19 February 1960 – 4 November 2019. By Greg Yates
It is with much sadness that I report the passing of Garry ‘Brick’ Chamberlain. I was informed by his long-time partner that he passed away peacefully in hospital on Monday November 4. At last he is at peace and free of the ills that controlled him.
Brick was a lighting crew chief starting at Jands Concert Productions under Eric Robinson and eventually became lighting crew chief on three U2 world tours. Not bad. He would often say “How did this happen to a boy from Corio, Victoria?” He achieved that not through ambition, but just by being Brick- good, honest, hardworking, dedicated.
I first met him in 1992 when we did some tours together. One of them was Jesus Christ Superstar; four months around Australia. He ran a good team. We had a good time. We stayed in contact and worked together on and off over the years. He went and did the U2 tours, finishing those in 2011. He wanted to be home to see his daughters more. He was done with touring.
In the separation from his wife, Garry ended up owning a rubber stamp business located in Wynyard Arcade, Sydney. Bizarre. I would often call in there to say hi and have a coffee, as did others (myself, Brick, Ian Messner and Mitch Fenton had a great brunch one day by chance) and find Garry bent over the computer or stamp cutting machine mumbling about how a stamp wasn’t being cut correctly or some 2nd grade artwork that he was sent. He would always do his best to make the stamp as perfect as possible, and deal with the situation with graciousness. I don’t think I ever saw him yell or get aggressive.
Sadly with the renovation works at Wynyard Station the business was forced to relocate. With that move his business suffered and eventually closed after many years. Garry suffered personally and financially. His health deteriorated. He was cared for by his long-time partner for a while and then moved back to his home town of Corio near Geelong. Times were looking somewhat better. Not for long.
He was a friend and an inspiration to me, and indeed to many. As I read through messages and Facebook posts I am reminded of Brick’s many positive qualities – hard working, organised, putting others first. He was a true gentleman who would deal with any situation with humour and honesty. He was a mentor to many, young or old, kids just starting out in the industry, or older guys like me.
Besides the work aspect, Garry was a mad keen AFL football fan. Followed the Yellow and Blacks (whoever they are. Sorry I’m not a sporting guy!). Anyone who followed him on Facebook would water at the mouth when seeing the pics of his dinner. Masterchef quality.
Garry didn’t put himself first. And he suffered to his detriment. Even when he was out of money he was still offering to pay for lunch with me! (I paid). He didn’t commit suicide in the usual way, but he still managed to kill himself. Please look after ourselves and each other. Please remember Garry ‘Brick’ Chamberlain always. Love to all.
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