The podcast from prolific director & producer Lee Rogers – chatting with the trail blazers, artists, thought leaders, athletes, entrepreneurs and creators – stellar individuals who inspire us to live large.
Living legend. Rock star. Rockn’roll survivor. Serial entreprenuer. Glenn Wheatley’s story is definitely larger than life. A kid from the Sunshine Coast who headed South seeking fame and fortune. He found it…and lost it, and found it again… a few times over. Through all the ups and downs, Glenn’s irrepressible enthusiasm and trail blazing management skills, particularly with his mate and client John Farnham, have seen him etch his place in music and media history.
I’ve worked with Glenn on and off over the years, firstly when I directed & produced the music video for “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” (Kate Ceberano), from the 4 x Platinum “Jesus Christ Superstar” soundtrack, which was on Glenn’s Emerald City Records in 1992. Then in the late 90’s we co-managed Kate together for a few years.
We cover lots of ground, everything from working David Bowie to Glenn’s stint in jail, but I particularly love exploring the stories about transition from bass player in the Masters Apprentices to artist management and entrepreneurship. Rather than sitting around and waiting for it happen, Glenn was always willing to roll up his sleeves and put in the hard work.
GLENN on PERFORMING IN MASTERS APPRENTICES TO 5000 + CROWD AT FESTIVAL HALL:
We didn’t get through the first three numbers, the police couldn’t control them, the kids were just rushing the stage and ripping all of our clothes off. In the end I had my new velvet suit just in tatters, just in shreds. And I remember going backstage, there were 20 girls fainted, all passed out on the floor backstage and I’m stepping over them and I’m go there. And I just heard the promoter yelling out. “We had a bigger crowd than the Beatles!”.
GLENN on the RECORD DEAL HE NEGOTIATED FOR LITTLE RIVER BAND:
Well, it was an $8 million deal, but it came in cheques of one and a half million. It was legendary for the time.
GLENN on WORKING WITH BOWIE:
I ended up getting a job in a management company (in London) who was involved in the management of David Bowie and The Sweet. I was front and centre with all of those acts simply because my boss, a gentleman called Lawrence Myers, who is one of my great mentors in life was a very conservative English gentlemen. And David Bowie used to turn up at the office sometimes with lime green hair. The next day it was Tangerine. And it used to freak Lawrence out.
He’s got lime green hair today, I can’t do this meeting and you’re gonna have to do this meeting. So I’d do the meeting with one of my idols, going, oh my God! In those days, he always was a genius. He always was creative, but he was doing a little bit too much drugs and, Lawrence, sometimes would say, his teeth are lime green, as well as his hair!
GLENN on RELEASING MUSIC:
And the artist today, I mean, I can’t tell you enough. They’ve got to just make sure that everything they do is the best of their ability. If it’s not, then don’t release it. Don’t put it up there. Don’t put it online because you’re wasting your time. You know, it’s got to be good. Well, it’s got to be very good. I have my Spotify account, but my Spotify account is a derivative of everything that they know. I like. I’m struggling to find the new stuff in Spotify that I would like to hear.
GLENN on MAJOR LABELS V’S INDIE ROUTE:
There’s fair deals to be done (with the majors). There’s a lot to be said, however, going the other way, doing it totally independent. I mean, people recording in their bathrooms. It’s all digital these days and putting it up there online. But the only problem with that is that you’re up there with 10 million other people, and you’ve got to get through the clutter and there’s a lot of clutter up there and there’s a lot of bad stuff that shouldn’t be up there because anybody who’s done anything just puts it up there.
This podcast, Episode 12 in the series, will be available from Monday 19th October