Benalla's Peter Carroll performed with his band mates from Normie Rowe and the Playboys, at the Port Fairy Folk Festival.MONIQUE FREER March 20, 2014 9:34am
Half-century celebrations: Peter Carroll performed with Normie Rowe and the Playboys at the Port Fairy Folk Festival.
Peter Carroll is a quiet man who prefers to stay out of the spotlight.
Which is why many Benalla residents may not realise their fellow community member was part of one of Australia’s biggest rock bands in the 1960s.
Mr Carroll was a bass player for popular rock band Normie Rowe and the Playboys, who recently reunited and thrilled audiences at Geelong, Malvern and the Port Fairy Folk Festival.
‘‘It was one of the biggest bands in Australia, and rock historians have described us as arguably the best Australian rock band in the 1960s,’’ Mr Carroll said.
Fifty years since they released their first album It Ain’t Necessarily So, the original band members have come together and are playing a reunion tour across the country.
‘‘All of a sudden nearly 50 years later it’s all been brought up again,’’ Mr Carroll said.
‘‘We’re just older blokes having a bit of fun .
Mr Carroll was hooked on music when he was about 15 years old, inspired by Buddy Holly and The Shadows.
‘‘After a few years I left school and started work, but I still wanted to be in a rock band,’’ he said.
After playing in several local bands, Mr Carroll was approached in 1964 to join Normie Rowe and the Playboys at the beginning of their rise through the Australian music scene.
‘‘The bass player was leaving for family reasons and the band was about to go pro,’’ he said.
‘‘It all just exploded from there.’’
The year Mr Carroll joined the band they recorded It Ain’t Necessarily So and in 1965 the hit singles Que Sera Sera and Shakin’ All Over became national number one Australian hits within their first week of release.
‘‘We knocked off people like the Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones .
After a year touring with the group Mr Carroll finished up with the Playboys, and by 1970 he had removed himself from the music scene altogether.
‘‘A point came up towards the end where it was starting to become a hard-working job. I felt like it might be time to move on, plus the original Playboys bass player wanted to come back in,’’ he said.
‘‘The whole scene is one that very, very few people in the world ever experience, and I was lucky. It was a fabulous part of my life.’’
Mr Carroll was born in Benalla but relocated to Melbourne when he was about three years old.
‘‘I always had a close affinity with the town, it’s my roots,’’ he said.
When given the opportunity to return to his birthplace for his job as a salesman, Mr Carroll did not hesitate, and moved to Benalla about four years ago.
Since retiring three years ago he chose to give back to the Benalla community, joining the Australia Day and Benalla Festival committees, and becoming a trustee of the Benalla Young Sportpersons Trust.
‘‘When I finished work I had to sit down and decide what I wanted to do with my time,’’ he said.
‘‘I wanted to do something on a non-paid basis that the community at large could benefit from.’’
Mr Carroll is also a qualified pilot — fulfilling his lifelong dream in his 50s — however he said he no longer flew due to the large financial commitment involved.
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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