April 16th, 2023Legends: Eastoe and Murray drop a new life track
Words: Eve Lamb | Images: Robbie Noakes
FROM supporting Pink Floyd and featuring on Countdown to doing
guitar for The Wiggles, the combined experience of local musos Gilly
Eastoe and Terry Murray is the stuff of legend.
Now, after 14 good years living at Strangways near Daylesford, these
consummate muso entertainers are about to bid this region farewell to begin living
a new melody in coastal NSW. Woolgoolga, about 25 minutes from Coffs Harbour,
to be precise.
Anyone who’s ever enjoyed some ripping live music at a local pub in recent
years has likely caught this generously talented duo doing what they do best. Since
moving to the region 14 years ago they’ve become firm favourites on the local live
They’ve also been making life itself a far more cheerful gig for countless mature
residents through their regular Morning Melodies performances at Maryborough’s
Highland Society and also at Hepburn House.
As hinted at above, the background tales that these two have to tell are
impressive. To give you just a little taster, Terry’s include playing and organising gigs
for the Royal Family at Windsor Castle in England and performing with stars like
Tom Jones, Randy Crawford, Tommy Emmanuel and Jimmy Barnes.
Originally an Englishman who left school at 15 to play with Thunderclap
Newman – known for their hit single Something in the Air – Terry’s CV also
includes supporting Pink Floyd at the ridiculously tender age of just 17, as part of
the band, Berlin.
He moved to Australia in the 80s, became an Aussie citizen and chose not to
return to his homeland due to the “dismal weather”.
Once over here Terry’s professional experiences spanned working with guitar
legend Tommy Emmanuel and gigging with Jimmy Barnes to doing live stuff for
Sydney’s Triple M, with Peter Garrett, Nirvana and Guns ‘n’ Roses. It also includes
doing guitar and keyboard for children’s entertainer megastars, The Wiggles.
Gillian (Gilly) Eastoe’s background is just as colourful. She and her band
Gillian Eastoe and King Dog featured on Countdown in heady 1979. Alongside
Gilly’s powerhouse rock vocals, the Sydney-based band also featured Phil
Emmanuel as lead guitarist, and Gilly toured extensively, performing on stage with
many R & R greats including Tom Waits, Jimmy Barnes, Dragon, Midnight Oil,
Rose Tattoo, Air Supply and Jon English.
Gilly is also a composer who’s written hundreds of original songs spanning rock
to tracks especially for the popular ABC children’s 0-9 series.
In fact Gilly and Terry met while recording material for the ABC about 20 years
ago. You don’t have to talk to them long to work out that theirs has been a winning
They’ve travelled all around Australia dispensing hundreds and hundreds of live
shows, including many school-based shows, and inspiring countless new young
musicians along the way.
Terry says they moved to Strangways because they loved the place and it
provided a nice home too for their many animals including rescue horses.
Now though, the couple have accepted an offer they could not refuse, moving
into a house on the beach at Woolgoolga, owned by their property developer son-
“He’s doing up the house as we speak,” Terry said.
Gilly says that while leaving Central Victoria will be a wrench, she’s looking
forward to taking her beloved leopard appaloosa horse, Floyd, for walks on that
very beach again – as they did many years ago when they lived in Sydney.
“He’s called Floyd because he’s got pink skin,” she says. “He won’t believe it
when his hooves touch the sand.”
Terry notes that Floyd’s name is not the only ode to the famed English rock
outfit. “Our son-in-law has plans to eventually build a retirement village with a bar
to be called The Pink Floyd Bar and everyone who comes in can put a brick in the
wall,” he says. “It will be like Hepburn House – lots of people ageing disgracefully.”
Now Terry and Gilly’s beloved Strangways property is on the market and Terry
says they expect to make their big move in June or July.
But between now and then they’ll be doing plenty of gigs including private
events and some public ones as well. These include gigs coming up soon at
Maldon’s Kangaroo Hotel, the Pig and Whistle at East Trentham, and The Savoia
at Hepburn Springs.
“It’s been a magic life. We’ve ridden the wave exactly when things were right,”
Gilly says, generously sharing tales from their days on the road touring the length
and breadth to dispense musical exhilaration “sometimes in a paddock, sometimes
in a grand stadium”.
“You had to be absolutely versatile,” she says. “It was brilliantly demanding
but I think we can say that we’re proud of the fact that we came up with the goods
every time. We’ve loved being part of this community. This has been my little piece
of heaven and I adore it here.”
Suffice to say, they’ll be missed. But this is a duo whose truly extensive
repertoire straddles country, rock, classical and jazz and Terry says they’re already
envisaging some intimate wine bar type gigs as they write their new life melody