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Australian Rock Of Ages: Number 7 – Lynn Thorpe

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The Life and Time Stories of Australian Musicians, Performance Artists and those who commenced their their contributed to the Australian Music industry from the 1950’s through to the 1970’s. 

Australian Rock of Ages is a series of interviews conducted with artists, partners of artists, entrepreneurs, managers, and those who promoted and contributed to the Australian Music Industry.  All were born in Australia or settled in Australia during the halcyon years of the late 1950’s through to the late 1970’s. 

We present a different story each month.

This program features the story of Lynn Thorpe.

australian rock of ages: number 7 - lynne thorpe
Lynn Thorpe – [Click to enlarge]

Lynn’s story is another story from the Baby Boomer generation. This is those born in the decade post WWII and who are now entering their senior years.

Although not an artist, Lynn’s story was and forever will be, inextricably bound with the Australian music scene.

Born in the Melbourne bay side town of Portsea, Lynn’s early years consisted of sun, sand and a one-room classroom.  She experienced a freedom that previous generations didn’t have, and today’s generation are unable to have.

australian rock of ages: number 7 - lynne thorpe
A young Lynn with her dog – [Click to enlarge]

Lynn loved music from an early stage of life but was utterly taken by the music of the Beatles and similar groups during that period. A period when Australia was caught in a wave of music coming out of Britain. 

australian rock of ages: number 7 - lynne thorpe
A 1960’s Lynne- [Click to enlarge]

Like most of her generation she enjoyed life in the 60’s to its fullest. By the end of the 1960’s Lynn was working in the music industry, where she met one of Australia’s true Rock & Roll stars – Billy Thorpe.

australian rock of ages: number 7 - lynne thorpe
Billy: Bottom centre, with the early Aztecs – [Click to enlarge]

As we listen, we understand  initially it was a case of Billy being smitten by Lynne rather than vice versa.

In part 2, Lynn recalls the stories leading to the gradual coming together with her husband to be, Billy Thorpe. Stories of motor bikes and Billy lead to where they get together, have children and move to Los Angeles. 

australian rock of ages: number 7 - lynne thorpe
US show ticket – [Click to enlarge]

Lynn recalls being surrounded by Aussie ex-pats, mostly musicians and creative’s, and the fantastic parties she and Billy attended. These including one where Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, who were filming Grease, turned up in full Grease costume.

australian rock of ages: number 7 - lynne thorpe
Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta : Grease – [Click to enlarge]

Stories of massive earthquakes and a return to Australia are only topped by one story. That of the amazing trip she and Billy took to Morocco.

This led to Billy’s final album being recorded, an album that is arguably his best – Tangier.

australian rock of ages: number 7 - lynne thorpe
Tangier album cover – [Click to enlarge]
Part 3 finishes what has been quite a story featuring the Life & Times of 67-year-old Lynn Thorpe. Lynne continues to regale us with incredible tales of the time she and Billy had in Morocco.
She talks of her sadness that she would turn 50 in this wonderful place but not be around her family. She shares the story of how Billy not just surprised her, but literally blew her out of the desert. This was with a party to end all parties that included a BIG surprise.
australian rock of ages: number 7 - lynne thorpe
[Click to enlarge]
We listen to her talk about the development of what is Billy’s opus – the amazing “Tangiers” album.  An album hat was finished after Billy’s tragic passing in February 2007.
australian rock of ages: number 7 - lynne thorpe
[Click to enlarge]
It is also an album that has been highly praised and is an award winning album.
australian rock of ages: number 7 - lynne thorpe
[Click to enlarge]
It is difficult at times for Lynn to talk about Billy, for she is a private woman. Lynne has rarely shared her life story with anyone. Yet Lynn shares with us some of the pain she went through when Billy died.
It wasn’t easy to relive that pain but it was both cathartic for her. It also helps us, the listeners, understand more of this man who was far more than a brilliant musician. It becomes clear that Billy was both a loving father and a loving husband.

Lynn is a resilient woman who found peace with herself. Memories of those wonderful years with Billy remain very powerful. However, she is now experiencing the next stage of her life, finding peace with her new partner, Mick Hamilton.

australian rock of ages: number 7 - lynne thorpe
Mick & Lynn – [Click to enlarge]

Lynne Thorpe – Part 1


Lynne Thorpe -Part 2


Lynne Thorpe – Part 3


Previous stories in Australian Rock Of Ages can be found via these links:

Program #1 – Bob Bright: Click here

Program #2 – Normie Rowe: Click here

Program #3 – Mike Rudd: Click here

Program #4 – Phil Manning: Click here

Program #5 – Marcie Jones: Click here

Program #6 – Ross D. Wylie: Click here

 

 

 

Rob Greaves

I have been with the Toorak Times since April 2012. I worked as Senior Editor of the Toorak Times until 2023, when I retired. I now work as a special features contributor for both the Toorak Times and Tagg. I've been in the Australian music scene as a musician since 1964, and have worked in radio and TV and newspapers (when they were actually printed on paper) as well as working in the film industry, as the Film Unit manager on Homicide for several years. I also have extensive experience in audio production and editing.

Rob Greaves
Rob Greaves
I have been with the Toorak Times since April 2012. I worked as Senior Editor of the Toorak Times until 2023, when I retired. I now work as a special features contributor for both the Toorak Times and Tagg. I've been in the Australian music scene as a musician since 1964, and have worked in radio and TV and newspapers (when they were actually printed on paper) as well as working in the film industry, as the Film Unit manager on Homicide for several years. I also have extensive experience in audio production and editing.
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