Greg Ham of Men At Work found dead
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Greg Ham of Men At Work found dead

Melbourne : Australia | Apr 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM PDT
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Men at Work musician Greg Ham found dead

Greg Ham, famous flute player of Men At Work, was found dead by police at his home in Melbourne today. He was 58 years old.

According to Australian reports, two friends went to his place to check on him because they hadn’t heard from him for long and found the body. Police are not sure about what exactly happened and have refused to give any information about the incident so far.

Detective Senior Sergeant Shane O'Connell said to the reporters, "Because of the early stages of our investigation, we're not prepared to go into the exact details of what has occurred.” Close family and friends are yet to be informed about the incident, the police said.

In 1979, Greg Ham became member of the band, Men At work, and played flute, harmonica, saxophone and keyboards. He got fame for his chirpy flute riff in the band’s international hit “down under”. This song topped the charts in both UK and US as well as in Australia.

However, the beauty of this song was tarnished by a copyright dispute in the previous years. In the year 2010, Australia's Federal Court ruled the melody was copied from the children's folk tune Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree. The band members lost an appeal to the ruling and thus had to pay 5% of the song’s royalities as well as future earnings to the copyright owners.

Greg Ham was deeply hurt by the ruling and in a statement given to Fairfax media, said, “It will be the way the song is remembered and I hate that.” He further said, "I'm terribly disappointed that that's the way I'm going to be remembered- for copying something."

Colin Hay, frontman for Men At Work, in a statement given to CBS News, expressed love for his old friend whom he met when they both were in high school in the year 1972. Hay recalled his cherished moments with Greg, saying, “We played in a band and conquered the world together. I love him very much. He's a beautiful man. The saxophone solo on 'Who Can It Be Now' was the rehearsal take. We kept it, that was the one. He's here forever."

Men At Work won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1983 and the band broke up in 1985.

Michelle Lincaster is based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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