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News January 5, 2021

Former Divinyls, I’m Talking, drummer Warren McLean passes away

Former Divinyls, I’m Talking, drummer Warren McLean passes away

Australian drummer Warren McLean has passed away in Bali, where he spent his final years after opting not to take treatment for cancer.

His YouTube channel confirmed his death on January 3, adding: “He was being well cared for in hospital in Bali at the time of his passing. He now heads off on his next adventure. Stay strong and travel safe”.

McLean emerged with Sydney synth-pop Machinations, joining them just after the 1983 release of their debut album Esteem and recording the 1986 follow up Big Music which was made with British producer Julian Mendelsohn.

It was a time of overseas touring for The Machinations, but McLean left a year after to join the Kate Ceberano-fronted funk-pop Melbourne outfit I’m Talking.

He was with them during the legendary Australian Made tour in January 1987 but the band was starting to come apart at the seams, and broke up in July after Ceberano went solo.

McLean then joined The Divinyls in 1988 for their third album Temperamental, which was recorded in Los Angeles with Mike Chapman.

McLean was with them during a turbulent time, with lineup changes and being dropped by their label Chrysalis after the record failed to crack the US and left the band owing half a million dollars which the company wiped out.

McLean then went on to tour with the Party Boys and Eric Burdon.

Melbourne singer Nikki Nichols, on whose Bridesmaid album he played drums and guitar and co-wrote a track, recalled on the weekend the sessions were “very difficult” because his borderline personality disorder and bipolar had not been diagnosed and “quite extreme”.

McLean set up his YouTube channel and posted vlogs about life in Bali, a place where he found tranquillity.

I’m Talking noted in a social media post about his passing that he died in Bali, “a place he truly loved. Goodbye from all of us. Rest in Peace. Take it to the bridge brother.”


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