It was 10 years ago today (April 19th, 2012) that Greg Ham, the saxophonist and flutist for Men At Work, was found dead in his home in Carlton, Australia “after he failed to turn up for a pharmacy appointment.” Ham, who was 58, was an active member of Men At Work from 1979 to 1986 and had continued to perform with the group's leader Colin Hay periodically since 1996. The cause of death is still debated, with the press at the time claiming he died of a heart attack, with other reports citing that Ham was battling depression and reportedly a heroin addict. Ham is survived by his wife and two children — although he was the lone occupant of the house he was living in.
The Washington Post reported police as saying of Ham's death: “There are a number of unexplained aspects to it which has caused our attendance here today, and we're assisting the local detectives to determine what has occurred.”
Ham was the center of controversy in 2010 when the flute solo he improvised on Men At Work's classic, 1982 chart-topper, “Down Under” was ruled to have been “lifted” from the 1934 Australian scout song “Kookaburra.” The court's ruling gave current copyright holder Larrikan Music five percent of the song's mechanical rights to the song since 2002 along with future profits. Despite his musical contribution, Ham was not listed as one of the song's co-writers.