With an impressive career spanning over 40 years, Glenn Shorrock is more than a household name. Known for numerous catchy hits, he is joining fellow timeless musicians at Petersons Winery for A Day On The Green. Focus caught up with Glenn in the lead up to the event.
My journey began in the mid 1950s, when I was just a teenager. My parents, with me and my sister, migrated to Australia, to Adelaide, in 1956. There was a great dollop of American culture, including Elvis Presley and a new phenomenon called Rock and Roll and American television as well, and I was just swept along with it and found out that I could singI I used to copy all the early ‘50s songs in my bedroom or my local school or youth centre, and stuff like that. Fifty odd years later, I find myself still making my living as an entertainer. I am a very lucky man; I have had some good times, mixed with some good people and have lots of stories to tell. I must write a book one day.
You are coming to play at our day on the green this year at Petersons Winery. The line up is a group of artists that you must know well? Do you enjoy meeting up with everyone, and is there a good camaraderie throughout the festival?
Yes, I have done a few of these over the years on the bills of various artists and yes, I get on pretty well with everybody. Obviously Wendy Matthews is doing it again, and Richard Clapton, Thirsty Merc – I have been a fan of Ray Thistlethwayte for many years; I have a lot of respect for him, and Mick Skelton works with me. I work with lots of musicians around the countryside, and good drummers are in demand. We have a good band with us up there: Gordon Richmister on drums, Jack Harrison on guitar, and a few other people from here in Sydney.
I see that there is a final tribute to Stevie Wright? Is everyone going to be involved in that tribute?
Yes, we do Evie. I will be there to do the middle part. I also do a duet with Wendy Matthews … an old Dusty Springfield song.
These shows only happen because you have released so many songs and are so well known. Do you still enjoy playing all these songs and find it satisfying that all these people are coming because these songs have stood the test of time?
Yes, that’s part of my life now and going back and revisiting my body of work from the ‘60s, The Twilights, and the ‘70s, beginning with Axium, Brian Cadd, Little Ray of Sunshine and those sort of songs and on through Little River Band. Obviously while being in those bands, I was making machinery – trying to sell those songs as lead singer of a band and as a songwriter. Now I have some songs that people have taken notice of, some of which have become classics. I live off my children, as it were – they are my children.
I love to get up on stage and sing good material that has come my way over the years. I am not a heavy metal man, I am not a crash, bang, bang, thump, thump man. I like good melodies, good lyrics, good harmonies, and good playing. Hopefully quality music!
You actually have a brand new solo album coming out in September. The first single, Hear My Voice is all about recent troubles and legal battles that were going on with LRB. Was that something you particularly wanted to write about, or did it just happen?
Well, last year or the year before, that whole LRB thing came up again. The current LRB in America were going to go on the Jimmy Fallon Show and celebrate their 40th year. I took umbrage to it and managed to stop them doing that, but it is a thorn in the original members’ sides – but it doesn’t stop me at all.
How would you describe the music on Rise Again, and did you enjoy being back in the studio?
I haven’t recorded an album for some time and my profile is probably not as prominent as it should be, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to write some songs … Just to say, “Hey, look – it’s me still around”. The plan was to put out five or six tracks by social media, and then other people started giving me songs. My old colleague from back in the ‘60s, Terry Britten, the grammy award winning songwriter in London had a couple of songs, and all of a sudden I had an album. I will promote it later on this year.
Shall we be expecting to see a Rise Again tour?
Not as such; I am not going to go out there and just sing that material, because people want to hear my old material. If Rise Again gets noticed, then I will concentrate on the new material as much as the old material. I am just going to see how the album goes first.
With all the hits you’ve had, is it hard to pick the songs you will be performing at a day on the green?
Yes, it is a bit awkward for me, because I have so much material; I just have to be careful about what I perform. If I leave out some songs, like Help is on its Way, Reminiscing or Cool Change, people can be disappointed. I sing the hits; the people are there to hear the music. For those shows I mainly do the LRB songs. The old songs are the ones people want to hear.