Sunday, March 12, 2006

Gerry Georgettis and Cold Chisel

Well, what a way to go. A calm, together guy who mixed Whitney Houston and Pink Floyd and the Chili Peppers and lived in Miami with his own great business gets ripped off on a credit deal (to his way of thinking) on a big Ford. When the Ford guys won't back down he drives it through the plate glass window of the dealership and sets it on fire, causing US $1 million plus damage, is mug-shotted and charged with intention to kill. Three days later, after having been made an accidental and unwilling consumer rights star, he hangs himself in the toilet on a United Airlines flight en route to LA.

54 years old and facing 30 years in a US jail? You do the math.

Set fire to the town, alright mate. I spent a helluva lot of time around the king of sound Gerry Georgettis in the 80's. I was the girlfriend of Don Walker of Cold Chisel for 6 1/2 years, a journalist from Rock Australia Magazine (RAM) and other outlets and manager of Don's publishing company Burdikan.

From my favourite perch beside the mixing desk I got to appreciate how this steady, caring, dry-witted and trustworthy man was the heart of Chisel live, delivering precision set-ups and happy, on-time crews that Chisel and their manager Rod Willis never had to spend a moment freaking out about.

They loved him with a passion.

Best of all, his mixes were A1 in venue after venue in Australia, the US and Canada. Lead vocals swapping and changing everywhere, mass harmonies, a range of keyboards and guitars, jazz blues like Georgia to frenetic rockabilly like Rising Sun or full-on rock assault like Merry-Go-Round, the singer diving into the crowd several times a night, backstage fights, 3 hour shows, 7 days a week, massive interstate hauls, stairs, 3am lugouts, no sleep, it didn't matter.

It all sounded brilliant and it made Chisel - a live legend - bigger than an Allosaurus on heat.

The moral of the story is don't buy a fucking car on credit.

1 comment:

Brian said...

It was sad to hear about this tragic event. Steve Kilbey wrote about it on his blog and told some great stories about what a nice guy he was.