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Keith Shortland RIP



I first met Keith in January 1963 when his band, The Starlites, featuring Keith on lead guitar, his brother John on rhythm guitar and drummer Garry Whipper, auditioned for a permanent Saturday night teenage dance at Charlestown Fellowship House. His band was unsuccessful, however, the band, of which I was a member, The Sabres, was successful.

My next meeting with Keith was when I became a member of The Starlites the next year in 1964, playing at The Pacific Hotel on Friday nights, situated on the corner of Market and Hunter Streets. The band eventually morphed into Johnny Noble and The Mods, of which I was not a member, that had a nationally released 45 single, the first Newcastle band to have had this level of success.

In the 70’s, Keith and myself had numerous gigs, mainly of a filling in nature. In the 90’s, Keith and John were members of a band I fronted at Newcastle Leagues Club, which also featured Robbie Coxon on drums and Leanne Peters on vocal. Keith also worked with me in this decade at Kurri Kurri RSL.

Keith was the nicest musician anyone could wish to work with and his skill on guitar placed him the upper ranks of musicians in this state. Everyone who has worked with Keith always had glowing comments of not only his talent, but also more importantly, his qualities as a genuinely lovely person.

He will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known him.

Mike Stevenson


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