One of Australia's all-time great rock vocalists, Jim Keays of the Masters Apprentices, has passed away today at the age of 67.
The 1998 ARIA Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee had been battling myeloma for some time and had been on life support since Monday.
The Masters Apprentices formed in Adelaide in 1967, rose to national promise and disbanded in 1972 after unsuccessfully trying to crack the UK market. Their songs "Turn Up Your Radio", "Because I Love You" and the snarling "Undecided"" (a garage rock classic) are embedded in the history of Australian music.
Christian Houllemare (centre) with the reformed Happy Hate Me Nots, with the author, Matt Galvin, next to him, second from the right . Mark Roxburgh photo
It's hard to remember how I first got to know Chris Houllemare. Was I a fan, a friend or a bandmate?
I was 15 when The Happy Hate Me Nots released their first two singles, in 1985. I saw them by accident at the Strawberry Hills Hotel after walking down Foveaux Street (fuck, EVERYTHING is French this week) from a World Series Cricket one-dayer, and I used my bus pass as ID to get into a gig at Hurstville Master Builders club not long after.
I was smitten. It was kinetic, real lyricism, real heart, really fucking fast. All at once.
I had this one marked on my calendar for months. On paper it doesn’t get much better – two of my all-time favorites on one bill at an excellent venue. And, Steve was planning an all Lou Reed set.
I realized when Lou died that I loved him more than anyone I had never met. When he went, it wasn’t like when I lost my parents or other loved ones, but I had never met Lou, not even at a book signing or anything. And when he died I really felt the loss.