Michael Gudinski’s sudden death two weeks ago sent a shockwave through the Australian and international music scene.
So who was Michael Gudinski, and why was he seen as the godfather of the Australian music scene?
Who was Michael Gudinski?
Michael Gudinski was born in August 1952, the son of Russian immigrants.
By the age of 15 he was organising dances, with bands showing up at his home to get paid.
Gudinski dropped out of high school and his career took off like a rocket when he established his first booking agency.
In 1972, he booked the inaugural Sunbury Music Festival and set up Mushroom Records. Two years later the label released Skyhooks’ debut album Living in the 70s, which became the era’s biggest-selling Australian album.
Gudinski’s Frontier Touring brought international stars like Madonna, Guns N’ Roses and the Foo Fighters to tour in Australia.
He went on to win numerous accolades including Aria awards, several Helpmann awards and an Order of Australia medal in 2006.
Famous acts — it’s a long list
Kylie Minogue is one of numerous acts launched and supported by Mushroom Records over the years.
The label launched Kylie’s career when it released her eponymous debut album in 1988.
After his death, Minogue called Gudinski a “titan” of the music industry, one of a kind, and “forever family to me.”
He also launched the careers of Split Enz, Hunters and Collectors, Paul Kelly, The Angels, Amy Shark and Archie Roach, who enjoyed a 30-year partnership with Gudinski.
“I believe our relationship grew stronger through the years as he shared his own story and heritage as I do,” Roach said.
Ed Sheeran and Bruce Springsteen also paid tribute to the Australian music industry icon.
Springsteen said he was “always a music man.”
“I’ve toured the world for the last 50 years and never met a better promoter,” Springsteen said.
Who’s going to be at the state memorial?
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews offered the opportunity for a state memorial to Gudinski’s wife Sue.
Andrews said his close friend made Melbourne a more vibrant and inclusive place.
“To know him was to be changed — he left a mark on everyone he met,” Andrews said.
It’s unlikely the Premier will attend the state funeral as he recovers from a serious back injury.
While we haven’t seen the official guest list, judging by Gudinski’s private funeral, it’s fair to say it will include a who’s who of the Australian music industry.
Kylie Minogue and her sister Danni attended the private function, as did Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes, Molly Meldrum and many others.
More than 160 roadies set up a guard of honour as Gudinski’s hearse left after the private service.
Ed Sheeran flew in from the UK and spent two weeks in quarantine ahead of his performance tonight.
Members of the public were able to register online to get a ticket to attend the event at Rod Laver Arena.
In lieu of flowers, the Gudinski family has asked people to consider making a contribution to Support Act, a fund for musicians doing it tough during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There will be a