Richard Clapton at Southport RSL
Richard Clapton is one of Australia’s foremost singer/songwriters and paved the way for three generations of songwriters to write about the experience of being Australian with his songs still frequently played across the radio today.
Clapton grew up in Sydney in the 1960s before hopping a plane for London, and then later to Germany, where he wrote a first album, Prussian Blue. Fast track to 1975, Clapton had the critics on side but his label at the time, Festival Records, insisted on a hit single. However, it was the song they picked as a B-side called “Girls On the Avenue” that reached #1 on the national charts and put Clapton at the top of his class.
Back in Australia in 1980, he released the searing Dark Spaces, an indictment on the meanness and mendacity that would blow through the 1980s. Ten years after his first release, Richard Clapton was a tribal elder to whom younger artists like Jimmy Barnes, INXS and Cold Chisel turned as a mentor.
INXS asked Clapton to produce their second album, Underneath the Colours, and they became firm friends. They, and Cold Chisel, returned the favour on Clapton’s The Great Escape album with INXS drummer Jon Farriss going on to produce The Glory Road album. Few records of that time captured the roller coaster ride of the late 1980s as well as Glory Road.
Since his first album in 1974, Richard has shown no signs of slowing down. He has released over 20 albums which have cumulatively sold over one million copies. He is the only rock artist to have received an Australia Council arts grant from the government which enabled him to travel around the world and write the songs for “Goodbye Tiger”.
In 1999 Richard Clapton was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and is performing at RSL Club Southport on Saturday 29th June.