Song of the Week - 'Since You've Been Gone' - Billy Thorpe
Three years after Billy's sudden death in 2007 the project he had been working on since 2000 was finally released in October 2010. I first heard about this album at a Thorpie and the Aztecs concert on the Gold Coast in 2005. He played a few of the tracks near the end of the show and they were vocally and musically impressive. I've always been a Billy Thorpe fan. He was a genuine rocker, could actually play a guitar and lived a colourful life that many people knew about through his two biographies 'Sex and thugs and rock n' roll' and 'Most People I Know Think That I'm Crazy'.
Whatever some people might have thought of Thorpie he was the real deal. A genuine talent, a singer, song writer and entertainer. I'll never forget his live shows. The music was amazing, his stories hilarious. There can ever be only one Thorpie. To get a taste of what Billy was like you can listen to his 'Solo: The last recordings' album, recorded in The Basement in Sydney in December 2006. It was his last 'live' album. On that recording Billy also tells the story about how he ended up in Morocco and what happened there that he underwent this musical epiphany.
But back to Tangier. Apparently he left behind about 900 hours of recordings, finished and partly finished for the Tangier project. He had a vision to take it to the world as a musical adventure. A search for musical treasure and intrigue in a place of history such as Morocco is. His good mate Paul Chugg got together with other people in the industry who loved Thorpie and Tangier thankfully came to life. Jo downloaded the album for me as a surprise and I listened to it for the first time one afternoon in late October running along the edge of Lake Geneva. Man it brought tears to my eyes. Such a beautiful gift to leave behind and definitely one of Thorpie's finest hours.
'Since You've Been Gone' is my standout on the album. It has a powerful vocal, a life story lyric and a resonating guitar that will hook you every time you play it. And on top of that, for me, this album doesn't have one weak moment. You can order or download the album through the Billy- Thorpe website URL under the Tangier album cover above.
To see Thorpie singing 'Since You've Been Gone' and including some memories of his many manifestations, click on the Youtube clip that follows:
Here is also a film clip done by Australian actor Noah Taylor for the title track of the album, Tangier.
With people like Billy Thorpe on your side it was always great to be an Australian. And it still is.