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The Rock-itt : October 2011
Unfortunately with the fast life he had lived and demanding work schedule and the ups and downs in his career, JOK had become heavily dependent on a variety of drugs which were making cruel inroads into his health. On the 6 th October 1978, we lost our original King of Rock when Australians woke up to the news that Johnny O’Keefe had died of a heart attack brought on by an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. He was aged 43. I was fortunate in meeting JOK when his career was revived doing the club circuit. I think it might have been the Blacktown Workers Club and I was on my way to the gents. You had to go past the back of the stage to get there and as I did I saw the man himself about to go on stage dressed in a bright green jacket. I wanted to shake his hand so I ducked over and said hello holding my hand out. He took it and we shook. I said “Good luck Johnny. Give ‘em heaps,” He smiled and even looked a little nervous, then said “Thanks mate.” I’ll never forget that moment when I shook hands with The King. Now JOK had been all the way up and now had come all the way down the ladder of fame. His television shows were cancelled through lack of interest and stress had him in and out of psychiatric hospitals as he battled with depression brought on by his declining popularity. But JOK was a fighter and despite the younger generation disowning him, many of the older fans stood by him and Johnny started to rise from the ashes of his once popular career and started doing the club circuit where he gained a whole new crowd of dedicated followers. Johnny also went to Vietnam to entertain the troops and was invited to play at the new age pop festivals where surprisingly he won over the crowds and received excellent press reviews. WHERE TO GET THE ROCK-ITT Calabria Club Manly Vale, JB HI-FI Warringah Mall, Medical Centre Warringah Mall, HCF Dental Warringah Mall, HCF Eyecare Warringah Mall, Warriewood Medical Centre, Cash Traders Dee Why, Takeaway Chicken Shop Newport Beach BSW Bottle Shop Newport, Terrey Hills Tavern Mona Vale Rd Terrey Hills, Tim e & Tide Hotel Campbell Ave Dee Why, Newport Arms Hotel, Mona Vale Hotel Old Barrenjoey Rd, Brookvale Cellars Mitchell Rd Brookvale, Curl Curl BSW Bottle Shop, Middle Harbour 16ft Skiff Club The Spit, Fishos Manly, Steyne Hotel Manly, Leading Edge Music, Warriewood Square, Eco-Spray Car Wash Cafe, Beacon Hill, Pie Shop Terrey Hills Shops, Coffee Shop Terrey Hills Shops, George the Barber, Roger St Brookvale, (George also keeps back issues) PHONE: 99751105 M:0438751101 Email: pgjay2001@yahoo .com Read it online: www.therockittmagazine.com.au