The renowned Australian music manager Glenn Wheatley has died at the age of 74, reportedly from complications of COVID.
The Guardian writes that Wheatley had reportedly been seriously ill for weeks and was hospitalised after contracting COVID. Several outlets have said that Wheatley died of complications from the disease, although his cause of death hasn’t been confirmed.
The Queensland-born Wheatley was bassist for the Masters Apprentices in the ’60s, playing on the hits ‘Turn Up Your Radio’ and ‘Because I Love You’.
In 1975 he founded the Wheatley Organisation and became manager of Little River Band. Farhham was lead singer with Little River Band in the early-mid ’80s.
Wheatley famously mortgaged his house to bankroll Farnham’s 1986 comeback album ‘Whispering Jack’, which topped the charts for 25 weeks and became one of the biggest selling albums in Australia.
Farnham said in tribute to Wheatley: “There are no words, our hearts are broken. Our love and thoughts to all who loved Glenn, especially his family…he was one of a kind, special to so many.”
Devastating news… there are no words, our hearts are broken. 💔
Our love and thoughts to all who loved Glenn, especially his family… he was one of a kind, special to so many …#glennwheatley
— John Farnham (@JacksPlaceJF) February 1, 2022
The Masters Apprentices said in a group statement that they are “deeply saddened” by Wheatley’s death. “We will miss him greatly. He has left his mark forever on Australian music,” they said.
“My condolences to his wife Gaynor, and all of his family, during this ever so sad time,” singer Marcia Hines wrote. “May he Rest In Peace.”
Wheatley also helped the early career of Delta Goodrem, an Australian artist who’d first found fame on the soap Neighbours. Goodrem’s debut album ‘Innocent Eyes’ bagged a then-record 29 weeks atop the ARIA Albums Chart, and won ARIA Awards for highest-selling album in both 2003 and 2004.
Goodrem wrote: “Glenn impacted the lives of so many, including mine. I will always remember him calling my family about my music after hearing a demo CD from when I was just 13 years old. What followed was many treasured memories. I am forever grateful for our time together in my early career. May he Rest In Peace. All my love and prayers are with his family at this time.”
Wheatley is survived by his wife, Gaynor Martin, and his three children.