While being invited to perform on America’s top-rated variety show to mark your 40th anniversary as a band would come as good news to just about any frontman, for Glenn Shorrock, former vocalist for Australian hit-makers the Little River Band, it was simply more salt in the wound.
As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, after Shorrock was informed that the Little River Band had been invited to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he quickly issued a missive to the production company, urging them to tell the band to “go fuck themselves” on his behalf.
According to Shorrock, the Little River Band that Fallon’s crew booked to play the show has no connection to the band that Shorrock formed with Graeham Goble, Derek Pellici, and Beeb Birtles and who spawned hits like ‘Reminiscing’ and ‘Lady’, which the band was booked to play on the show.
However, after Shorrock got in touch with his publishing company, he authorised for permission to be withheld for use of the songs on the program. “We’ve just had enough of it,” Shorrock said. “They’ve been living off our coat-tails for years.”
The issue at the centre of the debacle is that the outfit currently calling themselves the Little River Band does not feature any original members of the band, and has in fact not had one since drummer Pellici left the group in the late 1990s.
Further complicating matters is that the band’s three principal songwriters and vocalists — Shorrock, Goble, and Birtles — relinquished rights to the band’s name to guitarist Steve Housden, who joined in 1981, and have been prevented from using the names Little River Band or LRB by Housden, who no longer plays with the band.
When Shorrock was informed that the current lineup of musicians calling themselves LRB had been invited to play on the Tonight Show, Shorrock wrote “a stern letter saying I was outraged” to the show’s producers, advising them that the band they were inviting on to their show had no connection to the band who penned the hits and to withdraw the invitation.
“In the letter I also said if you decide to put the band on, just tell them from me that they are dragging our names further into their dust and they can go fuck themselves,” Shorrock explained. “I’m playing Peter Finch,” said Shorrock, a reference to the film Network. “I’m mad as hell and I’m not taking any more.”
His actions may have been successful. The Little River Band no longer appear on the list of upcoming guests on The Tonight Show, while a publicist for the Tonight Show has confirmed to Noise11 that former Hootie and the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker will now appear on the show instead of LRB next week.
However, Shorrock has stated that if Fallon would like to have himself, and for that matter Goble, Birtles, and Pellici on the show, he would be open to the idea. “If we could put the classic band back together again,” said Shorrock, “Yeah, sure.”