Music industry mourns Beasts Of Bourbon’s Tony Pola & NO ZU’s Daphne Camf
Beasts of Bourbon, Tony Pola second from left
The music industry is mourning the passing of Beasts Of Bourbon’s drummer Tony Pola, and Melbourne singer, songwriter and keyboard player Daphne Camf.
Pola emerged with Kim Salmon & The Surrealists in Perth in 1987, recording the Hit Me With The Surreal Feel (the total recording and mixing cost of which was reportedly $240), Just Because You Can’t See It … Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t There, Essence and Sin Factory.
In 1990, when Beasts of Bourbon lost James Baker and Boris Sujdovic to The Dubrovniks, Pola joined their ranks along with The Surrealists’ Brian Hooper and Kim Salmon who was already playing on-and-off with the Beasts.
Pola is on every Beasts album since 1991’s The Low Road, and toured with them in 2019.
Tex Perkins from the band wrote a tribute to Pola.
Best rock n roll drummer I ever played with
He WAS the Beast
A lovable rogue
A true adventurer
Mad as a cut snake
Salmon described him as “a knowledgeable, immensely likeable and popular rascal”.
“Who else would not get let on a plane because they arrived at the airport without their shoes, only to arrive in Sydney on the evening flight in time for the gig with two left shoes,” he added.
Salmon set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help Pola’s wife Katherine with funeral costs.
Camf (image by Alan Weedon)
Daphne Camf played with unconventional and often ambitious underground Melbourne groups like the collective NO ZU, Rat Vs Possum and goth-synth duo SaD, and solo as Hadrian Valentine.
In a 2019 interview with LNWY, she revealed: “I’ve only played in bands that are very raucous and are very bodily and very physical in that way. I can’t imagine playing in bands that aren’t like that.
“I have a lot of admiration for people who can just play an hours set with just a guitar sitting on stage. To me, that would be terrifying …
“It’s weird, because in my personal time I listen to quite somber, dark and dreary music. I don’t listen to that much dance music. So the stage is kind of like my cathartic release.”
She suffered from chronic pain since she was 22, but Camf maintained a busy life.
She presented Desperanto on Hope St Radio, co-hosted 3RRR’s No Pants showcasing the music of women and non-binary artists, and spoofed pop culture on the webcast talk show Trash Slags for Poncho TV.
She was also a makeup artist on music videos and photo shoots, and made her own bespoke homemade fragrances from essential oils and plant-based potions.
Her SaD bandmate Simona Castricum paid tribute.
“To so many in Melbourne’s underground community Daphne was a true and loving friend.
“Kind, wise, spiritual, poetic and inspiring, Daphne reflected upon the wry and dark ironies between life and death, of love and pain: ‘dream of Land’s End, my soul in flight, the clay that forms you, is filled with light’.”