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News May 3, 2022

Aussie Music Industry Mourns Passing of Six Names

Senior Journalist, B2B
Aussie Music Industry Mourns Passing of Six Names
Craig Porteils with musician Casey Donovan / Source:

Tributes are flowing for six Aussie music industry figures who made significant contributions in their sectors and passed away within weeks of each other.

Craig Porteils

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

He was based in Los Angeles between 1989 and 1996.

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

Back in 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 first ever music producer who helped me so much along the way in the music industry.”

Monies raised via a crowd-funding campaign after he was diagnosed with cancer will be used
for outstanding medical expenses, funeral costs and donated to cancer research.

Paul Marks

UK-born Paul Marks arrived in Melbourne in the 1950s aged 23, and gave locals their first live taste of the Celtic folk, blues, skiffle and New Orleans spirituals picked up at UK 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 certainly had been a role model to me, and Bruce Woodley, during our formative folk singing years,” Potger said.

“That reflected itself in some of The Seekers’ repertoire that the group carried right through 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 burned out and retreated in 1967 to New Zealand where he sporadically played clubs and festivals and featured on a TV doco for being the country’s oldest busker.

In April 2022, the Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA) issued Paul Marks Live at the Christchurch Folk Club 1968 as the 23rd instalment of its Desk Tape Series.

Paul Marks was 90 years old.


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

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 YouTube views and 8 million on Spotify.

He revealed how mental health issues caused him to cancel gigs and delay record releases, worsened by COVID isolation.

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

Red McKelvie

Much acclaimed exponent of guitar, pedal steel and button accordion Bertram John ‘Red’ McKelvie made a mark in a number of ways after moving from 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 much sought after session player, he is best remembered for the distinctive riff that opens Richard Clapton’s ‘Girls On The Avenue’.

“Red was one of the best people I ever knew – real salt of the earth,” recalled Clapton, adding how he’d end every sentence with “eh digger?”

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

“Australian musicians were ridiculously underpaid in the Seventies.”

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

Teddy Toi

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 Coloured Balls, Fanny Adams, The Stevie Wright and John Paul Young Allstars and Jon English.

Toi was 82 when he passed away.

Bradley Ralph Hooper

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

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

Hooper was a long time supporter of the Variety Bash Queensland which called him a “complete gentleman (and) an incredible musician.”


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