Clive Shakespeare

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Clive Shakespeare
Three-quarter body shot of a 24-year-old man who is playing an electric guitar. He wears over shoulder length hair, a white shirt with chest bared and dark pants. His left hand is down the fret board, his right hand holds a plectrum and strums the strings.
Shakespeare, live performance at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney on 23 December 1973
Background information
Birth nameClive Richard Shakespeare
Born(1947-06-03)3 June 1947
Southampton, Hampshire, England
Died15 February 2012(2012-02-15) (aged 64)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
GenresPop, rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, producer
Years active1968–2012
LabelsInfinity, Festival

Clive Richard Shakespeare (3 June 1947 – 15 February 2012) was an English-born Australian pop guitarist, songwriter and producer. He was a co-founder of pop rock group Sherbet, which had commercial success in the 1970s including their number-one single, "Summer Love" in 1975. The majority of Sherbet's original songs were co-written by Shakespeare with fellow band member Garth Porter. Other Sherbet singles co-written by Shakespeare include "Cassandra" (peaked at number nine in 1973), "Slipstream" and "Silvery Moon" (both reached number five in 1974). In January 1976 Shakespeare left the band citing dissatisfaction with touring, pressures of writing and concerns over the group's finances. Shakespeare produced albums for other artists including Post by Paul Kelly in 1985. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002 and died of the disease in 2012, aged 64.


Clive Richard Shakespeare was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 3 June 1947.[1] With his father Cyril (born 1919), mother Eunice (born Gomes, 1918) and a sibling, he travelled to Australia in August 1964 via Castel Felice.[1][2] The family emigrated under the Government Assisted Passage Scheme to Sydney.[1] He trained as an advertising and marketing assistant, where he moved from office boy to production work on radio ads.[2][3]

As lead guitarist, he joined various bands including the Road Agents in 1968 in Sydney with Terry Hyland on vocals.[4] He was a founding member of Down Town Roll, which was a Motown covers band, alongside Adrian Cuff (organ), Frank Ma (vocals), Doug Rea (bass guitar), Pam Slater (vocals) and Danny Taylor on drums.[3][4]

In April 1969 Rea, Shakespeare (lead guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals)[3] and Taylor founded pop, rock band, Sherbet with Dennis Laughlin on vocals (ex-Sebastian Hardie Blues Band, Clapham Junction) and Sammy See on organ, guitar, and vocals (Clapham Junction).[5] See had left in October 1970 to join the Flying Circus and was replaced by New Zealand-born Garth Porter (Samael Lilith, Toby Jugg) who provided Hammond organ and electric piano.[5][6] Sherbet's initial singles were cover versions released by Infinity Records and distributed by Festival Records.[7]

From 1972 to 1976, Sherbet's main song writing team of Porter and Shakespeare were responsible for co-writing the lion's share of the band's original tracks,[3] which combined British pop and American soul influences. For their debut album, Time Change... A Natural Progression (December 1972), Shakespeare co-wrote five tracks including the top 30 single, "You've Got the Gun".[5][8] Other Sherbet singles co-written by Shakespeare include "Cassandra" (peaked at number nine in 1973), "Slipstream" and "Silvery Moon" (both reached number five in 1974), and their number-one hit "Summer Love" from 1975.[5][8] Sherbet followed with more top five singles, "Life" and "Only One You" / "Matter of Time".[8]

In January 1976, Shakespeare left Sherbet citing 'personal reasons'.[5] He later explained "I couldn't even go out the front of my house because there were all these girls just hanging on the fence [...] There was always a deadline for Garth and me - another album, another tour. When it did finally end, I was relieved more than anything because I had had enough. I left the band early in 1976 for reasons I don't want to discuss fully … but let's just say I wasn't happy about where all the money went".[9] The last single he played on was "Child's Play", which was a No. 5 hit in February.[8] Shakespeare was soon replaced by Harvey James (ex-Mississippi, Ariel).[5][6] In 1977, Shakespeare issued a solo single, "I Realize" / "There's a Way" on Infinity Records.[10]

Shakespeare set up Silverwood Studios and worked in record production, including co-producing Paul Kelly's debut solo album, Post (1985).[11]

Shakespeare rejoined Sherbet for reunion concerts including the Countdown Spectacular tour throughout Australia during September and October 2006. That year also saw the release of two newly recorded tracks on the compilation album, Sherbet – Super Hits, "Red Dress" which was written by Porter, Shakespeare, Daryl Braithwaite, James, Tony Mitchell, and Alan Sandow; and "Hearts Are Insane" written by Porter. In January 2011 Harvey James died of lung cancer – the remaining members except Shakespeare, who was too ill,[9] performed at Gimme that Guitar, a tribute concert for James on 17 February.[12][13]

Personal life[edit]

Shakespeare married Slava Maksymenko in 1969, however their relationship was kept low-profile due to Sherbet's fan-based consisting of young females.[2] The couple had two children before they divorced in 1993.[2] Shakespeare married a fine arts specialist Elizabeth Flynn in 2001, who had two adult children.[2]


Clive Shakespeare died on 15 February 2012, aged 64, from prostate cancer.[14][15] It had been diagnosed in 2002,[2] and the prognosis had initially been positive, however, the disease was listed as his cause of death.[15]


  • "I Realize" / "There's a Way" (1977)
  • At the Alpine – Richard & Wendy (1978) - producer
  • "Stop All Your Talking" – Tuesday Piranha (1983) - co-producer
  • "All You Wanted" – The Apartments (1984) - engineer
  • "Possession" – Leonard Samperi / "Give It Up" – David Virgin (June 1984) - engineer
  • "Forget" – John Kennedy (September 1984) - audio recorder
  • PostPaul Kelly (May 1985) - co-producer
  • "Ruby Baby" – Martin Plaza (1986) - co-producer
  • Everything – Let's Go Naked (April 1986) - engineer
  • Hide & Seek – Julie Blanchard (February 2012) - engineer


  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 4 January 2010. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  • Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara; Paul McHenry (2002) [1987]. The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1.[16] Note: [on-line] version established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition.
  1. ^ a b c "Item details: A1877, 5/7/1964 Castel Felice Shakespeare C R". National Archives of Australia. 13 August 2001. Retrieved 27 October 2022. Note: other sources have his birth year as 1949.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Guitarist, co-founder brought fizz to Sherbet". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 February 2012. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2022. Note: this source has birth year as 1949.
  3. ^ a b c d Kusko, Julie (26 March 1975). "Sherbet's Rock Is Cool and Sweet". The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 42, no. 43. p. 35. Retrieved 27 October 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ a b Spencer et al, (2007), Shakespeare, Clive entry.
  5. ^ a b c d e f McFarlane, 'Sherbet' entry at the Wayback Machine (archived 19 April 2004). Archived from the original on 19 April 2004. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  6. ^ a b Holmgren, Magnus; Sather, Gary; Hart, Alison; Cahill, Anthony. "Sherbet". Australian Rock Database. (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 25 March 2004. Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  7. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed. "Sherbet". Howlspace. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 14 April 2002. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  9. ^ a b Quinn, Karl (17 February 2012). "Last chord for Clive Shakespeare, Founding Member of Sherbet". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  10. ^ "45 Discography for Infinity Records – OZ". Global Dog Productions. 2008. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  11. ^ Holmgren, Magnus; Sather, Gary; Hart, Alison; Cahill, Anthony. "Paul Kelly". (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  12. ^ McCabe, Kathy (17 January 2011). "Cancer Kills Sherbet Pop Legend Harvey James". The Daily Telegraph. News Limited (News Corporation). Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  13. ^ Kruger, Debbie. "Gimme that Guitar". Debbie Kruger. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  14. ^ Cashmere, Paul (19 February 2012). "Sherbet Guitarist Clive Shakespeare Loses Battle with Cancer". Noise11. Retrieved 16 February 2012. Note: has birth year as 1949.
  15. ^ a b "Rocker Clive Shakespeare Dead at 62". Ltd. 19 February 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012. Note: incorrectly gives age at death as 62.
  16. ^ "Who's who of Australian rock/compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 4 January 2010.