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Bruno Adams - In memoriam
by Phil Shoenfelt

What do you call a six foot two Australian with a steel plate in his skull, the profile of a neanderthal, the sensitivity of an artist and a Blues voice from God? Answer: The Guv’nor. What do you call a man who battles terminal cancer for five years, while still managing to play concerts and bring up three kids? Answer: A Hero.

Bruno Adams, born in Bacchus Marsh, Australia, 1963, was one of those rare human beings with a hot-wire to the soul. There was no bullshit about this guy, just an all-embracing love of life and his fellow man. And a strange kind of purity, as if he’d already lived several lives and burned off the karmic baggage.

Fatal Shore always was a band that defied classification. Bruno and I were the frontmen, but I soon stopped trying to compete. The guy had God-given talent, not only as a singer/guitarist, but as a songwriter and performer too. No one who saw Bruno’s bar-walking antics will ever forget the spectacle of this huge guy, dressed in suit and tie, guitar in hand and a psychotic look in his eyes, prowling the bar while never missing a beat.

For years we travelled the wilds of eastern Europe in a series of beat up wrecks that invariably broke down in the middle of nowhere. It was always Bruno who took care of the practical things, like opening the hood and getting his hands dirty. No prima donna on a startrip, this guy! He had such a devastating sense of humour that you couldn’t help but laugh, even in the midst of mechanical and financial disaster.

When it became clear his battle with cancer was lost, I drove to Berlin to say goodbye. I told him exactly what was in my heart – something I’d never felt able to tell him before. I told him I’d learned so much from him, not only about music, but about life in general, and I thanked him for everything he had given me. For a moment, a light and a smile came into those tired, pain-filled eyes, and he lifted a finger as if to say: “Ah, Shoenfelt, at last you admit it!” The Guv’nor to the last.

Phil Shoenfelt, Prague, July 2009

 


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