Dean Turner, founder of Magic Dirt, dies aged 37

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Bass player in Australian indie rock band Magic Dirt, Dean Turner, has died from lung cancer, aged 37. Turner started Magic Dirt in 1989 with lead singer Adalita Srsen, in Geelong, Victoria.

The four-member band has played around Australia and internationally ever since, touring capital cities, regional towns and Big Day Out festivals. It released albums including What Are Rockstars Doing Today (2000) and Tough Love (2003), both of which reached Top 20 status on Australia’s ARIA charts. Singles such as Dirty Jeans and Plastic Loveless Letter also broke through to mainstream popularity in the early 2000s. Along the way, Magic Dirt has also supported bands such as Powderfinger, Hole, Sonic Youth and Pavement.

A source close to the band said Turner passed away in Melbourne on Friday night. He is survived by his wife and two young daughters. He had battled cancer over the past year.

Magic Dirt is currently on tour and last week cancelled its Bendigo gig in regional Victoria, which had been scheduled for Friday night, and postponed its Saturday night Melbourne gig. A spokeswoman for the band said they were unsure whether two Sydney gigs scheduled for next weekend would go ahead.

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