Gregory Charles “Greg” Arnold

Vocals, guitar, keyboards

Genre:  Folk rock

Location: Melbourne

Website:   Official website

Other Links: See below:



Gregory Charles “Greg” Arnold is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and lecturer. Arnold won the APRA Songwriter of the Year award in 1993 and performed regularly with his folk rock band, Things of Stone and Wood.

For the group, he wrote, “Happy Birthday Helen” (released December 1992), about his then-girlfriend (and current Director of Law and Policy for the International Committee of the Red Cross) Helen Durham. The couple later married. The single reached No. 9 on the ARIA Singles Chart and the group won ‘Best New Talent’ at the ARIA Music Awards of 1993.

By 1986 Greg Arnold was lead vocalist with Melbourne indie rock band, 13 at Midnight, which released a cover version of “She Sells Sanctuary” (originally by The Cult), on Cleopatra Records. The original line-up were Arnold, Russell Hall on bass guitar, Peter Pilley on drums, and Byron Smith on lead guitar (music journalist at Juke Magazine). Hall was soon replaced by Michael Allen on bass guitar. The group followed with an album, Warring Tribes, in 1987 on Cleopatra Records.

By 1989 the group, 13 at Midnight, had disbanded, Arnold recalled in March 1993, “I wasn’t particularly keen to get into a band after Thirteen at Midnight … but [Allen] kind of talked me into it really, and I think from that we learnt a few things we didn’t want to do again – and it’s worked out”. In 1989 after a break of a few months with Arnold on lead vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards; and Allen on bass guitar, backing vocals, guitar, keyboards; they formed a folk rock group, Things of Stone and Wood, with Justin Brady on violin, mandolin, harmonica, guitar; and Tony Floyd on drums, percussion, recorder, backing vocals.

Arnold explained the group’s name, “[its] kind of organic and evocative, yeah, that’s right. I’ll have to remember that one”. One of their earliest gigs was the 21st birthday party for Arnold’s then-girlfriend, Helen Durham. Arnold wrote “Happy Birthday Helen”, for Durham’s 22nd birthday:

it was just a gift for Helen … it was never intended to be released. But when I played it to [Allen] he said, “This is a ripper, we’ve got to do this song” … The drive along the Yarra is all true … We kissed on the bridge that fell down … it was actually London Bridge on the Great Ocean Road … It was such an intensely personal love song, so it was weird hearing the song everywhere.

—Greg Arnold quoted in Molly Meldrum presents 50 years of rock in Australia (2007) by Jeff Jenkins and Ian “Molly” Meldrum, p. 288–289.

Durham recalled being told by fans that “she was not the subject of the song … People would say they knew the real Helen”. Arnold and Durham were later married “Happy Birthday Helen” was issued in December 1992, which peaked at No. 9 on the ARIA Singles Chart, the highest point for any of the band’s singles. The group issued their debut album, The Yearning, in March the following year, which reached No.8 on the related ARIA Albums Chart. Arnold wrote most of the songs for the group.At the ARIA Music Awards of 1993 the group won ‘Best New Talent’. During late that year they were touring Europe, including a support gig for Midnight Oil in the United Kingdom. While there Arnold won ‘Songwriter of the Year’ at the 1993 APRA Awards.

The group released additional material until late 1998 when they went into hiatus. During the hiatus Arnold formed the Greg Arnold Trio, which performed in Melbourne. He then formed Tricycle (aka Greg Arnold’s Tricycle) with Anita Hustas on double bass and Ian Kitney on drums. They released their debut album, Super, in September 1999. The lead single, “Oh No Not You Again”, preceded it in August. They enjoyed extensive airplay on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Super was named album of the week by Coast FM in January 2001.

Things of Stone & Wood reconvened in 2001, releasing further albums. They disbanded by 2006. Arnold released a second album in November that year, Lost Marie, a collection of melodic short stories. Arnold said “I’ve been banging on about myself for about twenty years… I thought it was about time to make something up”. His ballads are about a variety of social non-conformists. He was accompanied on acoustic instrumentation by Kitney on drums and Pete Haydon on brass, percussion and supporting vocals.

Arnold has continued to write songs, perform, and produce records for other artists including Melbourne indie-rock band Skipping Girl Vinegar, acoustic group Junior’s LP Sample (2000) and Restless (2001), Merri-May Gill’s Desgnated Driver (2004). For Designated Driver Arnold also co-wrote four tracks with Gill, and supplied guitar and bass guitar.

From 2007 he was part of a trio, Greg Arnold and the Lost Marias, which also has John Bedggood (Bernard Fanning) on fiddle, mando and piano an Kitney (Tim Rogers) on drums. His 2011 album with The Swamp Dandies received great reviews (“nimble…horse power pop” Rhythms Magazine) and gained international recognition when the “charming” and “hilarious” clip for “Olivia” was endorsed by Olivia Newton-John.

Personal life

Greg Arnold married Helen Durham (born ca. 1968), who is of June 2014, the Director of International Law and Policy for the International Committee of the Red Cross and was a fellow at Melbourne Law School . Arnold has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours in English Literature) from Melbourne University and a Masters of Education (Arts Administration) from RMIT. He has a PhD from UTAS. He was a senior lecturer and the head of the Bachelor of Music Industry program at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE from 2011-2014.

The couple have two children.

In 2006 Arnold wrote “Close My Eyes” for the Australian Red Cross and recorded it with former Midnight Oil drummer, Rob Hirst, and Paul Greene. The song received airplay across Asia. Arnold related “it was inspired by the realisation that it is so easy to ignore all the terrible news in the world. The onslaught of images one sees and hears via various media outlets can make us emotionally immune”.


13 at Midnight
Discography according to Australian Rock Database:
“She Sells Sanctuary” (1986) single
Warring Tribes (1987) LP
Things of Stone and Wood
Discography according to Australian Rock Database:
“The Hopeful” (1991) CD-Single, MDS Things 001. Produced by James Black
Happy Birthday Helen (1992) CD-EP, Columbia 6584771. Produced by Black
The Yearning (1993) CD Columbia 473586 2. Produced by Black
Junk Theatre (1994) CD Columbia 478346.2. Produced by Black
The Man with the Perfect Hair (1995) CD TOSAW things 003. Produced by Black and Things of Stone and Wood
Whirligig (1996) CD Shock Records Things 005. Produced by Things of Stone and Wood, Simon Holmes and Black
Live at the Espy (1996) CD TOSAW Things 006. Produced by Things of Stone and Wood (limited edition of 1000 numbered and autographed copies)
The Yearning/Junk Theatre (1999) 2× CD
So Far 1992-2002 (2002) CD
“Rollercoaster” (2003) CD
Solo Super with Tricycle (September 1999)
Lost Marie (November 2006)

LINKS:Official website

archived from the original

on 3 October 2009, retrieved on 11 March 2014