Oz Rock Legend Billy Thorpe passed away on Wednesday 28 February 2007.
He was one-of-a-kind and while I never had a brother, I loved him like a brother in so many ways. He walked the walk and talked the talk but underneath that brave, strong exterior beat the heart of a caring and loving mate. There are so many occasions we shared the stage and the odd sip or two and I will never forget both the good times and the hard times we spent together.
He always encouraged me, advised me, worried about me and berated me, but most of all he wanted the best for me. We all know that Billy Thorpe made a gigantic impact on Australian Rock 'n' Roll but in my mind, it all pales into insignificance compared to the impact he made on me, both as a person and an entertainer.
I will treasure the memories but ache knowing that Billy Thorpe has Slipped Away From Me.
Thanks for the music and the memories.
I am now 56 years old - (Born 1951) I was (so called) in love with Billy, when I was about 10 yrs old.
That cheeky smile & great looks & most of all a great musician who played his guitar as if it was an extension of his arm - always entertaining. Definitely a Legend that will never be forgotten.
I wish my sincere condolences to all of Billy's family & he will be sadly missed, but FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS!
Although I had never seen you in concert I always listened to your music you are a true legend and will live on in everyone's hearts and in your music. You will live on. Deepest sympathies to your family.
Thanks for the fun, the beauty, the hangovers and enlightenment you brought into my life Billy. When you played the Yallah Woolshed & a Canberra Club recently I had a fantastic time and boy did you show that you still kick arse. I know your essence will continue on in so many forms. A real gentleman. Deepest condolences to family and friends.
Our sincerest condolences to Billy's beautiful wife and daughters. Billy was a part of our lives - someone we knew and loved - we cannot imagine the pain you are experiencing right now, but hope that you will be buoyed by the love and support you receive from those who loved Billy, and through loving him, loved you too.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Sincere thoughts go with your family and closer friends. What a day to depart Billy!; an exquisite fresh dawn, wild rain for our tears, a late sunbearing rainbow and among stars in the evening huge booming fireworks like a celestial celebration. dear man you shared so much and I long to hear your Morroccan "symphony" as that place too, I love Thought I'd see you again. I grooved at Surf City to Narooma Blues Festival to your inimitable rock delivery. Peace brother, Anna.
All that has been has changed
Sad one mate. Keep on jamming with unlimited volume in eternity. Condolences to your loved ones here on earth. Be at peace knowing you gave all for the sound. Terry
THANKYOU FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL CONTRIBUTION TO THE MUSIC WORLD. '' MANY WILL SOMEDAY JOIN YOU''
JOAN. PERTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA
You always looked fantastic Billy, always had a smile on your face and a great fun loving approach to life. I watched you on T.V. singing 'I Told the Brook', 'Twilight Time' and the greatest version ever of 'Over the Rainbow'. I was growing up with you and hit the pubs when you were carving them up with heart & soul renditions of the rock classics. I wasn't surprised to hear how successful you were in business in later years, you were the sort of bloke who 'made things happened'. On your return to Oz 'Long Way To The Top' was another example of that. As usual you stole the show. When you appeared on 'Carols By Candelight' at the 'Myer Music Bowl' you gave us the performance of a lifetime with your acoustic version of 'Over the Rainbow' I just remember getting goose bumps all over me....
The term "legend" is handed out all too freely these days and very few of those referred to as a legend deserve the accolade.
You are an absolute exception and have definitely earned it in every sense of the word.
Your influence, strength and vitality, the charisma, talent and joy of living and life are your legacies, just as much as the wonderful music, earth shaking live shows and fierce independence.
I saw you live many times from 1972 right through to 2006 and you always gave 150% (at least). I also remember with great fondness the one time we met and how great it was to find you really were a top bloke.
You already are and always will be sadly missed.
Vale and keep playing loud and honest. Thanks for the great times.
To Billy's family, sincere condolences. Our thoughts are with you all.
Sean, Mandy and family
Billy Thorpe shaped my life in more ways than I realised until his untimely death. His F You approach to life, his passion and his pure unbridled love of life and music.
May he not rest in peace. Keep pushin' it Thorpie!!
To Billy , A legend in his own right sadly missed life will go on and on with your music, an old fan w.a.
My sister was absolutely mad about you from her teenage years in the sixties to her life now as a grandmother every time you were performing in Queensland she was there. All our families send their condolences to Billy's family.
In emotional times like these, the word "Legend" is very easily used and at times not really fitting of the person. Not in this case with Billy Thorpe. He is the perfect example of a real "Aussie Legend" and without a doubt in my opinion, the greatest ever Aussie rocker to have lived.
Billy, you will be sadly missed by many and may you Rest In Peace, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".
Best wishes go out to Billy's family.
Our thoughts are with your wife Lynn and your daughters at this time. Billy you will be sadly missed by so many people from all walks of life, we will miss seeing you play live. You seemed to have done so much with your life and music, from the two of us to you and your family so long keep rocking.
My happiest memories are of listening to Billy Thorpe as a 14yr old. MY grandparents would take me to the beach and we would listen to Billy – OH THOSE WERE THE DAYS
God bless you Billy!
Condolences to all Billy's family, friends and fans. You were one of a kind, a real- t-shirt and jeans rocker, the music was what mattered no the gimmick. Will be sadly missed in my house even my kids know Billy's music and most people used that song to describe me (Yeah I didn't mind always keep them guessing). Rest In Peace
Thanks for the memories. Your joviality and sincerity as well as your musical talent and energy was truly an inspiration and influence on my life. Mr 100%.
Cheers. Simon THOMAS
We were saddened to hear of Billy Thorpe’s death we send our condolences to his family and friends.
Lionel and Denise Hockley
I was always amazed at your approach to life – a true bloke that knew how to have a good time, whilst being there for your loved ones. You are an inspiration. Get ‘em in shape up there won’t you. Condolences to Lyn, Rusty and Lauren – I know you miss Billy deeply – and I know he will always be there to offer guidance and humour – in the quite moments, just be, and you will feel him with you.
My heart goes out to Billy Thorpe's family. They must be so proud of their husband and father as he was such a loved Aussie.
I grew up with Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs and have fond memories of seeing a live concert in the underground car park at David Jones, Parramatta.
When I heard the news of Billy's death I cried like I had lost a family member which rocked me as I hadn't realised he had made such a mark on my life.
Rustydewdrops, Wangi Wangi
I was 12 when I first saw you & the Aztecs, Thorpie. I snuck in. Well, I paid my 50 cents but had stand on tippy toes! You brought RnR to the bush - and you changed a kid's life forever. For that I can never repay you. I'll always remember your cheeky smile and the loving way you handle your guitar.
I'll try not to miss you too much, but I can't promise anything.
I welcomed Billy back to Ozzie from the USA over ten years ago. At the time I thought Lauren and Rusty who were on TV with their Dad (as always with his mischievous grin) would have been about my age when I saw Billy and the Aztecs at the old Trocadero in George St.
It was to be my very first live concert. I was hooked on that excitment ever since and I've just turned 56 yrs.
I grew up with you and your music around me. Many times I saw you live from Sunbury to small local dances and was amazed every time.The sheer energy you exuded and such a passion for life. Now, almost 50, I will remember with fondness and still listen to your songs. I and many others will miss you.Farewell and join that hell of a band in rock and roll heaven.
Billy you are my hero of all time i cried when i heard the news you are the ultimate Australian all round good guy and absolute legend!!! My condolences to Lynne and family, i feel like a part of me has been taken away. You will be sadly missed in my life. I'll keep performing and singing your songs around my gigs
The greatest Blues/rocker ever in the history of Australian music a true legend I treasure the many gigs I saw you play especially The Thumping Tum and of course Sunbury great bloke, awesome voice sadly missed.
To Billy's family and friends
Billy, I loved hearing your beautiful voice, especially "Over the Rainbow" it always reminded me of my mother after she passed away.
You will be sadly missed by the music industry and your millions of fans.
May God welcome you with open arms into Rock n Roll Heaven.
I saw you on t.v. at Sunbury many years ago you were our wild man of the early 70's. I then saw you at the m.c.g. in 1998 and I was blown away seeing & hearing for real. I wished they put Sunbury on again as a memorial to you god bless you Billy see you on the other side.
Ross Ritchie Corowa.
you will always be in our hearts and keep on rockn no matter where u r in life and keep on singing up there.
A cheeky wink at the Prince of Wales last year – what a sparkle you had in your eyes. It’s a shame you had to leave this early – but what an inspired life – a full life and how thankful are your fans that you touched their lives.
A life well lived.
At age 19 at the Myer Music Bowl you were my first concert and the best. I lost my voice and virginity and nobody in the music field has ever ever matched you since.
Hearing news of Billy Thorpe's untimely passing yesterday really shocked me! I can only imagine how devastating it has been for his wife and daughters, extended family, close friends...AND his multitude of fans! 'Some People I Know...' was going around and around in my head yesterday!
We send sincere and heartfelt condolences to you Lynne, and to your daughters, Rusty and Lauren... We are thinking of you, and praying that you will feel God's comforting arms around you in this saddest and darkest of times for you, for your extended family, and for all your close friends...
** Billy, you have been a true Aussie music legend for SO many years now, and personally, it is extremely hard for me to take in that you are no longer with us! Your music WILL live on with us though, and you WILL remain *indelibly* imprinted on the fabric of Australia's musical history!
Although you were taken from us much too young...and altogether too suddenly, you did give us all SO much enjoyment in the years that you had! You really lived a most marvellous life...packing in more living into your nearly 61 years than most of us could manage even if we lived to be 100!
Thorpie, you were a bonza Aussie bloke, and a wonderful ambassador for this country... You are already sorely missed by so many of us here in Oz, and overseas... You were a true member of the 'Baby Boomer' generation, too...and exactly three weeks older than my husband Phil!
Thanks SO-O much for the memories, Billy! You will remain in our hearts, and, quite deservedly, NEVER be forgotten! :o) **
Here are a few poems especially for the three of you at this time, Lynne, Rusty and Lauren:
We thought of you today,
Remembering you is easy,
Parting comes and hearts are broken,
Beautiful memories treasured forever
Memories are treasured deep in my heart,
Though absent you are always near...
In our hearts you will always stay...
With love, very best wishes and kind regards from us both, and all our family...
Carolyn & Phil Connolly, Lake Macquarie, NSW
no words i can find at this time .
Robyn and Denis
I cried all the way to work yesterday morning at the loss of this legend. I missed his concert in Doncaster & Chelsea on the weekend due to work commitments and regretted it then, but definitely regret it now!
Billy you were a big part of my life and I always loved your music and especially you.
Forever Young – Your memory will keep the 60’s remembered eternally. Sincere condolences to all family friends and colleagues – never saw him in concert but his talent and contribution to Australian music was immense. God Bless.
Joan – Perth. Western Australia
From surf city to sunbury, the village green to seagulls never a bad performance followed Billy all my life. Another rock & roller that will never be replaced
Billy you were a true legend. Australia is going to miss you and whenever I hear :most people think that I’m crazy: I will remember you always.
To Bill's family and friends, my sincere condolences. I feel absolutely devastated by the news of Bill's passing, so I can't imagine how shattered you must be.
I first met Billy and the original Aztecs back in 1963 as Surf City. My friends and I started their first fan club, and were lucky enough to have spent a lot of time with them. We were just 16 year old kids, but even though they were not much older, Billy especially always made time to talk with us and even take us to a lot of the gigs they played. My memories of that time will never fade.
Thirty years or so later, Billy was kind enough to remember us in his first book, names and all. This totally blew me away.
My children were brought up listening to his music, and were also great fans. Billy always made time for his fans, and his contribution to Australian music will go down in the annals of history.
Vale Bill, may you rest in peace in Rock'nRoll heaven. I will remember you always.
I'll never forget Phuket last year with that show with Max & Cadd; then staying up all night after the gig with you drinking beers on the beach till the sun came up, telling stories and having a laugh.
You were a real inspiration, a great muso, singer, writer and great guy.
Your passion for life and music will continue to inspire and you will shine on in all our hearts forever.
My heart goes out to you, your family and extended family at this time, I'm thinking of and missing you already.
Cheers mate, blow some of the cobwebs out up there and Rock the Heavens...hopefully we'll still be able to hear you from down here!
Dave from The Meteors
I first saw Billy play live at Sunbury when I was only 20 years old and newly married. Bill has been a part of my life every since. He was an amazing entertainer and a so very friendly and accommodating when speaking to fans. Over these many years I have lost count of the number of times I have seen him perform. I consider myself very lucky to have spoken to him many times and also been given hugs and kisses from this lovely man. I was truly heartbroken to learn of his untimely death and my heartfelt wishes go to his immediate family and close friends. Billy was a part of my family for 35 years and I will miss him.
I last saw Billy in concert not long after my first son was born, and even then at a spritely 50 yrs old, he displayed the enthusiasm of a 20 yr old, he rocked the roof off the venue, and after the concert was a true gentleman to his adoring fans young and old, taking his time to sign autographs, autobiographies, pose for photographs and just being the best bloke he knew how to be. i was fortunate to share a few drinks and a good laugh with this "Legend" of Australian Rock n Roll. It made my day i can tell you. He was even kind enough to pose for my half assed photo's of him performing, I was in awe at this mans persona and energy.
You will be sadly missed Billy not only for your enormous contribution to rock n roll in general but for the gentleman of Rock n Roll that you were, Rest In Peace brother, for heaven was made for people like you.
Wayne Richardson, Brisbane, Queensland.
Best rock pub player!
See you someday, Robbo.
Sorry Billy is no longer with us.
Thanks Billy for many many memorable Saturday afternoons at the Southern Aurora Hotel, just outside the Dandenong railway station in the early 1970's. Your music will never die.
You were always a musical inspiration to me. That 'Momma' aggressive guitar tone and soaring voice always on pitch. You also made me laugh so hard with all your great stories !
Our condolences to your family.
Rock On Forever
You will be very sadly missed rest in peace mate
Memories of 35 years ago, rockin n rollin at the Town Hall, rivetting stuff. Now at Peace.
You inspired generations that we could live the dream of eternal youth at any age with passion and joyfulness and your energy to live life. Our sincere condolences to your family and be assured your memory will be treasured for the wonderful memories you gave us all.
A true legend
TO SEEK NOTHING
We all remember, a time a place in our lives, a song, an entertainer. a singer a Rock& Roll Group. The sad passing and loss of Billy Thorpe is one of them.
My fondest memory is of the days Surf City in Sydney. When us young Rockers at the time traveled by train to see Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs perform
Pioson Ivy was my favorite as well as many outhers. In the words of another Rock & Roll legend who is no longer with us Eddie chochran would say,
Remember Me…….and we will, Billy Thorpe you done us proud.
So tragic to hear of Billy's passing, he has given us so many wonderful years of good rock and roll. Keep rocking Billy.
My sincere condolences to Billy's family at this very sad time.
Old Rockers never die -they continue giving pleasure to generations. Thanks for the memories Billy
Billy Thorpe, a wonderful musician and human being, a light has gone from us but will shine in our hearts forever. We will never forget you. My deepest heartfelt sympathy to Billy's wife Lyn and their two daughters, Rusty and Lauren and all Billy's family and close friends, Hoping that we will meet again...somewhere over the rainbow.
Everything goes around in a big circle, fashion and also music which it is now. Many people think back to how it all started in Australia and Billy's name will stay there for ever now. Don't be sad now he's gone think of the immortal joy he will always give us. Close your eyes, Billy will always be there. We never really thought you were crazy billy. Rock on Australia!!!!!!!!!
Brad Wade Newcastle
Our deepest thoughts are with Billy's family at such a sad sad time. He gave us many many fantastic times at all of his concerts from "The Cheltenham/Moorabbin RSL" through to the "Casino". He was a true "LEGEND" and he will never ever be forgotten. His music and his memories will live forever.
Ken & Robyn xxxxxxxx
Billy loved to perform, it showed every time he played to an audience, we may have lost a national treasure but his music will be with us forever. My condolences to his wife and family.
To Billy Thorpe's family, friends and loved ones,
I just wish that I'd been born 10 years earlier so that I could have experienced more of Billy Thorpe's music first hand.
Dear Family Members,
Our thoughts are with you at this terrible time, may you all find inner peace, we loved Billy so much, he brought a lot of happiness to others, what beautiful memories you have.
My family came to Oz in '64 when I was 6 from Asia so I was only used to seeing dark- featured people. One day I saw a very fair man on tv standing under a bright light singing and I gasped because, in my innocence, I thought I was watching an angel from Heaven. And I've been tranfixed ever since. Vale Billy Thorpe. Condolences to his family. Annie. Perth, WA
In shock, man you are going to be missed.
A straight shooter, good guy, great talent & always there to give inspiration & help to the up and comers back in the 70's ... thank you for you being you. What can I say ... just not fair that this has happened to you & my thoughts & wishes are with your family.
Thanks for the times, memories & help.
Jane & the crew from Zenith.
It is such a sad loss to the music industry and you will sadly be missed by us all "Billy" Our condolences to the family from all us here at D & S Entertainment