One night in his early 20s, John Hanlon was nudged into playing some songs at a party. A recording studio owner was listening in, and so a star was born. Hanlon won the APRA Silver Scroll Award in 1974 and 75, plus a host of RATA awards, including Songwriter of the Year three years running. ‘Damn the Dam’ became a protest classic, despite its birth as a Pink Batts radio jingle; 1974 hit ‘Lovely Lady’ got to number one. 'Higher Trials' accompanied the airborne climax of Oscar-nominated adventure film Off the Edge (1977). Soon after, growing weary of replaying the hits, Hanlon concentrated on his advertising career.