In collaboration with Mustang Bar
Highly regarded country musician Peter Busher will lead his Lone Rangers in a special guest-studded tribute to his longtime drummer, Brian Booy, who has recently been diagnosed with early onset dementia.
To celebrate his friend’s talent, Busher has invited many people who have played with Booy throughout his long career to take the stage at Perth’s Mustang Bar on Sunday 21st May.
Booy told NME he is being kept in the dark about who might appear, but promoter Busher has said it will include two-time Grammy winner Lucky Oceans and noted Fremantle singer-songwriter Jim Fisher, who recently opened the Transplant Games held in Perth.
The night will be in two parts. The first will feature Busher and The Lone Rangers, with many former band members joining in for a song or two. After the break there will be a mix of stalwarts from the Perth music scene who have crossed paths with Booy over the decades.
Mustang Bar is a fitting choice of venue as Booy and Busher held a Sunday residency at the Perth venue for more than a decade and recorded a classic live album there.
Booy was born and raised in Meekatharra, his family moved to Kalgoorlie when he started high school. His father played the sax and mother played the piano. Booy was being taught their instruments by his parents and was dreaming of becoming a pop star when things took a left turn one night.
“I was about 16-17 and my mum and dad had gone to do a show. I heard the car come home immediately and I thought, ‘Oh, she’s forgotten her sheet music again.’ Instead she said, “Quick, put on some proper clothes, you’re going to come and play the drums.” Their drummer had fallen ill and they decided Booy would fill in.
In her haste, his mother had overlooked one simple fact: that Booy had never played the drums in his life. But after a quick word of encouragement he was dressed and quickly behind the set.
“My dad was right next to me guiding me, and I reckon after three or four songs I was cooking.”
That night, Booy’s choice of instrument changed forever. He was soon playing in bands around Kalgoorlie and would eventually move to Perth. He played the style required, but always had a special fondness for country music. Booy spent a long time in No City Limits, a band fronted by Melody Pool’s father Alby, and even played some shows with Peter Busher’s father, John.
In the early 1980s, he reconnected with fellow Kalgoorlie musician Bryan Dennis when he created his alter ego, Kevin Bloody Wilson. Booy would feature on Kevin’s first three albums and play with the internationally beloved musical comedian for several years.
Booy and Busher first played together in a very early incarnation of Dude Ranch, but it would be several years later, when Booy took over the drum stool, that their musical bond would be sealed. Booy was there for most of the hundreds of shows the Lone Rangers played at the Mustang Bar.
“For me, Brian was the perfect drummer,” Busher shared NME. “No one I’ve played with can play a ballad better, and he always knew his parts and usually everyone else’s. Brian always gives 100 percent.”
Booy isn’t sure if this will be his last show, but even though his memory is fading, he said he still “loves every hit.”
Peter Busher’s benefit concert for Brian Booy will take place at The Mustang Bar on Sunday 21st May. Tickets are $20 at the door