Normie Rowe Sends a Powerful ANZAC Day Message with Compulsory Hero video - Noise11.com
Normie Rowe and the Playboys perform at Memo Music Hall, St Kilda, Melbourne on Saturday 6 June 2015. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Normie Rowe and the Playboys perform at Memo Music Hall, St Kilda, Melbourne on Saturday 6 June 2015. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Normie Rowe Sends a Powerful ANZAC Day Message with Compulsory Hero video

by Paul Cashmere on April 22, 2019

in News

Normie Rowe has delivered a powerful anti-war ANZAC Day message with his cover of 1927’s ‘Compulsory Hero’.

Normie was a victim of corrupt Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt who had no trouble sending young men to their death in Vietnam if it promoted his political career.

Holt set Rowe up as a poster boy soldier. He developed a publicity stunt by using ‘Australia’s Elvis’ as his celebrity soldier. Harold Holt illegally sent Normie Rowe to war for his own propaganda purposes.

Normie discovered Holt’s corrupt plan decades later.

”I was contacted, not all that long ago, by the son of a military officer who was at the time the military attachment to Harold Holt,” Normie told Noise11.com in 2015. “He told his story just before he died to his son. His son said Dad said he was in Harold Holt’s office and Harold was struggling with popularity and the anti-war movement. The officer said to Harold Holt “what you need is an Elvis Presley. Get Normie Rowe called up”. If the Prime Minister says something is going to happen then there is a pretty good chance it is going to happen”.

When Normie returned from Vietnam, the music fans had moved on. “I did a show on the 1st February 1970. Zoot were on it and all the kids clamoured for Zoot,” he said. “They walked away from me completely. I was struggling with what I was doing on the stage anyway because it was the first show. There wasn’t a lead-up. I couldn’t go and work in the country and fall over a few times before I came into the big city”.

He was ready to give his music career away. “I stopped singing for 6 months and then my parents said ‘if you don’t get some work and start paying your mortgage the bank is going to take your house back,” he said. “The only thing I knew was how to sing but had to be a lot more than an ego trip. I thought every time I had the chance to do something for a charity of disadvantaged kids I would try and incorporate that into my show then I’d feel better about doing what I did. I got married and a lot of it was to do with creating a secure situation for my family.”

Normie stumbled upon the truth by accident. “I guess it was about ’78. I was driving round the Eastern Freeway and came off at Hoddle Street still doing 120 kilometres per hour. I was pulled over and the cop said “you were born on the same day as me. How come you went into the army and I didn’t?” And I thought that was interesting,” he said.

Normie has recorded 1927’s ‘Compulsory Hero’ to mark the 50th anniversary of his conscription into the Australian Army.

‘Compulsory Hero’ was written by Garry Frost, who also wrote Moving Pictures’ ‘What About Me’. The song is about the Vietnam War. Aptly, the 1927 b-side was titled ‘Propaganda Machine’.

Follow Noise11 on Twitter for news as it happens

For news as it happens follow Noise11 on Facebook

Noise11.com

Listen to the Noise11 Music News channel now at iHeartRadio

Comments

comments

Related Posts

The Verve
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards give Bitter Sweet Symphony royalty back to The Verve

The Rolling Stones have given full credit to The Verve’s ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ back to The Verve after 20 years.

8 hours ago
The Original Seekers
The Seekers Revert To Their Original Roots with Michael Cristiano announced as new singer

The original Seekers Athol Guy, Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley have announced a new album and live dates with new singer Michael Cristiano who has come on board to recreate the original all-male line-up of the 50s.

3 days ago
The Rolling Stones perform at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on 5 November 2014. (AAP Image/Noise 11/Ros O’Gorman) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Rolling Stones reschedule North American tour and Mick hints at new music

The Rolling Stones have rescheduled their 2019 North American tour following Mick Jagger's heart surgery.

5 days ago
Mick Jagger, photo by Ros O'Gorman, the rolling stones, melbourne 2014
Mick Jagger is back in training for tour after heart surgery

Mick Jagger is back in training ahead of his return to the stage with the Rolling Stones following his recent heart operation.

May 16, 2019
Tim Rogers at Noise11
Memo Music Hall to Host a Complete Performance of The Who’s ‘Tommy’

The Who’s classic rock opera Tommy will be performed at Memo Music Hall in its entirety in June.

May 14, 2019
Doris Day
Screen and Music Legend Doris Day Dies at age 97

Doris Day, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, has died at the age of 97.

May 14, 2019
Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones image by Ros O'Gorman, Noise11, photo
Mick Jagger given all-clear after Heart Operation

Mick Jagger has reportedly been given the all-clear by doctors following his emergency heart operation.

May 13, 2019