Shane Howard AM is an Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist, he was the mainstay of folk rock group Goanna which had hit singles with "Solid Rock" and "Let the Franklin Flow" on the Kent Music Report and their album, Spirit of Place. After their disbandment he pursued a solo career. Shane speaks to Gman on 3KND about his new album “Dark Matter” and life for a muso in these COVID-19 days.
After leaving Geelong in the early 80’s and journeying around Australia and beyond, from campfires to concert halls, Shane Howard returns to Geelong on March 16th as a special guest for the great ‘Neil Young and Crazy Horse’ at ‘The Day on the Green’, at the Hill Winery. In 1982, Howards massive anthem 'Solid Rock' from the album Spirit of Place, recorded with his legendary band "Goanna", reverberated across the airwaves and still does. The song was the first commercial song to use a didjeridu. Its powerful lyrics and music denounced the injustice that Aboriginal Australia had lived with, since the colonisation of Australia in 1788.
A prolific songwriter and performer for over 30 years, Howard has continued to build on the legacy of the great work begun with "Goanna", in Geelong, all those years ago. For over 30 years his vast body of work has contributed to a deeper sense of Australian identity. He has worked tirelessly, supporting Indigenous artists and communities around the country, to ensure their voices and stories are heard as part of the greater Australian story.
Like so many other artists of that era, Howard was deeply influenced by Neil Young's earthy music. When "Goanna" was in its fledgling years in Geelong, the band honed its skills at the Eureka and Argyle Hotels, and up and down the Great Ocean Road surf coast. Their repertoire featured some of Neil's songs, including a wild, ranging, version of 'Like a Hurricane', inspired by the original. "So much of the inspiration for those early Goanna songs, like Razor's Edge and others, came from Geelong. I learnt so much from those wild, music-loving audiences. My environmental campaigning really began in the Otway Ranges. There are so many precious memories. My roots are deep here."
It's not the only reason Howard is looking forward to playing back in Geelong, especially in this special 30th anniversary year of ‘Solid Rock’. "This is also an opportunity to pay my respects to one of the great, enduring artists of our times and being able to share that moment and the 30th Anniversary of Solid Rock with the Geelong audience, makes it all the more special and real".