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Jim Keays of Australia’s Masters Apprentices Dies

Jim Keays
Peter Carette Archives, Getty Images

Jim Keays, singer of Masters Apprentices, has passed away at age 67 from complications due to cancer. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma seven years ago. He had been on life support for several days, reports Vintage Vinyl News.

A close friend, Dianna O’Neill, issued the following statement. “Australian rock legend Jim Keays peacefully passed away this morning at 10:30 from pneumonia due to complications from his seven year battle with multiple myeloma. He was surrounded with loving family members.”

The band made a handful of albums and singles from the mid-’60s through the mid-’70s, and had several hits in their homeland. They were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame in 1998. Though hardly known outside of Australia, Masters Apprentices were not without their vocal supporters among the garage, psychedelic and hard rock collectors circles.

Masters Apprentices veered from pop, to garage, to psychedelia, to hard rock and back again. ‘Turn Up The Radio‘ and ‘Because I Love You‘ scored big hits at home, while songs like ‘Death Of A King‘ and ‘Future Of Our Nation’ showed off their heavier leanings. It is their earliest material that has long been a sort of holy grail among collectors of mid-’60s garage and psychedelia. Their first single, from 1966, ‘Undecided’ and ‘Wars Or Hands Of Time‘ are both prime grade garage rock and roll, while ‘Buried And Dead’ from 1967, is a true classic of the genre.

Hear the Masters Apprentices Perform ‘Buried and Dead’

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