Men at Work's Greg Ham Dies at 58
Published Apr 19, 2012Men at Work multi-instrumentalist Greg Ham was found dead in his Melbourne, Australia home today (April 19). Details have yet to arrive on the cause of death, but the musician was 58 years old.
Associated Press reports that two friends who were concerned that they had not heard from Ham in some time had discovered the body before Victoria state police arrived on the scene. The officials have yet to say how Ham died or if the circumstances are suspicious.
"There are a number of unexplained aspects to it which has caused our attendance here today, and we're assisting the local detectives to determine what has occurred," said detective senior sergeant Shane O'Connell.
Men at Work frontman Colin Hay issued a statement to the press today, paying tribute to his fallen bandmate.
"We played in a band and conquered the world together," Hay said. "I love him very much. He's a beautiful man. The saxophone solo on 'Who Can It Be Now' was the rehearsal take. We kept it, that was the one. He's here forever."
Ham joined Men at Work in 1979 to play keyboards, saxophone and more, but may be best known for the flute line he added to the group's early '80s hit "Down Under." The melody was both celebrated and the cause of controversy, with the act being accused of lifting the riff from the children's song "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree."
Larrikin Music Group, who own the publishing rights to the kids song, had sued Men at Work in 2010, and the suit resulted in the band handing over a portion of royalties, a decision that weighed heavily on Ham.
"It has destroyed so much of my song," he said at the time. "It will be the way the song is remembered and I hate that. I'm terribly disappointed that that's the way I'm going to be remembered -- for copying something."