Pensive. Pre-show. 2017.

Rob Gador joined The Stereo Stories Band in 2016, at the invitation of his long-time friend Peter Maskell, one of the band’s singer-guitarists.

“He is a great musician,” says Peter, “with a calm, kind, generous and caring presence.”

Rob brought a wealth of experience to Stereo Stories: many years as a touring musician in Australia and beyond, and many years as a music teacher in Geelong. He plays all sorts of genres, but jazz is closest to his heart.

His jazz arrangement of a Madonna medley for shows in 2018 took Stereo Stories in new directions, including multi-instrumentalist Stephen Andrew playing the glockenspiel.

“As our band move through a wide range of different musical styles, I hear Rob’s highly creative bass playing as a vital component in holding a song, and a set, as a musically coherent whole,” says Stephen.

“More than anyone, he anchors the band. Playing drums with Rob beside me was a privilege and a joy in that I could confidently share the role of holding the beat with him. Rob’s understanding of music theory (he’s a music teacher after all) leaves us all in the dust. On many occasions his knowledge of intervals and inversions helped us to get inside a song arrangement and bring out the best in a tune.

“His playing is warm, generous, unflappable and grounded.  Just like the guy himself.”

The bass guitar is Rob’s constant companion, but his skills on keyboards and tenor guitar have also come to the fore on a few occasions. Plus the cow-bell.

“We were rehearsing Boys Light Up,” recalls singer Chris Phillips, “and I had to hit a cow-bell  three times in about the fourth paragraph of Smokie Dawson’s story about seeing Australian Crawl the old Tarmac Hotel. I gave the instrument a bit of a triple-tap before Rob came over – smiling, of course –  and showed me how you’ve really got to HIT it!”

Rob’s long-standing career as a music teacher at Belmont High School also afforded the band the luxury of rehearsing in the very professional resources of the school’s band room.

“Rob is very good company on and off stage,” says Peter, “and he’s also a natural as a host. He’s a gem.”

Thank you, Rob.

 

The Centre Stage stories profile musicians and writers who have been pivotal to Stereo Stories, including – but not limited to – this motley crew:

Rob Gador in cap and sunglasses. Photo by Eric Algra. 2019.

Vin is founding editor of Stereo Stories and director/MC of Stereo Stories In Concert.