Legend of the music scene
IF YOU have been to a show in Toowoomba in the past 15 years, there’s a good chance you got to listen to the audio mastery of Howard Brooks.
The legendary sound engineer and musician was responsible for some of Toowoomba’s biggest shows, along with thousands of smaller gigs that made up the city’s music scene.
Mr Brooks, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 54, is being remembered by family and friends as a passionate and professional member of the industry, putting his heart and soul into every show.
Partner Davina Quinn described him as her soulmate who could always make her laugh and smile.
“I adored him, he was my best friend,” she said.
“We had similar personalities and senses of humour, we could joke about the same things.”
Behind the desk, Mr Brooks did sound for touring acts like Violent Soho, Gang of Youths, You Am I and Vera Blue.
Members of the Toowoomba music scene said he had a wealth of knowledge about live sound engineering, something he shared with everyone.
Colleague and fellow sound engineer Justin Myers described him as a good friend and his “right-hand man”.
“He bent over backwards to help the musos, sounds guys, stage crew, bar staff, everyone involved in the gig to do the best possible job,” he said. “I miss him heaps.” Audio technician and drummer Andrew Greaves said Mr Brooks would “give you the shirt off his back”.
“All the equipment I had came from him, and he let them pay him off on a weekly basis — that was worth thousands,” he said.
“It jump-started my career – if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now.”
Former Spotted Cow publican Phil Coorey, who worked with Mr Brooks to bring national touring acts to town, said his professionalism showcased Toowoomba to the wider music industry.
A memorial was planned for earlier in the year, however it was cancelled due to Covid-19.
A local ceremony will be organised at a future date.