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BREAKING NEWS: The Angels' Doc Neeson Has Died

4 June 2014 | 11:50 am | Staff Writer

Australian rock legend dies after long struggle with cancer

The Age newspaper has reported that legendary rock star Doc Neeson has passed away.

According to the report he died peacefully today at 7.15am.

A statement has been released by his family and partner Annie Souter today, posted on his Facebook.

"It is with deep sadness and regret that the family of Angels' singer/songwriter Bernard 'Doc' Neeson - loving father, family member and friend to so many - announce he has passed away in his sleep at 7.15am today.

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"He has battled with a brain tumour for the last 17 months and sadly lost his fight this morning. He will be deeply missed by his family and partner Annie Souter who would all like to thank everyone for their support through this dark time."

The statement also included separate tributes from his children and Souter.

"We love you Dad. You couldn't have made any of your sons more proud of you if you tried. May your beautiful soul rest in peace sweet angel, fly high." Dzintra, Daniel, Aidan and Kieran."

"Good Night, Sweet Prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." With love forever, Annie - borrowed from William Shakespeare - Hamlet."

In April it was reported that the former frontman of The Angels had been told that a brain tumour he had previously been treated for had returned.

The 67-year-old was famous for his intense stage presence but recent years saw his one-time band The Angels touring without him despite having experienced a string of hits together in the '70s and '80s.

Former band members Rick and John Brewster, co-founders of The Angels have also paid tribute to Neeson today.

“Doc stood out as one of a kind, a totally unique performer. His feverish stage presence was unsurpassed yet beneath the public persona was a gentle soul. He leaves behind a wealth of shared memories – good times, hard times and the thrill of creating timeless music together. RIP Doc.” - Rick Brewster

"I've found myself thinking back to the wonderful days of the Moonshine Jug and String Band when we first met Doc, the residencies at the Modbury Hotel, Adelaide Rowing Club, the Finsbury, all the great gigs that that zany, crazy band performed at, the parties at Doc's rented house in Glenunga, SA. We had so much fun back then.

"Somehow that band turned into The Angels, i.e. Doc, Rick, Charlie King and me and we went out on the road, literally, in my old 1964 EH Holden station wagon. The endless highway playing every night of the week, mostly in dives, learning how to do it by live performance and writing better and better songs. Eventually the band, including Buzz Bidstrup and Chris Bailey, hit it big in 1978 and Doc became one of the great frontmen of all time, a dynamic, demonic, artistic and imposing performer who would give it his all night after night, totally spent at the end of each show.

"There was a deep, sensitive and gentle side to Doc. In this sad time of his passing I'll remember him for that and the good times we had together, now and forever more." - John Brewster