Newsletter Signup

Become a ABC Music VIP Newsletter subscriber for all the latest ABC Music artist and label news!

Billy Thorpe - Australian Rock Music Legend - 5 year anniversary of his death

 

28 February marks the 5 year anniversary of his death

Just shy of his 61st birthday, Billy Thorpe succumbed to a massive fatal heart attack on Wednesday 28 February, 2007. A fit and energetic musician he was still performing up until the Sunday night prior. As through his life, Billy had been involved in many new projects. His last recorded project was a semi-acoustic work of both old and new classic Thorpe compositions, recorded at The Basement. Billy had also been working on a ground-breaking multi media project titled “Tangier” which he had begun in 2000 following his first excursion to Tangier. This work of Moroccan mysticism was, following his death, finished by family and friends and released to great critical acclaim and received Best Adult Contemporary Album at last years ARIA Awards.

Born in 1946 William Richard “Billy” Thorpe became one of Australia’s most renowned pop/rock singer-songwriter and musicians. As lead singer of his band Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, he had success in the 1960s with "Blue Day", "Poison Ivy", "Over the Rainbow", "Sick and Tired", and "Mashed Potato"; and in the 1970s with "Most People I Know Think That I'm Crazy". He relocated to the United States from 1976 to 1996. During that time he released various songs and albums and produced and composed music scores for TV including “War of the Worlds”, “Star Trek”, “Columbo”, “Eight is Enough” and “Hard Time on Planet Earth”.

Thorpe returned to Australia in 1996 and continued as a performer and producer.

Billy Thorpe was the instigator of, and a key producer in, the concert tour and CD / DVD of ABC TV’s series “Long Way To The Top – 30 Years of Australian Rock”. This music event, passionate to Billy’s heart, covered three decades of live rock music and featured over 30 of Australia’s best selling artists. It was a massive success performing to around a quarter of a million people across Australia in two tours - and testament to Billy Thorpe’s believe in the Australian Rock Industry. This August marks 10 years since that landmark tour hit the road in Australia.

He is missed by the whole music industry.

Country star Jody Direen’s brush with cyber hackers

Music fans bought $7.3 million worth of music and merch on Friday

Music fans have put over $7.3 million (US$4.3 million) directly into artists' pockets around the world via online music platform Bandcamp's

Global vinyl production threatened by massive production plant fire

A California-based production plant that supplies the lacquer formula used for making master vinyl discs has been destroyed by fire, casting fears about vinyl rec

Four Indigenous artists that you need in your musical rotation

You might know Deadly Hearts as the album collection that features some of the best Indigenous artists Australia has to offer.

triple j Hottest 100 winners that shocked a nation

Nary a Hottest 100 can go by without some kind of countdown calamity.

ABC Music Golden Guitar 2019 Winners

The Australian music industry celebrated the 47

Justine Clarke Wins ARIA Award for Best Children's Album

Justine Clarke has won the award for Best Children’s Album at the 2018 ARIA Awards, held at The Star on Wednesday, November 28.

 

ABC Classics wins at the 2017 ARIA Awards

At a ceremony on Tuesday 10 October at the Art Gallery of NSW, ABC Classics & Jazz were announced winners of the 2017 ARIA Awards for Best Classical, Best Jazz, Best Original Soundtrack and Bes

Recording the Piano Music of the Baltics

Tamara-Anna Cislowska launches her new album 'Into Silence', recorded in Hobart and Sydney in early 2017 with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Restoring a 200 year old instrument to record an album

When Erin Helyard came to ABC Classics to record his new solo harpsichord album, we immediately took to Australian harpsichord maker Carey Beebe to find the perfect instrument for the task.