Don Walker was born in Ayr, North Queensland, in 1951. As a member of and main songwriter for Cold Chisel between 1973 and 1983 he wrote “Saturday Night”, “Cheap Wine”, “Standing on the Outside”, “Four Walls”, “Khe Sanh” along with many others, and co-wrote “Flame Trees”. He also wrote and produced the soundtrack for the Scott Hicks movie Freedom in 1981, featuring most of Cold Chisel and then unknown INXS singer Michael Hutchence. In 1989, after a break from music and time spent travelling, he released Unlimited Address, a set of songs under the band name Catfish, recorded with producer/guitar player Peter Walker and harmonica player David Blight. As a touring band Catfish also included guitar player Charlie Owen.
In 1991 the second Catfish album, Ruby, was released, recorded with James Brown’s rhythm section of drummer Tony Cook and guitar player Ron Laster. The songs were more Australian in content. Slim Dusty had a hit with his version of “Charleville”, which he then invited Don to re-record as a duet.
In 1993 the Tex, Don and Charlie album, Sad But True was released in Australia and Europe. A collaboration with Tex Perkins and Charlie Owen, Sad But True showed the first results of the songwriting Walker had been doing in Nashville the previous two years. Tex, Don and Charlie toured, recording and releasing the live album “Monday Morning Coming Down”.
In 1994 Don Walker recorded his first solo album We’re All Gunna Die over four days at Electric Avenue Studios in Sydney, with a touring band featuring David Blight and Red Rivers on guitar. Released in 1995, it was reviewed as “a masterpiece” and “possibly the best Australian album released in years”. That same year Origin Records re-released the Freedom soundtrack. In 1998 Cold Chisel released their first studio album for fifteen years entitled The Last Wave of Summer, which entered the national charts at number one, and followed it up with a 22 date national tour.
In 2005 Don, Tex Perkins and Charlie Owen recorded and released the widely acclaimed All Is Forgiven, their first album together for twelve years, and completed a sold- out tour to showcase that album.
In 2006 All Is Forgiven was nominated for the inaugural Australian Music Prize. In July 2006, Don’s second solo album, Cutting Back, was released by Warners, and he toured live with the Suave Fucks, featuring Red Rivers on guitar. Over the years Don has also written songs for Jeff Lang, Mick Harvey, Troy Cassar-Daley, Jimmy Little, Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss, Anne Kirkpatrick and many others. In 2000 he wrote the title song for Slim Dusty’s hundredth album Looking Forward, Looking Back. Don’s first book, Shots, was published by Black Inc. in 2009.