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We miss ‘Paully’ every day, says Jets frontman Gleeson

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There’s not one day Dave Gleeson doesn’t think of his good friend Paul Woseen.

Like most people, The Screaming Jets frontman was shocked to hear of the prolific songwriter’s death on Friday 15 September, at the age of 56.

The Novocastrian pair, along with Jimi Hocking, Scott Kingman and Cameron McGlinchey, had put the finishing touches on the band’s 10th studio album, Professional Misconduct, and were preparing for more dates on The Rock Vault Encore Tour, the sequel to their hugely-successful national odyssey celebrating the 30th anniversary of their ground-breaking debut All For One.

“Obviously, we were all distressed by the news,” Gleeson said.

“Paully was just a lovable rogue… he could be aloof or abrasive sometimes, however we wouldn’t have him any other way.

“Honestly, I don’t think he understood how respected he was, as a muso and a person.

“But, you only had to look at the reaction [to his passing] on social media and in the papers.

“There was a lot of love for him out there.

“However, there’s not a day goes by when he isn’t in our thoughts.

“We weren’t quite sure what to do when he died, it was a real kick in the guts for everyone, especially with Professional Misconduct due out the following month.

“But, we had a meeting the day after and, even though there was a lot of sadness, we spoke about whether we should just stop everything or go on.

“Of course, Paully’s spirit would have told us to keep going and do our stuff.

“So, even in the darkest moments, it’s been great that we’ve been able to spend time together.

“We’re dealing with it collectively… and we’ve got each other to lean on.”

The Screaming Jets at the launch of the AHA Newcastle Hunter – Paul Woseen Memorial Music Grant at The Stag and Hunter. Photo: Rod Thompson

Another positive for the grieving Jets was the formation of the AHA Newcastle Hunter – Paul Woseen Memorial Music Grant.

Supported by the band itself, City of Newcastle, The Stag and Hunter, TAFE NSW, Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, Moose Creative Agency, The Harbour Agency, Newcastle Live and Triple M – Newcastle, the scholarship will offer an annual recipient $5,000 cash as well as the chance to record, produce and launch an original single while receiving mentor sessions with industry professionals.

“It’s bittersweet, isn’t it?” Gleeson said.

“We love being back in our hometown but not in these circumstances.

“However, it’s an amazing thing that’s been pulled together by Nikki (Taylor), council and others to honour Paully.

“I was thinking about this before… even though you’re still kind of mourning the loss, this is a chance to celebrate his life, too.

“That’s how I’m remembering him, all the great stuff that we did together.

“So, having this grant is also a fantastic way to keep his memory alive.”

Woseen’s illustrious career with the Jets spanned more than 10 records, with over 50 songs to his credit, including the APRA Song of the Year nominee and enduring radio classic, Helping Hand.

His influence echoed through the group’s discography, notably highlighted by five of their albums, including their groundbreaking offering All For One (1991).

“In the beginning, Paully brought the cool to the band,” Gleeson told the Newcastle Weekly.

“He’d grown up in the Newcastle inner-city East End and hung out with all these East Enders, who were considered very hip in the independent [music] scene.

“So, along comes Paully in his staties, his pointy boots and his leather jacket.

“He was the total opposite of a Cardiff boy like me, walking around with my sleeves cut off my T-shirts and carrying on like a lunatic.

“But, he brought that amazing songwriting ability to the Jets.

“His bass playing was the beating heart… he was just a remarkable contributor to our success.”

Dave Gleeson performs the Paul Woseen-written hit Helping Hand. Photo: Rod Thompson

After catching up with family and friends in Newcastle – and performing at the Toronto Hotel on Friday night (23 February), The Screaming Jets are now readying themselves for the Red Hot Summer Tour.

There, they’ll join the Queen of Rock Suzi Quatro, Cheap Trick, The Angels, Jon Stevens, Baby Animals and Chocolate Starfish.

“We’re looking forward to it, that’s always great fun,” Gleeson said.

“We are doing so well at the moment… everyone’s loving the album, we’re playing terrific gigs.

“It’s one of those funny times when you wish Paully was here to enjoy it himself.”

Applicants for the AHA Newcastle Hunter – Paul Woseen Memorial Music Grant must be aged 18 or older and reside within the Greater Newcastle area including Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Maitland, and/or Cessnock.

To learn more, go to https://www.ahanewcastlehunter.org/paulwoseenmemorialmusicgrant

Applications close at 11.59am on Thursday 4 April.

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