GLENN SHORROCK – TWILIGHTS/AXIOM/LITTLE RIVER BAND

 shorrock2Glenn Barrie Shorrock was born on June 30 1944 to working class couple Harry and Joyce Shorrock, during the final twelve months of WW2, they lived in Rochester, in the county of Kent, east of London. Harry was a fitter and turner who was employed at a barrage balloon plant situated at the Rochester Airport, which was regularly attacked by German bombers. In 1950 Glenn’s sister Lynda arrived (below with Glenn) and the family resumed what would pass for normal family life in war-ravaged post-Blitz Britain. shorrock1Glenn recalls that his extended family were close and sociable, his childhood was happy, trips to the cinema, car racing, as well as farm and beach stays in Cornwall and Devon being particular highlights.(parents Harry and Joyce below)shorrock6His father was a natural performer and raconteur with a tenor voice and would sing Italian opera arias in a phonetic style, so with a father from Yorkshire and a mother from Cockney London, Glenn was sure to have a natural propensity to perform, amuse, and show off, which he would do professionally in the years ahead.shorrock8In August 1954  the family emigrated to Australia on board the RMS Orcades, as “£10 Poms”, arriving at Adelaide’s Overseas Passenger Terminal – a shed in a mangrove swamp- and then transferred to a spartan Nissan hut at Finsbury Park Migrant Hostel. Joyce was heartbroken and tearful, the family subsequently rented a semi-detached home in Salisbury, but after nine months of life in Australia, Joyce scooped up her two children and returned to Britain. Less than a year later the family were reunited back in Adelaide, and after a brief stint at the Elder Park Migrant Hostel they secured a Housing Commission home in the new satellite suburb of Elizabeth. The normal rhythms of life resumed as Harry got a job at the General Motors Holden  plant, Joyce kept house and also took a job in a local department store, while Glenn, who was twelve years old by then, enrolled at Gawler High School.barnes brosElizabeth was a tough working class migrant enclave with a strong sense of community, it would also provide a home for the Swan/Barnes families from who John Swan and Jimmy Barnes (above left to right) would emerge to follow their R&R dream, while nearby Adelaide would also be home to other future immigrant  performers in Jim Keays (Masters Apprentices), Beeb Birtles (Little River Band), and Linda George.shorrock7By now young Glenn was absorbing the rock and pop of such US artists as Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, and Bill Haley and the Comets, and experimenting with sex, alcohol, and tobacco. He graduated from school after Year 10 and secured a job as a junior draftsman in the SA Mines Department, and with friends Mike Sykes (above centre) and Clem “Paddy” McCartney (above left) they formed the Checkmates, a typical doo wop group of the early 60’s, and changed their name at Glenn’s suggestion, to The Twilights.

beatlesThe Twilights performed a cappella covers of songs by Dion and the Belmonts, Jan and Dean, Danny and the Juniors, Bob Dylan and the Kingston Trio, around Elizabeth at St. Peter’s Mission Hall and the Matelot Club. But once they heard Please, Please Me by the Beatles, they were hooked, (Beatles on tour in Australia in 1966 with replacement drummer Jimmy Nicol at left, above). While vocally they could nail the Fab Four’s harmonies, they needed a beat group’s backing, so the Twilights and the Hurricanes merged to form an expanded version of the Twilights, after replacing Hurricane’s drummer Frank Barnard, who wanted to quit the scene, with Laurie Pryor.shorrock4Early original songs such as I Don’t Where The Wind Will Blow Me, I’ll Be Where You Are, and Wanted To Sell were minor local hits in Adelaide, but their cover of the Hollies Come On Home got some airplay outside of South Australia. Melbourne club owner and band manager Gary Spry offered to come on board if they relocated to Mod Rock HQ in Melbourne, which they did in 1966, at the outset of the beat music boom in that city. Their first national hit was the Beatlesesque If She Finds Out written by Peter Brideoake and Terry Britten which charted 24 nationally, and owed a debt to several tracks on the Beatles For Sale album.

The Twilights would enjoy chart success throughout the 1960’s but by 1969 Glenn had become lead singer with Axiom, arguably Australia’s first supergroup, and one of the earliest and best practitioners of country rock in Australia. However international success eluded the group and by 1975 Glen Shorrock had joined Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles, Derek Pellicci, Roger McLachlan, and Rick Formosa, in the original line-up of what became known as The Little River Band. Over the next decade LRB would cut a swathe across the USA with chart hits, great live performances, and over 30 million record sales, and become the crowning achievement of Glenn Shorrock’s professional life in music. Twilights below left to right Laurie Pryor, Glen Shorrock, Terry Britten, Paddy McCartney, John Bywaters, and Peter Brideoake.shorrock5

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