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
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
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