Dan Morrison, the drummer for Melbourne punk/ska band Area-7, has died after an injury from a fall over the weekend.
Dan was a founding member of Area-7. The band formed in Melbourne as a Madness cover band in 1994. The first AREA-7 release was a cassette in 1994. ‘Demo Tape’ featured four songs. The debut album ‘No Logic’ came the following year.
In 2000 Area-7 earned an ARIA nomination for Best Rock Album for ‘Bitter & Twisted. It even had a hit single ‘Second Class Citizen’.
A statement from the band reads:
Family and friends, unfortunately our worst fears have been confirmed this afternoon.
Our drummer, friend and brother Dan Morrison passed away today following an accident over the weekend. He died with his family and close friends by his side.
We have no words to convey the grief we feel right now, and we are simply shattered.
Dan was a founding member of Area-7 and at the top of his game he was one of the best drummers in this country. Dan was supremely talented we remember Dave Grohl & Taylor Hawkins sitting on his drum riser and watching him play a whole show from start to finish, applauding his talent or Eric Sandin from NOFX calling him “a freak” after watching him play his unique style of offbeats. He was held in high regard by his fellow drummers across the ska scene and his loss is tragic.
For us he was backbone of our music. A cracking right arm that would split your ear drums with the swing and feel of feel of a big band player and a driving force that made you dance, all while grinning from ear to ear while spitting cheeky banter and one liners at the rest of us.
Everyone who knew Dan, loved Dan. They loved his big heart, his big grin and his loyalty to family and friends. Dan never did anything by half – if he liked something, he was devoted to it. He was devoted to ska, old, new any flavour would do, and he loved all that it stood for. He has always been a staunch advocate for racial equality and truly lived the “two tone” ethos calling out racists when he encountered them – putting his own safety at risk on many occasions and sometimes paying the price for it. He was also a vegetarian and truly cared for humans and animals alike.
Dan was also a lot of fun, loved music and was always out supporting other bands or his favourite football/AFL teams (ManU , Melbourne Victory, The Blues. He was always last to leave events and venues too, hanging around to ensure the party continued for as long as it possibly could.
More importantly Dan was our mate and our brother. The bonds between band members is strong, its family. We spent decades together rehearsing, writing, recording, travelling, clowning about and of course playing and touring. Together we experienced the highs and the lows and shared those moments on stage that only other band people can understand. Those nods and smiles when you are “cooking” and you know you are doing something that is a privilege and only a very small number of people get to experience.
We send love and our deepest sympathies to the Morrison Family to John, Adele, Emma Jarrod, Dinesh thanks for sharing your son and brother with us. Much love to Jodie, Lachie and Gav and all of his close friends
Like you, we feel despair and we are heart-broken…
Vale Dan, we love you brother…
RIP from the AREA-7 Familia Past & Present