After 40 years of intense speculation by the editors of various music publications and music historians, the secret is now revealed about Australian one-hit-wonder band The Mystrys, whose ill-fated gimmick was to wear green velvet hoods and keep their identities a mystery, especially from the fans that could have made them famous. From the left are rhythm guitarist Kevin Thomas, lead guitarist Ziggy Zapata, drummer Malcolm McPhee and bass guitarist Charlie Bayliss.
The Mystrys received amazingly good media coverage wherever they appeared, with this article showing the well-dressed lads in Horsham in Victoria, apparently looking at the heavens for their flying saucer. Interestingly enough, the editorial actually confirmed that at one time, The Mystrys were billed second only to Normie Rowe, who was then at the peak of his career as the King Of Pop.
These articles were just a few of many that appeared in newspapers and magazines, as The Mystrys enjoyed their brief rock and roll careers. In the article on the left, from top to bottom are Kevin Thomas, Charlie Bayliss, Malcolm McPhee and Ziggy Zapata, although the only way to know who was who was by the instruments they were holding. The lads had the very best instruments, with Kevin on a Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar, Charlie playing a Fender Precision Bass, Malcolm with Ludwig drums and Ziggy playing his Rickenbacker 335 Fireglow guitar. The other two articles were from major publications and the remaining snippet came from a fan of The Mystrys who wrote to pop publication Go-Set and would not countenance any criticism of the boys.
An article from the Melbourne Sun. The Mystrys generated massive interest wherever they played or even appeared in public and on television. Amazingly, the identities of the boys were never leaked. Apart from the band's management and The Kontacts who toured with The Mystrys, nobody ever managed to find out who they were. It seems that there has been much speculation about The Mystrys by collectors of 1960s music memorabilia and music historians in particular, who have not been able to fill in the gaps about this band for a solid 40 years until Ziggy spilled the beans on the band.
The upper newspaper advertisement promoted the first stage appearance of The Mystrys at Mentone Town Hall, one of the premier rock and roll venues in Melbourne in the 1960s. It stated the fact that the band had just appeared on the two biggest pop television shows in Australia. The lower advertisement came from a Horsham newspaper, where "Australia's Most Talked About Group" The Mystrys, supported by The Kontacts, performed to a sellout house at the Horsham Town Hall.
These rare photos are very interesting because they came from a private collection. They were taken when The Mystrys and The Kontacts were on tour and show the boys enjoying life without their masks. From top to bottom, the girls of The Kontacts with Kevin Thomas, Charlie Bayliss and John Lake, the two bands in Mildura, with Ziggy Zapata fooling around with an acoustic guitar, Charlie on the Murray River cruise boat and some of The Mystrys and The Kontacts in a casual group shot. From left to right are Kevin, Kaye, Ziggy, Alison, Charlie, Joy and Davida. The two bottom photos are John Lake and Charlie Bayliss and John Lake and Nic Gazzana in the Kombi van.
This promotional photo shows The Mystrys menacing their media consultant and songwriter Bob King Crawford, promoter and manager Michael Kopp and financial backer Buff Parry. Many of these photos were published in the daily media and in magazines, helping to lift the profile of the band.
This is one of the posters that were used to promote The Mystrys and The Kontacts at most of the venues and on tour. It was a substantial show for that era, with dancers and local bands as support acts.
This candid shot was taken in a dressing room in one of the many venues where The Mystrys and The Kontacts performed. Ziggy Zapata is trying to relax in that very uncomfortable mask, while the girls of The Kontacts look quite apprehensive before the big show.