When I moved to Victoria in 1998, one of my new colleagues told me I had to listen to Marco Goldsmith’s Blue Heat. He lent me two CDs, one of which, Marooned, has remained a staunch favourite since then.
I put up with a copied CD for quite a few years until a bloke at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival pulled one out from under the counter and placed it in my hands. He had a huge grin on his face, and so did I. He understood precisely!
Blue Heat played their debut gig at the 1991 Ballarat Blues Festival. In 1995 Marco Goldsmith won Best Male Artist and their first album Marooned won ‘Australian Blues Album of the Year’.
In 1996, their second album Irresistible Behaviour (remastered 2011 with bonus tracks) also won the award whilst Blue Heat won the ‘Australian Blues Band of the Year’.
Over the years I have travelled down to Warrnambool and back to see them, and one of my most vivid memories is a gig at the long lost Limelight. To understand this, you have to know that Blue Heat back then was not just three guitars and drums, it had a keyboard and a horns section.
Marco took one look at the stage at the Limelight, which was rather on the “compact” side, and whipped out a tape measure. The band returned with wood and tools, and quickly and efficiently fabricated an extension to the stage. I mean, really, how many bands do you know of that would do that?
The night was a great success, the band had sufficient elbow room, and the Limelight had a useful add on! So, I was completely taken aback when I received this media release from Marco.
“Hello everybody, it is with regret that I am compelled to inform you that I have Throat Cancer and commence Radiotherapy on the 6th of July. Thus far, I have had two operations to remove a growth from my left vocal cord, the first being 12 months ago which proved to be benign. I then had to do a lot of work to get back singing again and managed to get through the last summer season of gigs with only 2/3rds of my original voice left. Regular check-ups ensued and after 8-9 months regrowth had engulfed my whole vocal cord once again. I then had the 2nd op’ hoping for a ground hog day result only to find out it was malignant. I have been given very good odds of beating it and scans have shown that it hasn’t spread anywhere else. I intend to get back on the stage singing and performing again as soon I can. Thanks to my amazing wife Kelly, the fabulous Blue Heat team and my lovely friends who have been supporting me from the start. Love you guys xxx MG”
Hang in there Marco, we’ve got your back, all the best to Kelly and the rest of the mob down there.
Written by John (Dr John) Lamp
Proudly presented by the Sleepy Hollow Blues Club