On 20th January 2014, the music world lost a talent and a gentleman with the passing of our good friend and Beatels co-founder Steven Shipley. Steven was born to play Paul. Since seeing the real McCartney as a kid in the 1970's, his appreciation of the talent of McCartney left him with little real option but to emulate the great man himself. And a good thing too, because Steven's voice sounded just like the great man himself - in range and in tone! When Steven sang, crowds relaxed, happy in the knowledge that they were enjoying one of the best McCartney impersonations they were ever likely to experience. It is no exaggeration to say that McCartney's bass lines are among the most challenging that a musician is likely to come across. And when it came to Stevens bass playing, watching him perform those bass lines to perfection was one of the true pleasures of the job, and one of the elements of the musicianship of THE BEATELS that gave them the reputation they have. The intricacy of McCartney's bass lines is one of the keys to the sound of The Beatles, and Steven was one of the world's best.
But even more than that, he was one of life's true gentlemen, and his passing was felt by many around the world.
Steven began playing in local bands in the Newcastle region - The Feds and Rockefella to name a few. He was recruited by The Beatnix in the late 1980's by word of mouth, and he became the cornerstone member of a lineup of that group from that time on until late 1995, playing the role of "musical director", and creating the backing tracks in use at the time. When he left with the other musicians in that group to form THE BEATELS, he consolidated his position as the foremost McCartney impersonator in Australia, and proved to be one of the best in the world.
Steven also studied to be a certified studio engineer in Sydney, ironically under the tutelage of Pete (The Count) Contini, who was the producer of the album Steven performed on in 1994 - It's Four You. Steven produced and engineered the recordings of many Sydney artists including 3 generations of the famous Australian jazz family, the Barnards, in an album understandably titled Three generations of of Barnards. (2006). He wrote and recorded for a studio group called Post (along with Marcus and Neil), featuring on their debut Late Mail.
The final recording he did was a collection of original songs by members of The Beatels (including himself), released under the name of The Druid Dudes, in an album called Opal Place, named after his studio in which the songs were recorded, which has been mixed & is in the process of being released. A rich musical history from a talented man!
Steven was known and loved by many people around the world, and for those who were close friends who wish to catch up with others, we do have a closed group on Facebook, called Friends Of Steven Shipley, though out of respect, access is restricted so we don't get the group spammed by advertisers. If you wish to join, send a request & let us know how you knew Steven & we can provide membership.
Vale, our good friend!