LES GOUGH RIP IN BALLARAT
“Country bands sure like fine in their silk and golden suits/ flash guitars and cowboy hats and diamond studded boots/ but that kinda side don't cut with us, you see/ we're just human beings/ hate a smoke and a toke and a joke and a ten-ounce pot of beer/ playing country music up and down the line.” - Up And Down The Line - Marty Atchison & the Dead Livers .
When revered rock and country bassist Les Gough died, aged 75, on September 29 at his Ballarat family home it was the end of a colourful career.
His prowess was recognised by a multitude of peers from diverse music genres.
Gough, born in 1946, began his music marathon with Russell Morris and Somebody's Image in 1966.
“Les was one of the first people who got me into music,” Morris, 73, revealed after news broke of his sudden death.
“He was the centre of Somebody's Image, the rock everything revolved around. He was a pretty impressive guy. He was levelled headed and a good player. He was steadfast, reliable, pretty special.
“After he moved to Ballarat and played with people there he kept working. He sent me some blues stuff. I really liked it. He was never irrational. The rudder for the ship. He always made me laugh".
After Somebody's Image split in 1968 Les was a member of Atlas with Ronnie Charles from 1972-1974.
Gough was in several line-ups of The Rip Rawers who formed in 1995 with Geoff Wells and Warren Keats.
Gough also played, toured and recorded with a plethora of artists and bands with regular forays to Tamworth, Red Hill and Wandong Country Music Festivals and way beyond.
Those bands included the Moonlighters, Heart & Soul, Spot The Aussie , Ross Nicholson's Road Dogs, Tex Nobody, Texas Touch, Billy Jack Band, Colin Jones Band, Chicken House, the Four Aces and Arizona singer-songwriter Billy Wyatt.
Les also toured with late expat Kiwi singer-songwriter P.C. Caulton and the Pick-Ups , the Vic State Opry, the Yamaha Big Band and veteran outlaws the Dead Livers.
The Vic State Opry included Broderick Smith, Sam See, Victor O'Neill, Steve Hoy, Chris Wilson, Louis McManus, Steve Williams, Ross Nicholson, Dougie McDonald, Rose Gardiner, Richard O'Keefe, Craig Reeves and other renowned musicians.
“I played for a number of years with Les and Craig Reeves in P.C. Caulton and the Pickups ,” Dead Livers drummer-magistrate Richard O'Keefe revealed.
“We also played with Les and Peter in the Vic State Opry and again with Les with Colin Jones in Texas Touch. Gough also toured with the Dead Livers and played on some of their recordings. So, we had a long and marvellous journey together.”
Les also played in a variety of bands including the Beat Riders with Dead Livers guitarist Rodger Delfos.
Sadly, that all ended on September 29.
Les was pre-deceased by his wife who reportedly died of cancer and was renovating his home when he died.