Beeb Birtles

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Beeb Birtles
Birth name Gerard Bertelkamp
Born (1948-11-28) 28 November 1948 (age 65)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Genres Folk rock, pop rock, soft rock
Instruments Vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Years active 1966–present
Labels Columbia, RCA, EMI, Capitol, MCA, Universal, Sonic Sorbet
Associated acts Zoot
Little River Band
Birtles & Goble
Birtles Shorrock Goble

Beeb Birtles (born Gerard Bertelkamp, 28 November 1948, in Amsterdam, Netherlands), is a Dutch/Australian musician, one of the founding members of the Little River Band.

Early life[edit]

Birtles emigrated to Australia with his parents in 1959,[1] settling in Adelaide. He discovered a passion for music while in high school. During his high school days, he was nicknamed "BB Eyes", after a Dick Tracy character, which shortly thereafter became "BB". After high school, he formed his first major band, Zoot, moving to Melbourne. At this time, he adopted his professional name; bandmate Darryl Cotton shortened his nickname to "Beeb", and he anglicised the first two syllables of his legal surname to "Birtles".


1966 Times Unlimited
Down The Line
1967 Zoot
1971 Frieze
1972 Mississippi
1975 Little River Band

(including Birtles & Goble 1978–1980)
1983 Beeb Birtles
2002 Birtles Shorrock Goble
2007 Beeb Birtles

(including reformed Zoot in 2011)

Zoot broke up in 1971, and Birtles and Cotton performed together as Frieze for a year. Then, in 1972, Birtles was asked to join the band Mississippi, which like Zoot had moved from Adelaide to Melbourne. After Mississippi disbanded in 1975, band members Birtles, Graeham Goble, and Derek Pellicci recruited Glenn Shorrock and Ric Formosa, plus manager Glenn Wheatley, and formed the Little River Band.

After a run of major international success in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Birtles left the Little River Band in 1983. He had married Donna Brucks, a United States woman who was the assistant to LRB's booking agent in 1979. They settled in Melbourne and had two daughters, Hannah and Emmie. During this period Birtles produced a number of albums, including the Steve Grace record "Children of the Western World", the first Australian Christian artist album to be certified gold.

In 1992, Birtles moved to the U.S. with his wife and children. They briefly settled in Donna's hometown of Jefferson City, Missouri, before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, where he and his wife still live (both daughters have since graduated from college in the U.S.). In 1998 Birtles and Bill Cuomo established Sonic Sorbet, a music production company. Sonic Sorbet has produced albums for a number of recording artists, including Birtles' first solo album Driven by Dreams, released in 2000.[2]

From 2002 to 2007, Birtles joined with Shorrock and Goble to form Birtles Shorrock Goble: The Original Voices of the Little River Band. (They were not entitled to use the name Little River Band as it was legally owned by another former band member.) During this period, Birtles won numerous further music awards, including a gold award for the DVD Full Circle, Classic Rock Performers of the Year[3] and induction into the Australian Songwriters Association Hall of Fame. In 2004 Birtles and the other members of the classic lineup of Little River Band were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.[4]

In 2011 Birtles joined the other original members of Zoot to perform and record. The reunion was cut short by the death of Darryl Cotton in 2012.


Birtles continues to write and produce music in Nashville.


  1. ^ "BERTELKAMP GERARD". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Driven by Dreams". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Cashmere, Paul (1 July 2004). "Birtles, Shorrock, Goble Score A Mo". Archived from the original on 2004-07-01. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Sams, Christine (2004) ARIAs reunite Little River Band The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 September 2004.

External links[edit]