King of Magic Mountain Still Reigns At 70


Frank Sebastyan and his beloved restored jukebox

Adelaide’s own ‘ silver bodgie’’, former rock star and amusement industry entrepreneur, Frank Sebastyan has turned 70 with a karaoke night for family and friends at the Stamford Plaza Crystal Room.


Nowadays instead of handling a microphone, he swings a tennis racket with great successful for a late bloomer at the sport.

And his adoring fan club who attended all agreed that Frank is ageing well with an exciting lifestyle of travel, sport and family, although it was revealed by his  life-long best friend, company director John McDonald, that he has had successful transplants to preserve his flowing locks.

Prior to the event, Frank agreed to an interview to reveal the secret of his tanned, trim body and his seemingly endless energy at three score years and 10.

Marital bliss heads his long list, which is not surprising given that he and his wife, Christine, celebrated 50 years of marriage back on June 1.


And in his usual unabashed manner, Frank reckons that having a great loving relationship all his married life – heads his secret tally to vitality at 70.


“You do need a good intimate sexual life,’’ says Frank, who worked at three jobs early in their marriage as their family expanded to three daughters.

Frank and Christine at Mont St Michel


His wellness list also includes sport, extensive travel adventures and spending time with the grandchildren – five of whom sang his praises at his Karaoke night.


Frank also sang a few songs, including Love Is In The Air, although his long life as an entertainer and as lead singer for Frankie and the In-Sect is mostly behind him.  His voice is still the same as when he would sing for 1000 teenagers on any Saturday afternoon in the top room of the Arkaba with his band The In-Sect  in the 1960s.   When the band hots up with a six-nights-a-week gig contract for 2 ½ years at the Arkaba, Frank becomes a full-time entertainer.


“The band was unique and hot, enjoyed hit records on the 5AD chart and wowed the crowds,’’ says Frank proudly.


Music seeped into his soul early in life when his sister Margaret joined the army and left him her Radiola radiogram. Then Frank who reckons he looked like James Dean when he was young (and loves flash cars just as much) got a casual job at the Koffee Kup in Moseley Square where an original Wurlitzer 1015 Jukebox played in the corner.


From working in the record bar in Myer he moved upwards to music director for 5DN, responsible for its catchy “Beautiful music’’ format which kept 5DN rated No. 1 for 11 years.


Music dominated his life, and he started buying jukeboxes, pinball games, video games and pool tables building up  – with Christine – an amusement business they called  Automatic Music Distributors.


He earned the entrepreneur hat establishing the highly successful Family Fun Factory chain, Downtown and Magic Mountain on the Glenelg Foreshore with powerful corporate backing and his ally John McDonald a driving force.  Frank was president of the Hindley Street Traders Association for many years and president of the National Amusement Machine Operators Association Ltd. and Frank and Christine were delegates to the international summit meetings of the amusement industry held in London and Germany.


Frankie has forgotten about the microphone nowadays.   Instead, tennis has become his favourite passion in the last few years. He has become a successful seniors player playing for South Australia in Perth at the Tennis Seniors Australia Championships in the Perth in January and his team winning in their age bracket at the recent 26th Tennis Seniors SA Teams Carnival in Berri in May.


“I love tennis and it’s certainly a later life conversion,’’ he says. “I had a few hits when I was a boy at Sacred Heart College and then when I worked at 5DN as its music director I would play tennis with co-workers including Ken Cunningham.


“In my late 30s I joined the Tranmere Tennis Club, but I only started competing seriously in my 60’s.’’


“The highlight was receiving my South Australian State shirt in Perth.’’


In his effervescent style, he has always been a follower of flamboyant fashion and for his birthday soiree he wore flash D&G chrome sandshoe-look–alike shoes he bought from Rome.


His coloured shoes and gaudy socks are legendary in Port Adelaide where he has been a faithful Power and Magpie supporter all his life, entertaining at the clubrooms.


He maintains a box at AAMI Stadium and famous Carlton AFL champion, coach and former Magpie Craig Bradley who is a life-long friend, wrote a long accolade to his mate Frank for his 70th party.


Frank has written his own life story, self-publishing “My Story’’ which includes the latest chapter of his chameleon life – after retiring with back injury, he became a catwalk model with Tanya Powell model agency and was “father-of-the-bride” at Adelaide’s bridal shows for five years.


“I do want to say that choosing Christine as my wife all those years ago was my best decision and I love her as much today as then.  So I think that means that the most important thing to ageing well is love.’’




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6 Comments to “King of Magic Mountain Still Reigns At 70”

  1. By Frank Sebastyan, 26/08/2013 @ 1:46 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful feature story Nadine. I think I love you.

  2. By Maria, 26/08/2013 @ 7:28 pm

    I enjoyed reading the article and would like some additional information please. I would like the names of possible contacts to have a similar jukebox restored. I googled Frank Sebastyan’s name and sent an email to an address ending in however it has bounced back (possibly a no longer existing email??). Would appreciate any help.

  3. By Faye Billmyer, 27/08/2013 @ 10:04 am

    I so enjoyed reading Nadine Williams article on Frank Sebastyan whom I had the pleasure of modelling with in the Bridal Expos at Wayville for five years. Frank has had a most interesting life, fulfilling career and he is a typical example that perhaps we should view 70 as the new 50! Well done Frank, keep up those exemplary energy levels. Well done Nadine for giving us the pleasure of his achievements. Faye Billmyer

  4. By Jill Gower, 28/08/2013 @ 11:37 am

    I have read your article in yesterday’s paper ‘King of Magic Mountain’, and found it very interesting. There’s a man who has lived an exciting and varied life!


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