Tribute to
The Late Les Scott
Sad unbelievable news Les Scott one of our wonderful dedicated musicians has passed away.
He will be sadly missed by everyone who met him.
The Friends of Les Scott
have decided to make the last Sunday of every February an annual event in Honor of him. To be held as a fundraiser with the money raised going to a Les Scott Sponsorship for young aspiring players which we are currently in the process of establishing.
Click on Photos 1 below for the final farewells to our very special, greatly respected, friend, musician & loved one
As written by his older sister, Rita.
Les was born in Yule Island in 1956, about 60 nautical miles from Port Moresby. (The reason I say 'nautical miles' was because the only way we travelled to Port Moresby was by boat.) He was delivered by our Aunty Mary (now aged 93), at home and she always called him her baby.

Les began his school years in Port Moresby in 1962 when our family went to live there. As a child from Grade 1 he excelled with his lessons and was Sister Katrina's favourite pupil. She liked to use the end of the feather duster to keep the kids in line but he never was one of her "candidates".

I remember when he was to make his First Holy Communion and Mum had bought him new shoes. He wanted to wear them straight away but Mum said 'No'. And come Holy Communion day, Les did not want to wear his new shoes. He said, "When I want to wear my shoes "they" say No - now when I don't want to wear the shoes "they" say, Yes. Anyway, he ended up wearing the shoes. Please keep in mind that Les was only 7 years old.

As a teenager Les called Mum, "Mate". She said to him, don't call me Mate - I am your mother, not your mate!. She asked him what his friends called their mothers, and he said, "The Old Cheese". Calmly, she said, OK, you can call me "Mate".

Les got his first guitar lessons from our older brother, William, who played in a band (called Contikis) in Port Moresby when Les was about 13 or 14 years old. William played lead guitar with the band - that would been in the late 60's. It didn't take long before Les was getting pretty good with the guitar, and William laughed and commented that Les was getting better with the guitar than him. They both taught themselves to play the guitar.

Les, and our other brother, Lionel, would strum their guitars in their bedroom just about every night, practicing Credence Clearwater Revival songs, etc. It was lovely going to sleep listening to their music.

Les went to Maris Brothers College in Brisbane until Dad and Mum and the younger members of the family came to Townsville in 1973 where he attended Townsville High School. After high school he attended James Cook University.

Tragically we lost our brother William in a car accident in 1976, and later in 1991 we also lost our brother, Lionel.
Les was always the quiet one in the family, but whenever we needed his advice he was always there to ring.

We would like to thank you all so very much for your love and support you have given Les, and so much so after his death - particularly, Gary Brown, Mary Ann Burton, Mary Heard, Greg Williams, Bryen Willems and all Les' many friends in Sydney.

All his families in Brisbane, Cairns, Port Moresby, Lismore and Darwin thank you so very much.

It so hard realising our previous Brother has left us all. IT HURTS SO MUCH.
Love you so much Bro., and God bless you.
Your loving sisters and families
Rita, Yvonne and Bridgette

Vale Les Scott from the Murray Hillbillies
We had the pleasure and privilege of working rehearsing and associating with Les on a regular basis over the last five years.
During that time we have been able to enjoy Les’ friendly company and exceptional musicality and like everyone that came in contact with him we are feeling the acute sense of loss that comes when someone like Les is taken from us in such an unexpected manner.
Rod Gary Robbie and myself although saddened by the loss of our friend Les, have the memory of many shared magical musical moments.
Murray Hill
Our friend and multi-talented musician LES SCOTT has passed away at the early age of 52.
Les Scott will be sadly missed by all his family & friends around our music industry...
Hope to see you all there & please pass this on
R.I.P Brother
from Mary Heard
In 1995 I put an ad in Drum Media for a bass player and Les answered it. He was the only person who answered it, he said he played bass because it was easier to get work that way. His long standing Country Rock band and his relationship with the singer had just broken up and he was starting again I suppose. I was so green, I don't know how he put up with me, but from the outset he was always more than a bandmember, he made a commitment.
When our guitarist left he told me guitar was actually his main instrument and that's when I got to know that amazingly smooth but jangly papuan guitar playing that I can never imagine myself singing without. Some nights when Midwest Obsession played Les wouldn't be able to make it because he wouldn't give up certain other commitments for me (so many people wanted him) and there was always a gaping hole as there will be whenever I sing from now on.
When we went into the studio to make the album''Happy Ever After''', Les came with me all the way. We spent hours at his place doing pre-production (him trying to get me to sing in tune). I still remember so well coming out of the studio each time and I could tell by Les's face that I still hadn't got it and then he'd say so delicately "'Er... I think you'd better do that again Mary". I cant imagine being in the studio without Les when he put down those rhythm guitar tracks you knew you had a bed of gold to lay your vocals on. He never lost it no matter how difficult things got, he was always kind and thoughtful of others.
When I was pregnant with my second child I went to Les and said I didn't think I could keep the band up anymore and he said "'Mary make sure you put your relationship first'', it was a very loving thing to say to me. Les always put his music first but then he was a different calibre of musician.
I didn't see him much during those years when I wasn't singing but he did come over one day to take my husband Jeff fishing. Jeff had the amazing experience of catching a fish off Tamarama beach, of course Les really caught it but Jeff still got to pull it in.
Les always went fishing to relax. He used to say" was born on an Island" it was a sad day for him when he had to leave his house by the sea.
When I decided I wanted to sing again I rang Les and he was straight back in there. The best time I have had with him has been the last year when Mary-Anne Burton, Gary Brown, Les and I formed a group called ''Quite Contrary". We had all known each other so long and were on exactly the same wavelength. We spent hours working out three part harmonies to all the songs, Mary-Anne and I would always get the first two parts and poor Les would have to work his part out from whatever notes were left so he often had difficult parts going into falsetto. To hear Les singing a harmony on his own (which can only be done in the studio) is to get an insight into his delicate soul - there was something angelic about his voice although he didn't like hearing it.
I am so happy that I got the chance to go to Dorrigo with Quite Contrary last year. I drove up with Les (he was a very slow driver so it was a long trip) and got to talk with him all the way. He was an intelligent man who thought about a lot of things but didn't share his thoughts very often. We had the best weekend together, Les had such a great sense of humour, that beautiful smile would just creep over his face all by itself. On the last night of our trip we stayed up for hours having a singalong and it was the best one I've ever had. We played every Hank Williams, every Patsy Cline, lots of Elvis, Beatles, Mary-Anne is a human jukebox and Les played every song on guitar like only Les can play.
I know Les didn't die feeling alone because he had made such a great friendship with Gary Brown - they spent every spare minute in Gary's studio and some great stuff came out of there including Mathilda Sommers and of course Bryen Willems album. We are so lucky to have all these recordings.
On Friday night I went to rehearse at Mary-Anne''s. Ironically Quite Contrary had their first big gig in Sydney at Cooks River coming up on the 25th February. We were practicing really hard. Les had put the harmony for suspicious minds down on tape for me backed by his guitar and when Mary-Anne and I played it we both looked at each other and said "Aren't we lucky" he just made everything we did sound so much better. Then we got in the car and went down to Cooks River for the last set of Bryen Willems gig. The last song of the night was "Just a Closer Walk With Thee", Mary-Anne and I got to sing the girlie bits - I think those harmonies were his idea...........
Les with Midwest Obsession
Vale from Bryen Willems
Les Scott, much loved Sydney based musician passed away Sunday 11 February at 1.30pm from cardiac arrest. He was 51 years old. Les was well-known around the Sydney and Tamworth Country Music scene.

Les played guitar from a young age in his native Papua New Guinea with his brothers, who were also very musical. He listened to the classic 50's country artists and his impeccible rhythm guitar reflected the music that found its way to his receptive soul. His family moved to North Queensland when Les was in high school, where he played guitar with his life-long school friend Terry Bonanno. It was there, while at university, that he first met his good friend Greg Williams. They played in bands together there. They lost track of each other only to meet again 20 years later playing in Bill Chambers' band in Tamworth.

The bands and individuals he played with include Quite Contrary, the Murray Hillbillies, Mary Heard and Midwest Obsession, Rob Lucky, Alby Pool, Rob Wilson, Leighton B Watts, Bryen and the Bayou Boogie Boys, Bill Chambers, Audrey Auld Mezera and others. In Tamworth he played guitar for the Jazzer Smith Talent Quest, Leslie Avril's band and Andy Baylor's band. He also played with Greg Williams in the Young Country Stars and Winners & Grinners shows in Tamworth and at his gigs in country NSW.

Recently he played guitar on Tracy Coster's album. In his last year he co-produced 3 recordings with his good friend Gary Brown in Unit 4 studios in Sydney. The recordings include Matilda Summers' first CD - a really nice bluegrass project. He produced his first full country album; Bryen Willems' "Too Cold at Home." The album that captures Les Scott best is an offering from Quite Contrary. This little band is made up of Mary Heard, Mary Anne Burton, Gary Brown and Les Scott. It's an acoustic album of classics beautifully produced. Les's guitar, bass, backing vocals and class permeate the whole project.

Les was the consummate country gentleman. He was always reliable and patient with the band. He had incredible ears and always knew exactly what to play and sing...both live and in the studio. He was never pushy but always helpful. The wise musician in any of Les's bands could learn a world of music from him in one set. Les loved music and people so much he was always ready to help out...even when money was not available. As he used to say, "If we don't help each other out, we don't get anything done."

Les is sorely missed by his family and friends.
Les is survived by his three sisters; Rita, Bridgette and Yvonne.
There is one song on the Quite Contrary album; an instrumental number called "Little Martha". The song is just Les and his guitar. Perfect.
Sound file of Les playing guitar.  The song is a Duane Allman song called "Little Martha."
Funeral arrangements are:
Monday 19th February,10.15am
Macquarie Gardens
Cnr Delhi Rd and Plassey Roads
North Ryde
(the entrance is opposite the Channel 10 Studios)
My beautiful Papuan Bassman Mr. Les Scott passed away suddenly on Sunday – he had just turned 51 in Tamworth.
One of the loves of my life, he will be sadly missed & has left a huge hole in my life – not to mention that of his fellow musicians & close friends in Sydney.
We were just about to record a couple of tracks for my 4th C.D......
working in Sydney & Tamworth will never be the same.
Good Fishin’ my gentleman friend.
Leslie Avril
When I first met Les at the Hank Night in Sydney, I thought he was one of the most handsome man I had ever met….I like’em dark with curls…& what about those eyes!
After our first rehearsal at his place at Malabar, I wasn’t ready to leave so we went down to the beach & he talked about his love of fishing & I talked of my love of the sea.

I then learnt what a conscientious & hard worker he was.
His diligence & professionalism was something I greatly admired.
Most people thought of him as shy & humble on stage but if he didn’t want to do something - he said so very clearly….no stress.
He was always well prepared & on time…”I just have to pace myself Leslie”.

Very quickly, my flirtatious manner became an issue.
Les rang up one night & said “don’t you like me anymore?”
I was very confused as we hadn’t worked together for a few weeks & I hadn’t been in touch.
We had a serious conversation about what our relationship was gonna be & I made the choice to keep it professional as I dearly wanted to keep working with him without complications.
After he started working alongside Sam, Andy & Robbie, I think he had more of an inkling of what made me tick.
I think he respected my decision but I on the other have one regret!

On stage & after, I always told him how handsome he was……
“Introducing – on bass - my tall, dark & handsome Papuan man…. Mr. Les Scott”.
After all these years, he still blushed & smiled shyly.
I am now very distressed that I will never get to stand up close & personal again & record those beautiful love duets.

After a gig, I was always sure to thank him, kiss him & give him a big sweaty hug.
He loved giving gifts & he was the instigator of the annual gift presentation & last supper in Tamworth….& he always offered to pay anywhere we were.
I am so sad that I postponed that ritual this year (to Melbourne), as he looked so disappointed…….mind you…I had mine already picked out & ready to put in the mail!

Over the years we talked about fishing, him visiting my beach house in Qld, his upbringing, his mother & family, even his heartbreaks & life choices.
I am so glad that I constantly told him how I felt about him.

I have often asked him to work overseas with me which he was unable to do because he didn’t have a passport. I have just been told that he finally got one.

We are all still in shock…it’s like a bad dream & life will never be the same without him.
I’m hope he new just how much he was loved & pray he wasn’t frightened or lonely when he called for help .Always the true gentleman…. the last words he said were thank you….
2005 in Bathurst
Vale from Greg Williams
February 13, 2007
Just writing this is painful, as it confirms what I’d rather not accept, that my old mate Les is gone. But there’s something driving me to continue, as he deserves what little I can give to his memory, as he was a very special person, and my good friend. Since his death, its become apparent how well loved and respected he was in the music industry, with so many people contacting me, knowing our close friendship. I just hope Les realised while he was alive how much so many people thought of him, as in most cases this emotion isn't expressed until its too late.

Most of our time together was to do with music, and the great love of ours Country Music was always predominant, even though we both loved lots of genres. Les could play just about any Beatles tune, Eagles, and so many other great songs and styles. He could play guitar (and bass) so well, and bring any song to life.

Our friendships history was long, and interrupted, as we met when he was attending James Cook University in Townsville North Queensland in the 1970’s. I cant recall the exact moment of our meeting, but it was probably while I was running a music shop and booking agency in Townsville, and a very active band scene was in action at that time. Les and I played in bands together (and they were good ones!) in Townsville, until he graduated and moved away from North Queensland, still in the 1970’s. We didn’t meet again for about 20 years!

The next time I saw him, I remember very well (about 10 years ago?), as it was at Tamworth Country Music festival the year Bill Chambers and Audrey were doing their Hank Williams tribute shows. It was a great pleasure to be playing drums for the first show at The Longyard, and a bit scary too. I remember getting familiar with someones else’s drumkit onstage in the dark, and I thought I’d better meet the other players, especially the bass player as we’re the rhythm section, and we were doing the gig “cold” – no rehearsal, no talkthrough, no nothin’!

I walked across to him and said “Hi, I’m the drummer - Greg Williams”, and he answered ”Yes I know, we used to play in bands together in North Queensland 20 years ago, I’m Les Scott”.
Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather, I stepped over the monitor wedge on the stage floor and said “Bloody hell mate, this is amazing, I’d better give you a hug!” We had a great gig that day with Bill leading the band, and from then on during that festival Les came and sat in and played at my gigs. That chance meeting created the opportunity that whenever I was close enough to his Sydney base for him to travel to play with me, till the end of 2007 Tamfest Les has played most of my guitar (or bass) playing gigs. There have been 100’s of gigs since then.

I describe him as the perfect sideman for any singer, always playing the right notes, supporting all the time, picking great tasteful solos when required, singing nice harmonies, never getting in the singers way, just superb he was!
He also had a great work ethic. If you booked Les Scott, you knew he’d be there, and most times he’d beat me to the venue, to load in, play, and just enjoy our time together. It was never just a gig with Les, it was something we both enjoyed. I’m gonna miss him, no doubt. He was more than that though, and even what I can recollect now doesn’t really do him justice, as he had a wonderful politeness about him, which inspired likeminded behaviour from all he met. He was a very private man, which engendered respect towards him, and he was totally gentle in his behaviour, which also came through in his playing.

A very thoughtful and kind person, whenever I stayed at his place in Sydney, there’d always be a fresh towel and cake of soap sitting on the guest room bed, and when he stayed at my Tamworth home for the many festivals we did together, he’d always give me a present of some kind, and he was great at sussing out what I may need and use. I always wished I had that insight of giving presents that someone would actually use, a rare skill I reckon. I now treasure the coffee maker he gave me just a few weeks ago, as I use it every day, and “I think of you old mate.”

I’ve lost count of the number of Jazzer talent quests at Tamworth Country Music festival Les played for, but its almost as many as I’ve done, and I think I’m up to 12 or 13 years now. He was ideal for this job, as he could back anyone, whatever their skill was. He especially loved working with the Young Country Stars concert performers, mainly Camerata graduates, which has run at The Pub for the past 9 years, and also for my Winners & Grinners shows for 8 years. Les would study all the songs, plus whatever other gigs he was doing, before the festival and in the time between gigs, and give each performer such excellent guitar playing support, and he loved doing it.

I feel so privileged to have known Les Scott, a rare individual, a wonderful man and great player.
But most of all Les was my friend!
 Greg Williams
Les with the Leslie Avril Band
Les at the Bluegrass Breakfast
Les Fishing
God bless you Les Scott

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