Ronald Graham "Ron" Strykert (born 18 August 1957) is an Australian musician. He is best known for playing lead guitar, singing, co-founding and composing songs with the 1980s band Men at Work.
|Birth name||Ronald Graham Strykert|
|Born||18 August 1957|
Korumburra, Victoria, Australia
|Genres||Pop, rock, new wave, acoustic|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, percussion|
Le Coq Musique
|Associated acts||Men at Work|
Strykert co-founded Men at Work with Colin Hay as an acoustic duo in 1978, regularly performing at the Cricketer's Arms Hotel in Richmond, Victoria. From 1979 to 1985 he provided guitar, vocals and bass guitar for that group. He contributed to all three Men at Work studio albums. He wrote or co-wrote many of their songs, including "Down Under" which appears on their first album Business as Usual. He sings lead vocals on "Settle Down My Boy", one of his self composed songs on their second album Cargo.
Strykert played bass guitar on the very first recordings of the early group in a stage musical called Riff Raff in 1979. When bassist John Rees was later added in 1980 to the band, he moved forward to lead guitarist. He developed a unique soaring style of playing which added a high amount of energy to their songs. His signature playing went from long sustained notes, to a rapid fire, staccato lead guitar style, with some similarities to bass technique, most often using a customised Yamaha SC-800 guitar with EMG S pickups. He would often duel with fellow guitarist Hay adding dimension to his presentation as well as blending strong backing vocals. He often weaved his guitar playing around the stylistic playing of Greg Ham on his keyboards, saxophone, clarinet and flute.
As a founding member of the group, Strykert was concerned when the group lost their rhythm section of Jerry Speiser and Rees. During the process of recording their Two Hearts album in 1985, he decided to leave the group.
Strykert composed and co-composed thirteen songs for Men at Work:
|"Keypunch Operator"||Hay & Strykert||Early single|
|"Down Under"||Hay & Strykert||B side to early single, A side single & Business as Usual|
|"Anyone For Tennis"||Hay, Strykert, Ham, Speiser & Rees||B side to "Who Can It Be Now?" single|
|"Crazy"||Strykert||B side to "Down Under" single|
|"People Just Love to Play with Words"||Strykert||Business as Usual|
|"Touching the Untouchables"||Hay & Strykert||Business as Usual|
|"Down by the Sea"||Hay, Ham, Strykert & Speiser||Business as Usual|
|"Settle Down My Boy"||Strykert||Cargo|
|"Upstairs in My House"||Hay & Strykert||B side to "Dr. Heckyl & Mr. Jive" 12" & Cargo|
|"I Like To"||Strykert||Cargo. A live version of this song appears as the US B-Side of "Dr. Heckyl & Mr. Jive".|
|"Shintaro"||Strykert||B side to "It's a Mistake" single|
|"'Till the Money Runs Out"||Hay, Strykert, Ham, Speiser & Rees||B side to "Overkill" single|
|"Sail to You"||Hay, Strykert & Ham||Two Hearts|
Strykert took part in 13 singles released by Men at Work. Nine of them charted. He took part in three albums released. All three charted.
Strykert with Men at Work won the following awards:
- 1983 United States Grammy Award for "Best New Artist"
- 1983 Canadian Juno Award for "International LP of the Year" for Business as Usual
Hay and Strykert received the following awards from APRA Awards for their composition "Down Under":
- 1985 Special Award
- No. 4 on the APRA Top 30 Australian songs list
In 2003, Strykert released a solo debut titled Paradise on compact disc. It was released by an independent label Le Coq Musique and contained the following tracks composed and produced by Strykert:
|1||"In The Air"||3:06|
|3||"Do I Love You?"||3:48|
|6||"Show Us The Way Home"||4:52|
- Rees, Dafydd; Crampton, Luke (15 September 1999). VH1 Rock Stars Encyclopedia. DK ADULT. p. 661. ISBN 0789446138.
- Dwyer, Michael; Johnston, Chris (4 December 2004). "He's up from Down Under". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
- Holmgren, Magnus; Warnqvist, Stefan. "Men at Work". Australian Rock Database. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- McFarlane, Ian. "Men at Work". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop on Whammo.com.au. Archived from the original on 13 May 2003. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Men at Work Biography & History". Retrieved 12 December 2013.
- "Men at Work". Australian Charts. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
- "Men at Work – Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Jive". discogs.
- "Ron Strykert – Paradise". discogs. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
- "Ron Stykert". Band to Band. Retrieved 14 December 2013.