Feb 15, 2012 – Clive Richard Shakespeare (Sherbet) was born in Southampton, Hampshire on June 3, 1949.
With his family he emigrated to Australia and settled in Sydney. As lead guitarist, he joined various bands including The Road Agents in 1968 in Sydney with Terry Hyland on vocals. He was a founding member of Down Town Roll, which was a Motown covers band, alongside Adrian Cuff (organ), Frank Ma (vocals), Doug Rea (bass guitar), Pam Slater (vocals) and Danny Taylor on drums.
In April 1969 Rea, Shakespeare and Taylor founded pop, rock band, Sherbet with Dennis Laughlin on vocals (ex-Sebastian Hardie Blues Band, Clapham Junction) and Sammy See on organ, guitar, and vocals (Clapham Junction). See had left in October 1970 to join The Flying Circus and was replaced by New Zealand-born Garth Porter (Samael Lilith, Toby Jugg) who provided Hammond organ and electric piano. Sherbet’s initial singles were cover versions released by Infinity Records and distributed by Festival Records.
From 1972 to 1976, Sherbet’s chief songwriting team of Porter and Shakespeare were responsible for co-writing the lion’s share of the band’s material, which combined British pop and American soul influences. For their debut album, Time Change… A Natural Progression (December 1972), Shakespeare co-wrote five tracks including the top 30 single, “You’ve Got the Gun”. Other Sherbet singles co-written by Shakespeare include “Cassandra” (peaked at number nine in 1973), “Slipstream” and “Silvery Moon” (both reached number five in 1974), and their number-one hit “Summer Love” from 1975. Sherbet followed with more top five singles, “Life” and “Only One You” / “Matter of Time” and their worldwide hit “”Howzat” in ’76.
In January 1976, Shakespeare left Sherbet citing ‘personal reasons’. He later explained “I couldn’t even go out the front of my house because there were all these girls just hanging on the fence […] There was always a deadline for Garth and me – another album, another tour. When it did finally end, I was relieved more than anything because I had had enough. I left the band early in 1976 for reasons I don’t want to discuss fully … but let’s just say I wasn’t happy about where all the money went”. The last single he played on was “Child’s Play”, which was a No. 5 hit in February. Shakespeare was soon replaced by Harvey James (ex-Mississippi, Ariel). In 1977, Shakespeare issued a solo single, “I Realize” / “There’s a Way” on Infinity Records.
Shakespeare set up Silverwood Studios and worked in record production, including co-producing Paul Kelly’s debut solo album, Post (1985).
Shakespeare rejoined Sherbet for reunion concerts including the Countdown Spectacular tour throughout Australia during September and October 2006. That year also saw the release of two newly recorded tracks on the compilation album, Sherbet-Super Hits, “Red Dress” which was written by Porter, Shakespeare, Daryl Braithwaite, James, Tony Mitchell, and Alan Sandow; and “Hearts Are Insane” written by Porter. In January 2011 bandmate Harvey James died of lung cancer – the remaining members except Shakespeare, who was too ill, performed at Gimme that Guitar, a tribute concert for James on 17 February. Clive died on February 15, 2012 from prostrate cancer at age 64.
“You go thru life doing what you feel is your utmost best,” he wrote a week before his death. “We all wonder what sort of impression we leave, to get the acceptance of your peers, then when a crisis like this comes along and your peers are there for you not because they are making a lot of money, not because they are contracted, not because it is a good career move, but because they want to be there for you.
“I am, and will be eternally humbled.”