Glenn Shorrock returns to breakfast radio

Glenn, thanks for taking the time to chat with Radio Today and I want to congratulate you on your new breakfast radio gig. But before we get to that, let's briefly recap your long and illustrious career.

You were in The Twilights, Axiom, and of course Little River Band (LRB) and had numerous hits with all of them. You’ve done theatre and cabaret, hosted TV shows like Rock Arena and have been entered into the ARIA Hall of Fame twice – once for yourself in 1991 and once for LRB in 2004.

But in the mid-80s, while you were in between two stints out the front of Little River Band, some may not be aware that you were on breakfast radio in Sydney.

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Glenn: I was doing my review shows, 'One for the Money, Two for the Show, Go Cat Go' when out of the blue I got a call saying ‘would you be interested in joining the re-branded 2UW – Magic 11 as part of the breakfast team for a 3 month trial’.

Ron E Sparks was the main DJ and I was alongside him and Tim Webster was involved. I did that from 6 to 9 and found it a little difficult because I was doing shows as well. I enjoyed it. Magic 11 didn't stick. They said ‘would you give it another 2 months’ so I ended up doing 5 months then they reverted back to 2UW after that because it wasn't working for them.

Mark: Here's the audio that aired just prior to the Magic 11 launch in 1984 that talked about 'The Shorrock & Sparks Magic Morning Zoo' :-
or hear it here

Hear more audio from the pre-Magic 11 launch here.

Mark: Back in those days you were also involved in the start of FM radio with EON in Melbourne.

Glenn: Yeah. Glenn Wheatley got involved in that first FM station and he encouraged myself and the other members of the Little River Band to invest in it, which I did, and it did very well for us for a short time. It was a very successful opening and Glenn was getting very involved in radio, he enjoyed that and now he's back in it on the Sunshine Coast.

Mark: Now you're heading back to radio to do breakfast at 2CH with Ian MacRae (right). How did that come about ? A similar story to last time with a call out of the blue you weren't expecting ?

Glenn: Yes. From Peter Rix, who has managed Marcia Hines and a few other people. I'm friends with him as he ran the APRA awards for a number of years and I hosted them. 2CH approached him as they wanted to get the station away from the veteran feel to it and bring the demographic down a bit and he suggested that they use me and Leo Sayer.

Col Joye was already there as host of 5 O'Clock Rock. I signed for an hour each day from 7am to 8am. So we're just going to see how far it goes. Hopefully we'll get some good ratings, the sales department will be happy then the managing director will be happy and then John Singleton will be happy (laughs).

Mark: And you never know, in survey 8 last year 2CH breakfast had the same share figure as Mix 106.5 (3.3) – now KIIS 1065 – so you might be that surprise package that beats Kyle & Jackie O first time out !

Glenn: Nah I wouldn't say that (laughs)

Mark: Are the 2CH sales department taking you into the market ?

Glenn: They plan to do that. I'm quite at liberty for them to use me, as long as it's not too commercial and as long as my credibility is maintained.

Mark: You've been on-air for a couple of weeks now. How's it going ?

Glenn: It's been a little nerve-racking for me to get back in there. Ian's also a bit rusty but he knows all the nuts and bolts of a breakfast radio show and I'm trying to keep up with him. We're getting it together and we're having some fun. The chemistry is there but the timing has to be refined. We tend to talk over each other a little bit and the odd wrong button is pushed here and there but that's part of the game and people know it's live if people make mistakes.

Mark: So we have a new breakfast show on KIIS 1065, 2Day FM and now also 2CH.

Glenn: I don't take too much notice of the radio business but I know Kyle and Jackie O started on KIIS and all the other ones made noise about their breakfast shows but 2CH's philosophy was to just let me drift in there quietly and get it settled before they start to blow their own trumpet.

Mark: With your many decades in the music industry what changes have you seen in radio over the years ?

Glenn: Talkback has gained so much strength. The other thing is the technology that is used now in the studio, it's all computerised, there's no CD's, it's all digital so that's a lot different.

Mark: I can't chat to you without bringing up the INXS TV show. Did you watch it and what did you think of it ?

Glenn: It was good television for the masses, clichéd a bit (laughs), the usual exaggeration of things, the Hollywood version of it, as it were.

I thought it a bit ‘in excess’, if you excuse the pun (laughs), but you have to understand that INXS were coming up underneath LRB's pioneering and by that stage we were touring regularly there (US) so I really didn't know much about INXS' history in Australia. There were no surprises there, they evolved similar to any other rock group of that time.

Mark: LRB had 8 top 10 hits in the US in the mid-late 70s, paving the way for bands like INXS in the 80s.

Glenn: Yeah, back in 1975 it was LRB (right) and AC/DC that were picked up by radio stations in Florida. Both bands were exposed to the college network and the FM network and then later on, if you were lucky enough, the AM stations and then you were on your way. LRB rode through that and of course AC/DC have become iconic.

Mark: Are there any plans for an LRB TV show to hit our screens ?

Glenn: Not a dramatisation no. A documentary perhaps. I have no plans to do that but I'm sure somebody sooner or later will give it a go. I know there maybe a musical based on the Little River Band story called 'Face in the Crowd'.

Mark: Would you perform in that ?

Glenn: No I'm not interested in it frankly.

Mark: I read recently where someone said they would prefer to watch a real rock documentary rather than the dramatised version. What are your thoughts on that theory ?

Glenn: I agree with that. I'd rather see a doco of the real thing rather than a Hollywood version of it. It's up to your taste really isn't it. A lot of people are not into music as much as the musicians and the artists are. Most people are more interested in the celebrity side of it and that seems to be the impetus in 2014.

Mark: Thanks so much for your time today Glenn and all the best with 2CH this year.

Glenn: I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it and making my presence felt.

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