A name that will forever be linked to Thorpe is that of Lobby Loyde.
Loyde was at one stage a member of Thorpe's band, The Aztecs, and is the guitarist who is credited with having taught Thorpe how to beef up his playing.
Thorpe learned the guitar relatively late in his career, being merely the vocalist for the first few incarnations of The Aztecs. Thorpe wrote in one of his books that he was forced to learn the guitar when a guitarist dropped out, leaving him to carry on as guitarist and vocalist in the band at relatively short notice. Not long after this, Loyde joined the Aztecs, and is widely credited with having encouraged Thorpe to adopt the loud playing style that he was known for.
Loyde left soon after, but Thorpe and The Aztecs rocketed into their "purple patch" as it were, culminating with their now legendary set at the Sunbury music festival.
Loyde went his own way and formed a band called The Coloured Balls, which churned a psychedelic classic in the album, Ball Power, issued in 1973. This was a harder edged version of psychedelia than that which had done the rounds of Europe and North America, and is said to have pre-empted punk in it's intensity a good 3 years prior.
Sadly, however, they soon became the band of choice for Melbourne's then-burgeoning skinhead scene which, themselves, sprang out of the sharps scene. Loyde was not comfortable with this and fled to the UK where he developed a cult following, wrote a science fiction novel (since lost) and recorded a soundtrack album for the novel.
The master tapes of this album were released in Australia in 2007.
Loyde returned to Australia and briefly played bass with Rose Tattoo. He rejoined the band on guitar in 2006 after the death of the late Pete Wells. He was near terminal with cancer at this stage.
Tattoo vocalist Angry Anderson said this about Loyde, when he was inducted into the ARIA hall of fame:
More than anyone else, Lobby helped create the Australian guitar sound. Long before Angus (Young) or Billy Thorpe or the Angels or Rose Tattoo. Lobby inspired Australian bands to step forward and play as loud and aggressively as they could. People are still trying to copy it today.
Incidentally, Rose Tattoo have not had a good time of late. Wells himself died in 2006, and so did original bass player, Ian Rilen.
But anyway, it's a sad day for Australian rock and roll.