Sherbet Guitarist Clive Shakespeare Dies
Clive Shakespeare, lead guitarist and founding member of Australian '70s glam-rockers Sherbet, has lost his battle with cancer. Shakespeare passed away Feb. 15, aged 62.
Shakespeare originally formed the hitmaking pop group in 1969. With frontman Daryl Braithwaite on vocals, Sherbet landed a string of domestic No. 1s and enjoyed a top 5 hit in Britain.
British-born Shakespeare co-wrote the band's first domestic No. 1, "Summer Love" from 1975, and co-penned "You've Got the Gun," "Cassandra," "Slipstream" and "Silvery Moon."
But he left the band just before they enjoyed their biggest - and only - taste of international success. That hit was the 1976 song "Howzat," which peaked at No. 1 on the Australian singles chart and topped out at No. 4 Britain, where it was released by Epic. "Howzat" enjoyed a 10 week stay on the Official U.K. Singles Chart.
Shakespeare was due to rejoin bandmates Braithwaite, Garth Porter, Tony Mitchell and Alan Sandow to play a February 2011 benefit concert for the man who replaced him in the band, Harvey James.
James, however, passed away from lung cancer in the weeks leading up to the show.
Sherbert was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1990, just the third year of the annual celebration.
Roger Daltrey's Australian Tour Cancelled
Roger Daltrey's tour of Australia has been canned. Chugg Entertainment and Bluesfest Touring were promoting the Who frontman's four Australian dates, which were meant to start April 9 with an appearance at the Byron Bay Bluesfest. But those shows have been canceled, with the promoters citing "unforeseen scheduling conflicts."
Daltrey was to perform The Who's legendary 1969 rock opera "Tommy" from start to finish, on a tour which would have visited Sydney, Melbourne and the country's capital, Canberra.
Australian Government Holds Piracy Meetings
Australia's Federal Government has reportedly held another round of secret meetings with content industries and Internet service providers.
There's speculation that a "graduated response" was one of the topics up for discussion, though everyone at the meeting is staying mum on the proceedings.
The first meeting in the series held by the Attorney General's Department last September resulted in the announcement of an inquiry into the Safe Harbour schemes, a result which could best be described as a "win" for the content industries.
Though neighboring New Zealand has implemented a "graduated response" system, Australia has yet to cross that particular bridge. Last December, the Communications Alliance -- an organization representing Telstra Bigpond, iiNet, Optus, iPrimus and Internode -- proposed an 18-month "notice and discovery" trial, which would see copyright infringers targeted with educational and warning letters.
It missed the target, copyright owners say. At the time, Vanessa Hutley, spokesperson for ACIG, which represents ARIA and the Music Industry Piracy Investigations unit, said the process lacks balance and "falls well short of the expectations we had had for an open, balanced and fair solution."
Whether the recent talks manage to realign those expectations, only time will tell.
JB Hi-Fi Expands Into Instruments
Australia's entertainment juggernaut JB Hi-Fi is expanding its inventory into music instruments, after a reported 9.4% dip in first half profits. The Melbourne-based group will stock guitars, keyboards and electronic drum kits in roughly half its 165 stores from March, a move which the group reckons could generate an extra Australian $50-$100 million (US $53-$106 million).
Last Christmas wasn't much fun for JB. For the six months ending Dec. 31, comparative store sales were down 2.2% and EBIT was down 4.9% to Australian $120.7 million ($128.75 million), in line with company expectations. Total sales were up 6.7% to Australian $1.775 billion ($1.89 billion).
In a statement this week, JB CEO Terry Smart said the "Now" streaming service, which launched last December, was "gaining momentum" and should benefit from the launch of its mobile app in the coming weeks.
The company is continuing on its expansion path and is aiming to build its empire to 214 stores - adding 53 new outlets - in the coming years.