Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Vale Lobby Loyde

The passing of Lobby Loyde should not pass without mention.

For those not aware (and the media mentions have been low-key by comparison to some of his contemporaries), Australian guitar innovator Lobby Loyde died on Saturday night, aged 65. He had been fighting lung cancer.

Lobby was the quintessential outlaw who made his mark as leader of the (ultimately infamous) Coloured Balls, a searing and often innovative guitar band that influenced a long string of bands following in their wake. The obvious (Rose Tattoo, Billy Thorpe) and less so (Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain) owe Lobby a debt. Julian Cope and Steven Malkmus (Pavement) are among Lobby’s fans. The guy also went on to manage and/or produce acts like the Sunnyboys, X, Painters & Dockers and Sardine v.

The last few years have been something of a Lobby revival, with almost all of his prodigious output re-issued in generously re-mastered form by Aztec Music. It runs the whole gamut - from searing boogie-rock to blues excursions and trippy, psychedelic prog. “Ball Power” remains an Australian hard rock landmark. Half a Cow also compiled the entire recorded output of his earliest band, the Purple Hearts, and this week issued a collection chronicling his boundary-pushing rock-jazz outfit, the Wild Cherries.

I was lucky enough to interview Lobby for the I-94 Bar in 2006 in the midst of Aztec’s re-issues program. He was medicated (I later found out) to block out the pain and struggling for breath, but his raw enthusiasm for music cut through. Fuck, we’ve lost some good ones lately.

No comments: