Friday, July 29, 2016 03:51:07 PM
After reading Billy's book recently and realising his first
anniversary of his death was coming up after he died of a heat attack (28
February 2007) I just had to do this page. Billy was born on the 29th March
1946, gee we were born in the same year. Yikes!
From his book it is little wonder he lasted as long as he did. the book was
revetting, I just couldn't put it down.
Born William Richard Thorpe in Manchester, Billy Thorpe and his parents
emigrated to Australia in 1955, arriving in Melbourne, Victoria and settling in
In 1963, Thorpe moved to Sydney and strutted his magic at Surf City in Kings
Cross, with his band the Aztecs. In 1964, The Aztecs released their first
single, "Blue Day" "Over the Rainbow", "Mashed Potato" and "Sick and Tired".
The original Aztecs split from Thorpe at the end of 1965 over a a money issue,
so he recreated another band with the same name The Aztecs
New successful records were "I Told The Brook", and "Twilight Time". In March
1966, Channel 7 gave Billy and The Aztecs the chance for his own show called
It's All Happening and the show ended 1967 with his group folding up once again.
He remained low till his bankruptcy in 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria. With the
encouragement of former Purple Hearts guitarist Lobby Loyde commenced playing
electric guitar and emerged as an a top Aussie rocker.
In 1972 Billy did a show at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl during the Moomba
Festival resulted in 250,000 people filling the park, to catch the Aztecs.
Forcing police to close the roads around the venue. Later that year his "Most
People I Know Think That I’m Crazy", was such a big hit and now he was again enjoying his fame once
In 1975, the third version of the Aztecs broke up, and in 1976, Thorpe relocated
to Los Angeles in the United States with Lyn and his daughters.
He married his long time partner Lynn in Las Vegas at the Hitchin Post on
Valentine's Day in 1979. On Thanksgiving Day in New York 1979 he was admitted to
Bellevue Mental Hospital for the Criminally Insane after a drug episode and as
he had no ID on him over this holiday period it was the only place they could
take him. This was a very dark time for him, just trying to get out of there.
Read his book Most People I Know (Think That I'm Crazy).
Billy returned to Australia in June 1996, where he authored two autobiographies:
Sex and Thugs and Rock 'n' Roll (1997) and Most People I Know (Think That I'm
Crazy) (1998). A MUST READ!
Billy Thorpe the rich musician is just so far off the mark, such a myth.
The Tangiers album, would put him back on top, and it was going to be his time
for Lynn, Rusty & Lauren. Sadly this just didn't get up and going for him.
After suffering from chest pains at his home on 28 February 2007, and was taken
by an ambulance to St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney around 2.00 am after having
a massive heart attack. He went into cardiac arrest around half an hour later,
and the hospital staff unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate him. His family
was by his side when he died. Thorpe was 60 years old.
Billy died without leaving a will and his friends rallied around to organise a
Billy Thorpe benefit concert was held on 1st March 2007 at the Sydney
Entertainment Centre to help Lynn struggling with finances after his death to
raise money for the family. That concert a memorial for him by his
friends, family and fans was something else.
Possibly the stress of trying to get back on track financially and trying to
record the album was the final blow. The financial backers opted out a month
before he died. He had actually suffered a heart attack nine months earlier and
also had suffered a heart attack two years ago.
After Billy died
Lynn Thorpe and daughters Rusty 34, and Lauren 29 moved out of the home for
emotional reasons. Lynn was totally shattered.
In some confusion the apartment
she moved in to, the rent was not paid in advance as she had thought till April 15 and she had to
move out once again without any money.
Billy your infectious smile and personality will always be etched in Aussie Rock
and your music is left for us to enjoy forever. Rest now in Rock & Rock Heaven
with many who have left before and after you. Cannot believe you have been gone
for nearly 12 months. Thorpie your a legend.