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



Labor gains lift out of final state boundaries

Ipswich West MP Jim Madden.

Willowbank moves into Scenic Rim, despite protests

'We'll keep fighting': Parents campaign for new high school

Shana Skinner from Karalee Childcare Centre with Slater Hanson (left) and Liam Edbrooke

Government rejects claims of overcrowding at major high schools

Drink and drug drivers: Heavy price for risking it

You can be caught anywhere, any time.

Man cops 18-month ban for drink driving

Local Partners

Big Pineapple festival safety concerns as 100s walk home

WOOMBYE'S Big Pineapple festival brought in the crowds, and the traffic.

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

Sally Skelton and Bojesse Pigram pictured after their battle performance on The Voice.

Sunshine Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

'Ridiculous': Council refuses renovation at heritage home

NOT FAIR: Karen Solomon of Newtown is angry with Ipswich City Council for refusing her plans to build a colonial style double car port at her Newtown home.

Council rejected development application

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!