Molly Meldrum opens up on Michael Gudinski’s death
Music industry stalwart Molly Meldrum has opened up about his devastation following news of Michael Gudinski’s passing.
The two high-profile icons started out as music-obsessed teenagers.
Meldrum was a roadie with the band The Groop, dancer on a Saturday morning TV show and feature journalist with Go-Set magazine.
Gudinski was a dance promoter and involved in a booking agency and managed bands including Chain and Healing Force.
Both stubborn and opinionated, it was no surprise that the two clashed – especially later when Gudinski was trying to get Mushroom Records away and Meldrum was a talent scout with the powerful hit-making music TV show, Countdown.
At the same time, a very close relationship grew between the two, with Meldrum and Gudinski setting up the pop-orientated Melodian label in 1988 which signed Indecent Obsession, Roxus, Jo Beth Taylor, No Justice, Peter Andre, Juno Roxas and Chill Factor.
In December 1980, on the night John Lennon was killed, the two broke into Melbourne Festival Hall – where The Beatles had played on their sole Australian tour— and had a memorial party.
Meldrum has been inconsolable since Gudinski’s death and has refused to give a comment to media.
This morning he issued a statement through his manager Mark Klemens’s company Profile Talent. You can read it in full below.
I am unable to translate into words what I am feeling right now. Not only have we lost an icon who was the cornerstone of the Australian music industry, I have lost a best friend, a brother.
Michael and Sue are family to me. They have been a staple in my life forever.
Right now, my love, support and focus are with Sue, Matt, Kate and the grandchildren.
The void that is felt is immeasurable; I honestly find his passing very difficult to comprehend.
Michael and I have been friends for over 50 years and the deep respect we had for each other was profound. He was a huge influence in my life.
Like me, Michael’s passion for music is unwavering. He dreamed big, worked hard, and had the tenacity, energy, and determination to drive all his ambitions home. Failure was never part of his vocabulary.
He helped place Australian music on the world map. He not only guided aspiring artists into unfathomable stardom, but he also brought the world’s biggest artists to the Australian stage.
He was the life force behind live music. He was unstoppable.
Music was the base and core of our friendship. We are both stubborn as hell and we would often laugh as we traded a tirade of insults to each other. I challenged him and he challenged me and as I have said many times before, Michael and I have had more dramas than Shakespeare and more laughs than Seinfeld.
We really were like Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in Grumpy Old Men.
From allowing Ziggy (Meldrum’s dog) to give him kisses and licks whenever he was in sight, to putting up with my antics on a daily basis, Michael was a great friend.
My most recent and now treasured memory was spending Christmas day last year with the Gudinski’s. We had an incredible day AND believe it or not, Michael and I did not disagree or argue once for the entire 9 hours we were together!
Michael’s legacy will echo through the entertainment industry forever. He came and he conquered. He has left a giant footprint in the heart and soul of the music industry.
If there was a song that could sum up how I am feeling, it would have to be the Bee Gee’s 1971 hit, ‘How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.’ He will forever be missed.
Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum