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As a drummer for great bands like the Masters Apprentices and a brief period with the venerable AC/DC, Colin John Burgess, who was born on November 16, 1946, and passed away on December 15, 2023, left an enduring impression on the Australian rock scene.
Early Life and Career
Burgess, who was born in Sydney on November 16, 1946, was raised with his brother Denny. His first experience in the music industry was as a drummer for the band The Untamed, which included guitarist Joe Travers. The Burgess brothers’ musical collaborations began when Denny Burgess joined the surf-instrumental band the Throb in the mid-1960s as a bass guitarist and singer.
Together with Travers and bassist Bill Verbaan, the Burgess brothers founded the psychedelic ensemble Honeybunch in 1967. The group then changed its name to “The Haze.” Fortunately, they met founder member Jim Keays in Sydney while playing with the Masters Apprentices, which resulted in a pivotal moment in Colin John Burgess’s career.
Joining the Masters Apprentices in January 1968, Burgess became an integral part of the band’s success. Their relocation to Melbourne solidified their presence in the Australian rock scene. The top-charting singles “5:10 Man,” “Think about Tomorrow Today,” “Turn Up Your Radio,” and “Because I Love You” marked their triumphant journey on the Go-Set National Top 40.
Despite challenges, the Master’s Apprentices persisted, with Burgess contributing his rhythmic prowess until the band’s dissolution in mid-1972. In 1998, the Masters Apprentices, including Burgess, received the honor of induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
As the original drummer for AC/DC, Burgess’s career took an explosive turn in November 1973. He was fired in February 1974, reportedly for being drunk on stage (which he subsequently said was the result of drinking too much). Sadly, his time there was brief. A brief period in the early history of AC/DC was defined by his departure.
Through a strange turn of events, Burgess ended up at the Music Factory in London the evening before Bon Scott died in February 1980, thus becoming one of the final people to speak with the great singer before his premature demise. In 1983, he, along with his brother Denny, formed the hard rock band His Majesty.
What was the Cause of Colin Burgess’s Death?
Colin Burgess passed away on December 15, 2023, at the age of 77. However, the cause of his death has not been revealed.