Sylvia and the Synthetics' were created in Sydney in October 1972 and disbanded at the end of 1974. The founding members of the group were Denis Norton, Paul Hock and Morris Spinetti. They were joined by a core of regular performers including Doris Fish (Philip Mills), Mel Slattery, Peter McMahon (Jasper Havoc), Bruce Goold, Clayton MacDonald (Clare), and Danny Abood. Other semi-regulars included Andrew Sharpe, Cherry Ripe, Stewart Graham, and Ros Palmer. Live music content was supplied by regular Wendy Saddington along with assorted rock bands including Mental as Anything.
The life span of 'Sylvia and the Synthetics' paralleled the early years of the gay rights movement. The historical significance of the 'Synthetics' embraces art, politics and lifestyle, and their off the-wall, in-your-face performances mocked the political correctness of the day. According to their most ardent fans, the 'Synthetics' influenced the development of Oxford Street as a gay precinct as well as its annual showpiece of glam street theatre, the Mardi Gras.
- State Library of New South Wales Website
Danny Abood, one of the last surviving members of the original Sylvia and the Synthetics, in 2020 identified the following list as the core members of the group:
Claire McDonald (Clayton)