GYAN ... (and The Dearly Beloveds)

I first met Gyan in 1982. I had a small recording studio in the basement of the terrace house Jude and I were renting at Hargrave St. in Paddington, Sydney, Australia. She came to record with her friend, the wonderful, enigmatic, irresponsible, inspired, inspiring composer /musician, Bharti. The very like-able Robbie Cameron, her long time partner, band mate and later to be manager, was also on board.


Gyan's hit, "WAIT".

Look out for Mark O'Connor on piano and me as the guitar player!

Like so many unsuspecting punters before and since, I was transported to a higher place from the moment she began to sing. What an exceptional voice.

We did some more recording over the next few years with her band Haiku or solo stuff at "Kings Lane Studio", my studio in Darlinghurst, and then around 1987 began writing the odd song together.

I do remember we came very close to hitting the big time when a song we'd written called, "With Love" was short listed as the closing song for a movie Paul Hogan was putting together called "Crocodile Dundee".

In the end it was out of us and a song written by Steve Prestwich of Cold Chisel fame. Finally it was Steve's track that made the cut. I remember saying "Ah well, I mean really, how well is a Paul Hogan movie going to do anyway. He's only a TV guy."



Any way, Gyan's hit single, Wait, was written around this time.

Although I'm generously credited as co-writing the song (along with Gary Frost), it was Gyan who wrote it. All I did was point out that a section of the song she was singing only once sounded like it should be the chorus. Gary Frost of "1927" fame wrote the middle eight.

A song we really did write together around that time was, "Don't Touch What You Can't Afford". It showed up as the B-side of her second single, "It's Alright". (See below).

In a matter of weeks Gyan became famous on a national TV talent show singing a jaw-dropping arrangement of "Madam Butterfly". I must say, i knew she was very good, but i hadn't realised until then just how good. She was then spotted by Australia's greatest record producer of all time, Charles Fisher.

I had worked with Charles in 1979 when he had produced the first "The Aliens" single "Confrontation" and it was in the same "Trafalgar Studios" at Annandale in Sydney that they made Gyan's first album (or "elbum" as she pronounced it.)



Mark O'Connor



An integral part of the creation of that exhilarating record is the input of Mark O'connor, the young keyboard player/arranger/ songwriter from the town of Longreach in Queensland. He really created a perfect ambiance and nuanced framework for Gyan's astonishing creativity, all under the unerring eye and pop sensibilities of Charles Fisher. Not surprisingly, the album went platinum and Gyan won an ARIA award.

Gyan shot the indoor part of her clip for "Wait" at what I assumed had been an old church on Cleveland St, in Surry Hills. It had since fallen from grace and into the hands of one Madam Lash and was called "The Kirk" complete with gothic / fantastical trappings.

I got to pretend to be the guitar player for the video. Most fortuitously, i got to meet the rather intense young man at the piano who turned out to be the afore mentioned Mark O'Connor. Mark and I went on to have many ripping adventures, both musical and cerebral, over the years. When it came time for Gyan to hit the road and promote her album around September 1989, Mark became the Musical Director.

Mark, myself and Robert James can be seen at the end of the clip for Gyan's second single...

"It's Alright"


Robbie has the big hair and I have the goofy glasses. He and I had a duo called "The Lloyds Of The Uni-Voice" where we tested the "geek is chic" concept, with varying degrees of success.






I had already explained to Gyan and Robbie that I wasn't the most proficient musician on the block but they very generously asked me to come on tour regardless. I played 2nd keyboard, some guitar and percussion, but it was only with Mark's incredible patience and perseverance that I mastered some of the trickier (to me any way) parts from the album.

She put together a terrific band of musicians who also happened to be pretty terrific human beings. The group was christened "The Dearly Beloved(s)", and from October 1989 to January 1990, we went up and down the east coast of Australia, performing to good houses of very appreciative audiences.

Apart from Gyan, Mark and myself, the band consisted of...

ASAKTI - Backing Vocal -

Asakti is Gyan's sister and was also blessed with the "incredible voice" gene. I later recorded Asakti singing powerful lead vocal on a couple of tracks I produced for a band she was in called "Viva La Bimba" (a band that Bharti had conjured up in the early '90's) at the "Music Farm" studio not far out of Byron Bay. (Incidentally, I'd recorded "The Aliens" "Translator" album there in 1979/1980 with English wizz-kid producer, David Tickle)

DAVE SPARKS - Guitar -

A very gifted guitar player, very smart, dry humour but surprisingly vulnerable. I remember the word "Mayhem" featuring heavily in Dave's armoury.


Kept it steady and solid. Hard to find a funnier, friendlier human bean than Hunuman, and it was good to have a fellow vegetarian on the road.


Peter or "Bood" went on to form "The Dukes" with Sean Kelly and me and later went on to work with GANGgajang. A quiet bloke, but when he did speak, it was worth listening to. A fantastic bass player, who, I seem to remember, initially copped a bit in rehearsal. He turned out to be an amazing visual artist as well.




"She Dreams"
I did this painting of Gyan in December 1989 while living in a flat near the corner of Campbell Pde. and Lamrock Ave., Bondi Beach.



It was a tour like no other. Part silly, part profound, part circus, part group therapy session, part reality TV show (before reality TV shows) and every one fell in love with Gyan at one point or another. The tour could plummet from the sublime with Gyan singing "New YorK" as her encore to the rediculous i.e. Robbie saying we would "bluff" our way through the accomodation at Byron Bay, which in fact meant sleeping on someone's floor, then soar back up again to the sublime when having coffee in Carlton with Mark and discovering that John Steinbeck was also one of his favourite authors and that he too was in awe of Joni Mitchell's "Blue "album.

Although in real time the band and tour was quite short lived, it had an enduring resonance. Wouldn't have missed it for quids!