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Bluesman With A Passion For Sharing His Talent

Sunday 14 October 2018


From the Brisbane Times:

Please note: This article contains references to death. If you have feelings of helplessness, or of suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately. Lifeline is an excellent starting point: Lifeline – Suicide Prevention resources and links.


Peter Gelling
Blues musician Peter Gelling

Bluesman with a passion for sharing his talent

Peter John Gelling
(17 February 1960 to 28 September 2018)

By Barry York
October 12, 2018
Copyright © 2018 Fairfax Media.

Blues musician, music teacher, song-writer, composer and author Peter Gelling died peacefully at his home in North Watson on 28 September. Peter’s life was similar to many a bluesman in that he went through extremely hard times and struggled with some savage demons. A 12-step rehab program that he entered in his late teens, and music, were his saviours.

He wrote more than 130 music instruction books and released five critically acclaimed albums, including the Aria-nominated Bluestime and multi-award winning Fortune. In 2003, he won the MusicOz award in the Blues and Roots category for his song ‘If it wasn’t for the Blues’. His blues guitar manuals sold well, even in America, and his playing was described by ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine as ‘shimmering’.

Peter was born at Bulli, NSW, and came to Canberra with his parents in 1970. In his youth, he ‘went off the rails’, as he put it, and ‘ended up addicted to drugs and alcohol. Life was a nightmare’. He engaged in petty crime to feed his addictions but later became a model to others as to how an individual can turn their life around. His physical health had suffered, though, and in 1983 he was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, something from which he never recovered. This and other ailments meant that he lived with pain. His amazing determination to live life as fully as possible, and to achieve so much, despite adversity, now brings tears to the eyes of his friends and loved ones.


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