Tributes are flowing for founding RAM editor Anthony O’Grady, a towering figure in Australian music journalism who championed the likes of Radio Birdman, Cold Chisel and Midnight Oil and brought rock ‘n’ roll to the masses in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

O’Grady, who passed away on Wednesday (Dec. 19), gave a voice to a long line of fledgling Aussie guitar bands through the nationally-distributed RAM (or Rock Australia Magazine), which became the voice of Sydney rock ’n’ roll between 1974 and the mid-’80s and a source of inspiration for generations of homegrown music journalists.

O’Grady is remembered as a trailblazing music journalist, editor and author, who was equally at home covering stories for the trade press as he was the mainstream media. He also wrote for consumer titles in Sydney for some years, edited a music magazine for the Brashs music store chain in the late 1980s and early ’90s, and co-wrote the programs for the early ARIA Awards with a young John Watson, then a music writer who was mentored by O’Grady.

When industry entrepreneur John Woodruff and former Icehouse/Flowers bass player Keith Welsh established The Music Network magazine in the early ‘90s Anthony was its first editor, taking the reins at the trade title for several years before moving to regional NSW to support his then wife who had retrained as a social worker. They had two children, a boy and a girl.