Wane “Swampy” Jarvis
Wane “Swampy” Jarvis was one of Australia’s most respected and longest serving road crew. He is regarded as one of the first “professional” roadies and went on to be an internationally regarded tour manager.
From his site: “He set standards and developed operational criteria that have become the Worldwide Industry benchmark for just about every activity involved with touring and concert production. He gave the industry, as a whole, a level of dignity, professionalism and compassion that is very often missing in this day and age.”
He unfortunately passed away back in 2004 and his family were forced by financial circumstances, to auction off his vast collection of Aussie tour memorabillia. Unfortunately Swampy was around in a time when most roadcrew didn’t have such luxuries as superannuation. His family have a site up which is a nice tribute to a well loved character and some of his tour passes etc are still available from eBay.
Have a look at his site for more info & links to the remaining items. There is a lot of history there waiting for a good owner and the proceeds go to a good cause, his family.
I had the privilege of working on some of Swampys tours through the 90’s and he always treated myself and the other guys with respect. A true gentleman, a rare man much missed.
he will probably remember Jeff Merryweather then…. shit, now i re-read the comments, did he die???? please let me know… he will be with my brother Jeff
Was your brothers nickname ” Merry Took” ? If so yes i did work with Took ages ago, while Mad Gorrilla was off the road at one stage. Then later in the early nineties. I didn’t know he wasn’t with us either, but I have been away from the industry for some time.
Hi Recko, great to hear from you. Merry Took isn’t Jeff Merryweather, they are two seperate people. Merry Took owns & runs Staging Rentals in Sydney. They are a huge company doing really well. I’ve had the pleasure a few times in working for Merry. They were always great gigs.
Dont really know my brothers “work ” name… but it does tend to go with Merryweather!!! Jeff comitted suicide in 1983…… u know its probably best that you have been away from the industry.. it only fucks people up…
Jeff Merryweather was the most talented lighting operator in the history of rock lighting. No one will ever be as good as Jeff was. In the late 70’s there was a band called Mi Sex who were probably better known for their incredible light show than their music…(regardless of the fact they were a great band).
I worked many times with Jeff when I was lighting such bands as “Jimmy and the Boys”, The Hitmen, Sherbs etc…Jeff was a very insecure type and never let the support band lighting guy have many lights to operate regardless of how hard he worked on the set up. I guess he didn’t want to be shown up. He had nothing to worry about there…he was the best. I was saddened by his death when I heard about it, but it didn’t surprise me…its often the ultra sensitive, artistic types mong us who sometimes find life too hard.
Merry Took has also been on the scene since the 70’s and as stated above is not Jeff Merryweather. Merry at one time however was Cold Chisel’s lighting operator.
hi rick… well,… all i can say as i am approaching 40 years of age that i still think of my darling brother every single day and i always knew he was gonna die… even when i was 6 years of age… i just knew he wasnt going to be around … sounds freaky… i hate the feeling i.. i knew it the moment i heard the song “seasons in the sun” i used to cry… i just knew….Jeffrey was my hero… i cant believe you are writing this, you are wonderful.. xx
G’day lisa, I did work with your brother when Mad Gorilla supported Misex a great lighting guy. But we were only the support band so therefore low on the food chain, I did try and talk to him and watch what he was doing but he was very guarded. I’m very sorry to hear about Jeff it isn’t an easy way to earn a living and has claimed too many of my friends and nearly myself in the late ’90’s.
Gibbo – Thanks for clearing that up it is hard to know who is who sometimes because as you know nearly everyone has a nickname. Most people in the industry wouldn’t know my name is steve. I probably should pull my finger out and get on War Stories & put the story of my nickname on there sorry I’ve been slack. Good to hear Took is still going strong.
I knew Swampie when I was Production Coordinator for Melbourne’s Tennis Centre back in the late 80’s. My wife and I were talking about Coffs Harbour tonight and I remembered his connection with the place. I was shocked and saddened find this page and to know that he has passed. Wane was the most unassuming and professional tour pro I had the pleasure to work with at that time and I worked with quite a few.
He was always telling me how stressful the touring gig was and how he wanted to quit but that he needed to keep working. I have been out of that aspect of the industry now since 95. Behind all the lights and hype is a bloody hard business and it takes its toll.
I ended up on this site through a friend on facebook, but coming across the news that Swampy had passed away brings me to add my condolances to his family and friends, albeit a bit late. I had the pleasure of touring with one of the true gentlmen of the industry. My last show was with Van Halen ’98 or ’99. I had earlier heard an old story about a certain tour manager for Max Merritt riding a pushbike through the foyer of a motel and into the pool whilst wearing only jocks and socks and being rather pissed. When relaying the story to Swampy, a big smile exploded onto his face, and he wondered how i found out about it. i never did get round to telling him who it was that told me as that was my last big gig. If you are reading this from up high, Swamp, it was Parrot who told me. RIP big fella
Swampy was Thee Mann!!!!! RIP. Big brother.
Well five years on from the above remarks, Mi-sex visited Chch NZ and last Sat night 30 March 2014, Jeff Merryweather’s baby sister Jenni went to their concert. Jenni met the members of the band, and she was thrilled to know that Jeff was still loved and remembered. He came to her 5th birthday party, his birthday being 3 days before hers, and she has grown up with his memory being very much a part of our lives. That weekend, he took his other sister Suzy and brother Steven and me [his mother and my husband] to the Simon and Garfunkel show and we saw it from the lighting tower. Wow, what a night. He was a beautiful sensitive young man and today I wonder what life might have dealt him with the talent he had. He is so missed even 31 years on.
I remember Jeff very well, first met him when toured with DEVO back in 82 and when I moved to Oz he introduced me to Eric Robinson and we worked together at the at the Hilton Hotel together (Captain & Teñeil ) and also Dion Warwick , I ended up as PM for for 17 productions before calling it a day in 1985, I recall been very shocked when I heard the news.
I only came across the facebook post that Swampy had passed away and it was back in 2004. I came across Swampy on many occasions with any number of international acts that toured during my time at PolyGram Records 1979-1999 he was one of the nicest guys you would ever hope to meet and supremely good at his job which he clearly loved. RIP buddy see you next tour round.