28 February 2007

Vale Billy Thorpe

Australia lost another musical icon today with the death of Billy Thorpe.

He was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney with a heart attack, but died in the emergency room. He was 60 years old.

Billy "Thorpie" Thorpe effectively invented the genre known as "Oz Rock", which would be refined by musicians as diverse as Cold Chisel, Hunters and Collectors and The Angels, would be taken to the world by AC/DC and nearly killed-off completely by the likes of Noiseworks and the Screaming Jets.

Oz Rock, a grunty riff-based genre, was mainly four-to-the-floor, balls-to-the-wall rock and roll, with one foot firmly in boogie territory and the other pounding out a sensible mid-paced rhythm while very occasionally straying into the blues, reggae, country and, from time to time, unexpected weird shit.

It appears to have been going through something of a revival, lately, with the likes of Airbourne and The Casanovas getting a lot of airplay.

Jet are also known to be straying into that territory. The Living End and You Am I have been unashamedly showing their love for Oz Rock for some time now.

Thorpe, with his band the Aztecs, headlined the notorious Sunbury music festival of 1972, (regarded as Australia's Woodstock but not nearly as innocent), and almost overnight terminated the then preoccupation that Australia had with pre-fabricated pop-stars. Popular Australian music was to remain musician-focused until at least the 1980s.

Former member of the Aztecs, Lobby Loyde, himself inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame last year was diagnosed with cancer, and should, by rights have died first.

When he goes, it will be an exceptionally sad end to a remarkable period of Australian music.

Thorpe will certainly be missed. RIP.

6 comments:

beepbeepitsme said...

Most people I know, think that I'm crazy yyy..

Good on ya Billy ;)

Dikkii said...

We know you're crazy, Beep :)

ted said...

Yep, on ya Thorpie...

Einzige said...

I always loved the song "Children of the Sun".

I also found it sad that Lenny Kravitz so shamelessly ripped off CotS's main riff for his track "Fields of Joy" (though I admit I still like that song, too).

beepbeepitsme said...

RE dikki:
ty :) lol

Dikkii said...

Einzige wrote:

I always loved the song "Children of the Sun".

I also found it sad that Lenny Kravitz so shamelessly ripped off CotS's main riff for his track "Fields of Joy" (though I admit I still like that song, too).


Whoa. Hadn't noticed that. But now that you mention it...

Hi Beep, and Ted. Thanks for dropping by.