'The void is immeasurable': Molly Meldrum pays tribute to Michael Gudinski ahead of state funeral

Australian music journalist Molly Meldrum has issued an emotional statement about Michael Gudinski and Bruce Springsteen has dedicated a new song to him, as tributes to the late promoter continue to pour in.

Gudinski, a giant of the Australian music scene who established dozens of local artists and brought many of the biggest names in the music industry to the country, died suddenly at the age of 68 on Monday.

He will be given a state funeral in Melbourne, at a date yet to be set.

Op Donderdag, Springsteen added to his earlier tribute to Gudinski, posting on Twitter a dedication to the promoter at the beginning of a video for one of the songs on his latest album, I’ll See You In My Dreams.

The song is about grief and loss.

On Friday Australian music icon Ian “Molly” Meldrum issued a statement about the founder of the Mushroom Group and Frontier Touring, a man he had shared a close friendship with for more than five decades.

Here is the statement in full:

“I am unable to translate into words what I am feeling right now. Not only have we lost an icon who was the cornerstone of the Australian music industry, I have lost a best friend, a brother. Michael and Sue are family to me. They have been a staple in my life forever. Nou dadelik, my love, support and focus are with Sue, Matt, Kate and the grandchildren. The void that is felt is immeasurable; I honestly find his passing very difficult to comprehend.

“Michael and I have been friends for over 50 years and the deep respect we had for each other was profound. He was a huge influence in my life. Like me, Michael’s passion for music is unwavering. He dreamed big, worked hard, and had the tenacity, energie, and determination to drive all his ambitions home. Failure was never part of his vocabulary.

“He helped place Australian music on the world map. He not only guided aspiring artists into unfathomable stardom, but he also brought the world’s biggest artists to the Australian stage. He was the life force behind live music. He was unstoppable.

“Music was the base and core of our friendship. We are both stubborn as hell and we would often laugh as we traded a tirade of insults to each other. I challenged him and he challenged me and as I have said many times before, Michael and I have had more dramas than Shakespeare and more laughs than Seinfeld. We really were like Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in Grumpy Old Men.

“From allowing Ziggy to give him kisses and licks whenever he was in sight, to putting up with my antics on a daily basis, Michael was a great friend. My most recent and now treasured memory was spending Christmas Day last year with the Gudinskis. We had an incredible day and believe it or not, Michael and I did not disagree or argue once for the entire nine hours we were together!

“Michael’s legacy will echo through the entertainment industry forever. He came and he conquered. He has left a giant footprint in the heart and soul of the music industry.If there was a song that could sum up how I am feeling, it would have to be the Bee Gee’s 1971 hit, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. He will forever be missed.”

Neil Finn, Paul Kelly, Kylie Minogue and Jimmy Barnes are among the Australasian artists who have paid tribute to Gudinski in recent days.

Announcing the state funeral on Tuesday, Victorian premier Dan Andrews said the event would be a celebration of Gudinski’s life.

“We will be able to come together in an iconic venue and celebrate his life and the mark that he made and the legacy he leaves,”Het Andrews gesê.

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