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Chippie, surfie, glam rocker in bib n braces, kids show host, breakfast DJ and straight-talking superstar, Graeme Ronald Strachan was many things to many people. But he was always Shirley, from the time his teenage surfie mates re-christened him to the day he died in a helicopter crash in 2001, aged 49. In the 1970s, out front of trailblazing Melbourne rockers Skyhooks, Shirley was the voice and face of such massive hits as Horror Movie and Ego is Not a Dirty Word, as well as his breakout solo smash, the ballad Every Little Bit Hurts. When his desire for the rock and roll spotlight faded, Shirley moved into other, equally successful ventures: host of the long-running childrens show Shirls Neighbourhood, presenter on home reno program Our House, and Brisbane breakfast DJ. Written with the support of his widow Sue Strachan, Skyhooks bandmate Greg Macainsh, and others, Shirl is the first biography of a cut-the-crap, bullshit-free Aussie original, a renaissance man who during his short life enjoyed several hugely successful careers (and a few laughs along the way).
- Hardie Grant Books, December 2009
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