Australian Rocker Billy Thorpe Dies
Wed, 28 Feb 2007 11:16:46
Billy Thorpe, a '60s Australian rock star who later achieved fame in America with the sci-fi/rock opera Children of the Sun, has died at the age of 60. He suffered a heart attack early today at Vincent Hospital in Sydney.
Born in England and raised in Brisbane, Australia, Thorpe enjoyed his first taste of rock stardom when he was just 17, forming a band called the Aztecs that had a string of hits Down Under from 1964 to 1974. By the time the group disbanded, they were playing to crowds as large as 200,000, performing a unique style of boogie rock that is widely credited as the inspiration behind AC/DC's sound.
Thorpe later resurfaced in America, where he recorded and released an ambitious concept album called Children of the Sun that went on to sell 500,000 copies. The album, released on the now-defunct Capricorn Records, is out of print.
In later years, Thorpe reformed the Aztecs, who became popular on the Australian oldies circuit. He is also the author of two memoirs, Sex, Thugs and Rock & Roll and Most People I Know.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff