I feel the need to make a personal statement in reply to the lies, misinformation, and deceptive speculations that have been put forward by Glenn Shorrock, Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles, and the many Australian journalists who are publishing their comments. Mr Shorrock’s latest 4-letter rant is especially embarrassing to Little River Band, its fans, and its legacy…but attached to it are also unconfirmed and unresearched claims that have no basis in fact. Free speech may allow opinions to be written, but it doesn’t allow the irresponsible repetition of false and defamatory information. So, in response to the latest flurry of press regarding Little River Band, here are the facts:
It was stated that there is no Australian in the band, and that there hasn’t been one since 1997 when Derek Pellicci left…
FACT IS: There has ALWAYS been an Australian standing on a Little River Band stage. Specifically:
- 1981 – 2006 – The person who owns the Little River Band trademark globally is Stephen Housden, an Australian citizen and touring member of Little River Band from 1981 until 2006.
- 1997 – Present – When Mr. Housden rebuilt the band’s lineup in 1997 after Derek Pellicci’s departure, it consisted of Australian citizens and residents. Greg Hind, an Australian citizen, has been in the band since 2000 and appeared on stage in every show since.
It has been stated numerous times that the trademark, name and good will of Little River Band has somehow been stolen…
FACT IS: Each and every person who was a director of a company involved with the ongoing business of Little River Band is and was well aware of a simple stipulation…if they left the band or were fired, the rights to the trademark and name stayed with the remaining band members.
- Mr. Shorrock was paid very handsomely when he sold his shares of the Little River Band Company in 1996. However, the money involved is secondary to the spirit and understanding of all band members… when you leave, you leave the name behind, and with it you give up all rights to use the name in the future.
It has been stated and continues to be implied that the founding members have been “muzzled” and prohibited from speaking about their connection to the band’s history…
FACT IS – No one can, nor has tried, to stop any former member of the band from speaking about his past.
- According to Australian and U.S. Federal court orders, the former members are precluded from using the name or trademark to perform as, or make false and misleading statements about them being Little River Band, or the “real” Little River Band, or “an alternative” Little River Band. They gave up those rights, and have been legally enjoined from making statements that confuse that issue.
It has been stated that the former members receive no monies due to this controversy over the use of the trademark…
FACT IS – International radio airplay, record sales, and downloads still earn the songwriters and former musicians the royalties they are eligible for.
- One case in point…the continuing touring and exposure of Little River Band music has helped take the sales of the Greatest Hits CD from approximately 2 million in the early 1990’s to near 3 million today.
- Every time the band “comes to town,” local radio plays the hits in a higher rotation, which earns royalties for the songwriters.
- To imply they earn nothing from our touring activity is absolutely untrue. To that end, both Graeham Goble and David Briggs were supporters of Greg Hind’s addition to the lineup prior to his finally joining in 2000. Knowing his talents as a singer, songwriter, and performer, both worked with Greg in the ‘90s…and encouraged him to join the band to ensure that the vocals stayed strong and that LRB continued to be successful in the US. Why?…because a successful Little River Band earns money for those who wrote songs and performed on past CDs.
It has been stated that there is no one in the current lineup that has any connection to Little River Band’s past history, nor made any contributions to the same…
FACT IS – I have remained intricately involved with Little River Band and its history and its legacy for over 30 years.
- I was asked by the founding members in 1979 to join the band.
- I was soon put into the role of a lead singer for two of the band’s major hits, The Night Owls and Take It Easy On Me.
- I was the first and only American added to the corporate structure of Little River Band. (If nothing else, my unique position in the band’s history of being the only member from outside Australia is worth some mention.)
- By being the first lead singer to sing a U.S. hit (other than Mr. Shorrock), Night Owls, is an obvious contribution to Little River Band’s history.
- There are also many “behind the scenes” moments that could be mentioned. An important one for me and for LRB happened at Montserrat, with George Martin producing the Time Exposure album…my first with the band. Take It Easy On Me was being treated as an “album track”…we counted to four, played the song, then stopped. I felt the song was stronger than that, and suggested that the arrangement of the song could be more dynamic with a piano/vocal intro, strong second verse, etc. Peter Jones nailed the piano intro immediately…and George Martin jumped on the talk back and said, “that’s the way we’ll cut it!” Would the song have been a hit otherwise…no way to know. Regardless…
FACT IS – Night Owls and Take It Easy On Me were hits in 5th and 6th years of a record breaking run of top 10 hits for Little River Band in America. No one had ever done that 6 years in a row…not The Beatles, Michael Jackson, The Eagles, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, America…no one but Little River Band. To my way of thinking, that’s a strong connection to the band’s history and legacy and continued success.
- In total since 1980, my name, vocals, and bass playing have appeared on 20 Little River Band CD’s, 11 singles, 3 live videos, and countless TV shows in Australia, America, New Zealand, and Europe.
- I have performed with every lineup that has recorded original music for Little River Band.
- If that’s not a connection to the band’s history, I don’t know what would qualify? I challenge all journalists to tell the truth and conduct the proper research that is expected of a professional in the media.
I’d also like to add that the current lineup of the band has put in a lot of years and contributed time, effort, and talent to keeping the LRB legacy alive by writing, recording, and playing great music. Greg Hind is in his 16th year…Chris Marion his 10th…Rich Herring 9th. I acknowledge that there may have been more radio airplay and CD sales in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, but there is equal commitment to excellence and legacy in 2015 as there was in 1980. Reviews of the live show and for our new CD are a testament to that. If you’re part of the band from years 25-39, you’re part of the history, as far as I’m concerned.
To the issue of specific allegations by individuals, particularly from BS&G…
Mr. Goble now claims that he didn’t know what he was signing when documents were put in front of him. As mentioned, in the last few weeks he’s added an insinuation that there was some kind of “voodoo lawyering” in which his signature ended up on documents that he didn’t see or sign…
FACT IS – I’ve seen copies of the documents in question…they are very simple and plainly stated in their purpose. There is no deceptive or difficult language to deal with Mr. Goble signed them in keeping with the same stipulations that had always been in place regarding band membership and its trademark.
Mr Birtles recently came after me for my use of the phrase “revolving door” when describing the changes in band personnel…under the banner “Screw You To Current Little River Band” (I can’t help but notice an eloquent trend from former members!)…
FACT IS – I didn’t attach the phrase to Little River Band. It was first used in liner notes for a box set called Reminiscing… notes written by an Australian journalist named Glenn A. Baker, to whom Beeb and the band had turned many times in the ‘70s and ‘80s for his journalistic excellence. Mr. Birtles’ vote to oust Glenn Shorrock was part and parcel of the dismantling of Little River Band’s core in 1982 at a time when we needed to stick together the most. Mr. Birtles then walked out a year later, dissatisfied with what he had helped create. Earlier in 1983, after John Farnham had been fronting the band for about a year, Mr. Birtles and Mr Goble pulled me aside and said they wanted me to replace John…one of the greatest singers in Australian history!! Revolving door indeed…
Mr. Shorrock has made the most noise lately, including the claim that we are “grinding the name of the band into the dust”. In the past he has repeatedly said that we are “sullying the Little River Band name” by touring. In response to his f-bomb headlines, I adamantly claim otherwise…
Mr. Shorrock declined offers to rejoin the band in 1998 after Mr Pellicci’s departure…claiming that he could make more money playing clubs in Australia and wasn’t interested in touring with Little River Band any more.
So I make the exact opposite claim to Mr Shorrock’s…by creating new music in the studio, and by continuing to tour with an excellent band who respects and delivers the high standard of musicianship and vocal harmonies that Little River Band is known for, we have lifted the band out of the dust that Glenn would have left it in. Countless comments to us by fans of Little River Band music, and of this lineup, bear my claim out.
When we perform we are thanked by fans for keeping the music alive, and for caring enough to do the work, get to where they live, and present a dynamic show that brings back great memories for concertgoers of all ages, and makes them feel happy. We are not showing up with masks and dark hats and trying to convince people that we are anyone but who we are…the current lineup of Little River Band in its ongoing history. For the record…that’s myself, Greg Hind, Chris Marion, Rich Herring, and Ryan Ricks. Any statements or implications to the contrary are false and insulting to all of us.
Most importantly, to our fans…
The trigger for this latest eruption of journalistic spin and negativity centers around our scheduled appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. You deserve to know how that situation unfolded, and why our appearance was finally cancelled…
Here’s the simplest way to describe the impasse without a lot of music publisher’s jargon…any repeated showings of a song on a TV show, webcasts, or movies requires the granting of permission by the song writer and the publisher of the song for those “reruns”. Industry wide, that permission (called synchronization rights) is granted as a matter of course…especially for shows like Fallon’s or Letterman’s or Leno’s in the past. But when NBC tried to gain those rights from the publisher who holds that control, the writer, Graeham Goble, refused to grant ANY such rights.
We knew we didn’t need permission for a single live performance of an older song, meaning we could have performed on the show. However, that didn’t fit NBC’s wishes. Every attempt was made for a compromise with the new music versus the old, but as the emails and the news articles started to swirl with Mr. Shorrock’s comments as the headline (Fallon go F’ Yourself), the Fallon show understandably chose to cancel us because the whole situation was getting too messy to continue with.
Little River Band has proven time and again that it is bigger than one person or one lineup.
FACT IS: There are no founding members in the band, by their own individual choice. Each original band member one by one, chose to “get off the bus.” They divorced themselves from the band and from the use of its name, trademark, and good will (and some more than once).
They will forever be acknowledged and remembered for their impressive credentials and contributions. And Little River Band will continue to tour and carry the band’s legacy forward to the delight of our fans.