The Australian music community is in mourning after news of the death of local guitar great Ross Hannaford at the age of 65. Whether you are familiar with Ross from his ground breaking Daddy Cool days, his Dianna Kiss residency at The Espy or even his busking at the South Melbourne market, two things are certain. 1) He was one hell of a unique guitarist with so much soul in his fingers that he could bring you to tears with his note choices and 2) He was such a a humble and beautiful human being.
His Daddy Cool buddies, Ross Wilson, Gary Young and Wayne Duncan were quick to remember and celebrate the great man with the following release:
“Ross Wilson is today profoundly sad to announce the passing of his lifelong friend and musical colleague Ross Hannaford. “We were so lucky to find each other in the wilds of 60’s suburban Melbourne. He was like my little brother, we grew up together in life and in music. He was truly one of a kind”
Surviving Daddy Cool band members Ross Wilson, Gary Young and Wayne Duncan were devastated to learn of their long term friend and bandmate Ross Hannaford’s death. “We’re gutted” says Wayne Duncan, before adding “We’ve lost a great friend today. He took me on many a journey”.
Gary joined in “We’ve lost one of the world’s most unique guitarists” The band send deepest condolences to his family and many friends. Ross Wilson and Ross Hannaford’s friendship predates Daddy Cool and the two have been playing together since 1964 in the Pink Finks, The Party Machine and Sons of the Vegetal Mother.
Originally formed in Melbourne in 1970 with Wayne Duncan, Gary Young, Ross Wilson and Ross Hannaford, Daddy Cool’s debut single “Eagle Rock” was released in May 1971 and shot straight to number one on the Australian singles chart. It recently topped a Max TV poll of the greatest Australian songs of all time. Their 1971 LP “Daddy Who?
Daddy Cool!” also reached number one, becoming the first Australian rock album to sell more than 100,000 copies. The band last performed together in Nov 2014 when they were inducted into The Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame.
An artist all his life, in addition to being consistently ranked as one of the finest guitar players in Australia, he was also known for his quirky sense of humour, his flamboyant and colourful dress style and his beautiful paintings.
Ross Hannaford released his solo album “Hanna” to a rapturous capacity crowd at his CD launch at Caravan Music Club in Oakleigh in late 2015. It was a night of celebration for Ross as the audience was mesmerized by his powerful and moving performance in his 65th year. Wilson joined him on the night for a performance. Ross had been battling cancer, yet was still recording as late as last week so this sad news still comes as a shock.
Here’s a link to the one and only interview Australian Musician did with Ross at his home in 2008, featuring some wonderful photos shot by Ros O’Gorman