JOHN Catfish Purser was a rare breed of drummer —
the kind who rock until they drop.
A career musician who came to fame as Johnny O’Keefe’s original sticksman in the golden age of rock’n’roll, Catfish, 84, passed away in a Gold Coast hospital early yesterday after a short battle with illness.
A perennially popular fixture on the local club scene with his band The Dee Jays — the name of the original band he drummed in with O’Keefe — for the past 20 years, Catfish was celebrating his 60th year as a live musician.
“Sixty years of rock n roll in Australia — Johnny O’Keefe and myself with The Dee Jays,” he said in March.
“I am still rocking around the Gold Coast and keeping the dream alive. Plenty of people following us — it still gives me a buzz seeing dancers still enjoying my music.”