Candy Harlots

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Candy Harlots
OriginSydney, NSW
GenresHard rock
Years active1987 - 1994
LabelsVirgin, Timberyard, Au Go Go
Associated actsMelody Black, Jerk, Ink, Helter Skelter, The Harlots, The Screaming Tribesmen, Angry Snuff Puppet, Wizzard, Limousine, Peter Wells Band, Hair of the Dog, Glam Savages, Soggy Porridge, Roxx
Past memberssee left

Band members

  • Final line-up
    • Leeno Dee (bass)
    • Tony Cardinal (drums)
    • Phil Bowley (guitar)
    • Peter Masi (guitar)
    • Haydn Watt (vocals)
  • Former members
    • Aiz Lynch (vocals) (1991 - 1993)
    • Mark Easton (vocals) (1987 - 1991)
    • Marc Lee di-Huggar (guitar) (1987 - 1990)
    • Ron Barrett (guitar) (1987 - 1990) d. 2/10/90
    • Scott Millard (bass) (1987)
    • Nick Zencutti (Nick Szentkuti) (bass) (1987)

Band information

Candy Harlots was formed in Sydney in 1987 and very quicly established themselves as Australia’s premier glam rock and metal act. Ex-Soggy Porridge leader Easton put the band together with Cardinal (also ex-Soggy Porridge), Barrett from the Glam Savages and Szentkuti on bass although his stay was brief. Di-Huggar was 17 at the time but the band hit the pubs anyway. Within three performances they were offered a contract with Virgin Records but the deal wasn’t secured until 1991, by which time the band had almost run its course. Ex-Wizzard and Roxx bassist Leeno Dee joined late in 1987.

After establishing themselves as a wild party act and developing a reputation for drugs and women, Melbourne label Au Go Go issued the band’s first single in 1989. The first 500 copies were packaged in a set of ladies' knickers and sold out in a mere three hours, putting it at the top of the indie charts and keeping it there when the second pressing also sold out, though rather more slowly.

The band’s history was marked by swaggering hard rock performances and a wild rock n roll lifestyle tainted with drug and alcohol indulgence. Over the course of this time, Candy Harlots supported a raft of international visitors including The Cult, Cheap Trick and D.A.D. By 1990 this had become too much for Di-Huggar and he was fired shortly after a support with Skid Row. He was replaced by Bowley, and later re-emerged as part of the Brindle Suite line-up.

Barrett then died of asthma-related causes on October 2, 1990. Masi was brought in so the band could continue; but Easton’s drug problems and artistic clashes with the rest of band saw him leave in March 1991.

Backstreet Shuffle singer Lynch replaced him as the group moved toward a sleaze rock direction. The first recording from the new line-up was a re-working of an earlier single “Danger”, with Lynch's vocals. This was the first release for Candy Harlots on their finally-signed deal with Virgin.

The Candy Harlots found Top 40 success with the “Foreplay” EP and also with the follow-up single. Their debut album Five Wicked Ways was an inspired attempt to establish them as an Australian alternative to the LA sleaze scene best typified by Guns N' Roses, hence Lynch's bad attitude posturing and the band's penchant for bandannas and jewellery. The band supported AC/DC in 1992 and when Virgin was taken over by EMI the band was signed immediately to EMI's US label. However, right at the time when the band looked like being launched on the international market the line-up changed dramatically again. Lynch was sacked and Hayden Watt was hired, but almost immediately Masi and Cardinal split and the band was over.

Cardinal went on to join the Screaming Tribesmen, which also later featured Di-Huggar. Bowley, Dee and Watt formed Helter Skelter with drummer Tubby Wadsworth (ex-Massappeal, King's Cross) but this line-up was not sustained and when Watt was replaced by Jordan Howe, the line-up changed name to The Harlots.

Bowley and Dee later performed together in Dearly Beloved and Velvet Claws. Dee later formed Jerk and Ink and is currently a member of Melody Black, again with Bowley. Aiz Lynch went on to form a band called Angry Snuff Puppet. Mark Easton now has a band called Limousine, a blues band that has released three albums. Masi has also featured with Limousine, as well as stints in the Peter Wells Band. He and Jordan Howe were later with Hair of the Dog.

On October 31, 2009 the Five Wicked Ways line-up reunited for a single show.



1992 Five Wicked Ways Virgin


1989 Red Hot Rocket Au Go Go
1990 Danger Timberyard
1991 Danger Virgin
1992 Sister's Crazy Virgin
1992 What Are We Fightin' For? Virgin


1992 Foreplay Virgin