Current Traffic

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Post 613 - Greg Quill And Southern Cross - Been So Long - I Wonder Why

Alongside Margret RoadKnight and Rob MacKenzie, Greg Quill was one of the first Australian rock musicians to be awarded an Arts Council grant, which enabled him to travel overseas. He moved part-time to Canada in mid-1975, and put together a new band, Southern Cross, in 1977; it included the long-serving Tony Bolton and noted Aussie musos Chris Stockley, Sam See and Bruce Worrall, both Stockley and See joined in Canada, as their respective groups had both moved to North America in the preceding years. Southern Cross recorded a single, "Been So Long" b/w "I Wonder Why" (100075), for Warner's Elektra label, which featured Greg, Sam See, Chris Stockley and Tony Bolton, plus  Steve Hogg (bass), Ian Thomas (harmonies) and Hugh Syme (keyboards). It was released in Oct. 1978 but the group split at the end of 1978 during a tour of Australia. Sadly, the split was also effectively the end of the performing careers of both Quill and Bolton. Tony gave up playing after Southern Cross and eventually went into business; Greg too gave up playing professionally for over two decades, and settled permanently in Canada, eventually becoming a prominent journalist and music writer. His exit from music was, as he recounts, a disheartening experience at the time. Happily, that was not the end of the story for Greg Quill's music. He returned to Australia to visit his family in September 1999, and although he had long set aside thoughts of his earlier life in music, he experienced what he describes as an 'epiphany' on returning. He came home to find that his old hit "Gypsy Queen" had been just been re-recorded by country singer Adam Harvey. Heading to Melbourne, he had a emotional four-day reunion with former bandmates like Kerryn Tolhurst and Chris Stockley, and attended a concert by up-and-coming young country-rock artist, Cyndi Boste, whose recent album Kerryn had produced. That night she performed Greg's second hit "Wintersong". Over the next couple of years, Greg and Kerryn maintained contact and quietly began working on songs together. The result was the clutch of new tunes which eventually appeared in early 2003 on the superb Quill-Tolhurst album "So Rudely Interrupted". Sadly on May 5th 2013 we lost Greg from complications from pneumonia after suffering health issues for a number of years. He was only 66. mp3


nick crescendo said...

Great stuff, many thanks here too!


kimbo said...

Didnt know Greg Quill had died. Shocked to hear that. Thanks for the info


Micko said...

Can't believe Greg's been gone 3 years already..all of his 70's catalogue has been remastered and yet it remains unreleased, even a proposed best of set, due to the fact that he couldn't tour to promote them and stimulate sales..a bit bloody hard to do that when you're dead!!

AC said...

Sad to hear of Greg Quill's passing, he was a great songwriter. I've been hunting a copy of his solo album The Outlaw's Reply for years, if you have a copy would you please share it? Thanks very much for all of your efforts on this blog.