Opinion

Angels lament the passing of Doc

CURRENT LINE-UP: The Angels (from left) Rick Brewster, John Brewster, Dave Gleeson, Sam Brewster and Nick Norton.
CURRENT LINE-UP: The Angels (from left) Rick Brewster, John Brewster, Dave Gleeson, Sam Brewster and Nick Norton. Craig Peihopa

AUSTRALIA lost a great man this week. When Doc Neeson lost his battle with a brain tumour early Wednesday, the news shook not only those who'd shared the stage with him over the years, but a vast majority of Australians who were lucky enough to feel some connection with the music of one of the country's finest rock and roll bands.

While Doc parted ways with fellow Angels founders John and Rick Brewster in 2010, the camaraderie that was built over more than 35 years of living the rock life together was always going to be hard to break.

Guitarist John Brewster, who is part-way through a national tour with The Angels featuring Dave Gleeson on lead vocals, said Doc's loss was devastating.

"I spent most of my life with Doc - a greater proportion was spent with him than anyone else," Brewster said.

"Rick and I founded this band with Doc in 1974, after Doc joined The Moonshine Jug and String Band in '71.

"There was a camaraderie that nothing could break. Being in a band was like a rollercoaster - particularly in the early days when we were burning the candle from both ends."

Brewster dismissed the rumours that have floated around since Neeson left to form his own Angels group just over three years ago.

"People were saying we were at war - it was all rubbish," he said.

"All I can do now is reflect on the good times we had."

There was no shortage of good times for The Angels in their prime.

Brewster paid tribute to Doc's role in the massive appeal of the band - starting in the late 1970s and carrying through to the present day.

"My best memories of Doc are just of how good a stage performer he was and how he pushed the envelope," he said.

"I remember him climbing a PA stack at a festival in 1983 - it was just one of those ridiculously dangerous things he used to do.

"It was as wobbly as hell and an absolute death drop but he got away with it and, when he got up the top, he was encouraging everyone to hold up their cigarette lighters.

"I think that just showed his dedication as a performer.

"He was a great front man."

As part of their current national tour, The Angels will perform with Dave Gleeson on lead vocals at Queensland Lions, Richlands on August 8.

Fans can expect a dedication to Doc during the performance.

"We will raise a collective glass to Doc and his memory," Brewster said.

"Rick and I love Doc."

The Angels also lost long-time bass player Chris Bailey to cancer in April last year.

John Brewster's 31-year-old son Sam has taken over on bass.

New frontman Dave Gleeson has also become an integral part of the band, which is topped off by drummer Nick Norton.

"People come to see the big hits, and that is an important part of what The Angels are about.

"Having said that, we've done two new albums with Dave since he joined the band," Brewster said.

"Dave has a sound in his voice that suits our songs. He is not trying to be Doc but he is in the same ball park - he is a brilliant front man."

The Angels are releasing two commemorative albums to celebrate their 40th year - Volume 1 features 40 greatest studio hits, while Volume 2 features 40 live tracks.

Brewster said every Angels band member featured somewhere on the recordings.

"The records are a celebration of everyone who was ever part of The Angels," he said.

Fans can expect to hear plenty of The Angels' timeless classics during the tour, with the odd new song thrown in for good measure.

New material has been well received, with the band favouring the title track from the latest studio album, Talk the Talk, as a set opener.

It is still timeless classics like Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again and Take a Long Line that have ensured the lasting popularity of the band for 40 years.

"Some songs don't age," Brewster said.

"I'm a lucky guy - I'm in a band that can still pull a full house.

"It's a wonderful thing to be able to do.

"When we formed the band we thought we might last five years or so."

Performances

Topics:  doc neeson opinion qt big read the angels



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

People power gets Ipswich-Rosewood line back up and running

FEEDBACK: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk found out how important the railway line was to Rosewood residents on a recent visit.

Premier intervenes to end a month of pain for commuters

Vote for the best chips in Ipswich

Stephanie Sewell and Cheryl Pfeffer from The Chambers Cafe

Its the $64,000 question that needs to be answered

Missing teen found after two weeks

Crimestoppers.

Ipswich 13-year-old has been found safe and well

Local Partners

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!