The Noise 11 website has reported – and it has now been confirmed – that legendary Australian guitarist Ross Hannaford has died in Melbourne at the age of 65.
Hannaford had been diagnosed with cancer in early 2015 and there were two sell out benefit concerts at Memo Music Hall in St Kilda in July to raise money to help him pay his medical bills. The guitarist appeared at both concerts to play a short set of his own music.
Despite his illness, Hannaford continued to record and launched his debut solo album Hanna in December last year, although the launch date had to be postponed due to his ongoing illness.
Hannaford’s long-time friend and former colleague Ross Wilson has tweeted, ‘Sad to tell you that my friend Ross Hannaford has passed away.’
Hannaford and Wilson formed The Pink Finks in Melbourne in 1965 and enjoyed immediate success with their version of ‘Louie Louie.’ After playing in a number of other bands together in the late ’60s and early ’70s they formed the much-loved Daddy Cool in 197o with bassist Wayne Duncan and drummer Gary Young. The band’s first single ‘Eagle Rock’ was not only No.1 for 10 weeks but has also been voted as Australia’s second greatest single of all time. The band split up and reformed several times before finally calling it quits in 1975. A 2005 reunion for the Tsunami Benefit concert led to a new album in 2006 (The New Cool) and a 2007 tour with the Beach Boys.
Daddy Cool was inducted into The Age/Music Victoria Hall of Fame in 2014 and their last performance together was at the induction ceremony.
Apart from playing with Wilson in Mighty Kong, during one of the Daddy Cool breaks, Hannaford has played with numerous other musicians, notably Renee Geyer, on their albums and live shows as well as his own outfits such as Billy T and Lucky Dog. He was also a member of Diana Kiss who played a decade long residency at St.Kilda’s Esplanade Hotel.
In recent years, Hannaford could be found busking at the South Melbourne market, often with Bart Willoughby.
Many of Hannaford’s albums have recently been re-released and it is rumoured that he also recorded another full-length album earlier this year.