One of Geelong’s well-known musicians, Gary Quick, passed away on the 17th of this month. Gary was a long-time supporter of Sleepy Hollow, and regularly played in the jam and with headliners. He shared concert billing with artists such as John Farnham, Ian Moss, Choir Boys and The Black Sorrows and was also engaged as piano player for several local musical stage productions.
Being born with a passion and an ear for music, Gary (Quicky) began playing the piano at three years of age and played his first public performance at age five. Classical training followed soon after, then he also developed a love of rock, progressive rock and fusion in his teenage years.
Acts such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Yes, King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer and Chick Corea became favourites and were still major influences in his own playing style to this day. He became a jazz course graduate, with very eclectic musical tastes, with the addition of ambient, atmospheric, experimental, improvisational, modern jazz and bluesy rock styles incorporated into his playing.
Quicky combined all of these styles into his own playing. Using piano, organ and synthesiser sounds and effects, he created any mood from light, sympathetic backing behind the other band members to energetic solos – which can be anything from tonally melodic to just plain weird (or maybe creative?)
His recent blues involvement was with The Housewreckers and Buxom Blues. I have a particular memory of Quicky up at the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival, a few years ago. We were both regular attenders, not only at the blues sessions, but also at the jazz events, even the more experimental. Our limit was reached though at a session in the cathedral where a bloke did everything I could think of to an upright bass… except actually stroke the strings. On the way out, I ran into Quicky. We looked at each other and shook our heads.
Gary was also involved in recording, his ear for music allowed him to critically evaluate a live recording and work it up into a standard worth distributing. His Ararat relatives farewelled their “fun-loving, courageous and talented musician.”
In July 2017 Sleepy Hollow held a tribute to their “living legend.” It was a good roll up, and on that day, we heard performances from Derek and the Champs, Buxom Blues, Lounge Lizards, Blue Sunday, Sweet Felicia & the Tradies and the HouseWreckers.
Dearly loved brother of Jenny and Bruce McKay. Adored uncle of Rob and Peta; Tanya and Baz; and Donna and Tom. Loved Gruncle Gaz of Dallas, Cody and Joel; Remi and Zac; and Jazzi and Zara.
He will be greatly missed, and we send best wishes to his family and friends.
Written by John “Dr John” Lamp