A  career spanning over 50 years came to an end for music great Max Merritt in Sept this year.

The New Zealand born singer songwriter who also introduced Soul and R & B to Australia died in L A of a rare auto immune condition that had troubled him for some years before.

Max’s history as a much loved performer and awarded artist is well documented and one should take the time to search for such material. It’s easy to find and a fascinating read. Here’s a start –

I wanted to find out a little about  what it was like to work with Max so, I called my mate  “Glenno”  Glenn Suckling who was not only Max’s Musical Director &  long time bass player but a great friend too.

Glenno got the gig at the time when Max was touring with Doug Parkinson. Other combined tours included Brian Cadd and Dinah Lee. Glenno says it was Lead guitar God “JD” John Dallimore who recommended me to Max. “I remember Max being suitably impressed with my homework I’d done on some of his songs” he adds.It was about 2001 when I did my first gig with him and continued really until such time that he got sick.

Glenno recalls Max being fearless and taking no passengers. – the total professional – a perfectionist!

A memorable moment Glenno?

Max was the warm up artist for James Brown & Ray Charles amongst others at the Sydney Entertainment centre. We were all feeling a little unsure of how the gig would go with such a crowd but, Max pulled it off and had them eating  out the palm of his hand. It remains an incredible memory .

What was the song you enjoyed most playing?

“You can’t come back” which he recorded in the late 60s.

On a personal level Glenno?

Having played with some of the biggest acts Australia has offered – I have to say Max left the biggest mark on my career. It was the most rewarding experience. He was also a very close and caring friend. The Real Deal.

Max’s Posthumous album I CAN DREAM is now available having been released in Nov. Glenno features on 3 tracks.

Rob Foenander
Melbourne Observer
The Local Paper Network
Casey Radio 97.7fm The Mon Morning Mix 9 – 11am

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