Australia’s music industry mourns six names

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Craig Porteils with musician Casey Donovan / Source: Eargasm.net.au

Tributes are pouring in for six figures in Australia’s music industry who made significant contributions in their sectors and died within weeks of each other.

Craig Porteils

Craig Porteils was a Sydney-based producer, mixer, sound engineer, composer, songwriter and guitarist with a predilection for hard rock.

He was based in Los Angeles between 1989 and 1996.

He wrote and/or produced “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Guns N’ Roses, “Rhythm Of My Heart” by Rod Stewart, “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher, “Cradle Of Love” by Billy Idol, ‘Back’ by Tevin Campbell To The World’.

Returning to Australia in 1996, Porteils worked with Australian Idol alumni such as Shannon Noll and Guy Sebastian, Diesel, Cactus Child, Wendy Matthews and MAXO.

“One of the best guys I know,” MAXO said, “and my very first music producer who has helped me so much throughout my journey in the music industry.”

Money raised through a crowdfunding campaign after he was diagnosed with cancer will be used
for unpaid medical expenses, funeral expenses and donated to cancer research.

Paul Brands

UK-born Paul Marks arrived in Melbourne in the 1950s at the age of 23 and gave locals their first live taste of Celtic folk, blues, skiffle and New Orleans spirituals. captured at British folk events.

He influenced a new wave of folk names such as Judith Durham and Keith Potger of The Seekers, Margaret Roadknight and Dutch Tilders.

“Paul had certainly been a role model for me, and Bruce Woodley, during our formative folksinging years,” Potger said.

“That was reflected in some of The Seekers’ repertoire that the band carried throughout their long career.”

With recordings on the Swaggie and Score labels, Marks played two shows each night, either solo or with his jazz and skiffle bands, and on the weekends played in Sydney.

He ran out and retired in 1967 to New Zealand where he played sporadically in clubs and festivals and featured in a television documentary for being the country’s oldest busker.

In April 2022, the Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA) released Paul Marks Live at Christchurch Folk Club 1968 as the 23rd installment in their Desk Tape series.

Paul Marks was 90 years old.

DJ DELETE

Australian DJ DELETE (aka Ryan Biggs) was found dead at his home in Amsterdam on April 30. He was 30 years old.

After moving to Europe nine years ago, he was part of the hardstyle community, with ‘Payback’ featuring MC Tha Watcher his biggest hit with 2 million views on YouTube and 8 million on Spotify.

He revealed how mental health issues led him to cancel concerts and delay the release of records, compounded by the COVID isolation.

But on his latest Instagram post, he celebrated his “rebirth” after performing what was to be his final set at the REBiRTH festival in the Netherlands.

Red McKelvie

Highly acclaimed exponent of guitar, pedal steel and button accordion, Bertram John ‘Red’ McKelvie rose to prominence in many ways after leaving New Zealand in 1967.

He was in Flying Circus, one of the first bands to combine country and rock, and was part of Quill, Powderhorn and Third Union Band.

A sought-after session player, he is best known for the distinctive riff that opens Richard Clapton’s “Girls On The Avenue.”

“Red was one of the best people I’ve ever known – real salt of the earth,” Clapton recalled, adding that he ended every sentence with “eh digger?”

“He was also the most outspoken socialist musician of all time, and his motto was ‘a fair day’s work for a fair dollar.’

“Australian musicians were ridiculously underpaid in the 70s.”

McKelvie returned to New Zealand where he released solo albums played on endless jingles, toured with country artists and guested on albums by rock bands DD Smash and Hello Sailor.

Teddy you

Teddy Toi came to Australia from New Zealand with Max Merritt & The Meteors.

He played bass with some of Australia’s best known bands in the 70s.

These included Billy Thorpe And The Aztecs, Wild Cherries, Lobby Loyde and The Colored Balls, Fanny Adams, The Stevie Wright and John Paul Young Allstars and Jon English.

Toi was 82 when he died.

Bradley Ralph Hooper

Bradley Ralph ‘Hoola’ Hooper was a country music guitarist from central Queensland who died aged 64 after a battle with cancer.

He has starred in SaltbushSix, Impulse, Bronze Lake, Pirate, Rockforce and The Sugar Daddies.

Hooper was a longtime supporter of Variety Bash Queensland who called him “a complete gentleman (and) an incredible musician”.

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