Andrew Durant (musician)

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Andrew Durant
Birth name Andrew MacLeish Durant
Born (1954-10-02)2 October 1954
Origin Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Died 6 May 1980(1980-05-06) (aged 25)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Country rock
Occupation(s) Musician-songwriter
Instruments Guitar, harmonica, vocals, mandolin
Years active 1972–1979
Associated acts Astra Kahn, Stars

Andrew MacLeish Durant (2 October 1954 – 6 May 1980) was an Australian musician-songwriter. He was a member of country rock group Stars (1976–79) providing guitar, harmonica, and backing vocals. He was also a session and backing musician for a range of artists. He died of cancer, aged 25. On 19 August 1980 a tribute performance was held in his honour, with a live double-album recorded by various artists, Andrew Durant Memorial Concert, which was released on 9 March 1981. All but three tracks were written by Durant. It peaked at No. 8 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart and reached No. 40 on the End of Year Top 100 Albums Chart for 1981.

Biography[edit]

Andrew MacLeish Durant was born in 1954.[1][2][3] Durant grew up in an Adelaide beach suburb with an older sister who was in a "very folkie vocal group – she had a stunning voice".[4] He attended Brighton High School,[4] alongside his girlfriend, Bronte Seidel.[5] In 1968 Durant was inspired by his copy of The Band's debut album, Music from Big Pink.[4] In 1972 on lead guitar he founded a group, Astra Kahn, in Adelaide which included Glyn Dowding on drums, Malcolm Eastick on guitar and vocals[2][6] and Wayne Gibson on bass. By 1974 the group disbanded when Durant left Australia to travel overseas.[7][8] Meanwhile Dowding, Eastick and Gibson formed a hard rock covers band, Flash, which in May 1975 became the country rock band, Stars.[2][6][7]

In August 1976 Durant was back in Australia and joined Stars, which had relocated to Melbourne and, alongside Dowding and Eastick, included Mick Pealing on lead vocals (ex-Flight, Nantucket, Flash) and Graham Thompson on bass guitar.[2][6] According to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, Durant "added a great deal to the band's strengths, becoming the major songwriter in the group".[2] He wrote their third single, "Mighty Rock" (August 1977),[1] which peaked at No. 47 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart.[2][9]

Durant also wrote "Look After Yourself" (November),[1] which became Stars' highest charting single at No. 30.[2][9] The group's debut album, Paradise was released in December.[2] Durant wrote seven of its ten tracks, including two further singles, "Back Again" (April 1978) and "West is the Way" (June).[2][10] In June 1979 they issued their second studio album, Land of Fortune,[2][11] by that time Durant had been diagnosed with melanoma.[2] Stars' last gig on 18 October 1979, at the Bombay Rock Hotel, was recorded for their live album, 1157.[2][12] Andrew Durant died of his cancer on 6 May 1980, aged 25.[2]

1157 appeared in July and was dedicated to Durant.[2] Eastick organised a tribute performance on 19 August 1980 at the Palais Theatre in his honour; lead vocalists included Pealing, Jimmy Barnes, Renée Geyer, Ian Moss, and Broderick Smith;[13][14][15] musicians included former Stars band mates Dowding on drums and percussion; Eastick on guitar; Thompson on bass guitar; as well as Ric Formosa on slide guitar, guitar and piano; John-James Hackett on drums and percussion; Glyn Mason on guitar and vocals; Mick O'Connor on organ; Billy Rogers on saxophone; Kerryn Tolhurst on guitar and steel guitar; and Don Walker on piano.[2][14][15]

A live double-album recorded by various artists, Andrew Durant Memorial Concert, was released on 9 March 1981.[2][14][15] All but three tracks were written by Durant.[14] It peaked at No. 8 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart and reached No. 40 on the End of Year Top 100 Albums Chart in 1981.[2][9] Profits from the album's sales went to the Andrew Durant Cancer Research Foundation.[2] Highlights from the performance were broadcast on TV by Channel 7.[14] A VHS was also issued.[16]

Aside from Stars, Durant was a session and backing musician for a range of artists.[2] He provided rhythm guitar for Richard Clapton's seventh album, Dark Spaces (August 1980), which was dedicated to Durant.[17][18] In late 1979 after Stars disbanded, Eastick had joined Broderick Smith's Big Combo.[13][19] Durant, Eastick and Smith co-wrote "I Was Here",[20] which appeared on Broderick Smith's Big Combo (November 1981).[13]

In May 2008 a 2× DVD package also titled, The Andrew Durant Memorial Concert, compiled material from the original tribute concert VHS and a live performance from 1978.[16][21] Off the Record reviewed the release, which highlights "the strength of Durant’s song writing and the fact that, had he lived, he might have gone on to carve himself a niche in Australia’s Pantheon of great writers".[22] While "[the] sound, however, has been digitally remastered and is superb. There are also interviews with Mal Eastick, Mick Pealing and Sarah Morgan (who ran the fan club)".[22] In 2012 Durant's former girlfriend, Bronte Seidel donated his mandolin to her ex-neighbour, Chris White, "to make sure it got played".[5] White wrote and recorded "Andy's Mandolin" using the instrument.[5]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ a b c "'Mighty Rock' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 2 March 2014.  Note: User may have to click 'Search again' and provide details at 'Enter a title:' e.g Mighty Rock; or at 'Performer:' Stars
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s McFarlane, 'Stars' entry at the Wayback Machine (archived 9 August 2004). Archived from the original on 9 August 2004. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  3. ^ McGrath, Noel (1984), Noel McGrath's Australian encyclopaedia of rock & pop (Rev. ed.), Rigby, ISBN 978-0-7270-1909-7 
  4. ^ a b c Atkins, Dennis (8 October 2010). "The Band that Holds Under the Weight of Time". The Punch. News Limited. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c White, Christopher Hamilton (1 April 2013). "Andy Durant's Mandolin". Doc White. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Holmgren, Magnus. "Stars". Australian Rock Database. Passagen.se (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Holmgren, Magnus. "Malcolm Eastick". Australian Rock Database. Passagen.se (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Mick Pealing Band". Tasman Talent Entertainment Agency. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  10. ^ Stars; Walsh, Joe; Durant, Andy; Eastick, Mal (1977), Paradise, Mushroom Records. National Library of Australia, retrieved 2 March 2014, Notes: All tracks by Andy Durant except where noted. Produced by Rick Formosa & Beeb Birtles. Recorded Armstrong Studio 2 April – September 1977 except 'Rocky Mountain Way' live at Palais Theatre 22 Sept 1977. Original released on LP Paradise [Melbourne]: Mushroom Records, 1977 .
  11. ^ Stars; Walsh, Joe; Durant, Andy; Eastick, Mal (1979), Land of Fortune, Mushroom Records. National Library of Australia, retrieved 2 March 2014 
  12. ^ Stars; Durant, Andy; Eastick, Mal (1980), 1157, Mushroom Records, retrieved 2 March 2014 
  13. ^ a b c McFarlane, 'Broderick Smith' entry at the Wayback Machine (archived 12 July 2004). Archived from the original on 12 July 2004. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d e Raffaele, Garry (9 March 1981). "Rock Music: The Andrew Durant Memorial Concert". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). National Library of Australia. p. 9. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c Holmgren, Magnus; Bouchard, Gary. "The Andrew Durant Memorial Concert". Australian Rock Database. Passagen.se (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Pascuzzi, Carmine (2009). "The Andrew Durant Memorial Concert / Stars Live at Bombay Rock". Mediasearch. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  17. ^ McFarlane, 'Richard Clapton' entry at the Wayback Machine (archived 19 April 2004). Archived from the original on 19 April 2004. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  18. ^ Feliu, Luis (25 August 1980). "Well-Balanced Clapton". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). National Library of Australia. p. 12. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Holmgren, Magnus. "Broderick Smith". Australian Rock Database. Passagen.se (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "'I Was Here' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 2 March 2014.  Note: User may have to click 'Search again' and provide details at 'Enter a title:' e.g I Was Here
  21. ^ Durant, Andy (2008), The Andrew Durant Memorial Concert, Mushroom Records: Liberation Music. National Library of Australia, retrieved 2 March 2014 
  22. ^ a b "Latest Reviews: The Andrew Durant Memorial Concert DVD". Off the Record. Brian Wise. 21 May 2008. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 

External links[edit]