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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
gecko What's on in Cairns, Australia? (8) RE: What's on in Cairns, Australia? 30 Jan 07

Hi Allen in Oz, My husband had a nodding aquaintance with Harry but I'm afraid that, other than reading his column in the 'Barfly', he was unknown to me, which is a pity as he must have been one hell of a bloke.
Following is what I've garnered from good old Google for your information

Harry Guy Slee, a former Sydney musician and a leading figure on the Cairns music scene, died on 4 September 2002, aged 53. In his obituary for Harry, music columnist Christie Eliezer described Harry in his youth as "a fine sportsman, a keen cricketer who played in the same state under 19 side as the legendary fast bowler Dennis Lillee".

Harry began his career in music as a piano tuner then turned to running music stores in the southern suburbs of Sydney in the late Sixties. In the Seventies he was the singer for Sydney band Soul Generation, followed by a stint in Maple Lace (a pop band originally formed to capitalise on the success of the 1970 novelty single Gimme Dat Ding). Harry's best-known gig was fronting nationally-known blues band Stormy Monday with his long time friend, guitarist Roger Gold.

At 40, Harry moved to North Queensland, started his music agency Tropical Talent and also began working for Cairns street magazine Barfly for whom he sold ads and wrote a hard-hitting opinion column called 'Slee's Bag'. Harry also did work for numerous charities and worked tirelessly to promote the music scene in and around Cairns.

Harry's friends held a wake at his 'office' (the balcony of the Fox & Firkin Hotel) and he was buried in his favourite blue 'Relay For Life' T-shirt and pink "hippy" pants. A tribute concert, Harry's Last Hurrah, was held at the Brothers' Leagues Club on 2 October 2002, and featured many of Cairns top musical acts. Quoted by Christie Eliezer, Barfly's Tony Hillier offered this tribute:

"Harry was a no bullshit person, one who cut quickly to the chase. There was no pretence, no hidden agenda ... what you saw was what you got with Harry. He was a man who had the courage of his own convictions, with a well honed sense of humour."

Harry is survived by his wife Linda and his mother Ruby.

At the time of his death, it was reported that he was suffering from cancer. Linda Slee recently contacted MILESAGO to correct that:

"Harry was a wonderful person and I miss him dearly. There is however something that I need to correct. Harry didn't die of cancer -- he died of liver failure, due to years of alcohol abuse."

"He was lucky enough to survive a cancer scare five years ago. I think that it is important that people know the truth about what killed him; so many people abuse alcohol and just don't realise the damage that they are doing to themselves."

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