Doing What He Loved

2 April 2012 | 7:34 am | Aarom Wilson

Drum Media pays our respects to Gary Cornell, who passed away doing what he loved, up on stage performing with his band Pyramid Of The Coyote.

When Pyramid Of The Coyote marched on stage Saturday 17 March at The Civic Hotel, they had no idea it would be a performance that would change their lives forever. Two songs into their set frontman Gary Cornell collapsed and became unconscious. Despite the best efforts of punters, friends and the bar staff, he was unable to be revived and passed away due to a suspected heart attack, leaving his long-term partner Julie Turner and their two children, ten-year-old Trinity and eight-year-old-Madison, behind.

After his sad, untimely death, a sea of condolences flooded Facebook, with friends and family posting fond memories and sharing stories about the 34-year-old. Turner, Cornell's partner of 13 years, has been strong over the past couple of weeks, replying to those sending condolences and sharing memories of her own. “It's times like this when we as a music community in Perth band together to shine in the collective musician's spirit that is no doubt covering Gary as he rocks out from above,” she said on one Facebook tribute.

His bandmates also shared their feelings via Facebook in the days after his death. “My deepest sympathies to those closest to Gary, this is a truly tragic event. I have lost my best friend and brother of 17 years. RIP. You'll be truly missed,” guitarist and one of his best friends Kely Barcia posted from the band's Facebook page. “Gary was a great performer/singer/song writer/drummer/musician/event promoter, a great mate to all that knew him, had a sincere lust for living life to its fullest and was a great genuine person with a warm and very human side,” the post continues. From there, stories kept flowing, proving how much respect those who knew Cornell had for him, and just how much the band meant to all four members.

Forming in November '09, Pyramid Of The Coyote was about old friends rocking out on stage and having fun with it. Even the origins of the band's name reinforced their fun attitude towards rock'n'roll, as Cornell explained in an interview with in October 2010: “The name came from a vision that Ben [Barrett, Bass] had after eating some great cookies and watching an episode of The Simpsons.” From there he went on to explain how life should be lived: “The meaning of life to me is making the most of every moment, always giving without expecting anything in return and continually pushing limits and boundaries, and unconditional love to all around. This will bring you happiness and make your life fulfilling!” Which is exactly how those close to him are remembering him during these tough times; how he will always be remembered.

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Keeping his memory alive and trying to hold things together isn't an easy task for Turner, and that's where Perth's generous spirit comes into play. Perth rockers Stone Circle have teamed up with DC Productions to put together a benefit show for Cornell's family at The Civic Hotel, Sunday 1 April. Stone Circle frontman Jeremy Harris has also put together a trust fund to help ease the financial burden placed upon Turner. “It will be a massive night and hope to see everyone there,” Pyramid Of The Coyote's Facebook reads. “Special thanks to Jeremy for his selfless involvement for the great cause of raising funds for Gary and Julie's two beautiful girls, Trinity and Madisan, and of course for our main man's memory. Will be a night to remember.”

If you would like to donate to the Madisan & Trinity Trust Fund, the details are as follows: BSB 016498 & Account number 531167555. Or rock up to the show from 4 'til 10pm.