The Masters Apprentices founding member and bass player Gavin Webb passes away at 77

The Australian music scene has lost one of its stalwarts with the passing of Gavin Webb, the founding bass player of the iconic rock band The Masters Apprentices.

Webb, who was 77, succumbed to cancer after a six-year struggle.

Gavin Webb's journey with The Masters Apprentices began in 1965, and his contribution to the band's sound was pivotal during its formative years until 1968.

The Masters Apprentices, renowned for classic hits such as ‘(It’s) Because I Love You’, ‘Turn Up Your Radio’, ‘Undecided’, and ‘Living in a Child’s Dream’ became a defining act of the 1960s and early 1970s, capturing the hearts of a generation with their raw energy and authentic sound.

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Founding member and bass player of The Masters Apprentices Gavin Webb, passed away at 77 after a six-year cancer battle. Credits: Instagram / @stackmagazine

The news of Webb's death was announced in a heartfelt social post by the band, which highlighted not only his musical prowess but also the personal qualities that made him a cherished member of the Masters Apprentices family.

‘It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved bassist and founding member of ARIA Hall of Fame inducted band The Masters Apprentices, Gavin Webb,’ the post read.

‘After being in remission for a few years, Gavin passed away from a six-year battle with cancer in the Royal Adelaide Hospital on Tuesday afternoon, 16th April 2024.’

According to the band, Webb left an outstanding musical legacy.

‘Even though Gavin was softly spoken, what few words he did say, he would always make count,’ the post continued.

‘Gavin’s band dossier from 1966 says his personal ambition is to “be a good musician”, a humble dream he would go on to transcend.’

‘Gavin leaves behind an incredible musical legacy which will live forever in Australia’s music history,’ they added.

The post also included the members’ message for Gavin, reminiscing their journey together.

‘“Gavin entered our lives 60 years ago. He joined our band as a bassist and from that moment became a member of our family; our brother. We will greatly miss our Gavin and treasure the life long bond we will share forever—from Mustangs to Masters,”’ the members wrote.

The Masters Apprentices began as The Mustangs in 1964 and quickly became a musical force, with Webb's bass lines underpinning their signature sound.

The band's frontman, Jim Keays, who passed away in 2014, led the group to national fame and an attempt to conquer the UK market in 1970.

Although they disbanded in 1972, their music continued to resonate, leading to reunion tours and a lasting legacy that has influenced countless musicians and fans alike.

He is survived by his son Ben and partner Sharon, and his memory is honoured by bandmates Mick Bower, Brian Vaughton, and Rick Morrison, who affectionately referred to him as 'Spider'.

The Masters Apprentices' music, with Webb's bass lines, will continue to play on, a testament to his talent and the era he helped define.

The outpouring of tributes from fans on social media underscores the impact Webb and The Masters Apprentices had on the Australian music scene and beyond.

Fans have expressed their gratitude for the music that provided the soundtrack to their lives and the memories that will forever be associated with Webb's artistry.

‘RIP, Gavin...thank you for the music,’ one fan commented.

‘Thanks for the spoke through your musicianship,’ another wrote.

‘Another for the heavenly stage. RIP, loved The Masters Apprentices, my era,’ a third said.

You can watch the band’s tribute video here:

Source: YouTube

Key Takeaways

  • Gavin Webb, a founding member and bass player of The Masters Apprentices, passed away at 77 after a six-year battle with cancer.
  • He was part of the band during its early years from 1965 to 1968 and rejoined for reunion shows years later.
  • The Masters Apprentices is remembered for iconic Australian hits such as ‘(It’s) Because I Love You’, ‘Turn Up Your Radio’, ‘Undecided’, and ‘Living in a Child’s Dream’.
  • The band, their fans, and fellow musicians mourn the loss of Webb, who left behind a significant musical legacy.
Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time. May his legacy continue to inspire and resonate with music lovers everywhere.

What is your favourite song from The Masters Apprentices? We invite you to share your memories of them in the comments below.
I had the pleasure of knowing Gavin the past several years. Truly a gentleman, and stoic in the face of his challenges. I feel sad that I will not see his face again after seeing him several times a week. Rest well, Gavin. You have deserved every accolade you earned.
War or Hands of Time is my favourite from the Masters Apprentice's. Every time I hear it I am reminded of 1967 and what was going on in my life as a 16 year old in a country WA boarding school
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"Living in a Child's Dream"was a favourite of mine ..RIP Gavin..I actually liked most of their songs.They were all beautiful people to me when I followed their beautiful music.
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Rest in Peace Gavin Webb. I loved all The Masters Apprentices music. Living in a Child's Dream and It's Because I Love You particularly brings back nostalgic memories of the first blush of love I had with my now husband of nearly 51 years.. now I'm going to get my old albums out and play them..💗

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