Leading figures from Australia’s arts and entertainment industries are today paying tribute to Michael Gudinski, the larger than life touring promoter who has died suddenly aged 68.
According to a statement from the Mushroom Group, Gudinski “died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Melbourne”.
Gudinski is survived by his wife, Sue, and their children Matt and Kate and two grandchildren.
He also leaves behind a slew of high profile Australian artists who have him to thank for championing their musical efforts over the years.
As news of Gudinski’s death spread today, it seemed just about everyone in the Australian entertainment industry had a story to tell about the Mushroom Records founder.
International superstar Bruce Springsteen released this statement:
“My friend Michael Gudinski was first, last, and always a music man. I’ve toured the world for the last fifty years and never met a better promoter. Michael always spoke with a deep rumbling voice, and the words would spill out so fast that half the time I needed an interpreter. But I could hear him clear as a bell when he would say, “Bruce, I’ve got you covered.” And he always did. He was loud, always in motion, intentionally (and unintentionally) hilarious, and deeply soulful. He will be remembered by artists, including this one, from all over the world every time they step foot on Australian soil. My deepest condolences to his wife and partner Sue and to the whole Gudinski family, of which he was so proud.”
Jimmy Barnes shared his thoughts across several heartfelt tweets.
“Today the heart of Australian music was ripped out. I felt it, my family felt it, the music business felt it, the world felt it. Michael Gudinski was not only that heart but he was my friend,” he wrote.
“He stood with me through my darkest moments and my most joyous days. Michael was the rock I reached for when life tried to wash me away. He never closed his door or his heart to me and my family. But I wasn’t the only one who felt like Michael was there for me.
He was there for everyone that needed him. The music business turned, grew and moved forward in Australia because of Michael. He was a force of nature, a giant of a man.
His boundless enthusiasm breathed life into our music scene. But that was just one side of Michael. He was a staunch friend, a loving father and grandfather and an adoring husband to Sue.
“Jane Barnes and I are shocked at the loss of our friend but we will try to be strong and keep the music flowing from our hearts. We will stand by his family just like he stood by ours. I loved Michael, always will.”
It’s one of many tributes to Gudinski today:
Gudinski founded the Mushroom Group in 1972 at just 20 years old, which went on to become Australia’s largest independent entertainment group covering touring, record labels, publishing, merchandising, booking agencies, film and television production and creative services.
Some of Australia’s most iconic albums have been released under one of his Mushroom Group record labels.
“Michael’s legacy will live on through his family and the enormously successful Mushroom Group – an enduring embodiment of decades of passion and determination from an incredible man,” read a statement released today.
“The family respectfully ask for privacy in this incredibly difficult time and thank everyone for their support.”