The Angels' Doc Neeson dead at 67


The Angels frontman Doc Neeson has died at the age of 67 after fighting a brain tumour for a year and a half, it's been confirmed.

In 2013 the Irish-born Australian singer vowed he’d be among the 20% of sufferers who beat the disease – and appeared to have done so until the cancer returned earlier this year.

Angels bassist Chris Bailey died of jaw cancer 13 months ago.

Drummer Buzz Bidstrup announced today: “It is with deep sadness that we say goodbye to Bernard ‘Doc’ Neeson. He left the world early this morning. I join music lovers everywhere in mourning this great man.”

Midnight Oil vocalist Peter Garrett tweeted: “A mighty talent – you showed us how.”

Former Guns n’ Roses manager Alan Niven, who wrote songs for the Angels, said: “Tears and fond laughter in the beer tonight. I never thought of him as a rock star, but rather as a character who stumbled out of a JP Donleavy novel and onto the stage.”

Neeson was profiled in a TV documentary in April, in which he told how he’d been given 18 months to live after his first cancer diagnosis. “The news is grim; but some people can get through this, and that’s the way I try to think about things,” he said. “I’m looking forward optimistically to the future.”

He was recently awarded the Order Of Australia Medal and admitted: “I felt kind of humble. I haven’t saved any lives. I feel honoured to be in that company.”

The Angels began as the Moonshine Jug And String Band, former by Neeson alongside Rick and John Brewster. They changed their name in 1974 and launched their self-titled debut album three years later. Their most recent release was this year’s Talk The Talk, with Dave Gleeson fronting the band.