3AW - Fairfax Radio Network

What we're talking about

Greg Ham found dead

Posted by: 3AW News | 19 April, 2012 - 3:02 PM
Greg Ham from Men at Work in July 2010 (PIC: FFX)

UPDATE: Police are waiting for autopsy results to determine how Men At Work musician Greg Ham died.

His body was discovered by 2 friends the house on the  corner of Canning and Fenwick Streets yesterday when concerns were raised about his welfare. 

Forensic Police and homicide detectives have deemed the death as not suspicious after spending hours at the Carlton North property.

Homicide Squad Detective John Potter says the exact cause of death is still unknown.

Tributes are continuing to flow in for the Men at Work musician who achieved international fame in the 1980's including a moving statement from his friend and bandmate Colin Hay.


I met Greg Ham 40 years ago, at Kim Gyngell’s house in 1972. Last year of high school. He had blond hair, rosy cheeks, ridiculously bright eyes, and along with Gyngell, was the funniest person I knew. He was sharp, real sharp.

We were friends from then on, we liked each other. He lived for a while in Park Street in St Kilda, in a communal household, which was the best of times. The best parties ever. Greg took up the saxophone and flute during this time, he was always practicing.

He got really good. We shared countless, unbelievably memorable times together, from stumbling through Richmond after playing the Cricketers Arms, to helicoptering into New York City, to appear on Saturday Night Live, or flying through dust storms in Arizona, above the Grand Canyon, or getting lost, driving aimlessly through the Gippsland countryside.

We played in a band and conquered the world together. I love him very much. He’s a beautiful man. He never lost his love and passion for music, and indeed taught music to kids over the last few years.

He was a great teacher,  and they loved him. The saxophone solo on “Who Can It Be Now”, was the rehearsal take. We kept it, that was the one. He’s here forever.

I’m thinking about his family, and hoping they are receiving the love and support they need and deserve.

THURSDAY: Derryn Hinch has reported that former Men at Work band member Greg Ham has been found dead in a house in Carlton.

It's understood that his body was found by friends in the Canning Street address late this morning.

Police are unable to confirm the identity of the body and are currently attempting to determine the cause of the  death.

Ham played saxophone, flute and keyboard with the hugely popular band that conquered Australia and America in the 1980’s.

IMAGE: Police outside the North Carlton house. Photo: Joe Armao


Men at Work Lead Singer Colin Hay and Ham were the last to call it quits from the band in 1985 and the two reunited to tour the US and South America during the late nineties.

Ham and the rest of the band were at the centre of a controversy in 2010 when their song Land Down Under became entangled in a copyright dispute with the Australian children’s classic Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.

Ham expressed his disappointment with the case, telling the Age in 2010 that ''It (the court case) has destroyed so much of my song''.

''It will be the way the song is remembered and I hate that. I’m terribly disappointed that's the way I'm going to be remembered - for copying something'' he said.


Lifeline: 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78

Headspace (Non-crises youth support): 1800 650 890


AUDIO: 3AW Reporter Phil Johnson at the Carlton North address.

The kookaburra's stopped laughing

Greg Ham in the <i>Land downunder</i> film clip DERRYN HINCH: Suddenly, it is not a case of 'laugh, Kookaburra, laugh'. The news broke this afternoon that Greg Ham from Men at Work is dead. That great talent who played his flute in the old gum tree was found dead in his North Carlton home today.

Blog comments Your Say

  • The most nicest personality in Australian music.And what talent.GREG HAM IS A GREAT PERSON.Will be missed by me

    norma Wednesday 25 April, 2012 - 1:31 AM
  • Greg you were a musical genius. The Court got it wrong.

    Tony Sammassimo Sunday 22 April, 2012 - 9:53 AM
  • I saw Greg playing in Men at Work in 99 at the metro on george st across the road from the movies i will never forget his solo during Who Can it Be Now he came off stage and played around us on the dance floor.R.I.P Greg Ham.

    stephen mullins Friday 20 April, 2012 - 7:20 PM
  • It's a shame that he was not able to see the plagiarism case overturned before his death. What an absolute travesty that was!

    Linda Friday 20 April, 2012 - 8:24 AM
  • sad news will allways love gregs songs

    col Thursday 19 April, 2012 - 10:04 PM
  • RIP Greg

    n Thursday 19 April, 2012 - 4:40 PM

Post a comment * Mandatory fields