A week after the Australian band Models were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, James Freud – who had his biggest success with them in the mid-1980s – took his own life. Freud had a long history of alcoholism and had made several suicide attempts after his career stalled in the late '80s.
He missed the awards ceremony, possibly as a result of "falling off the wagon" one last time. "Once you have a hit record, your life can never be the same again, whether it's because you're rich and famous, or lost in the past, living your life through your glory days," Freud stated candidly in his autobiography I am the voice left from drinking (2002), which documented his career highs and lows, addictions and changing hairstyles.
In 2007, he followed it up with I am the voice left from rehab. Both titles referenced the lyrics of Models' hit "Barbados", which peaked at No 2 on the Australian pop charts in 1985. Their next single was a punchy INXS-flavoured song Freud had written called "Out of Mind, Out of Sight", and became the group's only No 1.
Freud was born Colin Joseph McGlinchey in Melbourne in 1959, and from the age of five dreamed of becoming a musician. His parents separated during his early teens, and at 16 he formed his first band, Sabre, with two schoolfriends. Within a year Freud had left home, cutting off all contact with his disapproving mother for two years in order to "validate" himself as a musician, which included acquiring a stage name: James Randall Freud.
A year after he heard the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" in 1977, their punk-rock influence was obvious on the first single that Freud made, "Wanna Be Ya Baby", with the group Teenage Radio Stars. By 1980, after various line-up changes, James Freud and the Radio Stars had signed to Australia's largest independent label, Mushroom, and their new wave-styled single "Modern Girl" peaked at No 12 on the Australian charts. The band released their debut album Breaking Silence that year and supported the UK synth-pop pioneer Gary Numan on a tour of Australia, which led to Numan producing Freud's next album in the UK. However, it was never released and in April 1981, his group (by then called James Freud and Berlin) disbanded.
Freud played sax on the cult Australiana group The Go-Betweens' 1981 album Send Me a Lullaby before joining the left-field post-punk Melbourne band Models the following year on bass and vocals, helping to give them a more mainstream sound. He contributed to their critically acclaimed 1983 album The Pleasure of Your Company, and they hit paydirt two years later with the album Out of Mind, Out of Sight. Freud wrote most of their final album, Models' Media, recorded in London in 1986. Later that year, Models toured in support of the British synth-pop group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark in the US, where Out of Mind, Out of Sight had reached No 36 on the Billboard charts.
Freud stayed with Models until their dissolution in 1988, before resuming his solo career with Step into the Heat (1989), an expensive flop. He then toured as Kylie Minogue's bass player and formed the dance-pop duo Beatfish with Martin Plaza of Mental As Anything, releasing an eponymous album in 1992.
In his subsequent career, Freud took part in several Models reunion tours and made three further albums; Postcard to Hawaii (with the group Moondog) in 1995, the sports-themed Today's Legends of AFL Football (1999) as James Freud and the Reserves and his final solo effort, See You in Hell (2008). He had begun dabbling in screenwriting and was managing his sons' band Attack of the Mannequins at the time of his death.
Colin Joseph McGlinchey (James Randall Freud), musician: born Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 29 June 1959; married 1984 Sally Clifton (two sons); died Melbourne 4 November 2010.Reuse content