Andy Morrison played bass in Simon’s band Fragile.
I’m devastated. He was like Obi-Wan Kenobi to me.
We met in Glebe. Half a Cow. I wanted him to help produce an EP with my band at the time.
We ended up in a coffee shop across the road and he described his new vision, a band he
called Fragile. He said he wanted to make the loudest, heaviest record in the world. He
needed a bass player. I said I could play bass. That was it, done.
We spent many an hour discussing music, people, life, business concepts ( he seemed to be fascinated by the workings of business). The Fragile album was called Kai Zen ( the
Japanese business philosophy for continuous improvement). I think it represented a musical catharsis for him. It was like he was shedding his past and the identity that was associated with it, at least musically. It was like he was inventing himself a new, completely unencumbered freedom of expression.
The band was heavy, real heavy, more like a bird of prey than a Hummingbird. One song
was called “ An open letter to the centre of the universe”. I think that says it all as does the juxtaposition of the name and the music. It rocked until it broke!
I recall many times sitting in his house in Booth Street drinking tea and listening to Dub
reggae from the 70’s (Jamaica), King Tubby, Glen Brown etc. To this day when I play it,
which is often, I think of him. It was just one genre of the multitude that he knew and could discuss. James Brown Live at the Olympia, Ted Nugent Cat Scratch Fever, Zeppelin (any) and on and on.
But he was more than just the sum of his music or his musical knowledge. He was a man
that influenced so many without the slightest clue that he was doing it. You could talk to him without fear of judgement. He made you feel at ease just to be you.
At the time I knew him he believed in the universe; that what would be would be and what is yours won’t pass you by. In that sense, he wouldn’t rely on his contacts or his past influence to gain advantage. Maybe that altruism in such a cynical world didn’t help in the end, I don’t know.
And I remember that he would walk everywhere as he didn’t drive at that point. He didn’t complain about it. And regardless of weather conditions, he would wear shorts, even on the coldest days of winter. What a funny man he was.
And so it ends. That’s it. He came, he went. He left this world a better place for those that he bumped into. I am certainly a better person for knowing him. He won’t be forgotten. I’m playing my Fragile record tonight- on 11! Gibson through Marshall- done!