1979 - 1994
The band is today best known as a precursor to the internationally successful children's musical group The Wiggles. Two of the Wiggles, Anthony "Tony" Field and Jeff Fatt, were members of the Cockroaches (lead guitar and keyboards), while the Cockroaches' lead singer Paul Field is the Wiggles' manager; guitarist John Field is a frequent songwriter for the Wiggles. Cockroaches drummer Tony Henry and bassist Paul Dunworth have also played on numerous Wiggles recordings.
The Field brothers (Paul, John and Anthony "Tony") started the group in 1979 while still at boarding school, St. Joseph's College, Hunters Hill. The band regularly played at school dances and pubs. The Cockroaches began writing their own music and issued a string of singles on a variety of independent labels. In 1986 the band signed a deal with Regular Records.
The band's first single on Regular, 'Wait Up'/`Henry's Lizard' (September 1986), became a national Top 40 hit and #13 in Sydney. The band's debut album, The Cockroaches (March 1987) produced three further singles, 'She's the One'/'Can in the Hand' (January), 'Some Kind of Girl'/`Dr Richmond' (May) and 'Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)'/'Something Good' (August). The Cockroaches reached #9 on the national chart, on its way to selling over 100,000 copies and 'She's the One' became the band's biggest hit when it peaked at #7 during April 1987. 'Some Kind of Girl' and 'Double Shot (of My Baby's Love)' also made the Top 30. The Cockroaches' self-titled album received a platinum record award in 1988.
Peter Mackie replaced Phil Robinson before the band recorded its second album, Fingertips. In early 1989, The Cockroaches undertook a national tour. The band's third album, Positive (June 1991), included a cover of Brenda Lee's "Here Comes the Feeling" (August), which also appeared on the soundtrack to the feature film The Crossing, starring Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer. By the end of the year, however, The Cockroaches as a band concept had run its course. To add to the stress, Paul Field's seven month-old daughter died from SIDS while touring.
In the early 1990s, Anthony Field studied early childhood education at Macquarie University. He eventually started The Wiggles with Jeff Fatt, Murray Cook (guitar) and Greg Page (vocals), which became extraordinarily successful in Australia, the USA and parts of Asia in children's entertainment and early learning. John Field [alongside Sean Sennett] joined The Honeymen. The pair released two singles "Felt Like A Kiss" and "Motorbike Of Love". John Field went on to write the musical 'Evie And The Birdman' and fronts The John Field Band.
1979 - 1980: Paul Field, John Field, Tony Field, Tony Henry, Joseph Hallion, Bruce Hatfield
1981: Paul Field, John Field, Tony Field, Tony Henry, Joseph Hallion, Geoff O'Regan
1982-1987: Paul Field, John Field, Tony Field, Tony Henry, Jeff Fatt, Phil Robinson
1988 - 1994: Paul Field, John Field, Tony Field, Tony Henry, Jeff Fatt, Peter Mackie
- The Cockroaches - Regular (L 38709) (March, 1987)
- Fingertips - Regular (TVL93270) (1988)
- Positive - Regular (D 19737) (June, 1991)
- St. Patrick's Day 10am - Independent (CD ROACH 001) (March, 1994)
- Hey Let’s Go – The Best of the Cockroaches - Festival (D26394) (Nov 8, 1999)
- "I Want a Leather Jacket"/"Blue Moon of Kentucky" (R.D.S. 004) (June 1980)
- "Through With Her"/"Bingo Bango" (PRS13096) (June 1981)
- "Used To Be"/"She Goes On And On" (August 1981)
- "Empty Heart"/"Apartment No. 9" - EMI (Custom 13233) (October 1981)
- "Shake, Jump and Shout"/"Last Night"/"Empty Heart" - Phantom (PH-16) (11 November 1982)
- "See You In Spain"/"(I've) Been Thinkin' About You" - Powderworks (POW 0200) (June 1984)
- "My Whole World Is Falling Down"/"Groovin' in the Graveyard" - Possum (POS 1529) (June 1985)
- "Another Night Alone"/"Just Can't Stop" - Possum (POS 1589) (December 1985)
- "Wait Up"/"Henry's Lizard" - Regular (K72) (September 1986)
- "She's The One"/"Can in the Hand" - Regular (K212) (January 1987)
- "Some Kind Of Girl"/"Dr. Richmond" - Regular (K277) (May 1987)
- "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)/"Something Good" - Regular (K388) (August 1987)
- "Hey What Now!"/"Marie" - Regular (K533) (June 1988)
- "You And Me"/"So Wild" - Regular (K639) (October 1988)
- "Permanently Single"/"Rudolph Had A Baby" - Regular (K769) (January 1989)
- "Another Saturday Night"/"I've Got To Hang On" - Regular (K894) (August 1989)
- "Hope"/"Soul To Soul" (August 1990)
- "I Must Have Been Blind"/"I Don't Wanna Be Sad" (May 1991)
- Some of the songs such as You Got the Drop were never released.