Swill Magazine Issue 5 - Out Now

Here’s to the axe gods, anti heroes, thrashers, mashers and mangled musos who’ve electrified Frankie’s. RIP

WORDS BY ANTON FORTE, JORDAN MCDONALD, KARA JAYNE AND RYAN ADAMS

Farewell Frankie's

Sydney has a bad habit of squashing the cultural institutions that give life to the city’s underground. In late 2022, Frankie’s Pizza buckled to the seemingly unstoppable power of Sydney’s infrastructure boom. As the original rock’n’roll late-night dive bar, with pizza by the slice in the front, live bands out the back, and a whole lotta lunacy in the Fun Room, Frankie’s will surely go down as one of the all-time great, hard rock institutions. Here’s how it started. May the party never end.

 

“Of all the places I have ever been across the world I’ve never been to anywhere that felt more like a place I would make up in my mind. Places like Frankie’s remind me why you cross oceans to play guitar. As far from home as you can go, there are places where the dreams you begin with on your first KISS album never fade. Those nights and that sacred place will be forever open, neon lights blazing, smokers out front for eternity in this old iron heart of mine. Thank you, Frankie’s. Onward to Eternity.” Ryan Adams

“We put a lot of effort, time and love into the Fun Room. We had these beautiful old wash basins filled with ice where we’d keep all the tinnies and stuff. The idea was to keep it super simple. We didn’t want it to be a fancy cocktail bar or anything, we just wanted it to be a shot and beer bar. It had really comfy booths and was super-small, that’s what made it my favourite place to hang out.” Anton Forte

Farewell Frankie's

“Rock stars from all heights were as eager to dive into mayhem as Dave From Marketing. Even Deborah Harry couldn’t turn down a slice at 2am when Blondie rolled through town. I heard Debbie Harry was out the front but insisting on queuing. She was so punk, she didn’t want to just stroll to the front of the line.” Jordan McDonald

Farewell Frankie's Pizza
Farewell Frankie's Pizza
Farewell Frankie's Pizza

“Gianni, our opening pizza chef, was a master. A fourth-generation Napoletana pizza maker from Naples. He’d set up a bunch of super-renowned pizza places around the country and we needed someone with that kind of pedigree. Someone who knew how to do quantity and consistency – seasoned, crisp and delicious every time – even at 2am.” Anton Forte

 

This is an excerpt from issue 2 of Swill. Grab a copy of Swill today to read the whole thing!

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WORDS

Anton Forte, Jordan McDonald, Kara Jayne and Ryan Adams

PICTURES

James Adams and Jeremy Belinfante

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