Wendy was born in 1960 in Canada where her family still
lives. In 1976 she left home and travelled through Canada, the states and Mexico before she ended
up in Los Angeles. Here she met Glenn Shorrock who had just left The Little River Band. He asked
her to tour with him through Australia in 1983. Wendy took the Australian Citizenship Pledge in
I received some pages from an Australian newspaper with a scrapbook of Wendy Matthews. Wendy wrote a short piece for every photo.
|"This is in the paddock behind my grandfathers house in Quebec, Canada. My mother now lives in that house and I still go back every summer. That's my mother in the background and me in the foreground. I would have been around two, maybe a bit younger. I still twirl my hair though, so it's a very familiar shot. It is a very pensive look for such a tiny little thing but it is also direct, looking straight into the camera. Also my mother is there and it's interesting to see her as a woman of my age now. I love my grandfather's place - I have been going there since I was this age so it has a lot of history. I might end up living here. I get so much out of going back: I believe it is something that will always be in my family."|
|"Our country place on the lake in Canada with the long Indian name - Lake Memphromagog. We would go there every weekend and it reminds me of the summers in my youth. I am about 12 and look at those long, thin lanky limbs - I guess I have always been like that."|
|"For some reason I remember this day very, very clearly. It was a cool autumn day and all the leaves were just turning. That's my little brother Glenn and I at our country place by the lake. He and I were very close and it's just anice serene autumn afternoon shot. He still lives in canada; all my family live so far away. That would have been about 1973 when I was 14."|
|"I just loved this mermaid playing the harp in Vienna at the foot of the memorial to Brahms. Another wonderful city and I have been back there a couple of times. Taken just before Christmas in 1993."|
|"This was taken during a lunch break at a video shoot for "Love will keep me alive" two years ago. In the background are extras covered in mud. I was playing some kind of queen with a wicker crown on my head. It was shot out west somewhere in a coal pit and the earth was black and the mud men were covered in white clay. The photo is quite striking. A few of them have come up to me in the years since and gone "Hey remember me?" and unless they were covered in mud I didn't recognise them."|
|"This is my dwarf bunny, Heaven. She free-ranges around the house and every time someone comes to the door she can be heard thumping "danger danger" with her back feet. I've had her a couple of years now. I was on my way to the studio to record the album before this one and I was passing a pet shop and then found myself walking into the studio with this little baby bunny ... I couldn't help myself. She's had two litters and that's her lot ... she's doing better than I am! She's low maintenance, although she does chew through every single electrical wire I have. She has had a few zaps but I hope that will deter her. This is at my house in Bondi in 1995."|
|"This was last Christmas in Port Douglas when I got my scuba diving licence. I'm not very comfortable under the water or being up high and I thought this might help things. I was trying to lose the fear element. And it is a whole other planet down there, just fantastic. I spent many weeks doing two dives a day and I feel much more comfortable down there now with tanks. I haven't had the opportunity to go since but I have got a much better understanding of what's down there. Although this looks like a victory celebration, it was taken on my very first dive. I think I have conquered my fear somewhat but it stops at diving ... there's no way I'm ever going to jump out ofa plane."|
|"Stockholm is a beautiful city, just exquisite. This is on the hotel roof in 1992. It was just a fantastic sky that day and very windy. We had a wonderful time there; we were touring Europe and the UK. We spent over a week in Stockholm. It's very old and I like that kind of thing - the older the better. We were very well received there, which helped make it such an enjoyable time."|
|"Headlining in Tasmania at a big outdoor concert in 1995 with the Tasmania Symphony Orchestra, Which was a real treat for me. You don't get to sing with a huge orchestra every day. The site used to be n old rock Quarry and it was just a beautiful place. Tens of thousands of people turned up and it wasjust a great day."|
This is an article/interview from "The Sydney Morning Herald", Saturday, January 31st
Wendy Matthews / Singer
Wendy Matthews spoke to Sara Conde.
I was born in the frozen tundra -Montreal, Canada. My early musical influences were everyone from Odetta to Aretha Franklin to Patsy Cline.
I used to hang out in a park called the Little Benny Park with my friends. We soon started up the Little Benny Blues Band. I had to lie about my age when we started working in clubs at weekends.
Left home and went traveling with two friends. We busked right through Canada, then the states, then Mexico. Within the next few months I was living in Los Angeles, where I didn't really know anybody else who was my age and living on their own. I had to make a living and it was always on an alternative level. I still look at people and think, "What must it be like to have a normal job?"
Met a lot of people from Australia who toured through Los Angeles. Glenn Shorrock had just come out of the Little River Band and was doing his own records. He offered me the chance to tour with him. Coming out of Southern California - land of the huge supermarkets - and arriving in Australia was amazing. I remember marvelling at such things as the whistling paper boy or the local fruit and veg shop.
It took me until I was 30 to put out my first record - Emigre. I think if I had put out an album at 20 I really wouldn't have known what I wanted musically or who I was. Your first album is your life up to that point: who you want to be, what you want to say, what you want to portray. I'm still finding my voice as a writer and as somebody who's trying to express herself, but I don't think you stop learning about that.
Won ARIA's for Best Female Artist, Best Debut Single - Token Angels - and Best Single - Nobody But You (with Absent Friends). It's wonderful to be encouraged for what you do and they mean alot to me because I've never really felt a part of the music Industry. To be actually awarded things through the record Industry means alot, however, sometimes I feel embarrassed about it. I still downplay that sort of thing because I genuinely don't believe you can compare different people's musical expression.
I worked very hard on Lily, my second album. Consequently it delayed the next record because after working here for 18 months I toured overseas, where I had to pretend it was all brand new and exciting. If I didn't feel like performing I literally had to push myself out there. I was never a natural exhibitionist. I've never had a burning ambition to prove what I can do and be out there up front. I'm well aware that I'm one piece of the entire machinery up on stage.
ARIA's for Best Female Artist and Best Single - The Day You Went Away. I was terrified when The Day You Went Away was released because nothing on the radio was as simple or as scaled down or as pure. It was bands and larger sound on commercial radio at that time and then out came this piano vocal which had quite an impact. It just goes to show that the listening public, myself included, are underestimated. We know only what the radio plays us.
Third album, The Witness Tree, released. It sold more than 100,000 and was awarded ARIA for Best Female Artist.
Became an Australian citizen. I don't put too much emphasis on boundaries on the planet but they do exist and I've had a thing right from when I left home that I haven't quite felt like I belonged. Over the years I've come to the conclusion that I belong everywhere as opposed to nowhere.
Spent time in Canada, feeling more of a connection with that hemisphere, and getting to know some of the Canadian women singer/songwriters. I get alot out of going back. When I work hard up. In August, Ghosts (fourth album) was released.
Singing is my form of expression; it's what I've always done and I hope that in some capacity
I'll always have that outlet. In the next few weeks I'm getting together with many varied kinds
of songwriters. I'd really like to explore a few things and see what I can come out with.
From 1983 Wendy Matthews did a lot of session work for ads, soundtracks,
various artist like Kirk Lorange, Jimmy Barnes, Marc Hunter, Jenny Morris, Icehouse, Max Sharam and
many others. You can find a list at the Session
work part of my discography page.
Wendy sang in the Australian group "Models". They made 2 albums in 1985 and 1987 before the broke up in 1987/1988. She also played with a group called the Rockmelons. Vince Dale, keyboard player for the Rockmelons wrote this piece about Wendy's years with the Rockmelons.
In 1986 Wendy sang for the soundtrack of the TV series Dancing Daze and in 1988 Kate Ceberano and Wendy Matthews made the soundtrack album You've Always Got The Blues for the ABC TV series 'Stringer' (can anyone tell more about Stringer?).
Wendy was also one of the members of a group called 'Absent Friends', they released the album Here's Looking up Your Address in 1990. This was also the year that Wendy released her first solo album Emigré. A year later she released the live album Live - The Way It Has To Be, with recordings from her concert in the Dallas Brooks Hall, Melbourne. In 1992 she released Lily, and The Witness Tree came out in 1994. It took 3 years before her album Ghosts was released on August 25th, 1997 followed by her best of album Stepping Stones - The Best Of Wendy Matthews.
Wendy Matthews won a total of seven ARIA awards so far and was nominated for even more. She was voted Best Australian Female Artist in 1990, 1992, and 1993. Her single 'Token Angels' was voted Best Australian Debut Single in 1990 and the single 'The day you went away' was voted the Best Australian Single' and Highest Selling Single in 1992. (And that makes six so I'm still missing one, anyone know which one?)
The group Noel's Cowards with Wendy Matthews, Crowded House and others was put together to record some songs for the soundtrack of the Australian movie 'Rikky and Pete'. The movie is about a brother (always making trouble) and sister fleeing to the outback. The sister is a geologist/singer, she uses the voice of Wendy to sing. There are 6 Noel's Cowards songs on the soundtrack album. In an Australian movie about Errol Flynn, Wendy sings a song in a nightclub. And Wendy was on Sesame Street at the age of four where she did a song about one of the letters from the alphabet.
If you know anything more about Wendy Matthews or about her connections to other groups, please e-mail me (Alex) at: jad @ bart.nl I'm also looking for interviews, reviews, pictures of Wendy, the track lists and cover pictures of all her singles, and anything else you can think of. If you have something, please contact me.
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