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PRESS RELEASE: Founding Member of Masters Apprentices Gavin Webb Passes Away


Gavin Peter Webb
22nd June 1946 – 16th April 2024
It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved bassist and founding member of ARIA Hall of Fame inducted band The Masters Apprentices, Gavin Webb. After being in remission for a few years, Gavin passed away from a 6 year battle with cancer in the Royal Adelaide Hospital on Wednesday afternoon 16th April 2024.
Gavin is survived by his son Ben and partner Sharon, Gavin’s grandchildren Lucy, Noah and Matthew, nephews Darren and Jarrad, his brother Darrel (d. 2021) and Jeanette Webb.
Even though Gavin was softly spoken, what few words he did say, he would always make count. Gavin’s band dossier from 1966 says his personal ambition is to “be a good musician”, a humble dream he would go on to transcend. Gavin leaves behind an incredible musical legacy which will live forever in Australia’s music history.
On 25th of March 1965, Gavin’s brother Darrel Webb placed an advert in Adelaide newspaper ‘The News’; “Student Bass player wishes to practice with group. Ph 46-3251 after 5PM”. This advert wasn’t for Darrell, it was for his “extremely quiet and retiring” little brother Gavin. The band that answered the advert was ‘The Mustangs’ Mick Bower, Brian Vaughton and Rick Morrison, who had been practising at The King’s Head Hotel owned by the Vaughton family. After auditioning Gavin and hearing his broad knowledge and skill in rhythm and blues, they instantly knew that he was the perfect fit for their band. Soon the group hired manager Graham Longley (spring 1965) and lead singer Jim Keays (January 1966), transforming into one of Australia’s most significant bands of all time, The Masters Apprentices. The Adelaide based band would move to Melbourne in 1967 and take Australia by storm. Go Set Magazine would report on The Masters Apprentices craze that Australia had seen “nothing like it since The Beatles”.
Gavin’s unique and innovative bass lines adorn some of Australia’s seminal hits including ‘Undecided’, ‘Wars or Hands of Time’, ‘Buried and Dead’, ‘Hot Gully Wind’, ‘Elevator Driver’ and 1967 national song of the year ‘Living in A Child’s Dream’. These songs inspired generations of Australian bands to follow such as Radio Birdman, Hoodoo Gurus and Silverchair all citing The Masters Apprentices influence and covering their songs.
In March 1968, Gavin married Suzette Belle (previously the President of the Beatles Australian Fan Club) and they welcomed their son Benjamin in November of that year.
Gavin left the band due to stomach ulcers in April 1968, being replaced by Glenn Wheatley until the band’s split in 1972. Gavin would re-join The Masters Apprentices in 1986 for a series of 20th Anniversary reunion tours. In 2014, the original line up of the band were to reunite for their induction into the South Australian Music Hall of Fame, just weeks after the death of Jim Keays. The remaining original Masters Apprentices would perform in tribute to Keays with Mark Holden’s brother, Craig Holden out front. The band were requested to perform at the 2016 Adelaide Fringe Festival and have been performing ever since at venues such as Adelaide Oval, Thebarton Theatre, Bridgeway Hotel, The Gov and back at The King’s Head Hotel where it all started.
“Gavin entered our lives 60 years ago. He joined our band as a bassist and from that moment became a member of our family; our brother. We will greatly miss our Gavin and treasure the life long bond we will share forever – from Mustangs to Masters.
Our love eternally ‘Spider’.”
Mick Bower, Brian Vaughton and Rick Morrison – The Masters Apprentices
With love, thoughts and prayers from fellow Masters and team – Craig Holden, Bill Harrod, Dan Matejcic, Jasmin Watkins & Victor Marshall
Media Contacts:Name: Victor MarshallCompany: The Masters ApprenticesEmail: [email protected]Phone: 0432862012Share:FacebookPinLinkedInEmailTweet

PRESS RELEASE: Founding Member of Masters Apprentices Gavin Webb Passes Away


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