Australia has lost another rock icon today with the sad news that The Masters Apprentices frontman Jim Keays has died at the age of 67, after a long fight against bone marrow cancer. He had been on life support since Monday.
A spokeswoman has said Keays died at 10.30am today from pneumonia arising from complications due to multiple Myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer arising from plasma cells, which he had been fighting for seven years.
Keays had been a mainstay in the Australian rock scene for decades. Adelaide’s The Masters Apprentices first formed in 1965 and went on to pen hits like Turn Up Your Radio, Because I Love You and Undecided. They broke up in 1972 but reformed a number of times. In 1998 they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame alongside The Angels, who also lost their frontman, Doc Neeson, this year.
Australian artist manager and Masters Apprentices bandmate Glenn Wheatley said today he spent the best years of his life beside Keays. “I will always remember him as the consummate showman. Jim had an aura about him, you always knew when he was in the room. Always the Master, never the Apprentice.”
“His presence will remain with me always,” he continued. “Do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be Jim. Vale my friend, you will be greatly missed.” Keays recently performed during the Masters of Rock Concert at Crown Casino in Melbourne on May 25th and was hospitalised shortly thereafter.
Keays was currently finishing up his latest album which was due for release this August. It was to follow up his 2012 record Dirty Dirty. Keays leaves behind his partner, Karin and three children, Holly, Bonnie and James.
Watch: The Masters Apprentices – Because I Love You