1952: March 15th . John Archibald Dixon Swan is born in Glasgow. He is the oldest child of Jim Swan and Dorothy Dixon, who will have five more children – Dot, Linda, James, Alan and Lisa.1956: Swanee’s dad, Jim Swan, becomes Scotland’s featherweight boxing champion.
1961: The Swan family arrives in Australia (January 7). They will settle in Elizabeth, an outer suburb of Adelaide.
1962 Swanee plays in the Royal Caledonian Society Pipe Band.
Jimmy also Joined
1965: Swanee joins his first band, Soul Union. He makes a banner for the band but misspells “Union”, so punters think the band is called “Soul Onion”.
1966: Swanee, 13, becomes the drummer in a band called Happiness, running away to Melbourne. They work as the backing band for Lynne Randell.
1968: Jim and Dorothy’s marriage ends. Dorothy re-marries, and Reg Barnes becomes the kids’ stepfather. All the kids take the surname Barnes, except Swanee.
1970 When he was seventeen, Swan enlisted in the Australian Army, and was discharged after two years of service.
1972: becomes the drummer in Adelaide bands Pulse and Hard Time Killing Floor. loved the blues ..
1973: Swanee is a member of Adelaide blues band Queen, alongside piano player Don Walker.
Swanee plays with The James Wright Band.
Cold Chisel (then known as Orange) ask Swanee to be their drummer/singer. He declines, but introduces his friend Steve Prestwich to the band, who becomes the drummer, while Swanee’s younger brother, Jim Barnes, becomes the lead singer.
1974: Swanee joins Cold Chisel for a few months, singing and playing percussion.they never needed both of us and Jimmy was doing just fine they didn’t need me
Swanee replaces Bon Scott as the singer in Fraternity, when Bon joins AC/DC.
1975: Swanee chooses to switch to drums in Fraternity, and Jimmy Barnes becomes the band’s new lead singer. Jimmy is a Fraternity member for six months before returning to Cold Chisel.
When Fraternity finishes, Swanee becomes the drummer in Jim Keays’ Southern Cross.
1976: Swanee becomes the lead singer of Feather, the band previously known as Blackfeather. They support Robin Trower on their Australian tour.
1977: Feather release a single called “Girl Trouble” (May). A Feather album, Going Through Changes, is unreleased.
Jimmy Barnes joins Swanee in Feather as co-lead singer, but will return to Cold Chisel a few weeks later.
1978: Swanee leaves Feather (April).
Swanee launches his own band called Swanee (November).
1979: Swanee signs to WEA and releases his first solo single, “Crazy Dreams” (August).
1980: Having replaced Bon Scott once before, Swanee is rumoured as a contender to become AC/DC’s new lead singer when Bon dies. “He would have been perfect for AC/DC,” says producer Mark Opitz, who has worked with both AC/DC and Swanee. But Swanee says: “I was very close to the family [Youngs], but they wouldn’t have wanted to take me; it would have been like taking Bon again, and I would have probably finished up in the same boat. That would have been heartbreaking for those guys. To lose somebody like that, you lose a brother.”
While working for Swanee, cold chisel roadies , Alan Dallow and Billy Rowe, are killed in a road accident (April 12). Swanee and Barnesy are devastated. Alan was literally family – he was engaged to their sister Linda, and they had a young son, James.Billy had new baby too they were great friends —they joined my band before moving onto chisel
Swanee releases his debut solo album, Into The Night (October). Co-produced by Mark Moffatt, the album features the singles “Ol’ Rosie”, “Linda” and “Matthew”.
1981: Swanee is on the bill when AC/DC play their infamous shows around Australia including the Melbourne’s Myer Music Bowl (February). The gigs are so wild, rock shows are temporarily banned at the Bowl.
Swanee is best man when his brother Jimmy marries Jane Mahoney (May 22). Same night ,gig at Blacktown’s Comb and Cutter, Swanee Chrissie Amphlet divynals join Jimmy vocals.
Swanee releases his cover of Tim Hardin’s “If I Were A Carpenter” (July). It reaches number five.
Swanee releases the single “Samantha” (November).
1982: Swanee’s “Temporary Heartache” reaches number 18 (April).
Swanee releases his second solo album, This Time It’s Different (May). Produced by David Skinner, the album peaks at number 20.
“Lady What’s Your Name” reaches number 13 (July).
Former AC/DC bass player Mark Evans joins Swanee’s band. The line-up of the band also includes guitarist Harvey James (ex-Sherbet) and former Feather guitarist Stuart Fraser, who will later become a founding member of Noiseworks.
1983: Swanee releases the single “Sail Away”,
Swanee releases his third solo album, a live album, Ready For Action! Live In The Snow, featuring the single “Motor Down” (October).
1984: Swanee releases the single “I’m Ready” (March).
WEA release the compilation album Days Gone By: The Best of Swanee (October).
1985: Swanee signs to RCA and releases the album Bushido (April), featuring the singles“You Oughta Know By Now” and “Turn Away”.
Swanee issues his first release as “John Swan”, the single “It Could Have Been You”. It is also the theme song for the movie An Indecent Obsession (July).
Swanee signs to Mushroom and releases the single “Say You’ll Do Something” (October).
1986: The John Swan single “Angel” is released (July).
Swanee does an advertising campaign for West End Draught, a South Australian beer, who agree to sponsor his tours.
1987: Swanee joins The Party Boys. The line-up is Swanee, Paul Christie, Kevin Borich, John Brewster, Alan Lancaster and Richard Harvey. It is the band’s most successful incarnation, with the band’s version of John Kongos’ “He’s Gonna Step On You Again” hitting number one (June).
The Party Boys album is released (December). It features three more singles: “Hold Your Head Up” (which peaks at number 19), “Is This The Way To Say Goodbye” (written by Swanee, Alan Lancaster and John Brewster), and a cover of Them’s “Gloria”. The album also includes a new version of Swanee’s 1985 single “It Could’ve Been You”.
1988: The Party Boys support AC/DC on their Australian tour (February).
1989: Swanee leaves The Party Boys to focus on his solo career, releasing the single “Lucille”. From kylie minogue “s film the delinquents
1990: Swanee releases the single “Blood Is Thicker Than Water” (June).
1997: Swanee releases his fifth solo album, Heart and Soul.
2005: Swanee is part of Jimmy Barnes’ duets album, Double Happiness (July). The brothers do “What Will They Say” together. The album hits number one.
2006: Swanee is part of Deep Purple and Status Quo’s “Double Trouble” Australian tour.
Swanee is part of the first Countdown Spectacular tour.
2007: Swanee releases his first album in 10 years, Have A Little Faith. Produced by Mark Moffatt, the album is released under the name John Swan
According to Mark Moffatt, “We began to put a few tracks together via the internet and as things progressed it became apparent it was going to be much more than an acoustic record, though still a mix of his old & new stuff. A lot of veteran ‘southern cats’ in town wanted to know who this amazing singer was… so I just kept going at it, building tracks to where I felt they needed to be to support John’s voice.”
2012: Swanee is nominated for a Pride of Australia Medal for his work as ambassador for work he does in SA community fundraising and playing in the hospitals
2013: Swanee teams up with John St Peeters, Marty Rhone, Tommy Emmanuel and Ray Burgess to release the single “Legends Of The Southern Land”.
2014: Swanee releases his seventh solo album, One Day At A Time.