Kirk Lorange - Biography -

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Kirk started playing guitar back in 1961. He was a 12 year old Canadian kid living in Belgium. His father worked for a multinational company, and the family had already spent time in Mexico — where Kirk was born — Venezuela and Cuba.

 He was already experimenting with home made drum kits, playing along to his dad's big band LPs, but it was The Shadows' instrumental Apache that triggered his life long obsession with the guitar. In 1963, the Loranges moved back to Montréal Canada where Kirk finished High School and continued to play and practice. He bought his first good guitar, a nylon string Goya, and in '67 started a series of backpacking guitar-toting trips to Europe, escaping the extreme Canadian winters.

His professional career began during this era: playing on a few recording sessions in Montréal and doing a solo instrumental guitar gig at the Sir Winston Churchill Pub. During this period he met fellow musician Dwight Druick, also a Montréaler. They traveled together to to the Greek island of Mykonos, and spent a winter writing and arranging songs. These tunes would eventually land them a deal in London, where they recorded an album called Druick & Lorange, produced by Marty Lewis, and unfortunately released on an obscure label which was going bust. This was Kirk's first sour taste of the music business, and when the dust had cleared, he decided to move to Australia.

 He arrived in Sydney on Cyclone Tracy Day, Christmas '74, via Montréal, Vancouver, New York and Nashville. Within days he had met Doug Ashdown and they formed Sleeping Dogs, a band which included Wayne Findlay on keyboards, Doug Bligh on drums, Greg Lyon on bass and Kim Ryrie on percussion. Playing covers and originals, they became an underground hit in Sydney. Their claim to fame was opening for Supertramp on their Australian tour, busing it from Adelaide (Kirk standing in photo ->) to Brisbane via Melbourne and Sydney. Kirk and Doug also opened as a duo for Little River Band's Aussie tour, Marcia Hines and Leo Kottke. Kirk began a long association with Richard Clapton during his early years in Oz, contributing to two albums — Main Street Jive and Goodbye Tiger — and the soundtrack to surf movie Highway One with Capricorn Dancer.

Goodbye Tiger was to become the quintessential sound of Australian Music of that era and was a huge hit for Richard; Capricorn Dancer must still be the most played tune on Australian radio. He toured the length and breadth of Australia with him from '76 to '78. When not on the road, Kirk nurtured his career as a session player. Known mostly for his impeccable electric slide playing, he was also hired for his Dobro and acoustic fingerstyle guitar. Computerized music had yet to be invented, and he was one of a handful of players working 10 hour days 5 days a week recording album tracks and jingles. One of his sessions was for Marc Hunter who had struck out on his own after Dragon had folded. Kirk toured with The Marc Hunter Band for several months in the early '80s.

 Kevin Johnson, author of RocknRoll I Gave You All The Best Years Of My Life, is another artist who Kirk has recorded and toured with over many years, contributing to Man of the 20th Century, Journeys, Night Rider and several national tours. He toured with the short lived Glenn Shorrock Band after Glenn left LRB, the highlight of the tour being an impromptu Blue Suede Shoes on TV with Ringo Starr. Both Glenn and Ringo were being interviewed on The Michael Parkinson Show. In 1983, Kirk recorded his solo album No Apostrophe for WEA records. This was an album of his original songs, arranged and produced by Kirk, coproduced and engineered by Michael Stavrou, who had just arrived in Australia from London's AIR Studios via Montserrat Studios in the Caribbean. Together, with the help of Sydney's finest players, including fellow Montrealer Wendy Matthews who had just arrived DownUnder, they created an album which has filtered through the years as a classic. The album reached the teens on the Adelaide and Perth charts, but never achieved airplay in the major cities. Kirk has made it available again*. By now a father of three, Kirk decided to stay closer to home and formed Chasin the Train, a band which attained legendary status in Sydney and surrounds.

The demise of Moving Pictures had left singer/guitarist Kevin Bennett, drummer Marc Meyer and bassist Ian Lees high and dry, and along with percussionist James Cox, a lineup was formed which lasted over 15 years. Chasin the Train played 6 nights a week during their heyday, and opened for such acts as The Band, John Mayall, and joined forces with Angry Anderson, Marc Hunter and Sharon O'Neill for a touring show called The Good, the bad and The Angry in the late 80's. An offshoot of The Train was a band called the Six Amigos who had the pleasure of opening for The Highwaymen (Johnny, Waylon, Willie and Kris) on their tour of Australia in '91. This lineup also included Kevin Bennett and James Cox, but the rhythm section comprised drummer Doug Bligh, bassist James Gillard and guitarist/banjo player Marc Collins. Kirk began writing and illustrating his book PlaneTalk—The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Book in the early '90s. Being a self-taught guitarist, he saw that there was a gap in the market for those players who wanted to learn music and the guitar without having to learn conventional notation.

 He managed to reveal the simple visualization trick he'd taught himself over the years by delivering the lesson in the form of a comic strip conversation. The book is now selling worldwide via one of his sites, along with the companion DVD which he produced and edited himself on his iMac in 2000. In 1997 Kirk moved North to be closer to his children, who had moved to Byron Bay several years earlier. Settling in Tamborine Mountain, just inland from Surfers Paradise, he now markets his book PlaneTalk and music on the Internet, plays locally with his MumboGumbo lineup, plays sessions, creates web sites for himself and fellow musicians. In 2006 he produced the 'How to play Slide Guitar in Standard Tuning DVD' which he sells online. He continues to write and teach, stage seminars, cook, and generally enjoy life with his girlfriend of 22 years, Clancy, and new daughter Georgia Lily Ann Lorange, born Nov 12 2007.

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