Brian Young


By Luke Austen.

Searching my heart, it is difficult to find words to do justice to this World Champion rodeo rider, stockman, drover, songwriter and all round showman, who learned his trade with The Rick and Thel Carey Show, and would persist to ultimately become the last of the travelling showman. I can only tell the story I know from first-hand experience and hope to convey a measure of my esteem for Brian Young.

January 2000, I was practically a kid when I met Brian at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, an 18 year old from Grafton NSW with dreams of becoming a country recording artist. On recommendation by a mutual friend he gave me a place in his backing band ‘The Rockaroos’. It was everything I wanted, however I underestimated how hard it would actually be. My first challenge was the fact he only had a spot left for a bass player, I had never played bass guitar in my life, but wasn’t about to let that hiccup prevent me from accepting the challenge! I had around seven weeks to learn my instrument before rehearsals and our departure on tour.

Two weeks in on a 6 month national tour, on the dry and dusty Plenty Highway somewhere between Boulia QLD and Alice Springs NT, unprovoked, Brian said, “Nothing in life will come easy. You will experience things you may not agree with, things you cannot change, but life is about committing to who you are and doing what you love.”

He could already see my youthful cracks begin to show and I knew it was time to ‘man up’ if I wanted to make it to the end, influentially those words will stay with all my days.

Read the rest in Issue 82…