Real Life began in Melbourne in 1980 when David Sterry (guitarist) and Richard Zatorski (Synths) got together to write songs in the New Wave style. There was no intention of forming a band, they wanted to write for other performers. Somewhere along the line it was decided that they should get a live band together and hit the pub scene in Melbourne which was alive with all sorts of fabulous new bands playing original new music. They recruited a bass player, and first shows were played with a primitive drum machine. David who wrote all the lyrics to the songs became the reluctant singer after auditioning quite a few potentials.
They eventually replaced the drum machine and worked with various drummers. In 1983 after supporting most of the top Aussie bands from Midnight Oil, INXS and Rose Tattoo, David and Richard signed to a local record company and went into the studio to record their first single Send Me an Angel. The rest is history.
The song was picked up in the USA by Curb Records. It hit the Billboard top 30 and went to #1 for one month in Germany, as well as top ten in most European countries. The Album Heartland was released and second single Catch Me I’m Falling was a number one hit in Melbourne, top 30 in the USA and top ten in Europe. Angel and Catch Me were in the German top ten at the Same time.
Real Life was a big part of the New Wave sound and featured heavily on alternative US radio stations such as KROQ as well as being the darlings of MTV. The bands unique take on New Wave music influenced many young musicians worldwide.
Send Me An Angel was the home run song for the L.A. Angels Baseball team. It has featured in many film and television productions and has been covered and re-mixed hundreds of times. Even actor Sean Hayes from Will and Grace mimes it on his Facebook page.
David and Richard finally recorded and released a second album Flame in 1985. Face to Face became a minor hit single. Then 2 years later Let’s Fall In Love from the same album became a US alternative club hit in 1987.
Richard Zatorski departed to study law in 1986 and David continued on with new songwriting partner Steve Williams. An interim single Babies was released and was a college and KROQ hit in the USA.
In 1989 out of the blue a re-mix of Send Me an Angel became a top 30 hit once again in the USA. In 1990 they released their 3rd album Lifetime and had two US alternative hits with God Tonight and Kiss the Ground.
In 1991 Steve Williams departed and was replaced by George Pappas as new co-writer. At around this time the bands Australian record company was liquidated and a long legal battle began to recover the rights to the music.
The band decided to become independent, And in 2000 released a self funded, produced album called Happy via various small labels in Australia and the US. Sadly the album got very little promotion and failed to chart. It did however get some of the best reviews including a quote from Australian Music Industry legend, Molly Meldrum, stating that if the bands name wasn’t Real Life they’d be heralded as the next big thing. A dance re-mix of the album called Happier was also released. David and George released another independent album Imperfection in 2004. David recorded an album of Real Life cover versions for US label Cleopatra Records in 2009.
Real Life have sold over 3 million records in the last 30 years. George Pappas was forced into retirement in 2006 due to Crohn’s disease. Real Life is back to David writing and recording under the Real Life name with whoever standing behind him as the band. David constantly tours Australia and the world with various lineups and is preparing some new music for 2017.
Real Life will go on as long as people still want to hear those songs and at the moment