A one-time heavyweight of the Australian rock scene looks to have achieved his lifelong ambition to throw off the yoke of his glitzy past.
Shane Howard — who in the early ’80s rocketed to success with his Goanna Band — appeared on ABC1’s 7.30 Report on Wednesday night as a “local resident” of regional south-west Victoria, campaigning to save a local historic church from being sold off to developers.
The segment makes no reference to Howard’s Goanna heyday, referring to him merely as the “musician partner” of the lady who leads the grassroots campaign to save Saint Brigid’s, near Killarney; while in the transcript, he appears as “Shane Howard, Local Resident.”
Many viewers may have been too young to recall Howard’s rock-anthem ‘Solid Rock,’ which starkly depicted the dispossession and genocide of Aboriginal Australia by White Australia. Although Howard and his band shouted the ‘G’ word into the mainstream Australian consciousness, perhaps too many will remember ‘Solid Rock’ merely as a roolly great rock song, ma-a-ate!
The pressures of commercial success sat uneasily on Howard. After the release of the second Goanna album, things fell apart until the band’s guiding force suffered a breakdown, finally departing the commercial rock scene to lose himself in the Big Heart of the Country. But he eventually came out the other side to reclaim his life as a family man and carve himself a niche as a respected Australian songsmith.