RIP Piano Man John Gill

When I read the newspaper today, I was shocked to discover that John Gill had died late last week. He was a highly regarded ragtime and stride pianist, but if you’ve ever been to Murray Street Mall in Perth during lunchtime — whether you’re a local or a visitor — there’s a good chance you’ve seen him entertaining Forrest Place with his wooden piano-on-a-trolley.

John Gill plays in Perth
John Gill playing the piano.
John Gill. Photo by Lee-Ann Khoh (Flickr).

I had the pleasure of talking to John just five weeks ago while researching an article about busking for Perth Walkabout. He was polite, affable and knowledgeable. He even stayed behind after he’d finished playing to chat to everyone, including trying to help an international student with an assignment, eventually vacating the area for another group of buskers.

I emailed John the link to the article when it was published online, but I haven’t been into the city since. I still have his business card in my wallet. It’s a strange, empty feeling to know that I’ll never see or hear those keys again.

Rest in peace.

7 Replies to “RIP Piano Man John Gill”

  1. hallo this is john gill sister thanks to whoever put this on he is already saddley missed by his family
    regards jane franco

  2. R.I.P. dear nephew John – you were so talented & an inspiration to many others. Forever in our thoughts. -xxxx-

  3. i had the pleasure of hearing John many, many years ago (1981) when he played in Alderney ( ? Channel Islands !!!! ) – during Alderney Week.

    Recorded the performance – details on my on my site above – not used commercially – just for pleasure you have given many people over the years.


  4. When I was in Perth 4 years ago to visit
    my Dutch relatives I met John playing in the street.
    It was by far the greatest surprise of my visit to W-A,
    since I’m the owner of a ragtimecafe in Holland.
    We had of course a nice chat ” backstage” ,bought all
    his CD’s and offered him whenever he would come
    to my place , to have a concert with Ray Smith the homepianoman,
    another ragtimepianist with whome he played before in England.
    With my camcorder I made a nice film of his performence,
    which i often show to my guests on the cinema-screen !!
    If you like I’ll send a copy.
    A visit to Austalia will never be the same

    Dirk de Graaf
    Dorpsstraat 426

  5. always chatted with john on the bus or bus stop and we always talked about anything.He knew me from RPH hospital and we talked about healthcare which he was into in his younger years.He spoke very fondly about travelling..his playing his piano now up in the stars.

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