In the studio (not live) version of Men at Work's Down Under, what are those percussion instruments in the intro (the first three seconds)? It sounds for all the world like really well-tuned iron pipes. (I'm interested in sourced answers rather than speculation.)
They're certainly not rim-shots but it's definitely a mix of two different sounds. The first is the sound of the tom-toms on the drum kit (not played on the rim). The second sound is indeed similar to tuned metal (pipes) but are more probably tuned water bottles (like shown in the official videoclip with the music of the studio recording).
"It was just a little bass riff with some percussion that he played on bottles which were filled with water to varying degrees to get different notes."
This is not conclusive because we still don't know if this is used in the studio but it certainly is an indication.