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Greg Ham (Men at Work's flutist, he of the "Down Under" solo) found dead [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum


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The Bus
04-19-12, 07:04 AM
<img src="http://images.smh.com.au/2012/04/19/3231805/0419greg_ham_729-408x264.jpg">

<b>Greg Ham found dead in house</b>

Men at Work flautist Greg Ham has been found dead in a house in Melbourne’s inner north. Police were called to the house in Canning Street, North Carlton, soon after midday and are trying to determine the cause of the man's death.
The body was found by a friend after he went to the house to check on the man's welfare and there was no answer at the door. He then returned with another friend and found the body in the front of the house.

The area has been cordoned off with police tape and there are a large number of police at the scene.

Police would not confirm the identity of the man as relatives still had to be notified, but said he was a 58-year-old who lived at the house alone. Detective Senior Sergeant Shane O'Connell said there were several unexplained circumstances surrounding the death but would not go into detail.

"There are a number of issues we are trying to resolve as to how the male died", Sergeant O'Connell, of the homicide squad, said. A close neighbour said he had moved into the street only recently, and although he was a bit of a recluse he had attended a barbecue recently. "He looked like he'd done it hard," Linda Phypers said.

"He had lived just a bit further around the corner, and I think Men at Work had their first recording there." Ms Phypers said that Ham had been renovating the corner house and was always pleasant to everyone in the street, although he had obvious health issues. "He talked about that riff and he was still pretty upset about that", she said. "But he was a good guy. He used to walk the streets a bit and looked a bit daggy."

A post-mortem examination will be held to determine the cause of death.

Forensic detectives are at the scene and pathologists will attend later today.
A neighbour said the well-known musician had moved into the house a few months ago. He had moved from another house just around the corner where it is believed Men at Work rehearsed.

A section of Fenwick Street near the house, a converted shop front, has been fenced off with police tape.


<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/98/Down_Under_Shaped_disc.jpg">


Apparently dude didn't even really <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/flute-riff-left-a-sour-note-for-ham-20120419-1x9kc.html">write that solo</a>.


The Infidel
04-19-12, 09:17 AM
I'm shocked and saddened to hear about this. Men At Work was one of my absolute favorite groups of the 80s, and Greg always seemed to be a great guy with tons of personality, not to mention that he was a very talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter.

Also sad to read how the court decision against "Down Under" apparently affected him. I still don't think they had any right suing the group after all these years, when the lady who originally wrote the song was quoted as approving of the use of that riff in Men At Work's song.

It looks like any future Men At Work reunions may never happen, since Colin and Greg were pretty much the only ones left. It was just the two of them who were behind the album Brazil, which was filled out with other musicians from Australia.


RIP Greg. I'll be listening to Men At Work today in your honor.

The Antipodean
04-19-12, 11:21 AM
Greg ham was really underrated in Men At Work and it's sad all the obits just call him "the flute guy". But he wrote many of the band's better songs, especially on their almost unknown third album Two Hearts -- I really dig that album and Ham's songs like "Still Life," "Stay At Home" and "Snakes & Ladders" have this gorgeous melancholy to them that really works for me; i always felt like Men At Work were heading in a real interesting direction and it's a shame that was their last album, perhaps Colin Hay and Ham could've become a very memorable tag team of songwriters. RIP Greg and a big FU to Larrikin Music who were behind this trumped up lawsuit that basically killed him. Bunch of hucksters filing a suit over a song they had nothing to do with, they bought the company and went on to this dodgy suit as a way to make bank basically.



04-20-12, 03:12 AM
Yeah, Snakes and Ladders is an awesome song; just got Two Hearts not too long ago to listen to the full album and it was great to hear him expand his role in the band.


04-22-12, 11:47 AM
A few thoughts about Men at Work.

It's easy to forget how huge this band was, even though their peak only lasted about two or three years. They were inescapable on the radio. I saw them in concert in 1983.

I remember my local newspaper's music critic wasn't thrilled with Business as Usual, a record I loved and played relentlessly. I still remember what he said about it: "Clever product, but will you still love it tomorrow?"

This overlooked what I suspect quite a few listeners did back then: the group's lyrics were often surprisingly twisted and dark, loaded with alienation, paranoia, and as Sierra Disc mentions, melancholy. Because they were saddled with the curse of popularity, they sometimes didn't get credit for being more than that Australian group with the catchy Down Under song.

As a nerdy college student in 1982-83, I was feeling more than a bit alienated myself, and latched right onto this aspect of the group's music. (I was always the one that actually read the lyric sheets in the LPs).

I've held onto my cassette of Two Hearts since 1985, since I didn't have a CD player then, and the disc subsequently went out of print. I see it's been reissued in the UK. May have to pick it up.

A shame to hear this about Ham.

04-22-12, 09:45 PM
I saw Men at Work twice around 98-99 during their "comeback" when it was Colin, Greg, and others. It was a bucket list thing, and I'm so glad I went. Was very sad when I found out about Greg.

Here is Colin's touching tribute at a show a few days ago -

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qgDBRvszzCE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

04-29-12, 08:01 AM
What a great band! I listen to all there albums a lot and just can't get over how great they are. I'm glad that Two Hearts is being remastered finnally because its such a great record. They just don't make music like that anymore.

04-29-12, 08:56 AM
Losing a lawsuit because someone thinks Down Under rips of Kookaberry is asinine. I sang Kookaberry as a kid and was in no way reminded of it while hearing Down Under.

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