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Beeb Birtles

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Biography

Born Gerard ‘Beeb’ Bertelkamp in the Netherlands, Beeb’s parents decided to move to Australia where they settled in Melbourne. In the late 60s Beeb was a member (voc, guit) of the popular Zoot (together with Rick Springfield), but terminated his membership in 1970 to form Frieze, a duo together with Darryl Cotton (the former lead singer of Zoot). In 1972 he got a call from Graham Goble, who founded a band named Mississippi. Graham asked Beeb to join in, which he quickly agreed with. A 1974 trip to London brought the demise of the group, but also the founding of a new outfit; Little River Band. Graham and Beeb were joined by Glenn Shorrock (formerly of Axiom), Derek Pellicci and Rick Formosa, and quickly signed a recording contract with EMI Australia. Their 1975 debut album became a smash hit, and opened the door to the lucrative American market. LRB had a string of million-selling hits. Beeb wrote of co-wrote smash hits like “Happy Anniversary”, “I’ll Always Call Your Name”, “Home on Monday”, “By My Side”, or “Guiding Light.” In 1978/’79 he and Graham Goble pursued a duo effort as Birtles & Goble, which turned out pretty successful down under. However, in 1983 Beeb became unhappy with the direction LRB was going to and decided to quit his membership.

He continued to work as a composer and producer in Australia (i.e. for Steve Grace), until he moved to the United States in 1992. He joined forced with keyboarder & producer Bill Cuomo (which he knew from the recordings of “Time Exposure” with Little River Band), founded the publishing company Songskill, and the record label Sonic Sorbet, where he released his debut solo album “Driven by Dreams.

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