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Little River Band

In 1981 LRB were at a stalemate. Record sales were declining. Tension was building between Birtles, Goble and Shorrock. Their personalities and drive were different.
It was at the stage where only one band member at a time was in the studio recording because no one was talking to anyone else. At a band meeting one day Beeb Birtles told Shorrock that he could no longer work with him.
Others supported his position. Glenn Wheatley fought hard for lead singer Glenn Shorrock to stay; he believed there would be no LRB without Shorrock.

As Glenn Shorrock left that last band meeting he turned and said, "I think you should get Farnham". Birtles was not happy when the others began discussions about John being a replacement for Glenn Shorrock. Graham Goble and Dereck Pellicci were keen on having John join the band. Birtles was eventually outvoted.

In February, Glenn Wheatley telephoned John. The Farnhams were on holidays at Sorrento, south of Melbourne. It was 10.30 at night, and Glenn offered John the position with LRB. John put down the phone, opened a bottle of wine and he and Jill talked about it for most of the night, until 4.00 am or so. John had seen LRB perform and believed them to be one of the best live bands in the world.

On the face of it, LRB seemed to offer the Farnham's financial security, a regular and possibly handsome income and fast track back into mainstream rock and roll. Certainly it would gain him the credibility he desired. John returned to Melbourne that morning and attended a band meeting at 11.00. He was in the studio by noon.

John was paid nothing to join LRB or to record albums.
Their first album, The Net, was already written and John just had to record vocals. Success was evading the band, however based on their previous success Capitol Records continued to fund the band for albums and tours. Capitol Records, had paid the band in advance so consequently all the royalties went back into paying the advances. LRB needed another hit.

To earn some extra money John did vocal tracks for the movies "Fletch," "The Slugger's Wife," "Savage Streets," "Voyage of the Rock Aliens" and "Rad".

John made no money from the three albums he recorded with LRB; The Net, Playing To Win and No Reins. In fact John was only able to repay his debts when Whispering Jack became a success.

In an interview with Channel Seven, John said, "I'll be better off leaving, rather than putting myself under pressure that I've created."

It had became apparent to the band that John was intending to leave and "Playing to Win," the lead single from No Reins began having authorship disputes. The roylaties for the song are still divided with different shares going to each of those who contributed.

After four years of giving it his 'best shot', with a total of nine singles and three albums, John decided to leave LRB and to again try his luck as a solo performer. His years with LRB had given him valuable exposure and experience he could not have gained without them. He learnt what it was like to tour 'big' and what it takes to be at the top.

John was capable of that and more......


Albums recorded with LRB

1983 - The Net

1984 - Playing To Win

1986 - No Reins

Also Released

1982 - Greatest Hits Vol.2

1988 - Too Late To Load

1988 - The Farnham Years


Playing To Win Album