Charlie George with Rob Younger in The Other Side. Ian Shiels photo.

Charlie Georgees, one of the 1970s underground Australian rock and roll scene’s unsung guitar heroes, passed away on Saturday. Close friend Jim Dickson of Radio Birdman broke the news today on Facebook.

The pair first crossed paths at James Cook University in Townsville and joined a musical migration of like-minded Queenslanders to Sydney soon after.

Georgees signed on with  Oxford Funhouse favourites The Hellcats with Ronald S Peno, graduating to Rob Younger’s post-Radio Birdman outfit, The Other Side from 1978-79. That band included future Hoodoo Guru and expat Queenslander Clyde Bramley on bass and Mark Kingsmill (also a future Guru and ex- Hellcats). Ron Keeley (Radio Birdman. The Visitors) replaced Kingsmill on drums.

The Other Side. Ian Shiels photo. 

Georgees played in an early Hitmen line-up, under the moniker Johnny and the Hitmen.

He also played bass with The Psychosurgeons on their 1978 "Horizontal Action"b/w "Wild Weekend"

Charlie joined members of Birdman in the studio to play on the 1978 Johnny Kannis solo single, "Under The Boardwalk" b/w “Pushing Too Hard”, there B side of which was re-released by Dog Meat in 1991 with "King of The Surf" on the A side.

No studio recordings exist of The Other Side but surviving live recordings show why he was so admired by peers. His enormous tone and speedy but precise chording were the introduction for many to ‘60s punk.

In 1980, Charlie played in the first post-Ed Kuepper Saints gig at Sydney's Stagedoor Tavern with Chris Bailey, Ivor Hay on drums, Jim Dickson on bass and Bruce "Cub" Calloway on guitar.

"It was a memorable night and the only time that line-up played. It was great to play with Charlie," Bruce Calloway said.

Leaving a brief but indelible impression, Charlie Georgees shifted home to Townsville where he worked as a geologist.