The late, great Billy Thorpe may appear as a hologram on the upcoming Long Way To The Top shows.
“I am believing that the little cunt could appear on stage,” promoter Michael Chugg tells Noise11.com.
Chuggi says, “there is a whole audio-visual special effects thing. I haven’t even seen it because they know if I see it I will open my big mouth. I think it is something along the lines of what they did at Coachella with Tupac, which is pretty revolutionary if that’s what’s going on”.
The 10th anniversary Long Way To The Top tour will feature Cold Chisel’s Ian Moss in a homage to Thorpie. “It’s a tribute to playing Billy,” Chuggi says. “I saw him singing ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ the other day and, fuck me, it was like listening to and watching Billy”.
Billy Thorpe took the original idea of Long Way To The Top to Chuggi and Amanda Pelman 10 years ago. It became one of Australia’s most successful tours of 2002. “It took him six months to convince me that the old farts would fill a few venues. Little did we imagine we’d sit in Melbourne for 10 drunken days,” he said.
The tour put new life back into the Aussie music industry. “It reenergised the baby boomers and got a lot of people out,” Chugg says. “We did 7 or 8 Rod Laver Arenas, 6 or 7 Sydney’s and 3 or 4 Brisbane’s. That was phenomenal. It activated a lot of careers. All of a sudden the Cadd’s and the Morris’s are out there doing full houses in the clubs and the pubs. It was great for the whole industry. It got a lot of great empathy and communication going among the young Australian musos about the older ones. Young Aussie acts are no longer afraid to stand up and say, “Billy Thorpe was a huge influence on me, or Stevie Wright and the Easybeats. It’s why I got into the business”. Before Long Way To The Top there weren’t a lot of young bands that would get up and say that”.
Long Way To The Top kicks off in Melbourne on October 5.
October 5, Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena
October 6, Sydney, Entertainment Centre
October 9, Newcastle, Entertainment Centre
October 12, Brisbane, Entertainment Centre
Amanda Pelman and Brian Cadd talk about Long Way To The Top at Noise11.com.