Billy Thorpe

Page 5

1946 ~ 2007

Twelve months has passed and it seems like yesterday when you left us so suddenly. Although you are missed do much we also remember all of the great entertainment you gave us. Denis and myself had some wonderful times being around you and those times will never be forgotten. I hope you are having a great time in your Rock ' n ' Roll heaven.You surely are Missed So Much.
Keep on Rockin' Billy.
We Love You Thorpie
Robyn and Denis


Come on Thorpie fans we need to find Billy a resting place as he is one Australia's most greatest musicians and provided the country and people with so much great entertainment. He did so much for the other people so now it is his turn for us to do something for him. Wouldn't a statue of the famous Billy Thorpe be fabulous same as we have done for Johnny O'keefe and just recently Bon Scott.
Billy deserves the best as he is the Best

Where do I start? I'm just an ordinary guy in the suburbs of Sydney, who, like so many many other baby boomers, grew up on Thorpie's music. His absolute passion, ability & energy will not be surpassed in this country in my lifetime.
I am extremely sad and 'lost' as a result of his untimely passing, as, even though we never met I feel as though he was a friend. I was too young for Surf City and didn't get to Sunbury so I can only guess his 45 years at the forefront of Oz Rock history is the cause of that?

But you know what? I was lucky enough to have been at his last concert at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL and he was just fantastic. Probably the best I've ever seen him. He was always great, just with this gig he seemed 'satisfied' in himself. He received 4 or 5 standing ovations; I commented for days afterwards that he looked 35 and bloody well played like it too! I sent him an email on the Monday congratulating him on such a great performance.

And then just a few days later..... the music died ... and so did a little piece of Australia.

My wife and I attended his memorial service at the Entertainment Centre, along with thousands of his other 'friends'. Talking to some of the people in the audience I think 'friends' would be the most appropriate term. Like everyone there, I was deeply touched by the tributes Billy received from his close friends during the service; and I thought to myself many times that week 'where do I go with this'?

I've read every article about Billy since he left us, including the very moving 'tribute' brochure produced by Music Network for his many friends in the industry - which was given to me by a family friend @ Universal Music. I'm very proud to have a copy of this publication. Much of what I have read opened up the 'other' side of Thorpie to me; the caring & giving Billy the average person didn't know much about.

And then I read about his passion for helping his mates who may be doing it tough & his involvement with Support Act. So in memory of the 'one and only' Mr Billy Thorpe -everyone who reads this message should join Support Act and help carry on with his legacy.


Kevin Lee - Sydney

My 16 year old son, bought me a Billy Thorpe best of album for mothers day, just gone, how apt - and when we listened to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" god i cried - where have all the years gone.
Sue Elimbah Qld 


You gave me so many good evenings of great entertainment. As the months go by I still cannot believe you have left us. The memories will live on forever.

Love you forever, Robyn

Months have past but I cant stop tearing up on a daily basis, I play his CDs everyday and watch the TV music shows just to see THORPIE again, PLAY IT LOUD UP THERE, Kev

I've taken a while to write this, so I wouldn't get too emotional. In the evening of the day after you passed, I shut myself in my study and put on "Lock Up Your Mothers", with my feet on my desk and a bottle of Maker's Mark and a shot glass at hand - and just let your songs wash over me.

I remembered the hot smoky ear-splitting nights at the Hallam, the Coolstores and the comeback show at the palace in St. Kilda. I recalled several long chats I had with Norm E (the bad roadee) after some of your shows - and reflected on the reality that never again would your stacks of Marshalls lift the roof off the Hallam. I remembered the almost magical moment there one night when, during a lull in the applause, a guy from up the back of the crowd yelled out "For Chist's sake Bill, play 'Over the Rainbow'"...and you did - right there and then. You could hear a pin drop as you played and Jesus, I though the place was going to fall down when you finished.

That was your legacy Thorpie. Pub rock and including your audience. Knowing you'd never grace a stage again brought a tear to my eyes. My 9 year old son came in to listen with me. He knew I was upset and put his arm around my shoulder. He was a fan, too.

God bless you and your family and thanks for the great times. You were the original and the best.


Dear Billy,
We miss you so much you were our field commander for the Baby Boomers, saw you many times all over Melbourne and Victoria.

I was going to get you to sign one of your books for me at The Hallam Hotel, but Didn't want to intrude on you how I wish I had just to meet you.

Our wishes go out to Billy's family we are thinking of you,when we go to Sydney in August we are going on a pilgrimage to THE CROSS to pay our respects to Billy where it all began.

All our love, Marie and Paul.

As a teenager in the sixties I remember his voice resonated like no other, in the seventies his guitar work blew us all away and my favourite Aussie rock anthems of all time " Most People" and "It's Almost Summer" evolved. God I love those two songs. We lost him in the eighties but his music endured and lived on in my head. He came home in the nineties and his books mesmerised me and took me back to my own youth and I shared it with Billy all over again, he lived in Perth for awhile in his prime rock days and I had the pleasure of meeting him and seeing him play on many occasions, always the same, that full on voice and guitar work and bands that loved playing with the infectious rocker made for a chemistry that devoured all of us within earshot. Memories to last a lifetime, keep on rockin' mate!!

David Lauder

I first saw Billy & the Aztecs as a support act for screaming Lord Such around '65 at Festival hall Melb.

I have admired him and his abilities ever since , often travelling to Lorne and Sunbury just to listen to him make that gitar sing ( he too).  He will be sorely missed " Long Live Billy Thorpe and be it loud "

Cheers, Len Jarvis

Dear Billy Wishing You Were Still Here With Us Mate I may Of Been Too Young to know all the songs and stuff but I knew our Billy by his beautiful songs and music may god bless and keep you and all your family along the way and my mum Mel sends her condolences as well. Rock On True Blue Aussies For Billy Thorpe A Fair Dinkum Mate Of The People.

I was so grateful to my mum to have brought me up listening to the great man Billy Thorpe. The day I heard about his passing came to a huge shock.

He is such a true Aussie icon. I wish the world was full of Billys. It would be such a better place.

My thoughts are with the family and friends of Billy. ROCK ON BILLY!!!!!

love u always, Rhiannon Murie, xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo 

You will always be the greatest Billy, A true "ROCKER" ---- Most people I know think that I'm crazy too. My thoughts are with your family.

Regards Peter Scott, Broken Hill, NSW.

Thorpey, you are a bloody legend, mate. There's plenty of tears being shed for you and we'll always remember you.


I drove my husband crazy with mashed potatoe Billy will be missed for many years to come but will never be forgotten To Lynne Lauren and Rusty, May you find the peace Billy would want for you GOD BLESS

Bee Brisbane

Thorpie……I never met you but through your music and books I believe that I knew you well. Keep on rocking in that “Rock n Roll City”.


Most people I know think that i'm crazy. But Billy you were the coolest. God bless you and your family.

Dave White

I awoke to the news that Billy Thorpe had passed away heart filled with sadness as l felt like a small piece of my childhood had been taken from me.

The memories of my dad singing at the top of his voice" most people that know me, know that l'm crazy" as we drove along on many weekend outings and dancing in our lounge room to the record player are memories that will last with me forever.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for blessing us with your amazing gift...your music will live on forever.

My condolences to your family, may they take comfort in their many memories.


First concert I went to I saw Billy Thorpe in about ’72 at Sydney's Capitol Theatre – what an introduction to rock & roll. Have seen him about a dozen times since, all fantastic, especially Long Way To The Top & Ultimate Rock Symphony. Can’t believe it.


I lost my voice Ooh Poo Pah Doo 'ing at the Tsunami benefit. Your voice will never fade for me. Rock on Billy.
Condolences to the Thorpe family.

David Timson, Melbourne, Australia.

My Thoughts and prayers are with The Thorpe's in their time of need.
I saw and met Billy in the U.S.A. and Australia.
Rock and Roll Heaven has gained an irreplaceable member.
Keep Rockin
Robyn Sheridan, Melbourne, Australia

I first heard Billy Thorpe sing Somewhere over the rainbow in that melodic voice when l was only a boy.
He was a larger than life character to me then, and still remains the same on this day and forever.
Thank you for your beautiful music.

Singer/Songwriter: Col Thomson

You created a disturbance in all of our minds, and I’ll never forget the night at the Casino you stopped the band, picked out my husband (who was sitting like a lump on a rock) to get him to sing Ooh Poo Pah Doo on his own – made my night, week, year!!!! Will miss you terribly and haven’t stopped crying since 28/02. Give ‘em hell old mate. Huge heartfelt condolences to your beloved family.

Jenny, Melbourne

I grew up into a world of music and Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs. I was trying to find Billy's email address to ask him if they would ever release his Opera House album on CD. The next day I was floored by the news of his death.

I was twelve years old in 1972 when Bill and the band played the immortal sounds of Rock Me Baby and Most People I Know Think I'm Crazy at Sunbury. And of course CC Rider.

Now I can just say thanks Bill and I know he'll hear me because he can. I will not forget his voice, his great guitar styles, his energy, and his faith.

Again, the truly good do die young. But as we both know, it isn't dying, it's growing.

Thanks Billy Thorpe.
Robert Freeman, Australia

P.S. I saw Billy and the band at a small venue in 1997 called The Wy Yung Pub in Victoria Australia. My ears were never the same and the ringing is still there. Still, it was great to see him in person.

St Peter said....Mate You're not bringing all that gear in here You'll freak Everybody out! GOD said it's OK Pete, They've had Their turn, now Heaven is really gonna ROCK!
Love and Respect Billy

I went and saw Thorpe on the saturday at chelsea heights hotel so i was blessed to see him i took a friend who had never seen him before and instantly became a fan. The first time i saw Thorpe play live was when i was 12 at brighton town hall my older brother who has passed away was a big fan so i grew up feeling that Billy was a part of the family with that fantastic warm smile when i last saw him i felt that i was seeing a old friend even though we had never meet .There are few people in this world that have that gift thank you for sharing him with us. debbie slattery

Firstly my condolences to the family and friends of Billy Thorpe.

I was 14 when I saw Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney 1971. Not only was it the first time that I saw the band but it was the first live concert I had gone to.

To say it left an impression on me is a huge understatement it was that night that I decided to be involved in the music industry. I learnt to play the drums and I haven't stopped since, loving every minute of it!

I never got the opportunity to say thank you for the effect you had me.

Goodbye Thorpie.

Greg Morris.

When I was 11 yrs old my brother introduced me to Billy, I've been addicted ever since. The loss of Billy is equivalent to the loss of elvis. I would like to thank Billy's family for allowing me to attend his memorial. Thanks for the memories,Thanks for the good times,Thanks for the good f***in' rock'n'roll. You will be missed.
Shane Aldridge. 

I grew up with your music, your were a favourite with my Mum, a legend that will never be forgotten.

Jenni, Brisbane

Thank you for the music. You were my fave when I was growing up and were still there in my adult years. I had my husbands surprise 40th at the Crown casino in Melbourne and how fortunate were we as you were the performer for that night. As always a fantastic show, and "Over the Rainbow" sensational. My friend and I were lucky enough to have our photo taken with you. I will treasure it always,along with all the wonderful memories of you. deepest sympathy to your family. THORPIE STILL ROCKS< JUST IN HEAVEN NOW> Marilyn Tudor. Queensland.

I have just returned from Billy's Memorial Service, it was a moving serivice one that I was very honoured to be able to attend .I would like to thank Billy's wife and family for allowing fans like myself to be able to pay our respects and say goodbye a great man.

Billy is a great Aussie legend and will be sadly missed by many many people.

I only saw Billy a number of times one being in the early eighties at Caringbah Inn and I have to say out of the countless bands I have seen in my 47 years he was the LOUDEST!!!!!! I remember my ears rang for 4 days after but I enjoyed every minute of it.

My thoughts are with his wife and family at this time.
Makes some noise up there Billy,Shine on,Bless you
Somewhere over the rainbow...........................
Love always
Kaylene Murie 

I first saw Billy in Sydney and grew up with all his music. He was one of Australia's music legends as everyone knows. So many of the well known artists I have seen have now left us. There must be such a great concert going on in heaven. Deepest Sympathy to his family as may his music live on in all of us.
Patricia and Merv Stonehouse. Western Australia 

Was hoping for another LONG WAY TO THE TOP as you were fantastic. Rest in peace Billy


The day I heard that you had moved on to The Rock’n Roll Heaven is the day I realized how much I loved your music Mr. Billy Thorpe as a person and as a great musician. I too am a musician still performing today at many Venues and mate it really hurts to accept the fact that we will no longer be able to see you performing again here on earth. To your family it also hurts me plenty to see them suffering the loss of a husband, father relative or friend. It was great musicians like you Billy that inspired me to take up the guitar at the age of 13 so thank you mate. God bless you and may you wear out your Shure Mics, Twin Stack Marshall, Gibson and Fender Guitars in The Rock’n Roll Heaven.

From Chevy Mario (The Pink Chevy’s).

Rest peacefully you gorgeous man. I grew up with your music and the magic and although I never met you will always remember the day you touched my hand. I was 15 at the time and you were on tour in W.A with Normie, the Easybeats and others. It was 1966. I remember for weeks after I hung my hand over the shower so the water would not wash off your touch. I’m 56 now and the memory still brings a smile. God bless. Suzanne

It was an honour to be given the opportunity to say farewell on Sunday 4th March at the memorial service. Thank you to Billy's family and Michael Chugg for making it possible for his fans to come together to remember the good times, and to share their grief

Trish Goodwin

Watched Billy at the Whitehorse Inn (now a parking lot), at the Middle in the gully and other venues, bit older now drive for pleasure a xjs V12 Jaguar, look in my cd stacker see Max Merritt, the Tatts, Kevin Borich,
Lobby and pride of place Billy Thorpe and the aztecs. Cheers Thorpie! 

To Lynn, Lauren and Rusty and all Thorpies friends, Billy touched my heart. I was too young too have seen him in the 60s & 70s but saw him and the sunbury Aztecs about 10 years ago, that night will stand out in my mind as the most passionate musical performance I have ever seen and that was when he was still too over it to play his original hits. I pray that god takes his soul and as Brian Brown said at his memorial I look forward to sharing a beer with him . God bless you Thorpie

It was my 26th birthday yesterday (Sunday 4th March) so as everyone can gather, Billy was a bit before my time, but through the years of hearing his music on the radio, he was one of the few artists who never failed to re-invent themselves. I loved his music, my parents used to see him play live at "Surf City" & for my birthday i suggested that we all go to the memorial service, although it was for a tragically sad event, it was beautiful & respectful, id like to personally thank The Thorpe Family for letting us be a part of it. Max's & Olivia's musical tributes were tear jerking, beautiful & perfect. I'd just like to say to the family & friends of Mr Billy Thorpe that the thoughts & prayers of this nation & the world are with you at this sad & difficult time, to Billy, you will be missed far more than you could've ever imagined, you touched more lives than you will ever know, enjoy your journey into eternal life, keep rockin brother.

Megan, Geoff, Christine
St Clair NSW Sydney 

To Lynne and your girls,
I grew up with Billy listening to him on my little transistor radio, he was my favorite I have an autograph from him from a few years ago at Yallah Woolshed he was just sitting on the edge of the stage after the gig that night and he was very friendly and spoke to everyone individually who wanted an autograph he was a true gentleman.
Thank you for yesterday it was an honour to be able to attend. I will never forget him.
Regards and thank you

Lynne (Cronulla)

As we are leaving Sydney Airport to fly back to Melbourne it is raining on the day of Billy's ( Thorpie's ) funeral, hoping very much that a rainbow would appear in sky for him.

Over the decade and a half and the hundreds off Billy's shows Denis and I have been too and the conversations we have had with Billy and Normie as to bets in which shows we would appear at and the surprise when we did appear, Billy will be missed very much.

Billy has left us both with many memories and lots of Rock'n'Roll nights which will never be forgotten.
Congratulations to Mr Michael Chugg and all of his staff for allowing us to be part off Billy Thorpe's Memorial Tribute which will be cherished forever. Billy would have loved the Service.

We love you Billy ( Thorpie ). We will keep on Rock'n'Rollin' but it sure will never be the same without you.
We Will Miss You Heaps Billy
Love You Heaps
Robyn & Denis XXXXXXX 

I grew up with your music and listening to your songs revives great memories of my teen years, you`re a legend mate and you`ll be sadly missed

Bill Errington, Adelaide

I awoke to the news, a voice on the radio . WHAT, WHAT I screamed in disbelief. I had just seen him on Friday night at the Doncaster Hotel and he blew me away. Billy looked fantastic. He played that guitar and sang like never before. And so eloquent as only Billy could be. Driving to work that morning as I was approaching the station I look up at the sky and there it was " A Rainbow", it was amazing. Hey Billy thanks for the music, and the beautiful words.

You will live on forever. Rock on in that rock n roll band in the sky.


Thank You

Billy was a great bloke, a real rocker and my partner and I loved him. We saw him perform every chance we could from the early 70's right through to the present. He played at the Masters Games in Alice Springs and blew the crowd away. He was at Yallah Wool Shed when I couldn’t help myself and had to say hello to him after the show and tell him I was his number one fan. His smile lit up the room and he was so personable and friendly he made me love him even more. Both my partner and I shed a tear at his passing. Will miss him dearly.

Gayle Clarke-Wood

R.I.P Billy rock the Heavens with them all.

We saw Billy playing just 2 weeks ago and just like every time since the first time in the 70's, we were absolutely blown away(literally and figuratively) by his performing brilliance. He was better than ever! Thank you for the music and all our thoughts and prayers to Billy's family.
Gayle, Tony, Adele and Ron Sydney

Remember milking the cows years ago on the farm in Vic "Most people I know '' came on the Radio 3XY in the dairy full version lead break and all. I was so wrapped up in the song playing drums on an old caustic soda tin with a couple of rubber milk line tubes. Forgot about the cows changing the cups etc poor buggers were nearly turned to butter by the time the song had finished , loved your music Billy. "Somewhere over the rainbow old Muso's fly , " hope your resting under a " poison ivy" " eating mashed potato" singing most people I know think that I'm crazy , drinking tequila sunrise in the morning dew and couldn't give a bugger cause "it's almost summer''

And in the end, It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
Mike O'Hehir Vic

To all the family

it was a hot summers day at the gold coast international hotel my wife and i were sitting by the pool it was not long after Billy returned from the states and was singing with jimmy Barnes on the NRL promotion for that year Billy walk past and i obviously recognized him and i just said hello Billy and with out hesitation he replied hello mate and so he did so every time he seen me at that pool my wife ribbed me every time he said hello saying there is you mate Billy and so on when the NRL promotion was on, i would just like to express my feelings to say we have lost a very special person far too young and talented but never forgotten in my heart....thanks...!!!!


Helena saw Billy 32 years ago her 17 birthday at the Whitehorse Hotel on 30 th September 1975 I requested Billy to sing Somewhere over the rainbow which he gladly performed. Helena also saw him at Sunbury 1974 and 1975. We both have seen Billy at the Manhattan and The Casino since. You’ll be remembered forever.

Thanks for the Memories
Tony & Helena Chapman

A Rock Legend 'the great Billy Thorpe' has left this earth unexpectedly and too soon. You gave us many many years of great music, you are an Australian Icon and will never be forgotten and your music will live on forever in the hearts and souls of many. Rock n Roll Thorpie

Jo Cole

Most people I know..... knew that I luuuved you, as did so many others.

We will miss you but the music and memories live on.
Keep on Rocking.
Condolences to the Thorpe Family.
Mareja Nae

I know he made great music, and in answer to those who wonder the how why when and where and what it was that set him apart and made him famous....he was just so damned easy on the eyes !!!!!!!!!!!! We will all miss him. Goes without saying really. Keep on rockin' Billy. It was a good life well lived

What a fabulous musician! I will never forget that Thorpie was the first band I saw LIVE at Sebastians and Berties. I was only 15 but did he leave an impression!!! Australian and the rest of the world have lost a beautiful person and talented musician. My deepest sympathy to his wife and daughters.
Love Robyn (and Max) Fletcher

Our thoughts are with Billy's family and friends at this extremely sad time. What a man he was , THE BEST!!! Thanks Billy for all the great music you have given us, your voice will fill my house forever. Have fun rocking with JOK.

Maxine Oliver