Vince Lovegrove, the Australian musician, journalist and long-time manager of the Divinyls, died in the early hours of Saturday morning when his car left the road near his home in Federal, in the northern New South Wales hinterland. He was 64.
Though he's far from a household name in his homeland, Lovegrove was instrumental in the career of one of Australia's most popular groups, the Divinyls, and played matchmaker between Bon Scott and the rock titans he would lead, AC/DC.
In the mid-'60s, Lovegrove formed the Valentines, a Perth pop band with whom he shared frontman duties with Scott. There were other bands he rolled with, but it was the Valentines who played the most critical role in music history by providing Scott the springboard to launch his career into the stratosphere with AC/DC. Lovegrove remained one of Scott's closest friends until the singer's death in 1980.
Vince Lovegrove (right) with Bon Scott on the cover of a fan-zine.
By 1981, Lovegrove had relocated to Sydney and had taken management duties for alternative rock group the Divinyls. Led by the live-wire singer Chrissie Amphlett, the Divinyls enjoyed a string of hits, none bigger than "I Touch Myself" which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1991. The Divinyls were enshrined in the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006. Lovegrove also served as tour manager for Jimmy Barnes.
As a music journalist, Lovegrove wrote an unauthorised biography on the life of Michael Hutchence, the contents of which were legally contested by Hutchence's partner Paula Yates.
Lovegrove is also remembered as an AIDS activist. Both his second wife, the American actor Suzi Sidewinder, and their son Troy died in 1987 and 1993, respectively, from complications related to AIDS. Their stories were told in the documentaries Suzi's Story and A Kid Called Troy. Lovegrove would commit his life to raising awareness that AIDS was not just a "gay disease".
He leaves behind daughters Lilli Rae and Holly, and sons Jason and Jo.