Frame the Sue Hammersley Collection of Gig Posters
Sue Hammersley played an influential role in West Australian music across a couple of decades. She championed gigs on university campuses, booked gigs at numerous venues, promoted interstate tours, and gave up and coming bands a helping hand. She was infamous around town – always at gigs, always loud, always with a drink in hand. Opinionated, passionate, hilarious, and more than anything, dedicated to WA music.
Sue passed away suddenly in August 2012.
A small collection of Sue’s favourite gig posters, which were kept by her family are being donated to WAM. We are raising funds to cover the costs associated with framing this collection professionally to ensure they are kept for many years to come as a tribute to her passion and commitment to what she loved best – music. Any funds raised over and above the framing costs will contribute to WAM’s range of programs and services.
Bob Gordon published a beautiful obituary and tribute to Sue on her passing; if you didn’t know Sue, everything you need to know about her relevance to the WA music community is captured here.
Sue was a force of nature, to say the least. Music mad from the get-go, at the age of 17 she managed to score an internship at the BBC in London, working on such shows such as Top of the Pops. Returning to Perth in the early ‘80s, she studied Film & Television at WAIT (now Curtin) but it was Sue’s passion for music that saw her emerge as a pioneering presence and consistent motivator in original, live music in this city.
It was a heartfelt mission and Sue fought the good fight in all of the many roles she took on in the WA music industry – at WAIT, the University Of Western Australia, The Red Parrot, The Firm, Planet Nightclub, WAM, Revue (in The West Australian), X-Press Magazine, the Grosvenor, the Hyde Park Hotel and more. Behind the scenes, Sue championed a wealth of WA bands, getting them gigs, supports, attention, drinks; all the things that young bands need but have no idea how to get when they’re new, naive, gullible and don’t know anything other than how to play their own songs (and you can be sure that Sue would tell them if they didn’t know that!).
Though she was never formally recognised for her work, everyone always knew just how much Sue contributed and achieved in WA music. In retrospect, she achieved it for others. Take your pick of any of the present movers and shakers in the original music industry in Perth right now and you would be struggling to find one who didn’t learn from Sue or was outright influenced by her.
That was Sue’s big heart, it was all geared towards others doing well. It seemed that the only reward Sue wanted was to enjoy herself. And boy, was she good at that. Eternally – a drink in one hand, a ciggie in the other and a cheeky grin connecting the two. Only god could help you if you refused the offer of a drink – and he probably wouldn’t have dared – it wasn’t worth the grief. Sue just wanted to make sure you were having a damn good time too. Sue would call a spade anything she fucking well liked. In The West Australian’s Revue liftout she once described the Grosvenor Backroom as “being like a TAB without television sets.” Hilarity and protest ensued. Her colourful way with the language and the zing of her one-liners was quite simply, classic. Sue made you feel like you’d heard swearing for the first time, every time. But of course, there lay a vulnerability that was probably easier to spot than she thought.
Sue Hammersley was both the diamond and the rough. She will never be forgotten by those of us in the WA music industry who knew and loved her.