New Page 1

<Home>  <Bands>  <Musicians>  <Venues & Places>  <Reunions>  <Contacts List>  <Anthems>  <Search>

First published May 2010

Andrew Kay passed away on 15th May 2010 after an 18 month battle with cancer.


Some sad news - the peaceful passing of Andrew Kay in Melbourne, after an 18 month battle with cancer.  He and I formed the NZ band "Beech" in 1972 and for 3 years we tormented NZ-ers up and down the North and South Islands, appearing with Eric Clapton, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, and many others being a part of the Barry Coburn stable of artists.  After "Beech" folded in 1975, Andrew joined "Human Instinct" during the Crofts Nightclub days.  Unsure of the date he came to Melbourne, but it was to join up with Phil Manning and Jim Keays in the Manning-Keays Band (with bassist Peter Cuddihy).  Meeting up with Andrew Kay, and Brent Parlane one Christmas (maybe 1977) we got together once again and formed "The Tourists" which soon changed name to "33 South" (for legal reasons).  That band culminated in recording one self-titled album before disbanding in 1980.  After a few years of becoming one of Melbourne's best front-of-house mixer/roadies, Andrew quit the Music Industry and entered the Corporate world as a successful computer programmer. - Andrew Forrer
My condolences to family & friends. Sincere Regards - Larry Morris
RIP Andrew - Ray Columbus
So sorry to hear of Andrew passing away, my condolences to Andrew's family and friends - Dave Duffell
We had a little rat pack in Melbourne for 30 odd years but my first memories of Andrew were at Crofts, falling off the small stage taking his piano with him.  He did jump up and keep playing :) RIP buddy. - Linda Stevens
Sad to hear about another fellow musical soul passing into the ether.  I knew Andrew in Melbourne when we were all part of that musical scene in the Late 70's early 80's.  One of my fondest memories of Andy was crashing his wedding to Ester in Los Angeles circa 1985.  Just before I went to the airport with my girlfriend for my first look around the US someone informed me that Andy was to be married the day after we arrived in LA.  So I picked up a couple of slabs of VB at the airport and next day crashed the wedding, a Jewish affair.  Fortunately he was happy to see us especially with the amber nectar he was so fond of in our music days.  It ended up a two day affair as the guests didn't finish up the two 44 gallon drums of Spanish sparking wine that were provided and it took a second sitting to lay waste to it, and us.  The last time we actually saw each other was back in the early 90's when my German wife and I went around to the Kay's place for dinner while we were on a trip to Melbourne and caught up.  He had just got into the computer business at which he became very successful.  A very informed man and a good conversationalist.  My condolences to Ester who stood strong through his ordeal with that insidious disease.  I spoke with him on the phone about a month before he died and he was still in good spirits as we talked about old times.  Damn it.  We seem to be losing good folks all the time while pricks like George W taint our collective consciousness.  So much for a just God. - Peter Caulton
Click Here to read a tribute to Andrew from his colleagues at First Data.
I first met Andrew in 1973 when I joined Beech on guitar.  Beech was a very eclectic band combining rollicking Irish jigs, with Steely Dan, British folk music, RnB, Southern rock and the odd original song.  What impressed me about Andrew was he would arrive at rehearsals and turn on the tape and learn his bits then and there, after we had been slaving away for days working out our parts.  He was especially good at working out the Steely Dan chords, he would hear the song once and had it down.  He was a natural talent and was far more interested in tinkering around with cars than actually practicing, in fact I can’t remember him ever practicing.
Andrew loved driving and he did most of the driving on tours.  Once on our way home from a gig Ron our drummer complained that Andrew was driving over a few Cats Eyes.  Bad mistake as Andrew drove over every Cats Eye for the next mile as Ron told him to stop the van and he walked home.
Another time we left Napier in the morning with Andrew at the wheel bound for Auckland, at some time he turned around to receive a smoke from the person behind him and we arrived back in Napier at nightfall.  Somewhere along the line we missed the Auckland turnoff!  He could fix anything, he did lots of running repairs on the van using anything at hand even his smelly socks to hold the engine together.
When I first arrived in Auckland I lived with Andrew in his mothers mansion in Epsom.  For the first 7 days I remember we had takeaways every night from a place funnily enough called Andy’s Takeaways.  We barely survived that experience.
One morning at about Dawn there was a furious banging on the door.  It was the cops coming to arrest Andrew for unpaid fines.  Never a dull moment.
Andrew was an excellent soundman and if he was at the desk you always felt you were in good hands.
A true testament to Andrew’s genius is his rapid rise in the computer world, stumbled upon by accident as his good friend Paul O’Shea was in the business.  Paul was very successful and very smart and encouraged Andrew to give it a whirl, as life on the road mixing bands was losing it’s appeal.
Andrew was very lucky to meet the love of his life Esther and she really turned his life around and gave it direction and purpose and together they built up a very successful property portfolio preferring to live in the country rather than the hustle and bustle of the city.
I was very fortunate to spend Christmas Day with Andrew at Coe Tipping’s place and be on stage again with him, Andrew Forrer, Brent Parlane and Ron Mahoney.  He was still playing well and the only thing missing was the fag hanging out of his mouth.
A few days later we flew back to NZ and Andrew and Esther were on the same flight to Christchurch, and the next day my wife Maxine organised and drove us to Akaroa for the day and we had a lovely lunch.  I also discovered he had an older brother who was tragically run over before Andrew was born and as most people will know his sister died in London due to a medical mishap, she was a successful violinist.  Andrew’s mother was a real character and could smoke Andrew under the table, it was through her that I developed an interest in property.
Andrew remained optimistic to the end and on our Akaroa trip said how he was looking forward to coming back and checking out the West Coast.  In typical Andrew style he never once complained about being unwell.
To Esther, David, Gavin and to all his many friends I offer my sincere condolences and I am so blessed to have known such a forthright and iconic figure as Andrew Kay.
Rest in Peace dear friend - Phil Jones
(email me your tribute to Andrew and I'll add it in -

<Home>  <Bands>  <Musicians>  <Venues & Places>  <Reunions>  <Contacts List>  <Anthems>  <Search>


A tribute from First Data

Andrew Kay joined the PaySys company (now First Data) in August 1999, and spent over 10 years working in our organisation.  Throughout that period Andrew demonstrated what he became well known for over the years - dogged determination, intelligence, grit; he was fiercely loyalty to his team, his projects and his company; he was passionate, extraordinarily hard working and dedicated.  Andrew worked on many high profile projects in Asia Pacific and beyond - Samsung Card (Korea), ANZ Release 8 conversion (Melbourne), Westpac conversion (Sydney), Starlight (EMEA) to name just a few.  He supported the China Data Centre, and the start up of the Singapore office; he sat on design councils, technical forums and always made a contribution - everyone knew what Andrew's opinion was.  It was Andrew's leadership which really shone through in the Westpac project; his force of will seeming to drag much of the technical side of the program over the line for a successful outcome - an effort recognised by a Winners Circle award. 

Prior to joining First Data, Andrew had a career at GE, where he cut his teeth in the cards industry. In fact Andrew was very well known to the PaySys team long before he joined the company, as he worked extensively on the loans capability of the release 2.5 version of VisionPLUS.  GE also had Andrew based out of Leeds in the UK for a time to assist with migration from Cardpac to VisionPLUS, amongst other things.  His skills and ability in the IT and Cards world has been recognised for some time. 

So it's hard to believe that Andrew in fact came to IT later in life - His first, and lifelong abiding passion was for music, and Andrew dedicated himself to classical piano and violin before setting out on the rock n roll life.  He was a member of a number of bands, some which achieved success.  He has opened shows for The Sweet, Roxy Music, Eric Clapton, AC/DC and The Eagles and many other bands who toured New Zealand and Australia in the 1970s and 80s, meeting (well, mostly partying with) many of the band members at the time.  Andrew and his band mates made appearances on New Zealand TV music shows playing their charting singles.  Later he also played with Dragon in a number of gigs and they offered him a place in the band (upon reflection he said it was a good decision not to join since it prolonged his life quite a few years by escaping the pitfalls of their lifestyle!).  A career highlight was playing keyboards in Chuck Berry's touring band. 

In the 80s he moved from playing music to mixing it, becoming well known as a live sound man on the local scene.  He provided the mix for George Thorogood's tour - By chance Andrew bumped into George several years later on a business trip to New Zealand.  It was always great to share a triple Chivas (this became a well known cry at the bar) with Andrew and to hear about his old rock n roll days.  I especially enjoyed the story where Angry Anderson of Rose Tattoo "asked" Andrew to change the mix, to which Andrew "politely advised" that this was not possible - Angry chased Andrew out of the gig and down the road…. 

As anyone who had anything to do with Andrew can tell you, Andrew held strong beliefs, and he never wavered.  This coupled with his energy were used to great effect to save an historic Melbourne train station from destruction - It also got him arrested when he protested the Springboks tour of New Zealand. 

Andrew was well known across the First Data organisation, and by former colleagues, clients and his many IT friends - the volume of emails and phone calls received this week from all over the First Data world and beyond are testament to this.  The Box Hill office will miss Andrew especially - his leadership, loyalty and dedication were both a great source of support and nurturing, as well as an inspiration for us all.  People would do anything for Andrew, and Andrew would do anything for them.  He made us feel proud of our work, made us learn, and always encouraged us to expand our knowledge - And always supported our ideas and us as a person and friend, not just as a colleague.  Above all it is his humanity that we will miss the most - Andrew truly was a wonderful bloke, with a larger than life character.  There are a lot of tears being shed in our small office. 

After an 18 month battle against cancer, Andrew passed away peacefully on May 15.  He is survived by his wife Esther.

New Page 1

<Home>  <Bands>  <Musicians>  <Venues & Places>  <Reunions>  <Contacts List>  <Anthems>  <Search>