Vale ex-Powder Monkey John Nolan

john and powder monkeysJohn Nolan (left) with Tim Hemensley and Timmy-Jack Ray in the Powder Monkeys.

John Nolan, the former Powder Monkeys and Bored! guitarist and more recently member of Powerline Sneakers, has died. It is understood a family member found him earlier today in his Melbourne home.

The lanky, long-haired and wickedly talented Nolan was an elder statesman of the Melbourne underground scene. He initially rose to prominence in Geelong band Beyond the Magnolia Curtain in the mid-1980s. and went on to the twin-guitar line-up of Bored!

In 1991, Nolan and Bored! bassist Tim Hemensley (ex-GOD) left Bored! to set up the Powder Monkeys, who became one of Australia’s most fearsome - and infamous - outfits.

Nolan suffered a near fatal asthma attack, exacerbated by drug use, in 2001. Hemensley died of a drug overdose in 2003, aged 31.

Nolan recovered from his medical episode and went on to play with the late Spencer P. Jones.  More recently, he was playing with ex-Splatterheads vocalist Sly Faulkner, bassist Katie Dixon and drummer Mark Hurst (Yes-Men) in the Powerline Sneakers.

The band went into hiatus during the pandemic when Dixon announced her departure but recorded a killer album, “...disasterpiece”.

Tags: powder monkeys, john nolan, tim hemensley, bored!, vale

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  • Guest - Prav

    Was honoured to call John a friend. Will never forget the first time I saw John play about 30 years ago. He was in my opinion the best guitarist I have ever seen play. A phenomenon! His beautiful amazing sister Kathy was one of the people who stood by John and cared deeply for him. John was the ultimate raconteur and loved to talk about music film politics. He was a sensitive sweet wonderful and definitely a naughty boy !

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