ROSS HANNAFORD and WAYNE DUNCAN
Ross Hannaford and Wayne Duncan were founding members, along with singer/rhythm guitarist Ross Wilson and drummer Gary Young, of the band Daddy Cool.
Their first single ‘Eagle Rock’, went straight to the top of the charts in May 1971, and was followed in July by their first album ‘Daddy Who? Daddy Cool’. I bought the album hot off the press, took it home and played it for my wife and a model friend, and we danced our little feet off through both sides of the record; then turned it over and did it again. It was such fun music.
We were part of a huge, enthusiastic audience at the Capalaba Hotel, south of Brisbane, when they played there in 1972. No recording studio trickery was needed for those guys, they just poured out note-perfect music all night long.
Ross Hannaford’s lead guitar work was a breath of fresh air, and Wayne Duncan’s excellent bass-playing underscored every song. Ross Wilson sang in a fairly high register, and the other three members contributed backing vocals. Hannaford’s voice was a rich, deep counter to Wilson’s.
The band broke up after a couple of years, then reformed and broke up a couple of times more, before they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006.
I was invited to photograph a benefit gig for widely respected bass player, Spiro Philipas, at which Hannaford and Duncan performed in 1991. That gig is explained more fully on the Tina Arena page. The picture (above), shot while they were discussing their upcoming set, has never seen the light of day until now; and I think it illustrates the deep understanding between these two great players. Note Wayne's Fender bass, the same instrument he had played since the inception of Daddy Cool. I believe he continued to play that same instrument throughout his career.
Musicians are always prepared to give their time and talents to charitable events, and a great camaraderie exists among their community. The common bond is respect for each other’s musicianship. Cancer had claimed Spiro’s life, and the same fate was visited upon the much-loved Ross Hannaford on 8 March 2016. Then, in late 2016, Wayne had a stroke. He died, aged 72, on 4 December; a very sad loss to the Australian music industry.