IN 1969 two 19 year old Bega boys, Fess Parker and Brian Nichols, fresh out of Bega High, left the Bega Valley to avoid possible conscription in the Vietnam conflict by joining the PMG (now Telstra) as technicians, and to seek fame and fortune as musicians in "the big smoke".
They were successful on both counts.
Fess and Brian had a band around Bega called "Undecided", which morphed into "Big Swifty" in Sydney, and in 1978 they finally had the right line-up when Mark Lucas and Geoff Turner joined, and they debuted as "The Radiators" in 1978. Their first album "Feel the Heat" was released late 1979 and by March 1980 these Aussie Rock Icons had achieved platinum status.
They would go on to forge a unique sound and influence thousands of music lovers throughout Australia.
They are approaching 30 years of outstanding music, exciting and sometimes controversial lyrics, more than 4,000 electrifying live performances and platinum and gold album sales.
The music from their more than one dozen albums has produced hits and anthems for their dedicated fans, culminating in the release of an historic and very special 25th Anniversary Album in 2004.
The Radiators have played their music to more than two million people in Australia and have national sales totalling more than half a million, and they are coming home to Bega Cheese's Sapphire Rock '08, January 20 at The Sapphire Coast Turf Club, Kalaru.
Fess's parents, John and Beryl Parker, still live in the family home in Bega, and his two brothers and their families are still nearby.
Fess reminisces: "Brian's family had a dairy farm at Quaama and we used to rehearse on the verandah. All the cows would gather round the verandah and they seemed to be really enjoying the music".
"Brian's Dad reckoned it made them easier to milk! It'll be great to get back down there and catch up with old friends and family.
"I hope everyone comes to the show...even some cows would be good!"
The Radiators have continued to do what they do best - tour extensively, play an average of 150 times per year and delight the legions of fans both young and old who still flock to grab a slice of living Aussie Rock history, rocking the night away to the great catchy songs and classic hits that have made The Radiators a household name in Australia.
So take Fess's advice and join them and the other great acts at Bega Cheese's Sapphire Rock '08, Jan 20 at the Turf Club, Kalaru
The Radiators will also be doing a special show at The Top Pub, Pambula on Saturday, January 19, as a warm-up for Sapphire Rock.
They will be supported by Gone Fish'n' and Frankie J and Friends, featuring Freddie Strauks from Skyhooks. Tickets at the Top Pub.