Graeham Goble - guitar, vocals; Beeb Birtles - guitar, vocals; Derek Pellicci - drums; Wayne Nelson - bass,, ocals; Mal Logan - keyboards; Glen Shorrock - lead vocals, guitar; Stephen Housden - lead guitar
This show, recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour during the Little River Band's 1981 U.S. tour, was captured shortly before the popular Aussie group underwent a considerable change. Glen Shorrock, who founded the group and was lead singer for all the recordings up to this point, would soon leave, to be replaced by singer/songwriter/ guitarist John Farnham. Originally drummer Derek Pellicci, who had been sidelined for several years while he recovered from a serious burn injury, was back on board, replacing longtime fill-in, Geoff Cox. Because the band had a number of multiple harmony vocal hits, changing lead vocalists had little impact on the band's considerable American and international following. They kept having hits; Shorrock launched a solo career that fizzled.
The biggest change would be musical. Shortly after this recording, the group would shed its AOR sound and opt to move in a much harder rocking direction. This show features "The Night Owls," a song that was released as a single and became one of the group's latter-day hits. It was sung by new member, Wayne Nelson, the band's bassist and its sole American member.
The Little River Band was formed in 1975 in Melbourne. Several of the members had been in a country-rock band called Mississippi, which was very vocally-driven. Other members had come from a '60s pop band called Zoot, which also featured another Aussie future rock star, Rick Springfield. Lead singer Glen Shorrock had been the lead vocalist in another successful Australian band named Twilights. The new group settled on the name after some of the members saw a road sign for the Victorian township of Little River. The group became an instant hit in their native country, and by 1976, was signed to EMI's Capitol Records. By trimming the 8-minute album track, "It's A Long Way There," down to a manageable four-minute single, the band had its first U.S. hit.
Other hits would follow between 1977 and 1981. "Reminiscing" (reaching #3, their biggest hit), "Lady," "Lonesome Loser," "Cool Change," "The Night Owls" and "Take It Easy on Me" were all Billboard Top 10 hits. In all, the group had 13 Top 20 hits, and sold over 25 million records. They began to have personnel changes soon after the hits started coming. Gradually most of the original members left or were replaced, with Shorrock being forced out in the late 1982, when the others chose the aforementioned harder musical direction.
Guitarist Stephen Housden, who joined in 1981, has remained throughout, and owns the rights to the name Little River Band. He has toured several versions of the group since then, none of which recently contained any original members. When the classic line-up of Shorrock, Gobles, and Birtle tried to reform a few years ago, Housden legally prevented them from using any reference to their Little River Band legacy in the marketing. Bassist Wayne Nelson (who was in the band when this show was recorded) has returned and in addition to playing bass, is the band's lead vocalist.