Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Little River Band ... The Saga Continues

It's been an interesting week ... and a lot has changed ... but the story is now complete so we wanted to share it with you ...    

According to Little River Band's Facebook page today, they have stated that their appearance Monday night on The Tonight Show was cancelled. The reason they give was because they wanted to play a song off of their new CD and the producers wanted a hit from the past. I find it very hard to believe that the band would cancel a very lucrative booking over that. I wonder what really happened?
Rich Turner
Safety Harbor, Fl
Exactly as we predicted, The Little River Band's appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon has been cancelled.   (Nice spin, guys ... but nowhere NEAR the truth!!!)  As so often is the case, there's a lot more to the story ... and THEIR version (as usual) is quite different from the REAL deal.
The faux band were denied performance rights to perform the hit songs created by the original band ("Reminiscing" and "Lady" were both scheduled to be performed as what was billed to be a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of The Little River Band ... problem is, NONE of the guys in the current line-up were IN the band forty years ago when it was first formed.)
Forgotten Hits blew the whistle on The Little River Band a couple of months ago after we found out that the band currently touring America has absolutely no ties to the original band who created all their hits ... and would be celebrating their 40th Anniversary right now.
Our piece caused quite a bit of controversy at the time, even amongst our own readers, who started choosing up sides as to the validity of the act currently performing these tunes.  (My biggest personal objection was the fact that these guys, good as they are, are taking credit for music they had absolutely nothing to do with ... save Wayne Nelson, who HAS been with the band the past 30 years, acting as their bassist and lead vocalist ... and joined The Little River Band at the tail end of their career in time to sing on a few of their latter-day hits.)
This story blew up big-time over the past ten days when it was announced that the faux Little River Band had been booked to appear and perform on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as a means to celebrate their 40 years together.  Fact is, these guys HAVEN'T been together the past 40 years ... it simply isn't true.
Soon this became one of the biggest show-biz stories of the week as numerous other publications jumped on the band wagon and some of the original members spoke out publicly.  (Despite our original expose which first drew attention to all of this back in November, I have yet to see ANY other publication credit Forgotten Hits for our original legwork.  That's okay ... Forgotten Hits Readers know where this story started ... in fact, we've received dozens and dozens of emails this week from readers helping us keep up to date on this matter, knowing that the story originated here ... so we'll just sit back and watch once again as the rest of the world is finally catching up to us!)
Our story began when, after mentioning that we couldn't wait to see The Little River Band perform at The Arcada Theatre in Saint Charles, IL, we received this email from one of our readers in Australia:
Hi Guys ... 
I always enjoy your news feeds and although I’m on the other side of the world, I still take a great interest in all your posts.  I notice that you're listing shows by the ‘Little River Band’ (which I drove through just the other day), who started their careers in Melbourne Victoria. I’m not sure whether you realize it, but this band has nothing to do with the original band and merely features a US muso who was picked up to help with tours over there. He was smart enough to register the name (it's hard to believe that the original band or their management had never got around to doing that!) and now tours his version of LRB, while the original members are legally prohibited from performing under any version of that name.  
Here in Australia it is considered to be an act of treachery by that band member, and the whole episode has left a bad taste in the mouths of all the Australian musos concerned (original vocalist Glenn Shorrock was born in the UK, and so too were some of the other members) 
I'd be interested to know if this story is known in the US? 
Murray Walding, 
No, we DIDN'T know any of this ... the story has NOT been played up here in America where The Little River Band regularly performs (particularly on the casino circuit) ... so we started to do a little research, the results of which you can read spread out over these three postings from last November:
Last Tuesday we let our readers know about the Jimmy Fallon incident ... Vintage Vinyl News ran a report that The Little River Band had been booked to appear on The Tonight Show this Monday Night (January 12th) ... and we immediately predicted that once this story hit national media attention, their appearance would most likely be cancelled ... Fallon wouldn't want any part of this controversy on his shoulders.  
Things escalated even further when a couple of the original members of the band (legally prohibited from use of the name or publicizing their former association with The Little River Band) decided to speak out about what FH Reader Murray Wilding called this "travesty".  (If Forgotten Hits is going to take credit for first breaking this story wide, we have to also acknowledge the fact that we couldn't have done so were it not for Murray's original email inspiring us to dig a little deeper ... so thank you, Murray!) 
Former lead singer Glenn Shorrock spoke out first, instructing his publishing company to deny the fake band permission to perform ANY song that he had written.  He then talked about the letters he had written to NBC, The Tonight Show and Jimmy Fallon:
From Vintage Vinyl News by way of Noise11  (see guys, THAT'S how you "share credit" on a breaking story ... heck, I even corrected some of the spelling and grammar for you!): 
Shorrock is outraged by the current band “grinding our good name into dust” and has made his feeling known to Fallon. “I’ve written a strong letter to the production and / or Fallon outlaying my distress and outrage as it were and I ended it “if you do decide to put them on the show, just pass on my message ‘to go fuck yourselves’”.
The current Little River Band has not had an original member since the departure of Derek Pellicci 18 years ago but continues to perform the songs of Glenn Shorrock, Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles and David Briggs under the LRB brand name. “I don’t mind them doing their business.” Shorrock says. “They are entitled to the name that is legally their’s. Well, it is Stephen Housden’s name. He’s not even in it. He hasn’t been in it for the last two years. He just sits back in Ireland and takes the money”. 
Shorrock has advised his publishing company not to give permission for the broadcast of his songs by the band during the Fallon appearance. “The wheels are in motion and publishing have raised their objection to it and if they do the songs they want to do, which I understand are 'Reminiscing' and 'Lady', two of our biggest hits over there, then they will say no to it being performed," he says.
The Little River Band has never officially broken up but over the years all of the original members left the band. Eventually, the brand name became the property of one time member Stephen Housden, who is also no longer a member of the band. Housden allows the band of non-originals to use the name but has also stopped the founding members from promoting themselves as former Little River Band members if when choose to tour. 
Claiming the 40th anniversary with a line-up that wasn’t even around for the start was the last straw for Shorrock. “We’re not going to let them get away with this one,” Glenn says. “It has been hard enough with them grinding our good name into their dust over there and at the same time putting injunctions onto myself, or anyone else coming over there and trying to do out business as well”. 
No one in the current Little River Band line-up even played on the classic songs "Reminiscing" or "Lady".  "Reminiscing", written by Graeham Goble, is one of the most played songs of all-time on American radio.  "They are promoting a newly recorded album of their own material, or whatever material they have got.  The should do that rather than pretend they are the band that sold 30 million albums and is having it's 40th anniversary and celebrtion that 'Reminiscing' has been played four million times. They are using all of our statistics to further their own nest,” he said. 
The non-original Little River Band are scheduled to perform on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon next Monday, January 12, 2015. 
Showing an sign of solidarity, next on board was original member Beeb Birtles, who spoke out on Friday regarding this incident.  Birtles told Premier Radio Network's Mike McCann:
"We all stand with Glenn Shorrock on this issue. For years now the current LRB have been claiming this, that and the other over 'their 40-year career.' Not one of them were founding members of the band. They even use photos with images of the original LRB to shamelessly promote themselves. We've all had enough of this and so we're putting our collective feet down [and] not allowing them use of our songs on television broadcasts." 
Birtles confirms that he, Shorrock and Graeme Goble have begun legal proceedings to prevent the current Little River Band lineup from performing such classics as "Reminiscing," "Help Is On Its Way," "Cool Change" and "Lady" on The Tonight Show -- where they have been booked to perform Monday night -- or any other TV program.   
The Ultimate Classic Rock website ran an exclusive interview last week with Wayne Nelson in which he explained how the band came to be booked for their Tonight Show appearance ...
Hey Kent, 
I think you'll be interested in this.
On The Ultimate Classic Rock website there is an interview, published today, with Wayne Nelson, current lead singer and bass player in the Little River Band. In the interview he discusses the history of the band, how they were selected to appear on the upcoming Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and much more.
Rich Turner
Safety Harbor, Fl
Now that The Tonight Show has cancelled the band's appearance, I don't expect them to grab many other major bookings any time soon.  (There was also talk of a Jimmy Kimmel appearance.)  Too bad ... this could have been a GOLDEN opportunity to celebrate the music of a classic '70's band ... problem is, you've got the wrong guys up there promoting it ... and this time, the truth won out.  (To all our skeptical readers who fought me on this issue when our story first ran, I can only say that the majority has spoken ... not so much an "I told you so" or a "Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na" ... just restating my opinion, which, in this case,  just also happens to be a matter of fact.) 
I suppose these new guys could have gone up there and performed a couple of selections from their new album ... music they actually had something to do with creating ... but THAT wouldn't have gotten them the booking. 
It's a shame because you just don't get to see many '70's acts on tv anymore ... it would have been nice to see the REAL guys commemorated for their efforts ... but they're not allowed to use the name in conjunction with their current live appearances.  The name belongs to Stephen Housden, who doesn't even perform with them anymore ... he quit the road a few years back and reportedly just sits home now in Ireland counting his money. 
Truth is, had things been done properly (and the REAL creators of this music been so-honored with a 40th Anniversary appearance), odds are the current line-up wouldn't even have been extended an invitation to the party.  Bad blood between them???  Yeah, I guess you could say that.  (kk)
We were traveling when we heard that Vintage Vinyl News posted this notice on Saturday from Paul Cashmere of Noise11 ... (once again we've fixed the errors we found in the story):
The non-original Little River Band will no longer appear on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday.  Amber James, publicist for The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, has confirmed for, that former Hootie and the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker will now appear on the show instead of Little River Band next week. 
Today’s incarnation of the American based Little River Band has not had an original member since the departure of Derek Pellicci in 1997. The current band legally trades under the Little River Band brand despite brand owner Stephen Housden also no longer being a member of the band. 
The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon booked the current line-up to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Little River Band. However, no member of the current LRB line-up was even in the band when they formed in Melbourne in 1975. The non-original line-up of Little River Band has also never toured Australia. 
Founding member and original lead singer Glenn Shorrock passed on a message to the non-original band telling, “I’ve written a strong letter to the production and / or Fallon outlaying my distress and outrage if it were and I ended it “if you do decide to put them on the show just pass on my message (to the band) ‘to go fuck yourselves’”.  
Monday's Fallon guest will be Darius Rucker, who as lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish, sold more than 16 million records and won two Grammy Awards.  
The happiest possible ending of all to this story would be to see original founding members (and main songwriters) Glenn Shorrock, Beeb Birtles and Graham Goble get together and cash-in on this media blitz and wave of publicity.  I'm telling you, no publicist in the world could manufacture the kind of national frenzy generated by this turn of events this past week!  No, they can't perform as The Little River Band ... but their story is now SO well known (whereas up until a couple of months ago when FH first drew attention to what was REALLY going on with the current line-up), that the audience will embrace them no matter what.  Who knows, it just might put an end to the fake version once and for all.  
Most of what we received from Forgotten Hits Readers were links to the articles referenced above.  First in was FH Reader Tom Cuddy, who sent us this link below ... damn, between the story about LRB and the recordings of its original members ... and the short video about some of the deserving artists snubbed by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... I don't think I could have written this any better myself ... except I DID ... MONTHS (and even YEARS) ago!!!  That's cool ... I guess the rest of the world is finally catching up to Forgotten Hits!  (kk)   
Speaking of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, it looks like WCBS-FM has finally jumped on the "Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Snubbed Artists" bandwagon now, too ... here are THEIR top eleven choices ...
I think I agree with about FOUR of these choices ... once again, not that any of the others are not necessarily deserving of such an honor ... they just shouldn't get in ahead of the 300 "Deserving And Denied" artists we've been bitching about over the last 10-12 years.  (In all fairness, several of the artists we campaigned for HAVE gotten in during that time ... but why is it taking so long to recognize the obvious???  Pretty soon anybody who even REMEMBERS these artists won't be around anymore to vote them in!!!)  kk
WCBS-FM then took an unusual stance on Glenn Shorrock's letter to Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show Production Staff ... seriously?!?!  Do you NOT think he has a legitimate beef here?  And reason to be pissed???  Especially after all these years of deception???   
Kent ...
X-Rated message for current Little River Band line up.
And another link, featuring an interview with Wayne Nelson about the band's upcoming show in Mount Pleasant, Michigan ...
I especially like THIS comment at the end of the article ... again from someone who's been following this travesty where it's been far more publicized in Australia than it was here in The States until Forgotten Hits broke the story ... 
Always enjoyed this band during their glory years, but fans be warned ...
As this article politely implies, the band playing Saturday night is not the same hit-making act you may recall from their late '70s salad days (they were actually pretty huge back then, selling millions of records with hits like "Cool Change", "Lady", "Reminiscing", etc).  
It's kind of a strange tale.  The band's signature vocal sound was crafted by the three main players who founded the band - Beeb Birtles, Glenn Shorrock and Graeham Gobl. These three Aussie guys not only sung but also wrote nearly all their U.S. hits. To use an imperfect analogy, they are the Crosby, Stills & Nash of Little River Band. 
By the '90s, Birtles, Shorrock and Gobl had all left the band. But Little River Band soldiered on. Today, they still tour internationally and actually gross millions - mostly with players who have no connection to their classic incarnation, singing all those old classic songs. 

As this article mentions, the longest serving current member is the bass player (who joined in the '80s, and has now become their lead vocalist). Meanwhile (this is where it gets weird!)... through a series of legal entanglements, the band's name is currently owned by a former guitar player who joined the band after their '70s glory years. He doesn't even tour with them anymore (but, presumably, still rakes in money when they do)!  
Meanwhile, the founding creators of Little River Band - Birtles, Shorrock and Gobl - have toured extensively over the past decade as a separate act! And, yes, they've played all those same classic songs (which they wrote) but can't use the Little River Band name! Birtles, Shorrock and Gobl sued Little River Band to be allowed to just mention their connection to their former band in press & marketing - and lost! 
Anyway, these lawsuits were front page news in Australia.  Food for thought for those going to Soaring Eagle next weekend... :)
>>>Gee, guess I was a couple of months premature with all my Little River Band stuff, eh?!?!  Folks are getting a lot of mileage out of it now!  (I'll bet Fallon ends up cancelling their appearance)  kk
You had it all first. Plus, no media outlet had the in-depth coverage that you provided on this LRB story.
Tom Cuddy
And then, after the formal announcement that the appearance had been cancelled ...
NBC should have flown in the two original singers (Goble and Shorrock) in from Aust. to perform with the Roots.  They could have legally introduced them as the original voices of LRB.