Australian-raised, international success stories Helen Reddy, Icehouse, the Divinyls and Rose Tattoo were inducted Aug. 16 into the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Assn.) Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne.
Also inducted were rock band Daddy Cool, whose debut single “Eagle Rock” stayed at No. 1 in the Australian singles chart for eight weeks in the early 1970s, and guitarist Lobby Loyde, whose high decibel blues-rock inspired AC/DC, Kurt Cobain and a generation of garage bands.
During the gala, the Divinyls played their first show in eight years after being inducted by actor Hugh Jackman.
Icehouse was joined by Cold Chisel guitarist Ian Moss. Jet performed Rose Tattoo’s “We Can’t Be Beaten.” Actress Toni Colette inducted Reddy, after Aussie singers the Clymont Sisters and Vanessa Amorosi performed two of her numbers.
It was an emotional moment for Reddy who, despite wracking up 15 million albums worldwide and being the first Aussie to win a Grammy for her feminist anthem “I Am Woman,” always felt ignored by the Australian industry.
“Thank you for welcoming me home,” Reddy said tearfully. After retiring in 2002, she returned to Sydney after 30 years residing in Los Angeles.
Last year, the stand-alone ARIA Hall Of Fame was launched to “get through more artists when they’re still with us,” says the show’s executive producer Mark Pope.
To date, ARIA has inducted 39 artists, including AC/DC, Olivia Newton-John and Dame Joan Sutherland, into its Hall of Fame. Prior to last year, artists were inducted during a segment of the 19-year-old annual ARIA awards.
Label executives see the Hall of Fame event as a good marketing vehicle for their acts. EMI Music Australia followed new-hits sets from Reddy and the Divinyls with “medium promotion,” says managing director John O’Donnell.
“The Hall of Fame is definitely a great event to market acts and releases around, as well as paying the artists and their catalogs the respect that they deserve,” O’Donnell says.
“Last year’s induction of Split Enz into the Hall of Fame was a real example of how it can revitalize interest in an artist, leading to increased sales in everything Finn Brothers-related.”
Split Enz, led by brothers Tim and Neil Finn, reunited for a tour of Australia in June/July for promoter Frontier Touring.
Melbourne-based reissues label Aztec Music released a Daddy Cool DVD last October, and has released two of Lobby Loyde’s albums.
“Our releases are promoted through word of mouth, so we expect that to increase as a result of (Loyde’s) induction,” says managing director Gil Matthews.