|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.
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 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.
of his sessions was for the late 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 helped to form '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, designed by his brother Gerry, 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 in various lineups, plays sessions, runs Guitar for Beginners dot Com, a site with over 120,000 members. In 2006 he produced the 'How to play Slide Guitar in Standard Tuning DVD' which he sells online. Check out some of his more recent music at his YouTube channel.
to write and teach, stage seminars, cook, and generally
enjoy life with his girlfriend of 23 years, Clancy, and new daughter Georgia Lily Ann Lorange, born Nov 12 2007.
* Order it here.