MELBOURNE — The headlines are all very similar. “Australian music manager Glenn Wheatley dies aged 74 after contracting COVID-19,” writes 7News. The News Daily wrote, “Music legend Wheatley dies after COVID battle.” Vaccination status is modus operandi in mainstream media headlines when someone who is against masks, mRNA shots, etc. dies of so-called COVID-19. But the journalistic principle of “bury the lede” is the trend in 2022 for stories like this.

Mr. Glenn Wheatley is a well-known bass player, music promoter, and talent manager down under. He first gained fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a member of the pop band The Master Apprentices. The band is best known for the hit songs “Turn Up The Radio” (1970) and “Because I Love You” (1971).

Mr. Wheatley left the band in 1972 because of exploitative practices by Australian concert venues and record companies.  He became the manager and co-producer for the Little River Band in 1974. The group was a commercial success in the United States and Australia, selling over 30 million records. The band produced 10 top-20 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 from 1977 to 1983, including their biggest U.S. hit, “Reminiscing.” It reached #3 in 1978.

The group disbanded in 1986 when Capitol Records dropped them. Mr. Wheatley’s new project was resurrecting the solo career of Mr. John Farnham, who was the lead singer for the Little River Band in its last three years. Mr. Farnham, a former teen pop star in the 1960s, enjoyed his greatest commercial success as an adult contemporary singer under Mr. Wheatley’s management.

Mr. Farnham’s 1986 album Whispering Jack is still the second-best-selling album in Australian history, with recently-deceased Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell at number-1, according to the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). The album produced the smash hit “You’re the Voice,” which won the ARIA Single of the Year award in 1987. And that’s where this story picks up.

Wheatley loves lockdowns and vaccines

“You’re the Voice” became a rallying anthem for Australian anti-lockdown protesters throughout 2020 and 2021. The refrain contains the lyrics:

You’re the voice, try and understand it
Make a noise and make it clear
Oh, whoa
We’re not gonna sit in silence
We’re not gonna live with fear.

Mr. Wheatley told 7News in September 202o that he and Mr. Farnham vehemently objected to the song being used by the protesters. He said protesters using the song was “very offensive.” Mr. Wheatley expanded on his position in an interview with the daily newspaper The Age:

“I’m personally concerned people will hear the song and think John Farnham is personally endorsing these protests, and in this case it’s not right. It’s something that John and I do not condone, the use of that song, particularly in a time in Melbourne where we are in stage four lockdown. Really, the last thing we should be doing is protesting, no one should be hitting the streets en masse, endangering people’s lives and livelihoods.”

It’s unclear when exactly Mr. Wheatley received his injections. But both 7News and the Sydney Morning Herald reported that he was “fully vaccinated.” An educated guess is that he received the injections in November and/or December last year because reports say he “contracted the virus” around Christmas. He was in the Epworth Hospital intensive care unit “fighting valiantly for several weeks.”

Mr. Wheatley passed away on February 1. He is survived by his wife and three adult children.