Celebrity Deaths 2018


I remember Laverne had a cursive “L” stitched to her tops. I later stole the design when developing my John Hancock, Penny’s sad passing has reminded me of this.
RIP Penny.


Anthony O’Grady , the highly influential co-founder of The Music Network and Rock Australian Magazine (RAM), has passed after a series of medical complications in Sydney.

He was 71.

After a brief dalliance with ad copywriting, O’Grady emerged writing for Go-Set and Soundblast .

He edited the large format glossy Ear For Music which lasted for three issues before being offered the finances to set up RAM in 1975.

This was a boom time for Australian music, with the coming of Countdown, 2JJ, Sydney pub rock and, later, punk and new wave.

RAM syndicated material from NME and Melody Maker and O’Grady was insistent that its Australian content should also reflect their high quality free-form New Journalism.

He brought in counter-culture writers Jen Jewel Brown and Peter Olszewski , as well as whole new generation of writers-on-a-mission including Andrew McMillan, Annie Burton, Richard Guilliatt and Greg Taylor.

Stuart Coupe , who was freelancing for Adelaide’s Roadrunner , had made some bravado quips in print about how it was ready to take on RAM when O’Grady called.

“Dear boy, how would you like to come to Sydney and work for a real music magazine?”

O’Grady arranged with The Angels’ road crew to transport Coupe and worldly possession to Sydney in their truck.

Coupe states, “AOG inspired and taught a generation of Australian music writers their craft.

“He was a tough, demanding editor which I grew to thank him for in hindsight – not at the time!

“He was also an incredible music fan, writing with passion about his loves – be it Skyhooks, Dragon, Radio Birdman , Roxy Music or any number of others favourites.

“He’ll be very much missed by not only the writers he nurtured but by the legions of readers who also had their lives changed by O’Grady and RAM magazine.”

O’Grady left RAM in 1981 after a disagreement with its business managers over its direction.

An avid golfer, he lived around NSW with his wife, wrote for The Bulletin , assembled the first rock music soundtrack to win an Australian Film Institute award (for Street Hero in 1985), did radio specials, and edited retail chain Brashs’ in-store giveaway mag.

In 1994, he along with artist managers/music publishers J ohn Woodruff and Keith Welsh set up The Music Network , initially as a print-only tip sheet for the radio and music industries.

He soon got to wandering again, only returning to writing the Cold Chisel book Pure Stuff (2001) and comprehensive sleeve notes for Dave Laing ’s critically acclaimed Australian rock compilations.

Phil Tripp, the ANZ/Hawaii representative for South by Southwest, was another RAM writer who regards O’Grady as a mentor.

The two became good friends when Tripp began working with Divinyls manager Vince Lovegrove , and more so during The Music Network days.

“Our friendship kicked to a higher level then,” Tripp recounts.

“He was always encouraging in a curmudgeonly way with a rapier wit and deep wisdom.

“In the past decade, he and I were in regular phone contact, usually on the speakerphone as I was driving to or from Sydney, often for an hour or more.

“He had suffered through medical issues but was as upbeat and hilarious as ever.”

In recent times, O’Grady had a kidney transplant and bouts with cancer. After a fall, he ended his days in hospital.


That’s sad. He did some good things.


Justin Langer’s reported desire to have Aussie cricket legend Ricky Ponting join his coaching staff has been overruled by Cricket Australia’s stretched coaching budget.

The Australian’s Peter Lalor reports Langer wants to bolster his coaching squad by adding Ponting and fellow Aussie great Simon Katich to the mix, but has been unable to compete with the money the pair are able to earn through television deals and overseas coaching.

The reports makes it clear that Langer is entirely satisfied with top lieutenants David Saker, Brad Haddin and batting coach Graeme Hick, but the former opening batsman has also identified Ponting and Katich as desirable additions.

Hick has come under fire recently for the fragile state of the Australian batting line-up with Test legend Shane Warne last month calling for Cricket Australia to swing the axe following Australia’s struggles against South Africa on home soil.

Channel 7 is keeping Ricky away from the Aussie team.

Channel 7 is keeping Ricky away from the Aussie team. Source:The Advertiser

Cricket Australia’s inability to secure the signatures of Ponting and Katich, who both have deals with Channel 7, has exposed a broader “crisis” of retiring cricket greats choosing to chase careers in media over coaching.

The report claims the dollars involved with professional cricket coaching in Australia are simply not competitive with other options available for Aussie cricket greats.

Ponting in May reportedly signed a mult-million dollar deal with Seven and also earns around $600,000 for his Indian Premier League coaching role.

Langer is reportedly the highest-earning coach Australia has ever had, with an annual salary of $1 million — but he is trumped by several players in the Aussie squad, including star Glenn Maxwell, who have played just a handful of international matches in 2018.

Maxwell’s superior salary to Langer is just one of several startling revelations in The Australian’s report, including:

— Highly rated Aussie coach Jason Gillespie earns more coaching Sussex in the English County competition than he would if he returned to coach in Australia

Justin Langer wants some help.

Justin Langer wants some help. Source:AAP

— One of the Big Bash franchise coaches last summer earned just $30,000; and

— Australian batting coach Michael Di Veneto left to join Surrey in 2016 because Cricket Australia refused to pay an additional $50,000.

Ponting last summer was able to balance his Twenty20 assistant coaching position with his TV commitments, but Langer has been unable to find a way to lure him back this summer.

Ponting has previously said he will continue to help the Aussie team when able.

His return would be a welcome boost for the Aussie side after he received widespread praise from the Twenty20 outfit last summer.

“He was great for me through those games,” Queensland fast-bowler Billy Stanlake told cricket.com.au recently of Ponting.

“So he instilled great confidence in me.

“When he spoke, everyone was glued to what he had to say. We know what a great cricket brain he has.”

Langer earlier this week opened up on the mental toll he has endured while guiding the Aussie team following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

“They’ve been bashed for nine months a lot of them and you now have a couple of hours where you can sit back and enjoy it,” Langer told Fox Cricket after his team’s win over India in Perth.

“So much goes into every Test match. Test matches are really tiring mentally for the coaches, physically and mentally for the players.


Merda! Ricky Ponting is dead?


IT takes his cricket seriously. Very seriously.


Hope warnies one


You hope Warnie is dead? My goodness, man!


I’m only human


Di Venuto was a pretty decent Playstation batsman.


So’s Warnie

Well…, mostly


Diva was a great fat lazy waste of talent.


Not for me.
Featured in many 300 run opening partnerships.


Unfortunately he came along a bad time but persistence wasn’t a great virtue.
Could have been anything as a footballer also.
Brother too.


But did they die?


I think Cricket died from a sand paper wound.


I think the sandpaper thing was a symptom


Only wondering my friend, only wondering…
(looks off ruefully into the distance)


lol, nothing like posting in the wrong thread


Mrs Seuss died the other day aged 97. I understand she helped with the books.