A decade after the ‘Long Way To The Top’ concert tour first broke records around the country, the legends of rock are back once more and Glenn Shorrock is one of a number of artists who are returning for this 10th Anniversary Tour. “Most of us were (in the first show) and ten years down the line, we’ve added some younger ones, if you know what I mean. People like Dragon, Noiseworks and Mi-Sex. Ian Moss has been asked to do a tribute to Billy Thorpe. The show is just as exciting as it was ten years ago. The producers, Michael Chugg and Amanda Pelman, decided it was a good idea to do a revamped version, with new technology, big screens and bigger production and I was pleased to be a part of it again.”
The singer has many fond memories of the first tour. He particularly recalls that there was ‘a lot of fun and a lot of fellowship’ amongst the people that he has admired and worked alongside over a long period of time. “Billy put it succinctly when he said ‘It’s a two month party interrupted every night by a performance.”
He is excited about the opportunity to get in front of large crowds again. “My life has revolved around rollercoaster rides of fame and fortune and nowadays I’m doing much smaller shows and I’m enjoying those but it’s nice to get in front of a lot of people and the show itself is driven along by the songs,” he tells me. “Every song is a hit.”
Glenn’s musical career spans five decades. He has played a significant role in Australian music for 45 years and, on this tour, he will be representing The Twilights (from the 60s), Axiom (from the early 70s, along with Brian Cadd) and, of course, LRB (from the 70s and early 80s). He was lead singer for all these bands back in the day. “Brian and I are doing ‘Little Ray of Sunshine’ together, which was a big hit for us when we were both in that band.”
While he is acutely aware of the ups and downs of the industry, he is appreciative of the good times and says that he has had many great memories along the way. “I’m pretty lucky,” he admits. “I began in Adelaide as a young teenager as a part time singer, what I termed a ‘weekend pop star’. I worked in an office on weekdays and then weekends I was on stage, belting out Beatles tunes.”
“There have been a lot of rewards that have come my way – artistically, financially and emotionally, and everything else. One of the great joys was to produce and perform with George Martin, the fifth Beatle, as it were. I brought him down here to Australia in the late 90s and we did some orchestral concerts of Beatles material and it was a great thrill for me to do. Going further back into the mid 60s, the Twilights happened to win the first Hoadley’s National Battle of the Bands and that was a great step forward.”
Of course, the touring days of LRB, playing in front of 85,000 people, are pretty special too. “We did a lot of huge shows. That’s still a strong memory.”
Glenn has also done theatre. “I like to try different forms of show business. I’ve been a breakfast DJ on Sydney radio, I’ve done ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ and, more recently, ’Shout! The Johnny O’Keefe Story’. I like to diversify but, basically, I’m a singer and that’s what I do best.”
Once the ‘Long Way To The Top’ tour winds up, Glenn’s life won’t slow down much. “In November, I’m doing an eight day journey through China,” he tells me. “I’m taking about 150-200 Australian people on a Chinese holiday and I’ll be performing a little bit for them along the way. And next year, hopefully, I’ll reunite with Brian (Cadd) and we’ll do an Axiom reunion tour.”
As for future projects?
“I still write a little bit but there’s no real recording project in mind. I’ll think about that next year, if I come up with a bunch of songs. I probably would release them gradually rather than do it the old-fashioned way of making 12 songs into an album and putting it out. With all the new technology available, it’s nice to be able to use that technology and do it digitally. I’ll explore that next year.”
For now, he is back on the road for more fun and fellowship and lots of rock and roll classics from some of this country’s finest performers, and very excited to be a part of it all once more. “I look forward to being on stage in your neck of the woods. I encourage everyone to come along. It’s a wonderful Australian show,” he enthuses, “and every song’s a hit.”
By Sharyn Hamey
Copyright © 2012 Sharyn Hamey All Rights Reserved.
The Long Way To The Top 10th Anniversary Tour is making its run up the east coast of Australia this month. For full tour dates and venues, and how to purchase tickets, go to our Touring page.