Glenn Wheatley, a pioneer in Australian music, has been remembered by the biggest names in Australian music. He died at the age 74.
The bass player for The Masters Apprentices, Queenslander was featured on the hit songs Turn Up Your Radio and Since I Love You.
In 1975, he founded the Wheatley Organization and was manager of Little River Band. Later, he took on the management of artists such as John Farnham or Delta Goodrem.
After being treated with COVID-19, he died.
Wheatley was famously known for having his house mortgaged to finance Farnham’s 1986 album Whispering Jack. It went on to be one of Australia’s most-sold albums.
Farnham would be reenergized by it, and the final song added to it – You’re The Voice – became an Australian pop anthem.
Farnham stated that Wheatley was unique and special to many people.
“Devastating news. He said that his heart was broken and offered his love and thoughts to Glenn’s family in a statement broadcast on ABC radio.
Goodrem was also managed by Wheatley, who helped launch Innocent Eyes’ 2003 debut. The singer also sent love and prayers via social media to his family.
“I will forever remember him calling my family to discuss my music after I heard a demo CD when I was only 13 years old. The rest of our time together was filled with many precious memories. Our time together during my early career was a great blessing. She said, “May he Rest in Peace.”
Glenn Shorrock, founder of Little River Band, told ABC Breakfast that it was a sad time for Australian music.
“We first met back at the mid-’60s. He came from Brisbane, and I was from Adelaide with The Twilights. He said that he played bass with the Masters Apprentices.
Shorrock stated that his friend, who was passionate about Australian music, thought musicians got a raw deal. He said he had negotiated great deals for artists.
“He fought for higher royalty rates and more money to help struggling musicians, and because of people such as him, we now have what they call an industry, instead of a hobby.”
Wheatley’s life was filled with extraordinary ups, downs, and he “lost all” when he invested in a nightclub right before the global financial crisis. He ended up living in his in-laws house.
After pleading guilty in 2007 to tax evasion charges, he spent approximately 10 months in prison.
Daniel Andrews, Victorian Premier, said that it would be difficult for Wheatley’s family but they should be proud about his contributions to the music industry.
He said, “I’ll offer today the sincere condolences to all Victorians, especially those who love Aussie music.”
“To him, we say thanks and to his family and friends, we express our regret that he passed too soon.”
On Facebook, The Masters Apprentices stated that Wheatley had “left a mark forever on Australian music”.
We will miss him very much. His wife Gaynor and his son Tim, as well as Samantha and Kara, our deepest sympathy.
“Always a Master Apprentice!” With thoughts, memories, and love – Brian Mick, Gavin Rick, Craig, and Bill.
On Twitter, Kate Ceberano paid tributes to Wheatley.
“Glenn, the rock’n’roller, Glenn the dreamer and hustler, Glenn the optimist, manager, visionary, Glenn the great!” Glenn, the great, sends his deepest condolences.
Marcia Hines, singer, also posted condolences.
“I woke up to the sad news Glenn Wheatley had died. She wrote that she sent her condolences to Gaynor Wheatley and his entire family during this very sad time.
“May he rest in Peace.”