By now most of the Australian music world has been made aware of the sad passing of Ross Hannaford. The news became known to us with a posting of longtime doyan of the music scene and good friend of Ross, Bob Bright, who simply posted on Facebook, “Truly a national treasure lost. R.I.P. Ross Hannaford.”
Hanna at a session recording for Bob’s 2013 CD – Child Of Rock and Roll
Bob has known Ross since his early days in the Pink Finks, and worked with him on many occasions, as have many, many Australian musicians. That was one of the loving features of this man – his love of playing his guitar and performing led him to playing alongside so many artists. One of his last performances with Bob caught on video was at the Caravan Club in 2013.
The outpouring of sadness and the outpouring of wonderful stories and pictures has been truly astounding, and at the Toorak Times we cannot recall the death of any artist, including the recent passing of the mighty David Bowie, generating this amount of activity on Facebook.
One of his longtime friends and well known rock Journalist, David Pepperell (aka Dr. Pepper) wrote a short piece on Ross, which seems to have touched many people. He wrote:
” Dear old Ross Hannaford. One of natures gentlemen, a true gentle giant, dry of wit, bright of eye, brilliant of music, dark of voice. Mid- 60’s far too young to die for such a fine man, a lanky streak of goodness, a soul full of soulfullness, myopic gazer into the void, brilliant star in the stage firmament, golden ear of the music of the spheres. I will miss you horribly dear friend and brother, miss running into you every which where and the pleasure of hearing your voice behind me and feeling your big hand on my shoulder. I’ve now got my three score and ten – you so deserved yours. Hasta la vista compadre, Vaya con dios amigo, see you in our next lives. Love you always. Condolences to Lorraine, Billie and Toni … and Ross “EagleRock Wilson”.
His longtime friend and music compatriot Ross Wilson was understandably stunned at the news. He simply wrote, “Sorry, speechless – RIP bro“
David Pepperell later added, “Just remembering I had the great honour of being backed by dear Ross Hannaford in “Doctor Pepper & The Interns” in 1978. From left: Moi, Karen Marks, Wayne Burt & RH. Only one of a million happy memories of Ross. Lets keep them and rejoice we knew him. He is not dead, he sleeps.”
Dr Pepper with Hanna
There is indeed so much that could be written about this man, and hopefully one day his full story will be told. But those that knew him, those that shared a stage with him and, those that were in the audience, will never forget this colourful man – colourful in so many ways. He loved his music, he loved his audiences and we loved him back.
What is that saying? ~ You don’t know what you’ve lost till it’s gone!