Twenty years ago yesterday the Sydney music scene lost one of its most dynamic performers and talented songwriters. I am referring, of course, to Stevie Plunder, aka Anthony Hayes, who left us suddenly only a short drive from where I am writing. Stevie hailed from a large Catholic Canberra family who still punch well above their weight in the local music scene, with brothers Bernie, Pat and Justin all continuing to carve out a special niche in an increasingly crowded space. As one of the founding members of Newtown outfit The Whitlams, Stevie was thrust for a time into the pop limelight, a situation he was never completely comfortable with. But my memory of him will always be perched on that rickety stool beside his brother, Bernie, Tuesday nights at the Sandringham Hotel in Newtown under the moniker "The Gruesome Twosome". The song, "Pass the Flagon", that I have posted in the sidebar was a staple of those wonderful evenings, and I am merely one of hundreds of people who were lucky enough to be there and who continue to cherish the memory. Thank you Stevie my friend!
Although people continue to speculate why this shining, warm, funny, generous soul left us when he did, I hope you will indulge me, dear reader, while I celebrate this unique presence in the Australian (and more particularly the Newtown) music and arts scene of the 1980's and 90's. Vale Stevie! May your spirit prevail!