Gavin Webb, bassist and founding member of Australian group The Masters Apprentices, dies aged 77

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The bassist and one of the founders of Australian rock band The Masters Apprentices, Gavin Webb, has died aged 77

The band’s record label confirmed the news overnight, stating that after being in remission for a few years, Webb died in the Royal Adelaide Hospital on Tuesday afternoon (April 16 2024).

The remaining original members paid tribute to the "softly spoken" Webb who "entered our lives 60 years ago". "Gavin's band dossier from 1966 says his personal ambition is to 'be a good musician', a humble dream he would go on to transcend," the band said.

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"Gavin leaves behind an incredible musical legacy which will live forever in Australia's music history. He joined our band as a bassist and from that moment became a member of our family; our brother," the trio said. We will greatly miss our Gavin and treasure the lifelong bond we will share forever — from Mustangs to Masters."

Webb's journey as a bass player started with humble beginnings. In 1965, his brother placed an ad on his behalf in the Adelaide newspaper, The News. The ad was simple and read "Student bass player wishes to practice with group." 

The ad caught the attention of Mick Bower, Brian Vaughton, and Rick Morrison- members of a band called The Mustangs, who invited Webb for an audition. The lead singer, Jim Keays, also joined the group the following year.

Webb, nicknamed 'Spider', played on the band's self-titled debut album in 1967. The album included early popular hits such as "Undecided" and "Living in a Child's Dream."

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Unfortunately, Webb developed stomach ulcers and had to leave the band in 1968. Glenn Wheatley succeeded him as the bass player and remained with the band until they split in 1972.

However, Webb rejoined the band in 1986 for reunion tours and played with the original line-up when they reunited in 2014, following the death of Keays.

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