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

Related Posts

John Fogerty photo by Ros O'Gorman
John Fogerty Blasts Australian Country Festival For Dumping Him

Creedence Clearwater Revival legend John Fogerty has blasted Country Fest Queensland for dumping him from the line-up and calling it “unforeseen circumstances”.

5 days ago
UB40
UB40 Cover 60s Pop Classic ‘Gimme Some Sign’

Robin Campbell’s UB40 are continuing their tradition of covering pop hit as reggae songs with their latest cover, Brenton Wood’s ‘Gimme Little Sign’ as ‘Gimme Some Kinda Sign’.

February 23, 2024
The Beatles Sam Mendes film official photo
The Beatles Support Production Of Sam Mendes Four Beatle Movie

Filmmaker Sir Samuel Mendes has announced will make four Beatles movies, each a biopic about the individuals John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney.

February 21, 2024
Engelbert Humperdinck performs at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda on Thursday 29 October 2015. Photo by Ros O'Gorman
Engelbert Humperdinck Has The Hot Ticket of 2024

If Taylor Swift fans are called Swifties, what are Engelbert Humperdinck fans called? Humpers?

February 21, 2024
Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich
Ian Amey ‘Tich’ of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich Dies At Age 79

Ian Amery, the Tich of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, has died at the age of 79.

February 18, 2024
Brian Wilson performs Pet Sounds at the Palais in St Kilda on Sunday 3 April 2016. Photo by Ros O'Gorman
Brian Wilson Is Suffering From Dementia

Just weeks after the death of his wife Melinda, Brian Wilson’s family has revealed that the iconic singer, songwriter for The Beach Boys is suffering from dementia.

February 18, 2024
Taylor Swift at the MCG Melbourne 16 February 2024 Photo Credit TAS Rights Management
Taylor Swift Performs First Australian Show For The Eras Tour In Melbourne

Reporting a first-hand account of the Taylor Swift phenomenon was not something I was expecting but when I was invited to attend the first Australian show of The Eras Tour my interests piqued. This will truly be the biggest music event in Australia for 2024. The Eras Tour is breaking records all over the world. It is major news.

February 17, 2024