You might remember Men At Work‘s big hit “Who Can It Be Now?” ,their saxophonist Greg Ham was a big part of what made that song so special. Ham also supplied the famous flute riff for “Down Under.” the bands other huge single. The 58-year-old was found dead by two friends in his Melbourne home after not being heard from for a week. Police are still trying to determine the cause of death.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that local detectives are saying there are many “unexplained circumstances” surrounding Ham’s death. A close friend says that Ham had been using heroin and drinking heavily in the wake of a lawsuit where the band was sued for copyright infringement. Larkin Music, which owns the right to the 1935 children’s song “Kookaburra,” alleged that the flute part “Down Under” was lifted from the song. A court agreed and ordered 5% of the song’s royalties to Larkin. Ham didn’t write the song and was not affected by the royalties lien, but was said to be devastated.
“It will be the way the song is remembered and I hate that. I’m terribly disappointed that that’s the way I’m going to be remembered – for copying something.”
Ham is survived by his wife, Linda Wostry, whom he had recently separated from, and two children.