You could feel the love in the room when Ross Hannaford attended the show in his name, Concert for Ross Hannaford, on both Saturday and Sunday.
Ross Hannaford was a surprise addition to the Concert for Ross Hannaford and it truly was a last minute decision.
In recent months Hanna has been battling a serious illness. ‘Concert for Ross Hannaford’ was a show of support as a mark of thanks for the enormous contribution he has made to music over the past 50 years. He wanted to be there and early Saturday evening he surprised the crowd when he walked on stage.
On Sunday Hanna was back to performed a “busking” set, as so many people in Melbourne have seen him do on the streets in the past few years.
The Concert for Ross Hannaford featured Hanna’s Daddy Cool mates Ross Wilson, Wayne Duncan and Gary Young, Paul Kelly, the Rockwiz Orchestra with James Black, Bart Willoughby with Bunna Lawrie & Selwyn Burns, Pat Wilson Trio, Wilbur Wilde, Joe Creighton, Mike Rudd, The Black Sorrows, Bruce Haymes, Kerryn Tolhurst, Emma Donovan, Tracey Smith, Wild Cherries, Ray Pereria, Ed Bates, Paul Madigan & Jex Saarelaht, Margot Barrett & Geoff Hassle and Linda Bull. It was a truly special Melbourne music event.
Credit to Ian Lovell and Judi Kenneally together with Memo Music Hall’s Peter Foley who put the concert with a few weeks notice. As well as gathering the cream of Melbourne music they managed to raise a good chunk of cash to go towards Ross Hannford’s comforts at his time of need.
Ross Hannaford has given so much to Melbourne music culture in the past 50 years and his friends and fans wanted to pay him back in a special way.
Paul Kelly performed a stunning version of Dylan’s ‘Most Of The Time’, Margot Barrett’s reggae version of ‘Close To You’ had the audience mesmerized, Joe Creighton and Steve Hoy both put in incredible examples of the talent within the Melbourne music community, Pat Wilson bopped, Bart Willougby showed us where Hanna was at musically at the moment and Ross Wilson took us back to the 60s when the two first got together.
“Ross Hannaford and myself were just schoolkids when we met,” Wilson told us before the show. “I lived in Hampton, he lived in Moorabbin, on South Road. He was going to Brighton High School. He hadn’t quite turned 13. I sat in with a friend’s band at a little church hall in Marriage Road, Brighton. I was playing a bit of harmonica. I didn’t sing, I was just having a jam. They had this little band that played instrumentals, Shadows stuff. He came over to me afterwards and said ‘that’s the sort of music we want to play. We want to play the Blues and R&B because that was just starting to take off. He said ‘can you sing because we like your harp playing’ and I said, ‘yes I can sing actually’. I went down to Hannaford’s place were they were practicing on his guitar the next weekend to have an audition. They already had a singer. So I got up, sang a few songs, played a bit of harp. I’m in, he’s out. I mentioned to Hannaford recently ‘whatever happened to that guy? Did you ever see him’ and he said ‘whenever I see him he is really weird towards me’ and I said, ‘that’s probably why’.
Daddy Cool’s Wayne Duncan told us, “I first met my friend Ross Hannaford 50 years ago. From the first rehearsal we had for Daddy Cool, Ross just blew me away. Ever since he has inspired me so much. He is a very inspirational person”.
The Concert for Ross Hannaford was on Saturday and Sunday at the Memo Music Hall in St Kilda. Donations for Ross Hannaford can still be made here.
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