The Story Of A Man Named Shirl The Life And Times Of Graeme "Shirley" Strachan (From Skyhooks)

1053 words - 5 pages

Million Dollar RiffThe story of a man named ShirleyGraeme Strachan was born in East Malvern on January 2, 1952. He went to Mt Waverley High, and decided to become a carpenter when the only subject he passed in form 4 was woodwork. He had scraped through the first two years of high school pretty smoothly, with the exception of non-favoured subjects such as French. "I used to cause teachers a lot of trouble sometimes, either through my arrogance, my mouth . . . but a lot of the teachers who gave you a hard time look back now and say, oh, he's alright, but at the time they hated your guts. Still, I reckon they were good teachers," he admits.By fourth form, Graeme was finding it hard ...view middle of the document...

He took jobs on fishing boats, and worked with shark fishers - anything to make some dough. But after a while down there, winter came along, and Shirl was broke, so he headed back up to Melbourne to work through the winter with his dad.Later that day, Shirley Strachan was a fully-fledged member of a new, promising and modestly ambitious Melbourne band by the name of Skyhooks.After Shirl had left Frame, and gone down to Phillip Island, the other members of the band went on the lookout for another singer. They found a replacement, and then consulted Greg Macainsh, a songwriter who had a little black notebook full of possible band names. He came up with the name Skyhooks.But their replacement singer didn't hang around for long, so when Greg heard the news that Shirley was coming back from Phillip Island, he decided to approach him about doing some more singing, and so the "new" Skyhooks was formed.Shirley really took on his role as singer - he performed excellently, using the stage and the audience. When Mushroom Records saw the group perform they were immediately interested. They tried to convince Graeme to drop the name "Shirley", but he refused. Shirl took on the role as the band's manager as well.In August, 1975, after an ARIA record of 16 weeks at no.1 nationally with their first album, Living in the Seventies, and the second album well-established at the top, presumably for a long stay, Skyhooks finally took a break. Their single at the time was All My Friends Are Getting Married, and that's exactly what Shirl did. During the band's break, he flew over to England to catch up with Sandy, and they ended up getting hitched.The headlines shocked the nation, and broke many young girls' hearts. But contrary...


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