Ian Rilen


"Bad Boy for Love" Doco to be filmed by Mark Mordue and Lisa Nichols

Synopsis for a documentary by Greg Sawers

The 1970’s Australian pub rock ‘n’ roll scene was an extremely fertile breeding ground for the future stars of our country’s music scene. Cold Chisel, AC/DC and INXS were just some of the big name bands who honed their skills during that era, but countless others were grinding out chords in the plethora of pubs where pub rock once flourished. These bands inspired a new generation of world-beaters; one of the most influential was the legendary quartet, X.

Pivotal in X was a hard living rock ‘n’ roll outlaw, former Rose Tattoo bassist and writer of their seminal hit “Bad Boy for Love”, his name was Ian Rilen.

This documentary charts the 30 years Rilen has spent in pub rock, the people who have been inspired by his frenetic uncompromising double down-stroke playing style, his brilliant often twisted song-writing and his love of the outlaw lifestyle. Interviews with some of the greats in Australian music industry such as Tex Perkins, Angry Anderson, Paul Kelly, Don Walker, Ian Moss, Mark Seymour, Michael Chugg, Molly Meldrum, Michael Gudinski, Stuart Coupe and Sabastian Chase will flesh out the story of a man often maligned, but more often begrudgingly respected. A man referred to by Don Walker, principal songwriter of Cold Chisel, as a “National living treasure”, the epitome of the Australian pub rocker, Ian Rilen.

Further interviews with former girlfriends, musicians, friends and enemies will explore the themes inherent in the lifestyle Rilen has always embraced. Crazed nihilistic behaviour compounded by drug and alcohol abuse, along with the fascination women have for such rock anti-heroes will dominate. It will explore how a talented musician has survived through the years and is still living the lifestyle, hand to mouth, gigging in pubs, surrounded by chaos (more often than not of his own making) and always in love. A man relatively unknown outside of the scene, now 58, but rediscovered and much loved by the new generation of pub rockers who refer to him as the “Keith Richards” of Australian Rock ‘n’ Roll, Ian Rilen.