Bill Goode raced Stock Cars in the 1950s and soon progressed to the Mighty Midgets. He placed second to Lew Marshall in the first meeting of the 1955/56 season at the Brisbane Exhibition Speedway. Both of these drivers were competing in the encourage Speedcar race (B-grade race for new drivers) on October 29th. Just eight weeks later Goode won his first of many career feature races driving the #5 Holden.
14 years later Goode ended his career in a similarly spectacular way as he arrived on the scene. He won five feature races at his beloved Exhibition Speedway during the 1968/69 season, including the 50-lap Australian Speedcar Grand Prix driving an Offenhauser. During the final meeting on May 31, 1969 Goode announced his retirement from active competition and that he was joining the board of directors of Empire Speedways (Qld.) Pty. Ltd.
When Frank Arthur passed away in 1972 Goode took over the promotional rights at the Ekka and operated the track until 1981, at once stage enticing Speedcar ace Blair Shepherd out of retirement to race a Ron Wanless Super Modified at the Exhibition in 1972/73.
In 1979 Goode, with partners Ron Wanless and Pat Gay, built the ‘Astrodome’ at Archerfield (now know as the Brisbane International Speedway), which Goode ran very successfully until the end of the 2000-2001 season.
He promoted numerous major events including Australian Championships in every division of speedway. Goode promoted the Australian Sprintcar Championship at the Ekka in 1975 and 1981 and the 1990, 1996 and 2001 events at the Archerfield venue. Brisbane International Speedway still stands and operates as the major track in Queensland.
Bill was inducted into the Queensland Speedway Hall Of Fame in 2011
Bill Goode behind the wheel of an Offenhauser and flanked by Barry Gibb and Bill Gates at the Vintage Speedcar Association clubhouse in 2013.
Bee Gees and Bill Goode:
From the Senior website in 2021:
"VETERAN Brisbane speedway promoter Bill Goode turned 90 last month - and he had a very special caller: Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees.
The two go back a very long time - to February 14, 1959, to be precise. But Bill said they spoke as if it were yesterday.
He was working in the pits at Redcliffe Speedway that day when he heard through the tinny, four-inch Tannoy speakers, three young voices the world would come to know and love.
Barry, 12, and his twin brothers Maurice and Robin, 9, soon to become known as the Bee Gees, had come to sing for pennies.
Bill, who became a promoter after a long and successful racing career, was working in the pits that night because his marshall hadn't arrived.
"One of my drivers, Bob McMahon, came to me and said there were three young boys outside and they wanted to come and sing for a coin toss at half time. So I said, 'Well, get them in'."
The boys were to sing on the back of a truck owned by Duke Bowman, a local fruiterer and one of speedway's backers. But they weren't strong enough to get on the back.
"So another of our drivers, Barry Watt, got an oil drum so they could hop up," Bill recalled
They lads came on in the interval.
"I was chasing the stock bike riders out through the gate when I heard these beautiful, melodious voices coming through the speaker. It stopped me in my tracks. I thought, geez, they're good."
The crowd clearly thought so too. The Gibbs made 10 quid that night - a whopping sum to take home to their mum.
After the meeting, Bill asked Bob McMahon where the lads lived. He told him it was just down the road on Oxley Avenue.
"So I said can you call in on your way home and tell them I want to see them. And that's what I did the next day."
After introducing himself, Bill asked them to sing him a song. Barry replied: "What would you like?" So he asked how many they had.
"He had written about 180," Bill said. "They sang me an Everly Brothers song and I was absolutely amazed."
Bill quickly got in touch with 4BH disc jockey Bill Gates, who he knew from advertising his home construction business, to get a second opinion before putting the boys on contract.
"He came down on the Monday or Tuesday night and was pretty stoked with the idea. I asked him if he wanted to join in the company and promote them and he said yes please!
"As well as coming up with the name Bee Gees, he organised the 4BH studio for free to record, got young Keith Fowle to make the donuts we sent to record companies and arranged a little three-piece band so we could put them up on the stage.
"We did that Sunday after Sunday for several months."
Bill sent records away to companies but there was just one reply: come back in a few years.
"But this was no good for the boys. They knew they wanted to live off music."
By now the Gibbs' father Hugh was becoming involved, heading into Bill's office almost daily trying to find gigs for his sons.
But due to circumstances, neither of the two Bills was able to keep looking after the Bee Gees. So they gave the management contract to Hugh, along with the guitar they bought Barry.
The rest is astonishing.
A few years later, the Bee Gees moved to England and later the US, where they recorded 30 Top 40 hits, including nine US No.1s. With more than 200 million records worldwide, they remain one of the best-selling groups ever."
Page 174 from the Pictorial History of Redcliffe 1950s to 80s.
Bill Goode is listed on the wall of the Redcliffe Wall of Fame:
A collection of portrait and information honouring the achievements of individuals who have influenced and shaped Redcliffe. The collection is in the Jetty Arcade at 139-141 Redcliffe Parade.
For a complete list of people who appear on the wall click on the following blog post: