercials and promos. My hirsute looks lead me towards roles as ageing rockers or serial killers but my reluctance to learn lines I didn’t write leads me away again.

Wander around and enjoy yourself. There’s more comedy coming and the songs will change regularly. Tell your family, tell your friends, tell ASIO…an audience is an audience.

Jim Pike on stage
Jim Pike
Jim Pike
Jim Pike