'Mate, Keith and I go waaay back'
WHILE most country music fans would love to rub shoulders with Keith Urban, Brad Hooper has been lucky enough to become mates with him.
In fact, the Rockhampton musician, who is the guitarist in the popular pub band Sugar Daddies, first met the Australian country singer when he was just 16.
“I met Keith when he was 16 while I was in Brisbane playing for (the band) Rusty and the Ayers Rockettes back in the 80s,” Brad said.
“We kept in touch and he replaced me in my band (Rusty and the Ayers Rockettes) in 1988 as the guitarist,” he said.
After being given the opportunity to tour with Keith in Australia in the past, Brad was “stoked” when Keith asked him up on stage to play during his latest world tour at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in December.
“I would love to be in his (Keith’s) band,” Brad said.
Brad, who also works in a recording studio at Yeppoon, said Keith was a down-to-earth Aussie bloke, just the same as he was when he was 16.
“I try to keep in touch with him as much as I can. We usually catch up whenever he tours,” Brad said.
Three years ago, when the cast for the movie Australia were recording in Bowen, Brad was invited to play for a cast and crew event.
“Keith rang me up and asked me to play up at Bowen. Hugh Jackman even got up with me,” Brad said.
Brad said not only was Keith an inspiration to him, but he had helped their band The Sugar Daddies raise much needed funds for the Variety Club.
“Neil (Neil Rock – lead singer and keyboard player) and I are involved in the infamous Variety Club Bash and Keith signed a couple of guitars that we auctioned off for $10, 000,” Brad said.