Tuesday, March 29, 2011

So my mum was kinda famous!

My mum, uncles, and in later years my dad... were all in a band called Xanadu. They were famous in Australia in the 60s and 70s and later took the UK by storm under the name 'Soho'. The name change came about shortly after Olivia Newton John released her song titled 'Xanadu'. The band had the name long before Olivia realeased the song, but they were fully aware that the individuality of the name had been (unintentionally) compromised. I kinda like Soho better anyway ;) 

They also spent time touring Vietnam during the war, entertaining troops in some pretty dangerous areas. My uncle wrote a book about their experiences called My Rock n' Roll War. Reading this book was surreal for me, as it's hard to believe these amazing people in such incredible situations are your family...!

During their whirlwhind fame, tragedy struck when the band's guitarist Chris, who also happened to be my mum's fiance at the time, was killed in a 4WD accident on an Aussie beach. The news made headlines in Australia and the UK and was naturally a devastating time for the band and their families. To this day, when having one of our D&Ms I ask my mum how she coped. How ever do you come back from that? She admits there are a few years around that time that are sketchy in her memory, the mind often represses the more horrifying memories as a defense mechanism. She can't really explain how she did it, her words 'you just do, you just cope, you have to.' Somehow the band persevered through the pain and continued the music, it's all they knew. Quitting music was not an option so they changed around the lineup a little (which is where my dad came in), and kept on rockin'.

I think my mum was so beautiful (and still is), and is such a selfless, kind and giving person. These days, most of her actions day to day are to benefit others, and I often find myself having to remind her to take time for herself. I admire her greatly, and if I turn out just like her I will have done quite well for myself.

Claire (mum), Chris, Wayne, Barry (uncle), Don (uncle)

Tiff xx


  1. i love this post, where did you find thoes pics? much love for all mum's!

  2. Thanks Em! I raided my Nanna's photo albums last time I was up in Bundy ;)

  3. what amazing family history you have. your mum sounds like an incredible woman. thanks for sharing this story with us x

  4. oh wow brought back so many happy memories my brother was manager of the band and i remember chris fondly..

  5. Joanne, that's amazing - please get in touch I'd love to know more! tiffany.atkin@gmail.com

  6. I am currently writing a book about Xanadu, there travels, and their musical career. Of course it'll be full of photos.


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