Birtles Shorrock Goble

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Birtles Shorrock Goble
BSG perform at Castle Towers, Sydney, Australia
BSG perform at Castle Towers, Sydney, Australia
Background information
Also known asBSG
GenresPop rock, soft rock
Years active2002–2007
LabelsUniversal, Capitol
Associated actsLittle River Band
Axiom, Mississippi,
The Twilights, Zoot
Past membersBeeb Birtles
Glenn Shorrock
Graeham Goble

Birtles Shorrock Goble are an Australian pop/rock group composed of the three original singers and songwriters of Little River Band, namely Beeb Birtles, Glenn Shorrock and Graeham Goble. The members are known for their extensive writing and performance of hit songs and distinctive vocal harmonies. They are sometimes referred to by the initials BSG.


Birtles, Shorrock and Goble were vital members of popular Australian bands prior to forming Little River Band.

Birtles (born 28 November 1948 in The Netherlands) was part of Zoot and Mississippi. Shorrock (born 30 June 1944 in England) provided lead vocals for The Twilights and Axiom. Goble (born 15 May 1947 in Australia) was a member of several bands including Allison Gros, Drummond and Mississippi.

The concept of Little River Band was formulated in London in late 1974. The band was constituted in Melbourne and performed for the first time in Ballarat in March 1975.

Little River Band became one of Australia's first supergroups, achieving gold and platinum awards for multi-million international record sales, Top 10 hits in the US for five consecutive years (1978–1982), and headlining concerts worldwide. Songs written and sung by Birtles, Shorrock and Goble continue to be played around the world more than 45 years after they were recorded:

  • Birtles compositions include "Curiosity Killed the Cat", "Every Day of My Life", "Happy Anniversary" (co-written with David Briggs) and "Home on Monday" (co-written with Glenn Shorrock)
  • Shorrock compositions include "Help Is on Its Way", "Cool Change", "Emma", "Shut Down Turn Off" and "Home on Monday" (co-written with Beeb Birtles)
  • Goble compositions include "Reminiscing", "Lady", "Take It Easy on Me", "It's a Long Way There", "The Night Owls" and "The Other Guy".

Departure from Little River Band[edit]

Each of these three original members of Little River Band left the band at different times and for different reasons. Shorrock left first in 1982 to pursue a solo career and as a consequence of increasing tensions between band members. He was replaced as lead vocalist by John Farnham.

"Basically I was told that my commitment to the group was not 100% and they wanted more commitment from their lead singer. I said I wanted to do some other things and that the songs were running down. I thought we needed to broaden our horizons a bit but that wasn't to be at that time. I was technically sacked. Beeb, Graeham, and Derek [Pellicci] wanted John Farnham in. [I] was thinking about doing solo albums and some other things with my mates." Glenn Shorrock (2003)[1]

Birtles departed in 1983; his commitment as a born-again Christian had estranged him from some of the other band members and he was unhappy with the direction and management of the band.

"Being a Christian I couldn't lie to them: I had to honestly say, 'My heart isn't here anymore and for that reason I have to leave'. The moment I said that I felt the load lift." Beeb Birtles (1989)[2]

Goble retired from the band, first as a touring member (in 1989) and subsequently altogether by 1992.

"Little River Band no longer had a recording contract and there was no immediate possibility of recording. I always preferred recording to 'live work' and when the future of the band appeared to be just playing the greatest hits for the rest of its life, then I knew it was time for me to leave." Graeham Goble (1997)[3]

In 1986, Farnham left the band and LRB effectively split-up. Glenn Shorrock returned to a re-formed Little River Band in 1987. Shorrock left a second time in early 1996 over a dispute about touring.

"My fellow directors of Little River Band at the time wanted to do a five-month tour. I felt that a three-month commitment was sufficient. They had another agenda and I was informed by fax that they would be employing a substitute vocalist in my place. I attempted to stop them, I sought advice, stepped down, and accepted a financial settlement in lieu of earnings." Glenn Shorrock (2005)[4]

Following their departures from the band, Birtles, Shorrock and Goble continued to maintain careers in the music industry.

Birtles settled in the United States and continued to write songs. Along with Bill Cuomo, he formed a production company, Sonic Sorbet, and released a solo album Driven by Dreams in 2000.

Shorrock returned to his solo career, including stage shows, corporate gigs, and a career retrospective concert program. He released two solo albums, Spin Me 'Round and Meanwhile ... Acoustically.

Goble moved back to his passion: recording. Using some of the best session musicians available, he meticulously crafted four albums: Broken Voices, Nautilus, Stop and The Days Ahead, albums which reflected his thorough and fastidious recording technique.


On 28 May 2001, Shorrock and Goble were seated at the same table at the Australian APRA Awards. Old animosities were forgotten as they realised that their respective careers were inextricably linked.[5] A reunion was first discussed after record producer Paul Rodger approached Graeham Goble and Derek Pellicci with interest from Warner Music to produce a video concert like the Eagles' Hell Freezes Over. Subsequent telephone calls to Birtles and Shorrock confirmed that they, too, were not averse to a reunion.

The initial plans provided for Birtles, Shorrock, Goble, Pellicci, David Briggs, and George McArdle to re-form under the band name The Original Little River Band.[6] Those plans were quickly frustrated when former Little River Band manager Glenn Wheatley told Birtles, Shorrock, and Goble that things would be a lot easier if they reformed on their own.[citation needed] It was determined that the name Little River Band and associated logos had been transferred by Wheatley and Goble to a company owned by LRB lead guitarist Stephen Housden without the permission of the other members of the band.[7] (See Legal battles.)

Wheatley decided that the three singer/songwriters would henceforth appear as Birtles Shorrock Goble: The Founding Members of Little River Band. ("Not BSG," said Shorrock, "it sounds like something you get at a Chinese restaurant."[7])

After 7373 days apart, the first public performance of the reformed group occurred on 1 March 2002 at the Australian Grand Prix Ball. The hour-long set of twelve songs reprised many of their international hits.[8]

In March 2003 Birtles Shorrock Goble appointed Paul Rodger as their manager and signed a recording contract with Universal Music Australia.

Legal battles[edit]

The seeds of future legal conflict were sown in 1987: with a new line-up and new recording company, the members of Little River Band formed a "clean slate" company known as We Two Pty Ltd. The five band members at that time were made equal shareholders.[4] Band assets, including the name and logo, were transferred into this company. Goble acknowledges that mistakes were made:

"The LRB name was never 'for sale'. It was lost to Stephen Housden because of a legal document that transferred the name to We Two Pty. Ltd. The name should have been licensed, not transferred. We were ill-advised and totally unaware of what we were leaving behind." Graeham Goble (2005)[4]

As the other members left over time, by 1997 Stephen Housden was the sole remaining member and ownership of We Two Pty Ltd (including rights to the name Little River Band) passed to him. He formed a new band which, with various personnel changes, is called the Little River Band and continues to tour North America.

When Birtles, Shorrock and Goble initially proposed to re-form as The Original Little River Band, Housden asserted his rights to the name and took the matter to the Federal Court of Australia. In an out-of-court settlement, it was agreed that Birtles, Shorrock and Goble would not use the trade mark (name) or logo as the name of their band, or in the name of their band, but "shall be entitled to refer prominently but always only in a descriptive way in promotional and advertising material, to the fact that they were members of the original line up of the Little River Band".[9]

Loss of access to the LRB name for Birtles, Shorrock and Goble came as a shock to many fans and received considerable attention in the Australian media.[7][10][11]

The settlement would be tested repeatedly, including the blocking[12] of a Little River Band retrospective DVD put together by Birtles, Shorrock and Goble.[13] Housden also challenged the manner in which BSG described their link to LRB in promotional material and recordings. Further legal action ensued in Australia[14] and in the United States.[15]

When the Full Circle DVD was released in the United States, a marquee reference to Little River Band on the cover was digitally altered to "?????? ????? ????".[16]


With Birtles residing in the United States and members having solo commitments, opportunities for touring have been limited. Birtles Shorrock Goble have presented more than 70 live performances since 2002 including seven Australian tours, corporate events, and television shows.[17]

In August–September 2007 Birtles Shorrock Goble toured Australia with the Countdown Spectacular 2, which reacquainted Australian fans with many of the outstanding performers who appeared on the iconic television program Countdown. Birtles Shorrock Goble were given penultimate billing before Rick Springfield, Birtles' former bandmate in Zoot. BSG performed a medley consisting of eight of their most famous hits.

Birtles Shorrock Goble's most recent performance was on 27 September 2007 as part of the 2007 AFL Grand Final.[17]


Since 2007, there have been no further Birtles Shorrock Goble shows. While there has never been an official announcement of Birtles Shorrock Goble disbanding, when asked in 2010 if they would perform again, Shorrock replied "No... The door is locked, but I have the key... I don't feel the need to go back and be married to those guys again. We had a stormy marriage [but] a great marriage."[18]

Full Circle[edit]

Since reforming, Birtles Shorrock Goble have released a major live DVD and CD. Recorded over two nights at The Forum in Melbourne, Australia, before packed houses, Full Circle showcased all of the hits made famous by the singers and songwriters of Little River Band, together with album tracks performed during a mid-concert acoustic set. New songs written by each of the members were also introduced.

Full Circle was produced by Birtles Shorrock Goble manager Paul Rodger and mixed by longtime supporter and friend Michael Costa at Stream AV Studios in Melbourne.


Beeb Birtles – Guitar, vocals Producer and Manager – Paul Rodger Tour/Production Manager – Ross Ferguson
Glenn Shorrock – Lead vocals Associate Producer – Michael Costa Lighting Designer – Chris McGuffin
Graeham Goble – Guitar, vocals Mix Engineer – Michael Costa Lighting Assistant – Jeff Wickenden
David Beck – Drums Camera Director – Jon Olb Stage Monitors – Sid Pittlik
Simon Hosford – Lead guitar On Line Video Editor – Paul "Sinko" Sinkovich Stage Technicians – Mark Tinson, Josh Goble, and James Laydon
Alejandro Vega – Percussion Recording and Front of House Engineer – Ern Rose Extra Video Footage – Matt Orr
Jason Vorherr – Bass guitar Assistant Recording Engineer and Music Editor – Haydn Buxton Still Photographer – Serge Thomann
Dorian West – Keyboards, trumpet, flugelhorn, steel guitar, piano, accordion Digico/Digitrax D5 Operator – David Williams Master of Ceremonies – Barry Bissell


Release Track listing Reviews and comments
Countdown Spectacular Live 2 (CD)

Australian release:
24 November 2007
Liberation Music

Countdown Spectacular Live 2 (DVD)
Australian release:
24 November 2007
Liberation Music

Little River Band medley:

1. It's A Long Way There
2. Reminiscing
3. Everyday Of My Life
4. Curiosity Killed The Cat
5. The Night Owls
6. Cool Change
7. Lonesome Loser
8. Help Is On Its Way

An included compilation disc features the original song (CD) and video clip (DVD) of "Lonesome Loser".

"Legal complications mean Little River Band's original trio of Graeham Goble, Glenn Shorrock, and Beeb Birtles can't use the band name even as they re-create perfectly those harmonies on the songs they wrote."[19]

"By using a medley format, these guys managed to cram in more hits than anyone else, and demonstrated some fine vocal prowess."[20]

Full Circle (DVD)

US release:
7 June 2005
Capitol Records

Full Circle (DVD)
Australian release:
6 October 2003
Universal Music

1. Full Circle
2. It's A Long Way There
3. Man on Your Mind
4. Curiosity Killed The Cat
5. Days on the Road
6. Everyday of My Life
7. Face in the Crowd
8. Photogenic
9. Happy Anniversary
10. Take It Easy on Me
11. Soul Searching
12. Prelude in A Minor
13. Mistress of Mine
14. "Lady"
15. Heart & Soul
16. The Night Owls
17. The Other Guy
18. Seine City
19. I'll Always Call Your Name
20. Home on Monday
21. Deep Water
22. The Machine Room
23. In The City
24. Reminiscing
25. Parallel Lines
26. It's Cold Out Tonight
27. Help Is on Its Way
28. Cool Change
29. Lonesome Loser
30. Just Say That You Love Me

"Full Circle is an excellent concert experience on DVD, and deserves a place in the collection of every music lover – it will certainly be receiving repeated viewings in my house!" – MichaelDVD review

Full Circle (CD)

US release:
7 June 2005
Capitol Records

Australian release:
6 October 2003
Universal Music

1. Full Circle
2. It's A Long Way There
3. Man on Your Mind
4. Curiosity Killed The Cat
5. Everyday of My Life
6. Happy Anniversary
7. Take It Easy on Me
8. Prelude in A Minor
9. Mistress of Mine
10. "Lady"
11. The Night Owls
12. The Other Guy
13. Seine City
14. Home on Monday
15. Reminiscing
16. Help Is on Its Way
17. Cool Change
18. Lonesome Loser

On the Australian release, "Take It Easy on Me" is placed between "Lady" and "The Night Owls".

"Despite the billing on the cover, this should be filed in record collections under Little River Band." – review

The Spirit of Christmas

Australian release:
November 2002
Sony BMG

3. O Holy Night

The Spirit of Christmas is a compilation album which is released every Christmas by The Salvation Army in Australia with all proceeds going to their Red Shield Appeal, which supports at-risk children and youth. The album features carols from Australia's favourite artists and musicians. It is available through Myer stores.

Glenn Shorrock has previously recorded songs for The Spirit of Christmas 1993, The Spirit of Christmas 1994, The Spirit of Christmas 1998 and The Spirit of Christmas 2000.

The recording of "O Holy Night" marked the first time that Birtles, Shorrock, and Goble had recorded together for more than twenty years. Their last combined effort was the Time Exposure album by Little River Band.

"O Holy Night" also appears on the compilation album "Holiday Masters: It's Christmas Again" available for download at Wal-Mart. Also on that album is Graeham Goble's Broken Voices rendition of "Mary's Boy Child".


Released in 1978
Capitol Records

MFP, The Netherlands

Volume 1
Side 1 (of original record)

1. Ford's Bridge (a)
2. Kings of the World (b)
3. Will I (d)
4. Can't Let Go of This Feeling (a)
5. Feel Alone (b)
6. Fool's Gold (a)

Side 2 (of original record)

1. Arkansas Grass (a)
2. Where in the World (c)
3. A Little Ray of Sunshine (a)
4. All Through The Day (b)
5. Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow (a)

a) Brian Cadd / Don Mudie
b) Graham Goble
c) Graham Goble / Beeb Birtles
d) Beeb Birtles / Daryl Cotton

Volume 2
1. Samantha
2. Baby Bear
3. Take It Or Leave It
4. All The Days
5. Early Morning
6. Mansfield Hotel
7. Country Pickin'
8. Weaver of Life
9. Who Am I Gonna See
10. Once A Month Country Race Day

From the liner notes:

"This album features Shorrock, Birtles, and Goble on some of the finest material to emerge from their pre-Little River Band period. Of value to historian and fan alike, these tracks provide a key to the sounds that have made Little River Band a favorite of audiences throughout the world."
Glenn Shorrock was in Axion while Beeb Birtles and Graham Goble were in the band Mississippi.

Released originally as two separate albums on vinyl (Volume 1 and Volume 2), a compilation CD was released in 2000.


Birtles Shorrock Goble have achieved awards for songwriting, live performance, and recording sales since they reformed:

  • 2003Gold Award for sales of the Full Circle live concert DVD[21]
  • 2004 – Inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame with other members of the Classic Lineup of Little River Band[22]
  • 2004Australian Entertainment Award for Classic Rock Performers of the Year[23]
  • 2005 – Australian Club Entertainment (ACE) Award for Best Original Music Group[24]
  • 2006 – Inducted into the Australian Songwriters Association Hall of Fame[21]


Since forming in 2002, Birtles Shorrock Goble have used a small nucleus of support musicians who have mastered the original LRB sound.[25]

  • Lead guitar
  • Bass guitar
    • Jason Vorherr 2002–2007
  • Guitar
    • Joshua Goble 2003, 2007
    • Nathan Goble 2007
  • Drums
    • John Watson 2002
    • Angus Burchall 2002, 2006–2007
    • Dave Beck 2002–2005
  • Keyboard
    • Stewart Wilkinson 2002
    • Dorian West 2002–2005, 2007
    • Scott Griffiths 2006
  • Percussion
    • James Richardson 2002
    • Alejandro Vega 2002–2007

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Phillips, Greg (2003). "BSG – Birtles, Shorrock and Goble". Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  • Cashmere, Paul (2003). "Hang On, BSG Is on Its Way". Archived from the original on 1 August 2003. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  • Kruger, Debbie (2003) Haaang On, BSG is on its way..., Melbourne Weekly Magazine, 6 July 2003
  • Cashmere, Paul (2003). "Birtles, Shorrock, Goble". Archived from the original on 17 December 2003. Retrieved 3 September 2012.


  1. ^ Cashmere, Paul (2003). "Hang On, BSG Is on Its Way". Archived from the original on 1 August 2003. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  2. ^ Forbes, Clark (1989) Whispering Jack, Hutchinson Australia, (ISBN 0-09-169441-8).
  3. ^ Aue, Frankie (1997) A web-interview with Mr Goble Archived 20 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine 22 July 1997.
  4. ^ a b c Miller, Chuck (2005) Born in the Sign of Water Archived 23 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine Goldmine, 4 February 2005.
  5. ^ Birtles Shorrock Goble: Welcome! Archived 25 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Te Koha, Nui (13 December 2001). "Legends of rock to return". Archived from the original on 31 May 2002. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  7. ^ a b c Elder, Bruce (2002) Help is far away for a famous band Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 November 2002.
  8. ^ Birtles, Beeb (2002). "BSG 2002 Archives". Archived from the original on 7 July 2003. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  9. ^ Federal Court of Australia (2002) We Two Pty Ltd v Shorrock (2002)
  10. ^ Gregory, Peter (2002) The Little River Band, a name banned Archived 20 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine The Age, 13 June 2002
  11. ^ McFadyen, Warwick (2002) A river too big to cross Archived 28 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Age, 16 June 2002
  12. ^ Cashmere, Paul (14 October 2004). "Little River Band DVD Delayed Over Legal Issues". Archived from the original on 20 October 2004.
  13. ^ Raymond, Jean-Luc (2004) Little River Band: It's A Long Way There Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, 9 October 2004
  14. ^ Federal Court of Australia (2005) We Two Pty Ltd v Shorrock (No 2) (2005)
  15. ^ Cashmere, Paul (27 July 2005). "Birtles, Shorrock and Goble Settle With Steve Housden". Archived from the original on 29 July 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  16. ^ "Full Circle". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  17. ^ a b Reminiscing: Live Shows Birtles Shorrock Goble Archived 21 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Dow, Steve (6 June 2010). "Shorrock and awe". Archived from the original on 16 February 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  19. ^ Zuel, Bernard (21 August 2007). "Ageing rockers show how to pack a paunch". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2008.
  20. ^ Gusworld (18 August 2007). "Countdown Spectacular 2, Newcastle: Medleys, momentum and missed opportunities". Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2008.
  21. ^ a b Reminiscing: Awards Archived 21 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Sams, Christine (2004) ARIAs reunite Little River Band Archived 7 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 September 2004.
  23. ^ Cashmere, Paul (1 July 2004). "Birtles, Shorrock, Goble Score A Mo". Archived from the original on 1 July 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  24. ^ "ACE Awards 2005". Archived from the original on 10 March 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  25. ^ Grafton, Julius (2002) Not the Little River Band – Live in Sydney CX magazine Archived 25 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine, 29 November 2002.