One of the men behind the Aussie rock sound of the ’70s is coming to Shepparton to put a new spin on some of his classic tunes.
Skyhooks guitarist Bob ‘Bongo’ Starkie will play the GV Hotel in January with a new band to rock through some of the group’s classic hits.
Starkie, who joined the group when he was just 21, came into the band when it was just on the cusp of becoming one of the biggest Aussie rock groups of the time.
‘‘We were playing parties and little dances and socials and things like that,’’ Starkie said.
It wasn’t until he was close to finishing his commerce degree that things really took off, when Living in the 70’s became Skyhooks’ first big hit record.
‘‘That was in the beginning of Countdown. We were on the first show and that really ignited it for us,’’ he said.
‘‘It meant we could tour all around the country.’’
Despite the wild live performances and the eccentric stage persona of frontman Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan, Starkie said they didn’t behave like The Who or AC/DC.
‘‘Back then we were pretty straight. It was all about the performance and the music and it had to be sharp,’’ he said.
‘‘We had to turn up half an hour before a gig to prepare and if you were late, Greg (Macainsh) or Shirl would rip shreds off you.’’
Although Skyhooks reformed a few times in the years after the band’s heyday, most notably in 1990, the tragic death of Strachan in a helicopter crash in 2001 put an end to any further reunions.
But the popularity of the music remains, and Starkie will be busting out the old songs with a fresh band on Friday, January 13, at the GV.
Lisa Edwards, who is most well known as a member of John Farnham’s band, will be singing lead vocals on some classic Skyhooks hits as well as some rarities.
Starkie said going with a female singer was a good move as it limited comparisons to the memorable performances of Strachan.
‘‘She’s a great singer and has a wonderful range. I’ve yet to find a male who can sing in Shirl’s range,’’ he said.
‘‘Guys just can’t cut it.’’
Tickets are $45 for the show and $75 for a dinner and the show.
Phone 58219822 for more information.