The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - ARTS SCENE - NOEL MEN­GEL

For ev­ery pop mu­sic fan old enough to take it all in, 1967 was an un­for­get­table year. Great new bands every­where, new clothes, new sounds, new tech­nol­ogy. There was even a new way of hear­ing mu­sic – stereo.

And what songs on the ra­dio – Light My Fire by The Doors, Pur­ple Haze by Jimi Hen­drix, Re­spect by Aretha Franklin, I Can See For Miles by The Who, Water­loo Sun­set by The Kinks.

Tow­er­ing above it all were The Bea­tles. Like ev­ery other mu­si­cian mak­ing their mark in that year, Glenn Shor­rock knows ex­actly what he was do­ing.

“Jan­uary 6, 1967, Lon­don’s first snow­fall of win­ter, and I was in Stu­dio 1 at Abbey Road stu­dios with my band The Twi­lights.

“A bloke there said, ‘You’ve picked a good time to be here, there’s an­other band in the other stu­dio...’

“We went weak at the knees. We were record­ing What’s Wrong With the Way I Live and next door The Bea­tles were do­ing Penny Lane.

“We didn’t have the courage to go and in­tro­duce our­selves but Ge­orge Martin called into our ses­sion to give us some en­cour­age­ment.”

The Bea­tles were hugely im­por­tant to mu­si­cians all over the world who ea­gerly awaited new re­leases to see what ad­vances had been made. This was one band that broke all the rules, pro­gress­ing at what now seems a fran­tic rate, from rowdy leather-clad rock’n’rollers to smartly at­tired teen sen­sa­tions to colour­ful avant-pop ad­ven­tur­ers in just a few years.

In Aus­tralia, The Twi­lights, orig­i­nally from Ade­laide, es­tab­lished them­selves in Melbourne as a band that could play note-per­fect cov­ers of Bea­tles songs, of­ten be­fore the songs had even been re­leased.

“It was a dif­fer­ent time then and we had a huge reper­toire, not just do­ing The Bea­tles but The Kinks, The Who, The Hol­lies, Hen­drix,” Shor­rock says.

“The Bea­tles weren’t tour­ing but if you wanted to know what they were do­ing you could al­ways go and see The Twi­lights.”

By 1966 The Bea­tles had quit play­ing live al­to­gether, partly be­cause the sound sys­tems of the day couldn’t com­pete with the screams of their fans and partly be­cause it was al­most im­pos­si­ble to repli­cate the in­creas­ing so­phis­ti­ca­tion of the mu­sic they were record­ing on stage.

Back in Aus­tralia af­ter their UK sojourn, The Twi­lights even took on The Bea­tles’ al­bum opus of that year, Sgt Pep­per’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

“In those days mu­sic could take months to ar­rive in Aus­tralia and we hooked up with a fan who could get the al­bums early so we would be able to play Bea­tles ma­te­rial that wasn’t on the ra­dio yet.

“I re­mem­ber an all-night ses­sion when we got hold of Pep­per. Stereo head­phones were all the rage and there were six of us in The Twi­lights, drag­ging the head­phones off each other.’’

It was a great way to learn about song­writ­ing from the best in the busi­ness and it set Shor­rock up for a ca­reer in three of Aus­tralia’s best-loved bands, The Twi­lights, Ax­iom and Lit­tle River Band.

“In The Twi­lights we had Terry Brit­ten, Ax­iom had Brian Cadd and LRB had three writ­ers (Shor­rock, Beeb Birtles and Grae­ham Goble). Terry has had a great ca­reer as song­writer and still has a stu­dio in Rich­mond in Lon­don with a lot of the old ana­log gear out of Abbey Road. Of course, with The Bea­tles the depth of the song­writ­ing was enor­mous. The other stag­ger­ing thing when you look back at it is that they did 12 al­bums in seven years.”

Shor­rock is de­lighted to be back where it all be­gan for him, play­ing the songs of The Bea­tles in the Let It Be con­cert with Doug Parkinson, John Paul Young and Jack Jones. “The Bea­tles in­tro­duced so­phis­ti­cated chords to rock’n’roll. Be­fore they came along, rock’n’roll was dwin­dling away, it was about scream­ing teenagers and re­ally trite lyrics,” he says.

“They took us to the top of Ever­est. They had the where­withal and the vi­sion and I don’t think any­one has come near it with a body of work since.’’ Let It Be: The Bea­tles’ songs of Len­non and McCart­ney, Fes­ti­val Theatre, Septem­ber 5. Tick­ets through BASS.

John Paul Young

Glenn Shor­rock

The Twi­lights rock band were Lau­rie Pryor, Glenn Shor­rock, Terry Brit­ten, Paddy McCart­ney,, John By­wa­ters and Peter Brideoake

Jack Jones

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.