In honour of the five year anniversary of the death of Magic Dirt member Dean Turner yesterday, former frontwoman Adalita has issued a poignant public statement paying tribute to her former bandmate.

I still, every day, remember his heroism and bravery and his incredibly empowered and enlightened spirit,” Adalita wrote in a Facebook post yesterday, as FasterLouder points out, marking the half-decade since Turner passed away at the age of 37 following a nearly decade-long battle against a rare form of soft tissue cancer called DFSP (dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans).

The Melbourne queen of rock continues, “I remember the laughs and good times and all the grit and sweat and 100% passion Dean put into making music. And how much he loved it and how much joy he gave to thousands of fans. He still inspires me, every day.”

Turner was the founding member and bassist for Magic Dirt, but was also fondly remembered as the one-time manager of Violent Soho and a local producer to the local likes of Gersey and Theredsunband under the alias ‘Dean Dirt’.

The Aussie musician’s legacy is also honoured by the Laneway Festival’s Dean Turner Stage, which was first founded in 2011 in collaboration with Turner’s wife and two daughters. Adalita’s tribute also sees her recounting her experience playing on the titular stage at this year’s Laneway Festival in Melbourne.

“It was a deep honour and a very moving experience. The audience that day seemed to stretch for miles and I just want to thank everyone that came to that show and paid their respects. Thank you to Laneway for inviting us to play.”

(Photo: Sophie Howarth. Source: Facebook)

Last year, Laneway Festival organisers launched the expanded ‘Dean Turner Project‘, which raises financial support for the Yiriman Project, an organisation spearheaded by Linda Bosidis (Turner’s wife) which supports young indigenous people in the south-west Kimberley region of Western Australia in response to high suicide rates (one in 1200). Since 2011, the project has raised over $25,000 towards programs devoted to suicide prevention.

“…I still remember and smile at how Dean would get the same reaction after people met him for the first time,” Adalita’s stirring statement concludes; “They would inevitably say, in hushed awe, ‘Wow, he is the best dude I’ve ever met’. Too true. Miss you beyond words Deano. X” Read the full tribute here.

In relate news, Adalita is also currently Double J’s artist in residence this month. Having presented a program focussed on ‘Heartache & Pain‘ earlier in August (with an awesome playlist featuring PJ Harvey, Blood Orange, Spirtitualized, and – of course – Joy Division), this Sunday sees the Melbourne maven exploring ‘The Dark Side‘.

“It’s all about the heavy business end this week,” Adalita writes of her Double J broadcast this Sunday 24th August at 3pm, featuring “songs about self destruction, anger, oppression, violence, fear, addiction, unruly desires, depression and despair, the places we keep secret, the vulnerable spots of our psyche.”

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